Tropical vibes are here! Pretend you’re sipping on a Mai Tai and sinking your teeth into this creamy cheesecake swirled with fresh mango puree. A thick base of graham cracker crumbs and coconut flakes rounds out this delicious mango cheesecake.
Making the graham cracker crust
The crust comes together easily with just a few ingredients. I find using a food processor to crush the graham crackers crumbs and mix the rest of the ingredients is easiest but you can absolutely crush them in a bag instead.
Add your graham crackers to the processor and process until they are finely crushed. Add the shredded coconut and melted butter and process until the butter is coating all of the crumbs.
I chose not to add sugar to the crust as the graham crackers are sweet as well as the coconut. If you only have unsweetened coconut flakes, feel free to add a few tablespoons of brown or white sugar to sweeten the crust more.
Pour the crust into the springform pan and pack it tightly onto the bottom only. Use the bottom of a cup to make sure it’s packed tight. It then bakes for about 15 minutes before the mango cheesecake filling is added.
How to make a creamy cheesecake filling
The filling is a simple vimple vanilla based cheesecake filling. There are a few tips to making a creamy filling.
I mention this below as well but one of the most important steps in making the filling is to use room temperature cream cheese. If your cream cheese is cold, you will have to beat it longer to get all the lumps out and you may still end up with a lumpy batter instead of a homogenous creamy one.
When mixing the ingredients, ideally use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed. This will prevent too much air from being incorporated into the cheesecake which can cause it to rise too quickly and then fall, creating cracks.
Adding heavy cream also adds to the creaminess of this cheesecake. While it’s just a small amount, it really makes a difference.
Also, do not skimp on using full fat cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese will not work well for a creamy cheesecake so set aside the calories and fat this time and go for the full fat option.
Last, make sure that the cheesecake is not overbaked! It should still be jiggly in the center of the cheesecake with the edges slightly more set. The jiggly center will set up overnight after refrigeration and you’ll have a perfectly creamy cheesecake!
Swirling in mango puree
You should have about 1/2 cup of mango puree depending on the size of the mango you used. Take 1/4 cup and set it aside for serving. With the other 1/4 cup, dollop teaspoon amounts of mango over the top of the cheesecake. Using a sharp knife, swirl it through the mango puree creating a pretty design.
Some of the mango may sink into the cheesecake some as you swirl it. This is totally ok as you will see it swirled throughout once you cut the cheesecake.
Preventing cracks in your cheesecake
I think one of the intimidating things about cheesecake is that people have made them before only to have a huge crack appear on the top of the cake. While the flavor is still the same, unless you have a topping to put over the cake, that crack can be unsightly.
The best way to make sure you don’t have a cracked cheesecake is to cook it in a water bath. Cracks appear in cheesecakes due to it cooking too fast or cooling too fast.
A water bath will add more moisture to the oven while cooking and allows more even heat to cook the cheesecake. They are simple to do and I highly recommend cooking this cheesecake using the water bath method.
You simply take 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil and place your springform pan on top of them. Carefully wrap the foil around the edge of the pan until it is about 3/4 up the side of the pan, folding it down as necessary to fit.
Make sure that there are no holes in the foil to allow water to seep through and get the cheesecake wet! If you don’t have heavy-duty foil, I would recommend using 3 layers of regular foil.
How to bake a cheesecake in a water bath
Place your foil-wrapped cheesecake pan in a larger roasting pan in the oven. You’ll pour hot water into the roasting pan until it’s halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Be careful to not get it past the foil surrounding the pan. I recommend pouring the water into the pan after it’s already in the oven so you don’t slosh it around by moving it the pan from your counter to the oven.
Tips for the best cheesecake
- Room Temperature Ingredients: I’ll mention this again because it’s so important! Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature before mixing it. If it is still cold, you will likely have little lumps of cream cheese throughout your cheesecake filling and will incorporate too much air trying to beat it. You also want your eggs to be room temperature before adding them as well.
- Slow Cooling: To cool your cheesecake properly, when it is done cooking, turn the oven off and crack the door open. Let it cool for 1 hour in the water bath in the turned-off oven. Then, remove it and let it cool for another hour on the counter before placing it into the fridge to finish chilling for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. This will prevent it from cooling too quickly and cracking.
- When removing the cheesecake from the outer ring of the springform pan, you may want to run a sharp knife around the edge to make sure it is not sticking to the edge.
- Redeeming Cracks: If worse comes to worst and your cheesecake still cracks, remember that the taste should be the same so just cover it with whipped cream or more fruit and no one will know the difference!
How to store your cheesecake
This cheesecake can be placed in the refrigerator for 3-4 days tightly wrapped.
If you need your cheesecake at a later date and wanted to get a head start on making it, you can also make the entire cheesecake and then freeze it. Cool the cheesecake completely and remove it from the springform pan placing it on a cardboard round.
Freeze the cheesecake for about an hour uncovered first so that it is cold enough to wrap tightly without squishing it. After an hour or so, remove the cheesecake and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. It should last for about 1 to 2 months like this.
To thaw it out, place the cheesecake into the refrigerator the night before you will need to serve it. You can also slice the cake prior to freezing it and freeze individual slices of cheesecake, wrapped in the same way as a whole one.
For other delicious showstopping desserts, check out:
- Nutella S’mores Cake
- Chocolate Budino with Salted Caramel
- Meyer Lemon Tarts with White Chocolate
- Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake
Tag me on Instagram @TaraKringlen if you make this and leave a review and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
Mango Cheesecake with a Coconut Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 14 full graham cracker sheets
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 mango peeled and cubed
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar or less if your mango is really sweet and ripe
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 8 oz packages cream cheese full fat, softened
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 Eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Crush the graham crackers using a food processor or place in a zip top bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
- Combine the crushed graham crackers, shredded coconut and melted butter, stirring until combined.
- Pour the crumbs into a 9 in spring from pan and press into the bottom of the pan only using fingers or the bottom of a glass to press it down tightly.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Combine mango, sugar, and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare the springform pan for a water bath. Once the crust has cooled, wrap the springform pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil wrapping and folding the edges at least 2/3 up the sides of the pan.
- Combine the softened cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) and mix on medium until smooth, about 2-3 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix until combined, about 10 seconds.
- Add the heavy cream and mix until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the crust.
- Dollop half of the mango puree (about ¼ cup) over the top of the cheesecake batter. Use a knife to gently swirl the mango through the cheesecake. Some will sink down into the cheesecake.
- Place the springform pan into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour very hot water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan being careful not to get any water between the pan and the foil.
- Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 75 minutes to 85 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the middle is still slightly jiggly but the edges are set. You can also use an instant read thermometer inserted into the center. The cheesecake should be 150-155 degrees.
- Turn the oven off and prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water and foil. Cool for another hour on the wire rack.
- Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator, covering the top with foil or plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Serve with the reserved mango puree.
- See post for tips on preventing cracks.
- Store the cheesecake covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.