Mango Cheesecake Bars
This is the kind of treat you make when you feel like having cheesecake but don’t have the time of patience to make one. You get all the great flavours of a cheesecake with out the long baking time and waterbath. Theses bars are simple to whip and taste amazing. I love mango and coconut together and that is why I chose to use coconut cookies for my bar base. Feel free to use graham cracker crumbs for a more traditional crust and for more coconut flavour feel free to use coconut extract instead of vanilla in the recipe. I always find that coconut extract is quite strong although I love it it can be a bit too overpowering. These are mango bars so I wanted the mangos to shine a bit brighter than the coconut. I wanted the coconut to compliment not take over that’s why I limited it to the base.
Let’s get to the mango part of the recipe. I have to be honest it was so disappointing not having Trinidad mangos at my disposal for this recipe. I’m kicking myself for not making these while I lived there. I miss mango season in Trinidad so much! I’m pretty sure I have said it before - there’s nothing like the smell of a freshly picked mango. Boy oh boy! I also miss the papaya and the watermelon locally grown there. Just the sweetest and the most fragrant. I did get my full of each of those things while I lived there though and I’m happy for that. I actually ended up using frozen mangos for this recipe because the mangos I bought were not quite ripe enough to use for it. Fresh is ideal but not always available or ripe enough when you need them as in my case, so frozen is a great option, making this treat one you can enjoy all year round.
You guys loved these when I posted them on Instagram and I never got so many subscribers off one recipe when I said I would share it to those subscribed. I do not blame you though because these are a delicious treat and really simple to whip up. I hope you enjoy them!!
- ½ cup of mango purée from either fresh or frozen mangoes (approx 1-2 mangoes depending on size
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 cups finely crushed coconut cookies/snaps or graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup (4 tbsps.) butter, melted plus more to grease pan
- 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature and softened
- 1 (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup lemon juice or lime juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract or coconut extract if you want more of a coconut hit
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and line your 8x8-inch square baking pan (brownie pan) with parchment paper - two strips forming a cross in the pan so that you can easily lift the bars out of the pan (optional because you can serve them straight out of the pan as well)
- Blend mangos in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to saucepan; add cornstarch. Cook on medium and stir until thickened and reduced, (this will only take a minute or two). Then set aside
- Combine the coconut cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl; press firmly into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to cool while you make the filling.
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy in large bowl. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.
- Whisk together mango purée with ¼ cup of the cream cheese filling in a small bowl.
- Pour the rest of the cream cheese mixture over crust.
- Dollop mango mixture by spoonfuls over batter. Gently swirl with knife or spatula. (Or you can place the purée mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a round tip or a squeeze bottle and pipe it onto the filling in zigzag manner then pull a tooth pick through it the opposite way to create swirl pattern).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is set. (Water bath is optional) Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Lift out the bars from the pan using the parchment paper, cut and serve or cut and serve them right from the pan
- Mixing the purée with a bit of the cream cheese filling is optional. The cheesecake and purée blend better when this is done with less cracks and separation.
- Taste the purée when heating it up - if it’s not as sweet as you like whisk in up to ¼ cup of sugar to it according to taste (the riper the mangoes the sweeter they are). If your purée gets too thick just whisk in a teaspoon or two of lemon or lime juice to loosen it up.