Mango float, the Filipino icebox cake also known as mango royale, comes together through layers of graham crackers, sweetened cream, and sliced ripe mangoes. Make it once, and you’ve pretty much mastered it. But this recipe shares a few tips to make yours even better.
Turn your cream into ice cream
To make a creamier mango float, transform the sweetened cream into no-churn ice cream. You can do this by whipping the cream into stiff peaks before adding the condensed milk. By whipping it first, you incorporate air into the mixture just like a churning ice cream machine. This creates softer, airier, ice cream-like layers of cream that stay scoopable even when frozen. No more rock-solid mango float!
Start with a layer of cream, not graham
Ever had mango float that’s soft and creamy all the way, right until you hit a dry layer of graham? This happens when there’s not enough cream for the graham to soak in, usually at the bottom-most layer where the crackers are pressed against the pan.
To prevent that dry bottom layer, begin your mango float with a thin layer of cream—not crackers. Then add the graham layer over it, gently pressing down on the crackers to submerge them.
Build your dream mango float
Pile on the rest of the layers however you like—the only rule is to save the top layer for fruit.
Want a cakier base? Alternate graham and cream layers, then leave all the mangoes at the top.
Otherwise, a center layer of fruit makes for a prettier cross-section. To make it, add half of the mangoes after the first graham layer. Top the fruit with cream, followed by a double layer of graham to make a sturdy base for the top mango layer.
- 4 cups whipping cream, cold
- 2 300ml cans condensed milk
- 18-20 graham crackers
- 8 ripe mangoes, sliced thinly
Make sweetened cream: Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream into stiff peaks, about 7–8 minutes. Switch to a rubber spatula or soft wire whisk. Pour condensed milk over the whipped cream, then gently fold until well incorporated no streaks remain.
Make first layer: Add ¼ of the cream into a 9x13-inch container—you want just enough cream for the first layer of graham crackers to soak in. Spread the cream with a rubber or offset spatula into a single layer as evenly as possible. Arrange graham crackers in a single layer over the cream.
Add more layers: Form the rest of the layers however you like, as long as you end with a top layer of cream.
- For a cakier base, alternate cream and graham layers until you end with cream.
- For extra mango, add ⅓ of the cream over the first graham layer. Cover the cream with a single even layer of sliced mangoes. Add half of the remaining cream, followed by a double layer of graham. Finish with remaining cream.
Finish: Arrange sliced mangoes on top of the cream until fully covered. The slices will sink into the cream a bit, but this is okay. Cover the mango float with plastic wrap, making sure to press it gently over the mangoes, and freeze overnight. Slice and serve cold the next day.