How to make mango ice cream at home with just 4 ingredients and just minutes of prep time! The result is a wonderfully creamy, sweet, tropical coconut mango ice cream that is paleo-friendly, dairy-free, and uses unrefined sugar.
The weather is starting to heat up, which is enough excuse for me to give ice cream making a go again. I’ve previously experimented with 100% fruit ice lollies and yogurt-based ice creams like a lavender and blackberry version. Now I am sharing how to make mango ice cream at home (and a creamy vegan one at that!).
Unlike store-bought versions, this coconut mango ice cream has no long list of ingredients with chemicals and preservatives. Instead, it’s made with just four all-natural ingredients. Best of all, it is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and uses maple syrup in place of sugar and yet still has the smooth and creamy texture you want from homemade ice cream.
Making mango ice cream without cream (dairy) can be tricky texturally. However, replacing the regular dairy and eggs with thick coconut cream helps yield a super creamy and easy ice cream. Plus, the combination of coconut and mango is also a match made in heaven! Eating a serving of this transports me to a tropical beach vacation. Now that’s my kind of dessert!
The Mango Ice Cream Ingredients
- Mangoes: I used Ataulfo (honey) mangoes for this recipe, which are sweet and slightly sour with a high flesh-to-seed ratio. I recommend using whatever best mangos in season are that aren’t too fibrous. You can also use tinned mango pulp but only use high-quality varieties like Kesar Indian mango (available in Asian grocery stores).
- Coconut cream: some fat is essential for achieving the smooth, creamy consistency. Fats obstruct ice crystal growth; more so, the creamy texture helps to hide the ice crystal texture to our palettes, resulting in soft and creamy ice cream. However, too much and the ice cream can become “chewy”. I’ve used the solid part from full-fat tinned coconut milk for its wonderful texture and subtle flavor. However, you can also use homemade coconut cream.
- Maple syrup: sugar is also very important when it comes to making creamy ice cream. Sugars control crystal formation and have a big impact on creating an ice cream soft enough to scoop. For this recipe, I’ve used unrefined liquid maple syrup. For a non-vegan option, you could use honey or even cane sugar. You can reduce the amount ever so slightly, but I wouldn’t recommend completely getting rid of it.
- Lime: this will help cut through the sweetness and add depth to the flavor.
- Salt: just a little will help enhance the flavors.
Most importantly, you don’t need an ice cream maker for this recipe!
The below-topping ideas are 100% optional but are suggestions that I think would work particularly well when paired with this mango ice cream recipe.
- Coconut – shredded, flaked, or toasted flakes.
- Herbs – mint and basil will work well.
- Heat – chili salt, chili powder, or tajin spice all pair amazingly with mango. Mango with tajin is one of my favorite summery treats. Better yet, drizzle some chamoy sauce!
- Fruit – strawberries, raspberries (sliced), pomegranate seeds, or even pineapple (raw or grilled) are all pairings I love. Also, mango and passionfruit are a classic pairing.
- Fruit coulis – raspberry fruit coulis or compote works particularly well.
- Nuts – almonds, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Chocolate – chunks or chips. I like white chocolate with mango, but any would work.
- Cream – whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.
How to Make Mango Ice Cream at Home
Step 1: Prepare the Mango
First, wash and peel your mangoes. Then use a knife to cut the flesh away from the seed. Use a fork/spoon to scrape the seed and remove as much flesh as possible.
You can do this straight into a food processor, or first do it in a bowl, whichever is easiest for you.
If you’re using tinned mango, then skip this step.
Step 2: Blend the Ingredients
Add the mango flesh along with all the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend into a smooth, creamy mango puree. This may take some time, so be patient. You want it to be ultra-smooth, so you don’t have any “bits” in your ice cream.
When ready, give it a quick taste, and feel free to add a little more maple or lime juice to personal preference.
Step 3: Freeze the Ice Cream
This vegan mango ice cream method is made without an ice cream machine. Instead, you need a large (silicone if possible) ice-cube tray or a wide container.
Ice tray method: pour the mango puree into your ice cube tray and transfer it to the freezer, covered, for 6 hours or overnight (or up to 24 hours).
Large container method: transfer the mango puree to a large, wide dish (I prefer to use wider dishes so it will freeze sooner, rather than a smaller but taller option). Then, follow the method outlined in my caramel ice cream recipe where you take the mixture out of the freezer several times to mix and agitate the ice crystals (thus stopping them from growing too large, for creamy ice cream with no churning necessary). Then finally, you transfer it to an ice cream/bread loaf tin for a final freeze.
If you use the second method, then you can ignore the following steps.
Step 4: Blend the Ice Cream Cubes
Transfer the frozen mango ice cubes to your food processor and blend into a soft, smooth consistency.
If the heat from the machine causes it to become a little too soft, you can place it back in the freezer for 30-60 minutes (at this point, I transfer it to an ice cream tub). Alternatively, you can serve it immediately!
Enjoy alone or with the toppings of your choice.
How to Store Mango Ice Cream
While this tropical treat is best enjoyed “freshly made” (since there are no preservatives), you can store it in the freezer, covered tightly in a freezer-safe container (to avoid the formation of ice crystals), for up to one month. It will technically last between 2-3 months, though it loses quality over time.
Remove it from the freezer for 5-10 minutes before serving to scoop it out more easily.
How to Serve
Enjoy the best mango ice cream alone or with the toppings of your choice. You can also serve a scoop or two alongside pancakes, waffles, and French toast, or even make a mango ice cream sandwich using the cookies of your choice – like these healthy oatmeal cookies. You can always add a scoop to a blender with extra milk for a creamy mango milkshake, too!
Technically yes, but you have to remember that the fat content is essential for achieving the right consistency. While you could easily swap out for dairy cream, it’s not as easy when considering dairy-free options. Most vegan ice cream bases (i.e., oat milk, almond milk) require extra fats (such as coconut butter, cashews, or even coconut oil) to achieve the same consistency. As I haven’t tried this recipe with those, I can’t guarantee results.
Yes, you can! Since the mixture will be blended anyway, frozen mango will work fine, though it won’t be quite as creamy as using fresh mango. On the plus side, it’ll help make the freezing step faster so you can enjoy the ice cream even sooner!
This depends on what varieties are available where you live. However, I find Ataulfo and Alphonso mangoes to be the best. They have a rich, sweet flavor and aren’t too fibrous. Look out for ripe and juicy mangoes with a thick pulp (not too watery) and avoid fibrous varieties if you want super creamy results.
More Mango Recipes
If you try this homemade mango ice cream, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
How To Make Mango Ice Cream
For the ice cream
- fresh mint or basil leaves
- tajin spice (chili powder + lime powder)
- coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- chili flaky salt
Prepare and blend the ingredients
- Wash and peel your mangoes. Then use a knife to cut the flesh away from the seed. Use a fork/spoon to scrape the seed and remove as much flesh as possible. You can do this straight into a food processor, or first do it in a bowl, whichever is easiest for you.If you’re using tinned mango, then skip this step.
- Add the mango flesh and all the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend into a smooth, creamy mango puree. This may take some time, so be patient. You want it to be ultra-smooth, so you don’t have any "bits" in your ice cream.
- When ready, give it a quick taste, and feel free to add a little more maple or lime juice to personal preference.
Freeze the ice cream
- This ice cream is made without an ice cream machine; instead, you need a large (silicone if possible) ice cube tray or a wide container.Ice tray method: Pour the mango puree into your ice cube tray and transfer to the freezer, covered for 6 hours or overnight (or up to 24 hours).Large container method: Transfer the mango puree to a large, wide dish (I prefer to use wider dishes that will freeze sooner, rather than a smaller but taller option). Then, follow the method outlined in my caramel ice cream recipe – where you remove the mixture from the freezer several times to mix and agitate the ice crystals (thus stopping them from growing too large for creamy ice cream with no churning necessary). Before transferring it to an ice cream/bread loaf tin for a final freeze.If you use the second method, then you can ignore the following steps.
Blend the Ice Cream Cubes
- Transfer the frozen mango ice cubes to your food processor and blend into a soft, smooth consistency.If the heat from the machine causes it to become a little too soft, you can place it back in the freezer for 30-60 minutes (at this point, transfer it to an ice cream tub). Alternatively, you can serve it immediately!
- Enjoy the vegan mango ice cream with the toppings of your choice.
How to Store
- It is best enjoyed "freshly made" (since there are no preservatives). But you can store it in the freezer, covered tightly (to avoid the formation of ice crystals), for up to one month. It will technically last between 2-3 months, though it loses quality over time.Remove it from the freezer for 5-10 minutes before serving to scoop it out more easily.
- Keep the ratio: I’ve experimented with finding the perfect ratio of sugar to fat to flavoring (mango). If you substitute any of the ingredients, try to do so with similar options and amounts.
- Adding alcohol: This tropical dessert can be made into even more of an adult treat with the addition of a bit of booze like Malibu, etc. Just note that alcohol will lower the freezing point of ice cream, which is great for yielding a smooth, creamy ice cream – but add too much, and it won’t freeze properly.
- Combine fruits: This vegan ice cream method works with more than just mango. You can also make a fruity blend, for example, with peach, strawberry, pineapple, or raspberry.
- Using an ice cream machine: If you have one, then feel free to use it according to the manufactures guidance.
- For even creamier results: You can reduce the mango puree on the stovetop until halved to remove water content (thus reducing some of the water ice crystals). Allow it to cool before proceeding with the recipe. If doing this, use double the amount of mango.
- Increasing mango: If you find the flavor of your ice cream isn’t quite as mango-ey as you’d like, I don’t recommend increasing the amount too much as the ice cream will become less creamy, the more you add. Instead, make sure to reduce the mango (above tip) for more flavor. Alternatively, if available, you can use a few drops of mango flavoring or extract.
- The color: The color of your mango ice cream will vary from a pale to deep yellow-orange, based on the mangoes used.
- Chili powder,
- Tajin – which combined chili and lime powder,
- Toasted coconut,
- Crushed biscuit,
- Chocolate chips – dark, milk, white,
- Crushed nuts – pistachios, almonds, etc.