When it comes to summer desserts, most people immediately go to the classics (think: strawberry shortcakes, lemon bars, and peach cobblers). But mangos are officially making a move on their competition. Why people have long overlooked mangos when it comes to summer baking, I’ll never know, but mango dessert recipes are my new summer faves. Today, I’m here to convince you that they should be yours, too.
Read on to find out how to choose a ripe mango, the simplest way to dice them, and prepare to drool over 12 mango dessert recipes you’ll want to try ASAP.
Featured image by Suruchi Avasthi.
How To Choose a Ripe Mango
When it comes to choosing a good, ripe mango, you have to use three senses: sight, touch, and smell. While most ripe mangos have a gorgeous red color, the color alone doesn’t mean that it’s ripe. To ensure you’re picking the right mango, not just the prettiest one, give it a gentle squeeze. A ripe mango shouldn’t be hard, but should feel like a ripe avocado when you squeeze it.
Finally, smell the stem. That delicious tropical mango scent will be present if the fruit is ripe. But, like avocados, sometimes you’ll end up buying a mango that’s not quite ripe yet, so you can store it in a paper bag at room temperature to speed up the process.
The Best Way to Cut a Mango for Mango Dessert Recipes
A lot of the following mango dessert recipes use frozen mango that you can buy pre-chopped, but if you have fresh mango that you want to cut yourself, there’s an easy cubing method you can master. When cutting a mango, start by separating the fruit from the pit. With the stem side down, imagine the flat, oval pit that is inside and cut both sides off. You’ll end up with two halves and a middle section that includes the pit.
Then, you’ll want to make horizontal and vertical cuts in each half, careful not to cut through the peel. Once finished, invert the mango so the cubed pieces stick out and peel each piece off or use a knife to cut them away. With the middle section, trim right along the pit and get off as much fruit as you can before cutting off the skin.
Keep in mind, if your mango is too soft to cut in clean lines, you can scoop out the fruit and use it in plenty of these mango dessert recipes, since chances are it’ll get blended up anyways.
Check out this mango cutting video tutorial for a visual demonstration:
Why We Love It: This icebox cake is the perfect summer dessert for days when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. If you haven’t heard of one before, an icebox cake is a dessert composed of layers of cream, cookies, and fillings that set together in the fridge–no baking required. The layers in this recipe are as follows: mango puree, cardamom cream, biscuits, and salty pistachio crumble. AKA the perfect salty and sweet combo.
Hero Ingredient: The salty pistachio crumble is the icing on the cake… literally and figuratively.
Why We Love It: This Mango Basil Ice Cream recipe is arguably the most effortless yet impressive summer dessert I’ve discovered. There’s just something about homemade ice cream that makes me feel fancy and this simple method has me shook. You simply blend frozen mango, full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup, and fresh basil and you’re left with the vegan, crowd-pleasing dessert of the summer.
Hero Ingredient: The basil takes this ice cream to a whole new level of refreshing.
Why We Love It: This Salty Mango Lassi recipe is my ideal way to cool down on a summer night. Not overly sweet like modern lassis, this milkshake-like dessert is made with yogurt, salt and pepper, cardamom, milk, honey to taste, and, of course, mango. These treats come together in a blender in 10 minutes, but you’ll sip it down wayyyy faster. Trust me.
Hero Ingredient: The sendhav salt not only balances the sweetness of the mango, but is full of minerals and aids digestion.
Why We Love It: The mango lassi recipe you already know and love, in popsicle form. The garnish on these popsicles will have your guests ooh-ing and ah-ing at the presentation. Once you have the ingredients, try both of these mango dessert recipes and let us know which you like best.
Hero Ingredient: The milk powder is a true wonder in keeping your popsicles creamy, not icy.
Why We Love It: Kheer is a rice pudding dessert from India that’s made by boiling rice with milk, sugar, and a few spices. This recipe layers in mango puree, which is the perfect fresh and tangy pairing to the otherwise sweet kheer. Plus, the puree has the consistency of a curd without the eggs and butter. These parfaits are so good you’ll have them for dessert and breakfast.
Hero Ingredient: Chocolate pudding step aside–kheer might just be my new favorite.
Why We Love It: I could eat sorbet all day everyday. Specifically this four-ingredient, vegan version that tastes like summer in a bowl. This recipe combines melon (either honeydew or cantaloupe), mango, banana, and coconut syrup in a food processor or blender to create your new go-to “nice cream” flavor. I also like throwing in frozen strawberries and making it my own!
Hero Ingredient: The banana creates the creaminess without the cream.
Creamy Mango Pie from Girl Versus Dough
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for a show-stopping dessert for your next summer dinner party, look no further than this pie. It has the graham cracker crust of my dreams, the freshest mango filling, and just the right amount of whipped cream (re: a lot). Not to mention the toasted coconut flakes add the perfect crunch to every bite. Just know that once you make this pie, prepare to make it again and again—your guests will request it from here on out.
Hero Ingredient: When a graham cracker is present, it’ll always be my hero.
Moist Mango Pound Cake from Chef de Home
Why We Love It: This Mango Pound Cake is a dessert, breakfast pastry, and tea-time snack rolled into one (or maybe I’m just trying to find every excuse to eat it). All it needs is a simple dusting of powdered sugar because the cake itself is the true star. This recipe is dense, moist, fresh, and tastes even better the next day–if you have any leftovers, that is. Which I rarely do.
Hero Ingredient: The hint of coconut threatens to steal the show.
No Bake Mango Cheesecake from RecipeTin Eats
Why We Love It: This is one of the mango dessert recipes that checks off every requirement for a perfect summer dessert. It uses summer produce, doesn’t require an oven, and is eaten cold. Imagine a classic cheesecake, but better because it’s topped with homemade mango jelly, whipped cream, and yes, more mango! It’s also deceivingly easy to make, thanks to the use of a food processor.
Hero Ingredient: You’ll want to save this no-bake cheesecake filling no matter what.
Easy Mango Cobbler Recipe from Platings + Parings
Why We Love It: Cobbler served à la mode will always be one of my favorite desserts. This particular recipe reimagines traditional apple cobbler made with mango and cardamom. The key here is that you cook the mangos with vanilla and sugar, thickening and caramelizing the fruit. It’s the summer spin on a classic fall dessert that I never knew I needed.
Hero Ingredient: It’s the crispy oat topping for me.
Mango Tart with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream from Just a Taste
Why We Love It: Yes, this dessert does taste as good as it looks. And no, creating that mango pattern is not as hard as it seems! This Mango Vanilla Tart is an inventive use of the summer fruit that you will not regret trying. The mango vanilla filling sits in a delicious shortbread crust that comes together in minutes.
Hero Ingredient: Vanilla bean is my favorite ice cream flavor, and now my favorite pairing for mango dessert recipes.
3-Ingredient Mango Sorbet (No-Churn!) from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Frozen mango, fresh lime juice, and maple syrup magically come together in a food processor to make a homemade, refreshing summer sorbet that puts store-bought versions to shame. The best part is that you can eat it immediately, or keep in the freezer for a firmer sorbet. It keeps in the freezer for up to two weeks. If, of course, it lasts that long.
Hero Ingredient: The lime juice adds the perfect zing to every spoonful.
Which of these mango dessert recipes are you trying first? Let us know in the comments below!