Gingered Mango-Carrot Bread & Whipped Coconut Cream

Monday, July 23, 2012

After many requests, I agree that it is time to start adding some desserts to The Kitchenista Diaries! But here's the thing: As far as my relationship with desserts goes, I'm not one to bake cookies or cakes just to have sweets around the house. I did have one brief and sordid affair with double fudge brownies after my son learned how to make them himself. I may or may not have had a few unspeakable nights with several scoops bowls of frozen yogurt drowning in honey & granola. I don't know what to say. You try to take things slow and next thing you know you've polished off an entire package of Pepperidge Farm Nantucket™ Dark Chocolate Cookies and fabricating elaborate stories to an 8 year old inquiring about the sudden disappearance of his school snacks. Then there are the emotional responses to food, specifically food I have no business eating. Breakups inevitably lead to drowning my sorrows in sweet potato pie, homesick nights are a justifiable reason to make bread pudding, a late night in the office is a perfect excuse to opt for leftover cake to hold me over until dinner. I was in a minor car accident on Friday and for no particular reason felt the need to soothe my soul with some delicious carrot cake. So yes, my relationship with desserts has been tumultuous, and over time I've learned that the best way not to have this sort of drama in my life is not to bring it home. Unless it's a special dinner or occasion, I rarely go out of my way to make desserts. But in the interest of "research" and "education" I have decided to make some sacrifices and start working on dessert recipes. I will promise an attempt to incorporate some healthier dessert options. This one has carrots in it. It's a start. 

I was inspired by Lovely Pantry's recipe for Ginger Carrot Bread. I too had a bottle of carrot juice in the fridge and I'm not too crazy about drinking it yet, so I wanted to put it to good use. Adding the mango allowed me to reduce the oil and sugar needed, and while most carrot cakes are topped with a cream cheese frosting, I opted for a coconut whipped cream which provides a similar texture without the guilt factor. If you like carrot cake and tropical flavors, you'll love this recipe. It has the texture of a super moist banana bread and the sweet flavors of carrot and mango laced with warm spices, all a perfect contrast to the cool coconut. No need to discuss how much I ate to confirm this for you, just thank me later.

Gingered Mango-Carrot Bread & Whipped Coconut Cream

1 small mango*
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1" piece peeled fresh ginger
1/2 c. carrot juice
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. fine granulated natural sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. coconut flakes
Fat-free non-stick cooking spray

*Fresh mango will add the best flavor, but if you're making this out of season frozen mango chunks should work, just defrost them first.

For the Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 T. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Dash of nutmeg

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook  Time: 45 - 60 min
Equipment Needed: Food processor or blender, loaf pan, hand mixer (optional)

To prepare the coconut whipped cream, you will need to use good quality coconut milk. If you use a light coconut milk, or a brand that is mostly coconut water and preservatives, it won't work as there won't be enough real cream. The only two brands I've had luck with so far are Thai Kitchen and Badia. In my grocery store Badia is less expensive by more than a dollar, and I've consistently gotten more cream out of it than Thai Kitchen's coconut millk. If you find another one that works let me know! The idea for this came from The Nutty Kitchen and I have used it in place of heavy whipping cream ever since.

I also suggest chilling your bowl and beaters before doing this, as with any whipped cream. When you open the can of chilled coconut milk, you'll notice an extremely thick white paste that has floated to the top half of the can. That's the cream. Scoop it all out and into a bowl. You can drink the leftover coconut water, or add to your smoothies! Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and nutmeg to the bowl.

Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until it is the consistency of a thick icing and peaks form. I suppose you could whip this by hand but I've found an electric mixer to work better. Return to refrigerator until needed. This will actually last a couple days in the fridge, if you resist the urge to eat it straight out of the bowl!

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and slice mango and combine with carrots and ginger in a food processor. Blend until mango is pureed. I  didn't have shredded carrots on hand, so I used enough carrot sticks to end up with about 1/2 cup shredded carrots. If you want bigger pieces of carrots in the bread, just stir in the shredded carrots after the mango is pureed. 

Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, sugar, vanilla and carrot juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until all of the flour is incorporated into the batter.

Stir in the pureed mango & carrot mixture, followed by the coconut flakes.

Pour batter into a loaf pan that has been lightly greased with non-stick cooking spray. Don't freak out, but the color and texture reminds me of something I have not seen since cleaning up after a sick toddler.

Place on center rack of oven and bake at 350° for 45 min to one hour, or until a knife inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. I tried this twice and both times needed to cook it closer to the hour mark. The bread is meant to be moist though so don't over bake. Serve warm, topped with coconut whipped cream. Garnish with mint leaf, if desired.

You Might Also Like


  1. Thanks for the recipe! I had no carrot juice but milk worked fine. Actually, maybe that's why I had to add some extra flour to the mixture. After adding the puree, the batter was very watery. I tripled the cinnamon since we are cinnamon fans here. The flavor combo was just WONDERFUL! I didn't even need to make the cream. (The family hates coconut so I omitted that too.) I'm looking forward to trying more of your recipes!!

  2. Thanks for the feedback! Carrot juice adds more of the carrot flavor obviously but personally I find it pretty gross as a beverage so I would probably never have it on hand again. Milk is an interesting idea, I might try w/ coconut milk next time!

  3. Hi,

    I absolutely love your style.
    with everything from breakfast nooks to backsplashes,
    make the heart of your home a dream-worthy kitchen.
    I am in the process of making a
    crafting corner in my kitchen.
    Really this post is
    useful for us.

    Thanking you,