Mangoes always make me think of home.
Home, the Philippines, yes. But also, home, my family.
Ever since I can remember, my entire family – my immediate family and relatives from both my mother’s and father’s side – would always clamor for mangoes for dessert. Sweet, sticky, with the yellow color so bright it’s almost orange.
I can’t believe that I used to hate mangoes when I was a kid. But I have learned to love it, love it so much. And now I yearn for it, keeping a bag of frozen mango chunks in my freezers (I found that Trader Joe’s has the best ones), buying the pre-sliced ones for easy snacking, trying different varieties to see which comes closest to my beloved mangoes from the Philippines (the ones from Mexico are similar, but still not the same).
When I saw a recipe for Mango Bread in Saveur’s 100 Delicious Recipes Around the World issue, I immediately bookmarked it. I can imagine the texture of banana bread, but studded with mangoes. I decided to use coconut oil for a more tropical flavor, and toasted the walnuts (because why not?) And then, to make everything even better, I poured dark rum over the freshly baked bread.
Eaten warm from the oven, this coconut mango bread reminded me of a a visit to the tropics. Soft and moist, it had the intoxicating scent of mango and coconut. But after chilling in the fridge over night, and letting the sweet and spicy rum seep into the bread, it morphed into something closer to rum cake. Mango Coconut Rum Cake. That sounds even better, right?
Mango Coconut Bread
1 tablespoon butter to grease pan
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup mango purée (I just added a little water to frozen mango chunks and pureed it in my blender)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh mango cubes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, roasted (to read about how to roast nuts in the oven, check out The Kitchn's tutorial)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Generously butter 3 mini baking loaf pans, or one 9" x 5" loaf pan, then dust with flour. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, sugar, mango puree and vanilla. Add to well in the flour mixture and mix to combine.
- Fold in mango, walnuts, and shredded coconut. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean, or about 45 minutes. If you are using a single loaf pan, you may need to bake it longer, about 60-80 minutes. Pour rum over the bread before slicing.
recipe adapted from Saveur's Mango Bread
I really loved this chilled, when the bread gets slightly sticky from the rum and absorbs all the flavors. Each bite made me smile with memories of home.
If you’d like to try another easy bread recipe, how about Pumpkin Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting?
And if you’re looking for an easy, no-bake mango dessert, try my recipe for Mango Ice Box Cake. It’s perfect for hot summer days when we’re all craving something cold and sweet.