Mango Float (Crema de Mangga)
Mango Float is a Filipino mango icebox cake recipe, made with layers of graham crackers or ladyfingers, sweet whipped cream, and ripe, juicy mangoes. You may know it as Crema de Mangga or Mango Royale. This simple mango float recipe is the ultimate dessert for mango lovers!
Mango Float, also known as Crema de Mangga or Mango Royale, is a Filipino icebox dessert made with layers of graham crackers or ladyfingers, sweet whipped cream, and ripe, juicy mangoes. All it takes is one spoonful of this simple recipe to be in utter mango bliss!
“Mom, can we make Mango Float?” My daughter had encountered reels upon reels of what is also known as Filipino Crema de Mangga or Mango Royale, and the temptation was unbearable.
I can’t blame her. Who can resist layers of cookies (graham crackers or ladyfingers — pick your poison) layered with whipped cream laced with drizzles of sinfully sweet condensed milk and slices of ripe, juicy mangoes? Assembling this simple dessert requires the utmost will to resist licking spoons, bowls, fingers — even cans! (If you’ve ever cooked with condensed milk, you know it’s worth the risk.)
But the truth is, I had never made a mango float before. For some reason, my mom never made them. My guess is it stemmed from the sad lack of decent mangoes when I was growing up in New York. Back then, good mangoes required more than a trip to the Asian market or specialty grocer. You needed to book a flight to the Philippines, where they were sweet and plentiful.
Instead, she made what I call mango float’s cousins. I still have her recipe for Crema de Frutas – a similar dessert of sweetened whipped cream, cake, and mixed fruit. The creamy Fruit Salad was also the standard at every family gathering. Both desserts called for the more easily found canned fruit cocktail of the 70s, a remnant of my childhood that is so much harder to find nowadays.
But the good news is this: mangoes are much easier to find in the United States. And even better – the best kind of mangoes for Mango Float can be found at most local grocers – so you can indulge in spoonfuls of decadence without booking a flight.
Which variety of mango is best in a Mango Float?
To make a mango float, I highly recommend Ataulfo mangoes. Here in the United States, they are also called Champagne or Honey mangoes. The latter moniker is an appropriate name for the variety since this mango is known for its sweetness. The thin skin is deep yellow when ripe, the flesh is plump and less fibrous than other varieties, and the fruit is so sweet and tender that they can be enjoyed by the spoonful when ripe.
Mango Float Recipe
Mango float is a popular dessert in the Philippines, also known as Crema de Mangga or Mango Royale. If you’ve never had a mango float, I like to describe it as a mango icebox cake. Think of it like a tropical version of a tiramisu!
The beauty of the mango float is that you can make it with 4 (or in my case 5) ingredients: graham crackers or ladyfingers, whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and of course, mangoes. These are layered in a deep baking dish and chilled until firm enough to slice and serve.
Many versions use graham cracker crumbs or whole graham crackers as the cookie layer. I prefer the texture of ladyfingers when it soaks in the whipped cream, but I also appreciate the flavor of graham crackers, so I like to use both. I start with ladyfingers and use graham cracker crumbs as the “grout” in the spaces between the ladyfinger cookies.
How to Make a Mango Icebox Cake
To make this mango float, start by making the whipped cream filling. Whip the cream until you have lofty medium peaks, and stir in the condensed milk.
Spread a layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of a baking dish. Fill in any gaps with graham cracker crumbs.
Now for the layer of sweetened whipped cream! Spread about half of the cream over the cookies, and top with chopped mango.
Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, graham crackers, and whipped cream, and top with thin slices of mango, arranging them prettily on top if you wish.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Before serving, sprinkle with a little more graham crackers, then slice and serve!
More Filipino Dessert Recipes
More Mango Recipes
- 5 atualfo mangos champagne mangoes
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 7 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- 24 ladyfingers from a 7-oz/200-gram package
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- Peel, pit, and slice the mangoes: slice 2 of the mangoes into thin strips, and dice 3 into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Make the whipped cream by whisking the heavy cream in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer until thickened and medium peaks form. Whisk in the condensed milk.
- Place a layer of ladyfingers in a 13- x 9-inch rectangular baking dish. Fill in any cracks with graham cracker crumbs. Spread 1/2 of the whipped cream on the cookie layer, and sprinkle with diced mangoes. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, crumbs, and whipped cream. Top with mango slices.
- Chill for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight. Sprinkle with any remaining graham cracker crumbs before slicing and serving.