Heidi Jaenicke/Explorer Intern

A Mango Chiffon cake.

Heidi Jaenicke/Explorer Intern

Staying indoors during the summertime can be a good thing when you’re accompanied by a delectable slice of a homemade dessert. Well at least that’s what I tell myself as I indulge in cake that utilizes seasonal produce. Of all the marvelous selections of fruit it’s the tropical flavors that particularly invoke my interest. 

This specific Chiffon Cake was my adaptation of the Cook’s Country recipe, - a magazine publication from America’s Test Kitchen. For this recipe I didn’t want to change much of the end product, instead I simply wanted to incorporate a tropical twist. I was able to achieve this by merely replacing plain water with mango infused water. Next I added lemon and lime zest which gave the batter a slight tang.  My last altercation was adding chopped fresh mango to the bottom of my baking pan before I added the batter in the oven. Another tip for this recipe is instead of using turbinado or raw sugar I used superfine sugar so I wouldn’t weigh down this light batter. 

Since this cake recipe is so delicate and airy you can pair it with a plethora of flavors, so feel free to swap out mango for your favorite summertime fruit. For those who appreciate the taste of mango then I recommend trying this recipe as it has the refreshing flavor of mango throughout each bite. 


To begin one should preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Next place the water in a saucepan with the mango pits, bring to simmer then pull off the heat and let the water cool down completely. Once the water is completely cooled take out the pits and place aside. 

In a clean large bowl place the egg whites along with the cream of tartar with the whip attachment in a stand mixer. Whipping on medium high speed allow the egg whites to form soft peaks, gradually adding in the two tablespoons of sugar. After adding the sugar, continue to whip the whites until they become stiff and glossy.

In a medium bowl mix the egg yolks, oil, milk, zest and vanilla then reserve on the side. In a large bowl whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, incorporate just until smooth. 

Gently whisk a 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it up. Be sure not to over-fold the whites as this will make the cake less airy and denser.  Then add the remaining whites, slowly, taking time to gently fold in a few spoonfuls at a time. It’s okay if you have a few streaks of egg whites throughout the cake just makes sure you haven’t over developed the gluten by over mixing the batter. 

Once all the ingredients are combined and the batter is ready, place the chopped mangos on the bottom of the cake pan that’s either nonstick or one that has been slightly greased. Make sure the distribution of the fruit is in a single equal layer then pour the batter into the angel food cake pan.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a long toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Place cake on a cooling rack and allow to fully cool, about three hours. Then moments before you take it out run a knife towards the outer corners of the pan to get the cake out. Serve plain, alongside some fresh sliced fruit or with some whip cream. Enjoy.

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