I’m not sure that I’ve ever eaten a mango-flavored cake – though I have used mango in many other desserts - but I am a huge mango fan and was instantly curious when I spotted Pillsbury Tropical Mango Cake Mix, a summer release, in the baking aisle recently. I picked up a box and resolved to give it a try. Mango has a distinct sweetness and I was curious to see how it would come through.
The mix makes one 9×13-inch sheet cake, 2 dozen cupcakes or 2 round cake layers. Like most mixes, you only need to add eggs, oil and water to the dry ingredients included in the package. This mix does not contain any real mango, but it does contain “natural flavor,” and I could smell the tropical mango as soon as I opened up the package. The smell become even more mango-y as I mixed the batter and it carried over into the finished cake. I was impressed with how much mango flavor there was in the cake, as I did not expect it to be as distinct as it was. The cake is soft and fluffy, with the even crumb that you expect from a boxed cake mix.
Overall, the mix is a good option if you’re looking for a cake mix that is a little “outside the box” when it comes to flavor. The mango gives the cake a fun tropical feel and is a good base that you can put your own little twist onto. For instance, you might consider stirring in some shredded coconut for cupcakes with extra tropical flavor. On the box, they suggest adding crushed pineapple to make the cake even more moist.
Pillsbury also released a mango frosting to go with this particular cake. I found the frosting to be lacking in mango flavor and to be a bit grittier than I would ordinarily expect a canned frosting to be. For me, the frosting doesn’t enhance the mango flavor of the cake and I would skip it. Instead, frost your mango cake with some homemade cream cheese frosting and garnish it with a few slices of fresh mango. You’ll get all the fun flavor of a mango cake with a frosting that really lets it shine.