How To Make Mango Graham Cake

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This is a tutorial of how to make mango graham cake or adapt it to other fruits such as banana with peanut butter, orange with chocolate and of course, grapes! Lately, I’ve been making a lot of desserts that are pretty and easy to make. Some of these easy desserts include these mini Key lime pies, and baked strawberries. Today, I’m sharing another simple but delicious dessert recipe: Mango Graham Cake.

Mango Graham Cake – Filipino Mango Float Video Recipe

Mango graham cake is a popular dessert in the Philippines. Also called mango float, it’s cold, sweet and so easy to make. Just layer graham crackers, sweetened cream, mangoes and enjoy.

(Are you a fan of refrigerator cakes like this one? They are the perfect summer dessert! Try strawberry refrigerator cake or, if you prefer peaches, try this peach icebox cake which is a peaches and cream dream.)

Mango Graham Cake - Filipino Mango Float Recipe

We have 4 different kinds of heat warnings as I’m writing this (seriously, they’re saying to expect humidex values of 40C/104F and higher); I am so happy we’re doing our No Bake Summer Series!

Check out this recipe video!

Mango Graham Cake – Filipino Mango Float RecipePlay Video

I cannot imagine prepping and baking a cake in this heat. Happy to report though – we can still have cake without turning our ovens on. Enter: this delicious mango graham cake.

What is mango graham cake?

Mango Graham Cake - Filipino Mango Float Recipe
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First of all, what is mango graham cake? It’s simply a mango refrigerator cake or an icebox cake.

It’s also sometimes called a mango float in the Philippines. Don’t ask why. I tried to find the answer and there is nothing definitive.

Is it because the mangoes are floating in cream that look like clouds? I really have no idea.

Bottomline, graham cake just means no cooking or baking. Just refrigerating!

How do you make mango float?

Mango Graham Cake - Filipino Mango Float Recipe

Whatever you decide to call this dessert, it’s very easy to make.

It’s all about the layers.

First you place graham cracker cookies on the bottom of your baking dish. It’s important to cover the entire area so cut your cookies to fit the dish, if necessary.

Then you add your sweetened whipped cream. I like using an offset spatula to even it out.

The diced mangoes come next (scroll below for step-by-step photos of how to dice mangoes). The key in this step is to properly estimate the amount of fruit – you don’t want to run out. You want to have enough for the first and second layers.

Repeat. Chill. Devour.

Ingredients for this mango float recipe

Mango Graham Cake - Filipino Mango Float Recipe

The ingredients for mango graham cake are simple too:

  • Heavy cream or whipping cream – you want to go with full fat (this means has fat content of at least 36%) because it whips better
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Graham cracker cookies – I like using whole wheat because it has a nutty taste but you can use regular ones if you like
  • Fresh, ripe mangoes

Mango graham cake FAQs

Mango Graham Cake - Filipino Mango Float Recipe

Mangoes and cream are fantastic together and this is a wonderful summer dessert. Perfect for impromptu BBQ parties or just your good old regular summer day snack.

The hardest part is the waiting! You have to allow it to set properly.

Here are more tips for you.

What is the best kind of mango to use for mango graham cake?

We Filipinos are mighty proud of our mangoes (they’re the carabao mango variety). They are perfectly sweet and their meat is smooth and buttery. So if you can get hold of them, use those.

Sadly we don’t get carabao mangoes here but we’ve found ataulfo mangoes come close in terms of sweetness and texture. It’s the kind I always use in this mango graham cake recipe.

If you can’t find either, just pick a mango that is sweet, ripe and whose flesh is soft not firm.

How to tell if a mango is ripe

The best way to tell if a mango is ripe is to smell the stem end of the fruit. If it smells aromatic and fruity, you’re good to go. If you smell nothing, you may need to wait a few more days.

Also try to gently squeeze the mango. A ripe mango is going to give a little. If it doesn’t, it’s not ready.

How to cut a mango

Different people cut mangoes differently. And this has always been how we did it. Specifically, this is how my dad does it.

It not only gives you an easy way to get the most mango meat and an easy way to dice it, it’s also fun! Which is I think the main reason my dad started doing it this way – us kids had a blast looking at it and eating it.

Step 1: Wash and dry the mango. Position the mango stem side up and cut each cheek as close to the pit as possible.

How to cut a mango

Step 2: Make horizontal (or vertical, start whichever way you prefer) slices on each piece without cutting through the skin.

How to cut a mango

Step 3: You can scoop the flesh from the skin at this point but we like to open the mango up like a flower (pretty!).

How to cut a mango

Step 4: And then we scoop the diced pieces. We normally just peel and slurp on the pits but you can also slice some of the meat remaining there.

How to cut a mango

Can I use ready-made whipped cream?

Yes, you can use ready-made whipped cream to make mango float. I personally like the taste and texture of homemade whipped cream though so I always make my own.

Also note that ready-made whipped cream is already sweetened so you may not need to add as much condensed milk. Taste as you go.

Can I use frozen mangoes?

When making mango graham cake or any kind of icebox cake, use fresh fruit as much as possible. Frozen fruit has too much moisture in them and you don’t want all that extra water seeping into your beautiful cake.

If fresh fruit is not an option, try canned, like peaches. Just make sure to drain properly and remember that canned fruit is already swimming in sweet syrup. Adjust the recipe accordingly.

Can I freeze the mango float instead of chilling it?

I usually just chill my mango float in the fridge overnight. When I’m ready to serve, I just bring it out and slice. The cake slices are not perfect but the cake is creamy and delicious.

However, feel free to freeze them. Just note that if you do: treat it like how you would ice cream cake – thaw a little before serving. And note that the mangoes will be frozen too.

Other delicious mango dessert recipes

I love mangoes. If you do too, you will love these delicious mango desserts.

Mango Graham Cake (Mango Float Recipe)

A popular Dessert recipe in the Philippines, this Mango float cake or Mango graham cake could be the easiest, most delicious no-bake dessert you could ever make! Just layer graham crackers, sweetened cream, and mangoes, and done!

Eggless, Creamy, and refreshing with loads of fresh mango flavor, this Filipino icebox cake is a favorite for all occasions. If you’re looking for a fuss-free dessert, this no-bake mango graham cake needs to be on your list.

It s so easy to put together, all you need are four ingredients and twenty minutes of prep. The only hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the cake to set! Here’s the best step-by-step recipe with a video for this popular dessert from the Philippines.

Mango float, mango graham cake served in black plate

Mangoes are abundant at this time of the year. Aside from eating them as is, my family loves mango in cakes, salad dressing, lassi, shrikhand, salsa, and mojitos.

This mango float recipe is another way of using fresh ripe mangoes.

Mango Graham float is a Filipino icebox cake that requires no baking, is easy to make, and tastes like ice cream.

With soft clouds of sweetened cream and bits of sweet mangoes between softened layers of graham crackers, it’s definitely worth the anticipation.

The combination of cream, graham crackers, and mangoes is so addicting and will leave you wanting more!

It’s a simple and big hit dessert recipe during the holiday seasons or any other special occasion.

Filipinos call these creamy mango desserts different names: mango graham cake, mango supreme, mango royale, crema de mangga, mango ice cake box, and so on.

But the most popular name is Mango Float.

This dessert is easy to make. The only hardest part is the waiting! You have to allow it to set properly, preferably overnight, before cutting it.

Showing layers of mango graham cake

Mango Float Ingredients

  • Cream – This recipe is traditionally made with all-purpose cream because this is much more affordable. But I make this with heavy whipping cream.
  • Mango – Most ripe mangoes can be used to make this dessert. The best variety though would be the Philippine mango or also known as carabao. But I have used ataulfo mango for this recipe.
  • Graham crackers – I have used honey oats graham crackers for this Mango float. If you don’t have graham crackers in hand, you can use ladyfinger cookies to prepare mango float instead. Biscoff, digestive biscuits, or other plain butter cookies also works fine.
  • Vanilla Extract – For the flavoring. It’s optional.
Mango graham cake ingredients

Step by step process

  • Line the 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving about an inch of overhang on each side to help lift the cake off the pan for serving
  • Chill the condensed milk in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Peel the skin off the mangoes. Cutaway the sides (flesh) from the pit. Lay the mango halves flat-side down on a cutting board. Cut the flesh lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside. (Image 1 and 2)
  • Tip – Don’t throw the pit, scrape the flesh as much as you can and use it in making lassi or milkshakes.
  • Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft-medium peaks. (image 3)
  • Now add the condensed milk and vanilla extract. On medium-high speed, beat everything until smooth and stiff peaks form. (image 3 to 6)
Collage of cutting mangos and making whipped cream for mango float
  • Divide the whipped cream mixture into 3 parts, so you can have a 3-layer mango float. Keep them aside.
  • Line the bottom of a rectangular or square with a layer of Graham crackers. (image 7)
  • Use scissors or a sharp knife to trim the crackers, if needed.
  • Then pour 1 part of the cream mixture at the top of the crackers and spread evenly. Then top with a few mango slices. (image 8 and 9)
  • Repeat this process until 3 layers are formed, ending with the cream, crushed graham crackers, and cubed mangos on top. (You can do lots of layers if you want) (image 10)
collage of layering the mango graham float
  • Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight to set completely before serving.
  • Once the mango graham cake is set, take out the pan from the fridge.
  • Gently take out the cake from the pan onto a cake board or working surface. To remove the cake from the pan, simply use the overhanging parchment as a handle to lift the cake straight out of the pan. Be gentle while removing the cake from the pan.
mango float on a black cheese board
  • Cut the desired sized pieces and serve chilled. Enjoy!
  • Tip – dont keep the cake at room temperature for more than an hour.
Mango graham cake pieces

Tips, notes, and quick FAQs

  • Use a square 8 x 8 baking dish that is deep enough for the multiple layers.
  • Line the baking dish with parchment paper, leaving about an inch of overhang on each side to help lift the cake off the pan for serving. Just make sure to use a sturdy one so it will not break even when soaked.
  • To check if the mangos are ripe enough to be used in a mango float, make sure it smells “sweet” and the mango itself is soft. A ripe mango should be golden yellow in skin color.
  • Make sure the heavy cream and condensed milk are cold.
  • For a more festive look, you can add sliced cherries on top of the layer of the mango float.
  • If you want to make individual serving mango graham cake, you can layer or assemble it in small cups or tiny glasses.
  • I use heavy cream in this recipe, but you can also use Nestle’s all-purpose cream.
  • You can use strawberries, avocado, canned peaches, or fruit cocktails instead of the mangoes.
  • Mangoes are naturally sweet. So be careful while adding condensed milk. Add the condensed milk a little at a time and taste as you go along.

Can I use ready-made whipped cream?

Yes, you can use ready-made whipped cream or cool whip to make a mango graham recipe. I like the taste and texture of homemade whipped cream though so I always make my own. Also, note that ready-made whipped cream and cool whip are already sweetened so you may not need to add as much condensed milk.

Can I use frozen mangoes?

When making mango graham cake or any kind of icebox cake, use fresh fruit as much as possible. Don’t use frozen or canned mangos for this recipe as they tend to make the cake watery.

Can I freeze the mango float instead of chilling it?

I usually just chill my mango float in the fridge overnight. When I’m ready to serve, I just bring it out and slice. However, feel free to freeze them. Thaw a little before serving.

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