My desire to make Mango Bread was born from my culinary inferiority complex.
See, I love making banana bread – small versatile loaves are perfect to keep in the freezer for a hung-over brunch, to take as host gifts, to bring to work if you screwed a project up the day before. Whatever the occasion: a sweet loaf is a perfect go-to.
But here’s the thing: everyone has always had The Best Banana Bread Ever, and it’s not yours. Usually it’s a recipe belonging to their Grandma or their weird ex-boyfriend’s mom. And it’s always a bit awkward because you know that no matter how incredibly delicious yours is, it just doesn’t hold a candle. And nobody wants to be second best, right? So, I have abandoned the tireless pursuit of The Best Banana Bread Ever, in favor of a more exotic and exciting bread. One that most people have never had before, making mine the best they’ve ever had! Victory.
This mango bread is perfectly sweet – ideal for breakfast or tea, delicious warm but just as nice cool. Sweet, but not cloying. The coconut perfectly complements the mango, and the walnuts provide a bit of texture. You can also make tons of substitutions in this recipe. If mangos are unavailable, you can use dates, bananas, strawberries – whatever. You can also change the spice profile around depending on the season or your mood – ginger would make a nice addition, for example! The sprinkling of thinly sliced strawberries on the top makes this loaf really special, but you can forego if you wish.
RECIPE (adapted from Saveur)
⅓ cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan
1½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
½ cup mango purée (store-bought or home-made)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large very ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼" dice (about 2 cups)
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 thinly sliced strawberries for topping
Pre-heat oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan with oil, and lightly dust with flour; set aside.
Whisk flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a mixing bowl; make a well in center. Set aside.
Whisk oil, sugar, eggs and yolk, mango purée, and vanilla in a bowl; add to well in dry ingredients; stir.
Fold in mango, nuts, and coconut; pour into prepared pan.
Place thinly sliced strawberries on the top of the mixture.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into bread comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. If it looks like the loaf is getting too dark on the top, cover the pan with a tin-foil tent.
When finished, transfer to a cooling rack and let the loaf cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before unmolding and allowing the loaf to cool to room temperature on the rack.