NO BAKING required for this fruity-licious Filipino chilled dessert. Juicy mangoes float on yummy mango-flavored whipped fresh cream then garnished with red cherries and studded with almonds for extra crunch. This superb Mango Icebox Cake is summer’s tropical delight but is also perfect for Christmas and New Year!
Ohhh summer. I’ve had a few requests for this special Filipino dessert called Mango Float. For some reason I never got to make it and then finally summer came so I decided this is the perfect time to make it! I am glad I did!
My mom came to visit us here in Michigan back in 2008. While she was here we invited for dinner an American missionary family who were on furlough in the US.
They have lived in the Philippines for a long time so when we asked them what food they wanted us to prepare – they said Filipino, please!!! They’ve been away for a few months and were terribly missing the usual food they ate in the Philippines so we told them, we’ll see what we can make.
Naturally, we had some Pancit and perhaps even adobo and lumpia for sure – the top Filipino foods. But for dessert? What shall we serve them?
I know my Mom makes a gorgeous Crema de Fruta so I told her to make it so I will finally know how to prepare it, too. Thankfully, she agreed. So I sort of adapted her Crema de Fruta and turned it into a delicious Mango Float.
I don’t really know why it’s called Mango Float – perhaps because fresh slices of Mangoes are literally floating in cream and supported underneath by Graham Crackers! I can take that explanation… 🙂
My mom’s secret in making such a delicious Mango Float (or Crema de Fruta) is in the cream. She adds some freshly pureed mango into the mix which transforms ordinary whipped cream into something sublime.
In this version, because I used a sweet-tart mango for the puree (like an Apple Mango) I had to add a little honey to balance the flavor. I also added some vanilla extract to the cream and the result is pure cream heaven.
For extra flavor and texture, I also added some sliced Almonds. It was truly superb! If you are allergic to nuts then feel free to omit them totally.
While traditionally, you use very ripe mangoes for this – I could only find semi-ripe, sweet-tart ones in the grocery so I was scared it would be a disaster.
On the contrary, it was superb. The sweet-tart mangoes actually cut the richness of the cream so it turned out perfect and quite refreshing.
So if you can’t find very sweet mangoes, try using the sweet-tart Apple Mangoes (provided they are already quite tender) because they are great for this too. While fresh mangoes are the best for this – for your last option, you can also use the canned ones.
This can also be prepared a day ahead and can be refrigerated until needed. Enjoy!!!
Follow the photos for a step-by-step guide.
NOTE: The old photos show a 9 x13 dish (which you may also use if you prefer but a 9×9 is perfect too and what I used for the updated photos).
First, assemble the Graham Crackers on the bottom of a 9 x 9 (or 9 x 13) glass baking dish (freezer-safe, if possible).
Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top of the Graham crackers.
Arrange the mango slices on top of the cream. You can arrange them however you want to. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the sliced Almonds.
You may cube the mangoes like below.
Or simply slice them thinly.
Repeat the process twice.
For the third layer, you can add some Maraschino Cherries for garnish.
You can add as many Mango slices as you have available.
And now all you need is to refrigerate this fabulous dessert until needed and then you’re all set!
Can you see how yummy it is?
Extra Special Mango Float (Mango Icebox Cake)
NO BAKING required for this fruity-licious Filipino chilled dessert. Juicy mangoes float on yummy mango-flavored whipped fresh cream then garnished with red cherries and studded with almonds for extra crunch. This superb Mango Icebox Cake is summer's tropical delight but is also perfect for Christmas and New Year!
- 1 pint (473 ml) whipping or heavy Cream, chilled
- 2 tbsp powdered or icing sugar
- 1/2-2/3 cup sweetened condensed Milk, (taste and adjust to your preferred sweetness)
- 1 cup Mango puree, from ripe fresh mangoes if possible
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Honey, to taste (optional)
- 4 ripe Mangoes, sliced either into cubes or thin strips
- 1 pack Graham Crackers or Digestive Biscuits, as needed
- 6 tbsp sliced Almonds, divided into three parts (2 tbsp each)
- 1 bottle Maraschino Cherries, for garnish
In a mixer beat the cream on high speed until the volume increases and the mixture thickens about 3 minutes. As you beat the cream, slowly add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to stabilize it. Stop the mixer and gently stir in the condensed milk, vanilla extract and mango puree. Adding a small amount of Honey is optional. I added honey one time because the mangoes I had were sweet-tart so to balance it out I mixed some honey. I believe the small amount of honey made a difference in the taste, too. If your mango is already sweet it is not necessary. Taste the cream and adjust the sweetness to your liking.
Assemble the Graham Crackers on the bottom of a 9 x 9 glass baking dish (freezer-safe, if possible). Fill in the gaps with smaller pieces.
Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top of the Graham crackers. Arrange the mango slices on top of the cream. You can arrange them however you want to. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the sliced Almonds.
Repeat the process twice. For the third and top layer you can add some Maraschino Cherries for garnish. You can add as many Mango slices as you have available.
The next step is very important. Whether you are serving it in a few hours or the next day – you need to chill it properly. If serving this on the same day - immediately after assembling the dish, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for at least an hour – preferably 2 hours. This will help set the cream. Transfer to the fridge and chill for another 1-2 hours and then serve. If serving it the next day - after freezing it for a couple of hours, just place it in the refrigerator overnight and take out and serve when needed. It should come out nice and easy to slice and will not disintegrate.