Black-Eyed Susan Cake

This is one of those marvellous moist upside-down syrup cakes, so-called because the pattern on the top, made with mangoes and blueberries, resembles the Black-Eyed Susan flower.  I prefer to use Kensington Pride mangoes, also known as Bowens, because their cheeks are so plump and juicy. I also prefer their flavour to most other varieties.  


About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

Why not try subsituting other summer fruits such as yellow peaches for the mangoes and raspberries for the blueberries?  Good served warm with cream and ice cream or with vanilla yoghurt. The cake is named after the Black-Eyed Susan, a member of the sunflower family, and not after the Aussie band of the same name.


Serves 10-12

  • mangoes, 2 medium
  • blueberries, 200g
  • plain flour, 185g
  • sugar, 185g
  • baking powder, 1  1/2 teaspoons
  • bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), 1 teaspoon
  • salt, 1/4 teaspoon
  • buttermilk, 250ml
  • melted butter, 2 tablespoons, cooled
  • eggs, 3
  • orange 1, finely grated zest

Mango and Rum Syrup

  • flesh from mango stones, scraped off with a sharp small knife
  • demerara or raw sugar, 100g
  • orange or lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • water, 1 tablespoon
  • cardamom seeds, 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • dark rum, 2 – 3 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 180degC (160C fan-forced).
Line a 24cm round or square cake tin with non-stick baking paper, making sure it comes up around the sides.
Slice the cheeks off the mangoes, ease off the skins and slice the flesh into crescent shapes to form petals. Reserve the mango stones.
Arrange the crescent slices around the bottom of the tin in the shape of a flower. Place remaining slices around outer edges. Fill the centre with blueberries and put more blueberries around the outer edges, filling up the whole of the bottom of the tin.
Sift together the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and zest. Add sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture and beat until smooth.  Pour batter evenly over fruits, being careful not to disturb the pattern.
Bake for 35 -40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove and allow to sit in tin for 10 – 15 minutes.  Turn out. Whilst still warm, pour over the glaze, making sure to brush it around the sides of the cake.
For the Mango and Rum Syrup: Remove remaining mango flesh from stones. Put flesh into a blender with water and citrus juice and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan, add sugar and cardamom seeds, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.  Remove and push through a sieve. Stir in the rum.