Try this baked mango lassi cheesecake. Flavours of kesar mango, cardamom, and saffron embodied within a baked melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake.
I know what you’re thinking. This is absurd, right?
Hear me out. Mango lassi is the most nostalgic drink I can think of. It’s one that I grew up with and still enjoy regularly.
I’ve always enjoyed the flavour combination within the drink and that’s how I first came up with the idea for my Mango Lassi Cake.
This cake has been a total hit, reaching over 600,000 people.
It’s quickly become my most popular recipe across social media and my website. It then seemed only fitting to write up another recipe of one other mango lassi dessert that I absolutely adore.
I love cheesecake, I mean who doesn’t? This recipe is honestly a no brainer. It’s perfect for the summer whilst mangoes are in season.
But most importantly it’s just incredibly delightful and moreish.
Baked Mango Lassi Cheesecake
This is the type of cheesecake you won’t want to stop eating. I’ll break it down for you guys.
The base is a layer of crushed digestive biscuits, though graham crackers are perfect for any American readers.
The middle layer is a mango lassi cream cheese filling. It’s packed with plenty of fragrant and sweet kesar mango pulp, which in turn also gives it a beautiful colour. Within this filling we also have tartness from the yoghurt and richness from the cream cheese.
To stay true to the original mango lassi flavour, there’s plenty of cardamom and saffron added in too. Every bite tastes exactly like a mango lassi itself, and honestly, it’s an extraordinary sensation.
However it doesn’t stop there, there’s a final layer to this cheesecake. A beautiful and elegant mango jelly will top the mango lassi cheese layer.
This will provide a smooth and classy finish, whilst also adding another pop of colour, flavour and texture.
And finally, the finishing touches. Top the jelly with a garnish of kesar or alponso mango along with some finely sliced pistachios and rose petals.
There’s texture, flavour and richness in every bite. It’s the perfect cheesecake for the summer. If you loved the mango lassi cake then you will absolutely love this too.
So what is mango lassi?
This is the drink that resonates with most Indians, it’s one that most of us grew up on and still thoroughly enjoy. Mangos themselves, and more specifically alphonso and kesar mangos are synonymous with an Indian upbringing.
To the extent that I’d argue that many of us are rather protective of them.
There’s always queues of people outside the Indian supermarket every summer waiting to purchase their crate of mangos as soon as the season starts. It’s quite an ordeal queuing up, followed by quite a heavy price for a small box of mangos.
Unfortunately we don’t have these available to us all year round. But when they are, most will be happy to pay the high price for a box of these sweet, rich mangos.
Mango lassi is essentially a smoothie normally made from alphonso or kesar mangos that is then blended with yoghurt and cardamom. Occasionally additions such as honey, saffron, rose and milk are also used.
It’s quite a thick smoothie, which is how I love it. However that’s where the milk comes in to play. You can then add milk to thin the consistency out if desired.
Mango lassi is a drink that’s served cold which is why it pairs so well with warm summers as well as as Indian food. It’s very refreshing and cooling. This is what makes it the perfect pairing for a spicy meal.
Baked mango lassi cheesecake? Explain?
A baked cheesecake may sound absurd if you haven’t tried one before. I mean a cheesecake in itself sounds wild, who would put cheese in a cake?
But moving on, non-baked cheesecakes and baked cheesecakes are two different desserts.
Most of us will be familiar with the traditional non baked cheesecakes. These are light and relatively easy to make.
The filling normally consists of cream cheese, whipped cream, sugar, and flavouring of choice. The base consists of ground biscuits and butter. The filling is placed over the base and set in the fridge for a number of hours.
This creates a light, whipped texture within the final cheesecake.
For a baked cheesecake we are indeed placing it in the oven. The base is still the same with the biscuits and butter.
However the filling is where it differs.
Traditionally baked cheesecakes are somewhat of a baked custard combined with cream cheese. It involves whisking cream cheese along with eggs, and often corn flour or cake flour. This is then baked, often in a water bath until just set and baked through.
The cheesecake is then cooled completely and refrigerated for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight to allow it to set up. This creates an ever so slightly more dense, creamy, and smooth result which is decadent and rich. However it is by no means a dense cheesecake. It’s incredibly light and creamy.
But this baked mango lassi cheesecake contains no eggs. I’ll explain more below.
Eggless baked mango lassi cheesecake
You heard that right! All my desserts are eggless, including this baked mango lassi cheesecake. There is no noticeable difference (in my opinion) between this version and the traditional egg-based version.
To make this eggless, the cheesecake will require extra cornflour which will act as a stabiliser and thickener. Without cornflour the cheese layer would not set during the bake.
We will also be incorporating Greek yoghurt which helps to add richness and texture. Greek yoghurt is also more creamy in comparison to natural yoghurt and this definitely aids the cheesecake in developing the perfect texture.
The yoghurt also helps to mimic the traditional flavour of mango lassi, which is a mango and yoghurt drink.
What you’ll need
To make this baked mango lassi cheesecake, you’ll need:
(Full recipe card is at the end of the blogpost)
- Digestive biscuits – alternatively graham crackers for American readers
- Unsalted butter
- Cream cheese – I always use Philadelphia original cream cheese
- Greek yoghurt
- Kesar/Alphonso mango – I use tinned kesar for this recipe and I’ll explain why in the next paragraph. However feel free to use fresh if you wish, it’s not easily accessible for us here in the UK. It’s only available for a few months at a time and very expensive
- Ground cardamom
- Vanilla paste – or extract
- White granulated sugar
- Corn flour – not the gritty corn meal. This will be a white fine flour. Also called corn starch in the US
- Lemon juice
- White chocolate – trust me on this. I’ll explain below.
- Agar powder – this is a gelling agent that can be purchased online. It’s a seaweed derivative that can be substituted for gelatine in those who follow a vegetarian diet like myself, or vegan
Tinned vs fresh mango
Due to the increasing cost of the alphonso and kesar mangoes as well as seasonal availability, it can be difficult to rely on the fresh fruit for any mango recipes.
Hence I opt to use the tinned alphonso pulp or tinned kesar pulp which is far more readily available. Using the tinned pulp also saves a step of making it from scratch, whilst also allowing you to make this cheesecake all year round.
The fresh mango will always have the freshest flavour, however the tinned pulp works very well here. It’s also more consistent in flavour and texture than the fresh fruit, which will in turn provide more reliable results when baking this cake.
The tinned pulps also do often contain sugar syrup and some water, but it should have a mango content of around 95%. This is absolutely fine to use. I use the sweetened kesar tin in this recipe and I recommend the same.
Tinned mango pulp is now readily sold in most supermarkets in the world food’s aisle and is also an easy find in any Indian supermarket. Just make sure to purchase the tins which say ‘kesar’ or ‘alphonso’.
Mango jelly with white chocolate? Agar?
You heard that right. This cheesecake is finished with a mango jelly that’s bright and vibrant. It adds the perfect smooth finish which compliments the light, creamy cheese layer. But there are a few little tricks involved to ensure you get the perfect mango jelly.
The first main point is to use kesar or alphonso mango. I use a kesar mango tin as that’s my personal go-to, but using either of these is essential. These will provide the colour and the flavour that we need.
As well as this, the second key point is that we’re also going to be adding in a small amount of white chocolate. The white chocolate will provide a small degree of creaminess and richness to the jelly.
The actual flavour of the white chocolate is very, very subtle. Most would not even notice it, but it’s essential for texture here.
The last key point is to use agar powder. Agar is required here as it is the setting agent for the jelly. Agar itself comes from algae and is a seaweed derivative.
It’s a jelly-like substance that acts as a plant-based ‘gelatine’. It’s available in a few different forms ranging from powders, to flakes, strands and bars. I recommend using the powder as it dissolves much more easily.
That not only makes this easier but I also tend to find the results far more consistent and predictable with powder versus any other form of agar.
How to make this baked mango lassi cheesecake
The buttery biscuit base:
1) Crush the biscuits in a food processor or in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin and transfer to a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix to combine
2) It should look like a wet sand texture
3) Place into a lined tin and press firmly into an even layer. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes
Mango lassi cheesecake filling:
1) Add the mango pulp, cream cheese, yoghurt, cardamom, vanilla, saffron and sugar to a mixing bowl
2) Whisk until everything is incorporated
3) Sieve in the cornflour
4) Whisk once more until incorporated
5) Remove the tin from the freezer and wrap it tightly in baking foil
6) I recommend using around 4 sheets, this will prevent water from seeping in to the cheesecake during the bake
7) Pour the cheesecake filling into the tin, then place the tin into a large, deep baking tray
8) Fill the sides of the tray (around the tin) with boiling water that should reach half way up the side of the tin. This is called a water bath. Then place into the oven to bake
9) Once baked, remove the tray from the oven but leave the tin sitting within it for an hour. This will allow it to cool down gradually
10) Then discard the foil and tray of water, and allow the tin to cool on a cooling rack for a further hour. After this, place into the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours
The mango jelly:
1) Mix the agar powder and water together and leave aside
2) Add the mango pulp, white chocolate and lemon juice to a saucepan and place on a low heat until the chocolate has melted
3) The mixture should now be completely smooth
4) Add the agar mixture, then place the heat on medium-high and bring to a boil
5) Mix continuously for around a minute to activate the the agar. Then leave aside to cool slightly for around 5 minutes
6) After 5 minutes pour on top of the cooled cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes
7) Carefully remove from the cheesecake from tin
8) Garnish with finely sliced pistachios and dried rose petals
Can this baked mango lassi cheesecake be made vegan?
Absolutely, providing you can find a vegan cream cheese that you enjoy. I haven’t had much luck with that one.
However there are great vegan substitutes for the butter, yoghurt and white chocolate and all 3 are readily available.
Can gelatine or other gelling agents be used instead of agar?
Yes it would work just fine as gelatine is also a gelling agent.
However I cannot provide you with measurements as this recipe is vegetarian (as am I) and hence I do not cook with or consume gelatine. So I do not not have a tried and tested method for that ingredient.
Agar is readily available online if accessibility is your main worry. Vege-gel substitutes will also work, follow the instructions on the packet for around 150 ml of liquid. The mango jelly should be soft set and not firm.
Is a water bath essential?
It definitely is to ensure you get the correct creamy texture for the cheesecake. It helps to retain the delicate and light texture that you really need for this.
Baked Mango Lassi Cheesecake
- 8” round springform tin
- 250 g digestive biscuits or graham crackers if you’re in the US
- 75 g unsalted butter melted
- 600 ml kesar/alphonso mango pulp
- 550 g cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 200 ml Greek yoghurt
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Pinch of saffron
- 40 g white granulated sugar
- 55 g cornflour
- 150 ml kesar/alphonso mango pulp
- 50 g white chocolate
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp agar powder
- 1 tbsp water
- Pistachios finely sliced
- Dried rose petals
- Preheat your oven to 160’C fan/180’C conventional
- First line your springform tin with baking paper, I recommend lining the sides of the tin as well as the base
- Grind the biscuits into crumbs, either in a food processor or by placing in a zip lock bag and pounding with a rolling pin
- Add the melted butter to the ground biscuits and mix to combine
- Place the biscuit mixture into the springform tin and press firmly to create an even layer. Then transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes
- In a mixing bowl, add the mango pulp, cream cheese, yoghurt, cardamom, saffron, vanilla, and sugar. I recommend lightly toasting the saffron first for 1-2 minutes and then crumbling it between your fingertips for maximum flavour
- Whisk the mixture together until incorporated
- Sieve in the cornflour and whisk once more
- Remove your base from the freezer and wrap the tin tightly in baking foil. I recommend using around 4 sheets to cover the sides of the tin completely. This will prevent water from seeping in during the bake.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into your tin, then place the springform tin into a large, deep baking tray
- Pour boiling water into the tray until it reaches half way up the side of the springform tin. Take care not to spill any water onto the cheesecake itself
- Carefully place the tray on to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 90 minutes
- Remove the tray from the oven and allow the springform tin to remain within the tray of water for a further hour as it cools
- Then transfer the tin to a cooling rack, discarding the foil in the process. Allow to cool for a further hour before placing into the fridge for at least 4 hours
- Mix together the agar and water in a small bowl until completely dissolved
- Place the mango pulp, white chocolate, and lemon juice in a saucepan and place on a medium heat, stirring continuously until the white chocolate has dissolved
- Then place the mixture on a med-high heat and bring to a simmer, at this point add the agar and water mixture and stir continuously for around 1 minute
- Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before pouring over the cooled cheesecake
- Place back into the refrigerator for 60 minutes to set completely
- Finally garnish with sliced pistachios and dried rose petals.
- Best served chilled