Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze

Welcome, Friends, to the tropical cake era at Begin with Butter! Recently, I've had the biggest hankering for the tropical flavors that I've experienced on my travels to the Caribbean and Mexico, and I tell you, these cakes perfectly capture the flavors that I love from those travels! First up is my Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze. And she is, quite simply, my manifestation of St. Lucia and the Caribbean, combined with the history and tradition of my favorite pound cake.

About this Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze

This cake is banana trees and mango trees and pineapple shrubs, wrapped up in love and presented to your friends and family. This cake developed one fine day as I was sitting during my assigned “stare out the window” time, when I was positively transported back to a special birthday trip to St. Lucia. It was there that I experienced the most gorgeous and flavorful bananas and mango I’d ever had in my life to that point.

When I was transported back to that place from my makeshift kitchen office, I could feel the ocean air on my skin. I could see the banana trees everywhere as we traveled all over the island (there’s a story about a taxi day that gives my hubby heartburn to this day 😂).

This, Friends, is the love offering that I have for you, from my travels and my heart to yours.

Tropical Cake Ingredients

All-Purpose Flour: I love the pleasantly plump texture of a good pound cake, and this Tropical Cake is no different. That beautiful texture largely comes from all-purpose flour. I find that cake flour doesn’t give the same rise and texture to pound cakes, so that is why I don’t use it in mine. Additionally, this Tropical Cake contains has a LOT of moisture (3 cups total!) so flours with lower protein content (e.g. cake flour, White Lilly Flour) won’t be able to support it and will likely end up too dense.

Baking Soda: This cake contains pineapple as one of the components for its liquid. Because pineapple tips the acidity scale, baking soda is the proper leavening for this pound cake. Bananas and mangoes are also mildly acidic, which also makes baking soda the right choice.

Kosher Salt: Salt is very important in any dessert; it balances the sugar and keeps the dessert from becoming cloyingly sweet. It doesn’t take a lot of salt to balance the sugar in a cake recipe, so measure carefully. If you’re using table salt for this recipe, cut the amount in half. Kosher salt also balances all of the naturally occurring sugars from the fruit, so you’re left with a positively perfect balance of sweetness and warmth.

This is a picture of a Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze.

Ginger: Ginger adds a beautiful, warm element to this wonderful cake. It’s the perfect compliment to the pineapple, mango and ginger, and it is the perfect element to marry those flavors into a tropical combination. The ginger might *seem* like it’s a lot, but it’s truly the perfect amount!

Allspice: Allspice is a super agent in the spice world. It’s a berry that has elements of black pepper, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. It’s a big job and that lil’ allspice is up to the task. Allspice is common in Caribbean cooking, and it is a perfect complement to the big fruit flavors in this cake.

Unsalted Butter: Butter is a star in this cake! It adds special flavor, and also the creaming process creates the absolutely necessary air pockets that help this cake to rise into the special Tropical Cake of your dreams! Use good butter for this cake, and make sure that it’s room temperature before you begin. I set my butter out for about two hours before baking time.

Granulated Sugar: While the natural sugar from the fruit does an admirable job of sweetening this cake, that sugar is offset by the water content of those fruits. For that reason, granulated sugar comes in and adds a nice sweetness to this cake, and it also helps with caramelization! That gorgeous crust on the outside of your cake is largely due to the sugars in this recipe!

Vanilla Bean Pod: The mighty vanilla bean pod does so much in this cake. It truly plays above its weight and adds beautiful warmth and vanilla flavor. If you’re substituting vanilla extract, use two teaspoons. You won’t get the full vanilla flavor that I intended with this recipe, it it will still be over-the-top amazing.

Eggs: The fatty yolks add flavor to this amazing, while the protein-rich egg whites assist with the texture and rise. Be sure to use large chicken eggs for the best results.

Crushed Pineapple: Use the juice and the pineapple for this cake! The sweet-tart flavor is truly an excellent addition. Once you have what you need for the cake, you can reserve some of the juice for the pineapple glaze, if you’re electing to do pineapple instead of mango glaze.

Mashed Banana: Ripe, mashed banana is a must have for this incredible cake. If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, put some yellow bananas on a parchment-lined sheet pan and cook at 325°F for 30-40 minutes. Let them cool and voilà! Perfectly textured and sweet bananas for mashing. For this recipe, you’ll need two large or 3 medium bananas.

Canned Mango: Friends, you can use a ripe mango from your fridge if you’d like for this recipe, BUT you won’t get the mango juice that is the absolute star of the show in that mango glaze. (Of course, you can purchase it separately though!). I love canned mango that I can then mash up easily with a fork and mix with the pineapple and banana for the liquid in this cake. It’s just…bliss.

Once you’ve done your mise en place, this cake is deceptively simple to put together!

This is a picture of a Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze.

Beginners Start Here

If you’re new to baking, or if you want to learn how to do some of the more tricky baking techniques, here are a couple of super helpful articles from the BwB site (and a resource from the BwB Home Baking Academy!) that will help you get set up for success with this Tropical Cake.

These resources are extremely helpful to help you build consistency (and confidence) in your baking. Need more help? Feel free to send me an email at!

Important Tools Used in this Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze

Below, you’ll find a list of tools that I used for this amazing cake. You can find all of these tools (and more!) in my Amazon Storefront!

**I get paid a small commission if you purchase directly from my Amazon Storefront, but these are truly amazing products that you’ll find in my kitchen.**

This cake takes me to one of my favorite regions in the whole wide world. It’s perfect for any season and accessible to any level of baker. And it is impressive, friends. It will be the talk of your next function. And in the absolute best way possible.

I hope you love this cake! Enjoy and make sure to tag @beginwithbutter on Instagram when you make it!

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Tropical Cake with Mango Ginger Glaze

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This special cake transports me to one of my favorite places on earth.  With Mango, Banana, Pineapple, and spices featured prominently in this cake, it’s perfectly balanced for your dessert table year-round.

  • Total Time: ~5-7 hours
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the Batter:

  • 384 g (3 c) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 227 g (1 c) unsalted butter
  • 500 g (2.5 c) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
  • 5 eggs
  • 168 g (2/3 c) ripe banana, mashed
  • 235 g (2/3 c) canned mango, drained and mashed (keep the juice for the glaze!)
  • 250 g (2/3 c) crushed pineapple, with juice

For the Vanilla Simple Syrup:

  • 67 g (1/3 c) granulated sugar
  • 84 g (1/3 c) water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Mango Ginger Glaze:

  • 240 g (2 c) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.52 tbsp mango juice (you can also sub pineapple juice if you prefer!)
  • 13 tsp whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to a true 325°F.  An oven thermometer is essential for this step.  Many ovens run quite hot or cold, and it’s impossible to know unless you have an oven thermometer to gauge the true temperature in your oven!
  2. Sift the all-purpose flour, kosher salt, allspice, ginger, and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar and the scrapings of the vanilla bean pod (if using).  Scrunch the vanilla beans into the sugar until fragrant.  Alternatively, you can place the sugar and vanilla beans into a deli cup and shake to your heart’s content.
  4. Using either a blender on low speed or a small bowl, add the crushed pineapple, mashed banana, and mashed mango.  Blend on low speed or mash with a fork until combined.
  5. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter only with your mixer until it is very smooth.  Add the vanilla-infused sugar (if using) and cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.  (Not sure what I mean when I say “cream butter and sugar”?  Check out this post!)  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.  Don’t shortcut this step!  It’s essential to great baked goods!
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg until it is fully incorporated before adding the next egg.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until nearly combined.
  8. Add all of the fruit mixture and mix on low speed until nearly combined.
  9. Add the second half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until nearly combined.
  10. Finish the batter by giving several turns with a stiff spatula, until you have a cohesive batter.  Make sure to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl during this step.
  11. Prep a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan and add the batter to the pan.  Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 212°F in the center.
  12. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to remain in the pan for ten minutes.  Invert the cake onto a cooling rack (not a plate!).  While the cake is cooling for ten minutes, make the simple syrup. 
  13. To make the simple syrup: Add water, granulated sugar, and salt to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off once all of the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add the pure vanilla extract. 
  14. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack.  VERY GENTLY brush a thin layer of simple syrup onto the warm cake with a pastry brush.  Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the final glaze.
  15. To make the glaze: add confectioner’s sugar, fine sea salt, pure vanilla extract, and 2 tbsp of reserved mango juice to a medium bowl.  Still with a whisk until all of the confectioner’s sugar is moistened.  Add 1 tsp of whole milk and stir.  If necessary, add additional mango juice by teaspoons until you read the consistency of your liking.  The final glaze should have the consistency of thick honey.
  16. Using a spouted measuring cup, squeeze bottle, or spoon, place glaze atop your completely cooled cake.
  17. Enjoy!


  • You can adapt the liquid amounts of each fruit to get the blend of tropical flavor that appeals most to you!  You need 2 cups total of liquid.  This cake has 2/3 cup of each.  In metric measurement, that is: 168 grams of banana, 235 grams of mango, and 168 grams of pineapple.  Want more pineapple punch?  Add more pineapple but make sure to reduce the banana and mango!
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling Time: ~6 hours
  • Cook Time: 65-75 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


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