The Happy Home Cook: Mango Refrigerator Cake

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Mango Refrigerator Cake (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

Mango Refrigerator Cake (Photo by Elizabeth Ann Quirino)

We can proudly say that the Philippines has perhaps the best mangoes in the world. The month of May reminds me of the sweet, ripe mangoes, summers and fiesta time in our home country. Here in America, I find an abundance of mangoes in the markets from April to late July. It’s a good excuse to whip up the mango recipes I learned from my mother. Since May is typically a scorching-hot summer month in the Philippines, my mom opted to make this nearly no-bake mango dessert which she served to family and friends who visited. This was my mom’s favorite dessert and since Mother’s Day is this month, too, this is a great dessert that you can make in minutes.


½ cup mango juice, from freshly-squeezed ripe mangoes or use canned juice

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 whole butter loaf cake (homemade or store-bought)

2 cans (7.6 FL. Oz or 225 ML. each) Nestle’s cream (or use heavy cream)

1 cup whipped cream

¼ cup granulated sugar, to add to cream filling

3 to 4 large, ripe mangoes (Ataulfo variety), sliced in thin strips or cubed

½ cup unsalted cashew nuts, chopped (optional)


To make the mango syrup:

·       Mix the ½ cup mango juice, ½ cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small stockpot. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. This will take about 5 to 6 minutes. When syrup is boiling and thick, remove from stove top. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the cream:

·       In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or a hand mixer, beat together the chilled Nestle’s cream and whipped cream.

·       Add the ¼ cup sugar. Blend well. Keep refrigerated till ready to assemble cake.

To assemble cake:

·       Prepare a large, transparent glass bowl that’s about 8 inches in diameter and with a depth of about 5 inches.

·       Slice the butter loaf cake in 12 to 14 slices, each slice about ½-inch thick.

·       Layer the cake in this order: Arrange the butter cake slices at the bottom. Spread a layer of cream over the bottom slices. Place fresh mango slices or cubes over the cream layer. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the syrup over the mango slices. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chopped cashew nuts over the mangoes. Repeat layers, ending with mangoes, syrup and nuts.

·       Cover the cake with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours or more. Serve chilled.

Cook’s comments:  You can substitute broas (lady fingers) in place of a butter loaf cake. Layer as directed. Nestle’s cream is a canned table cream. If not available, use heavy cream and beat till frothy. For fresh mangoes, the Ataulfo variety I buy here in the States are also referred to as ‘champagne mangoes. They are the closest in flavor and texture to the Philippine carabao mangoes.

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “Instant Filipino RecipesMy Mother’s Philippine Food In a Multicooker Pot” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site

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