Cheat’s mango ice-cream (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I grew up in a house where vanilla ice cream was freely available – we had it for dessert almost every single day, with my Mom’s homemade chocolate sauce. It was great, but I got so used to ice cream that I never really thought of it as something special. Until I got older and discovered proper Italian ice cream from artisan parlours like Lecce Il Gelato and Cold Gold Ice Cream.

Today I’ve turned into a complete ice cream snob. I only eat the good stuff. OK, I still appreciate the charm of a cheap, old fashioned soft serve at the beach on a hot summers day, but I’ll drive the extra mile to get the “extra dark chocolate” flavour from Lecce Il Gelato. Yum.

That said, I haven’t really tried my hand at making ice cream before, seeing that it’s an artform in its own right. I also don’t have the right tools, because ice cream churners can be quite expensive. So I couldn’t help but feel a bit confused when I saw Donna Hay make her “cheat’s ice cream” on tv as part of her “Fast, Fresh, Simple” series. She simply used frozen fruit and cream, and whipped up a perfectly textured soft serve from scratch in a minute. I had to try it.

I used freshly frozen mango pieces and fresh cream, and sweetened it with a bit of extra caster sugar. It worked like a dream, and it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a basic food processor and a normal freezer (deep freeze) – no churning, no time, no tricks.

This is my version of cheat’s mango ice cream, based on Donna’s recipe. Donna also use fresh banana in her recipe, but I like the basic mango flavour all on its own. After all, the mango is the King of the fruit family, in my books.


  • 400 g mango flesh, sliced and completely frozen
  • 250 ml fresh cream
  • 50 g caster sugar (optional, adjust to taste)


In the bowl of a food processor, add the frozen fruit, cream and sugar. Process until smooth – it takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The texture should be a smooth “soft serve” consistency, and can be eaten straight away.  But if you prefer a harder ice cream, pour ice cream into a plastic container and freeze for another 3-4 hours or overnight.


This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food & recipe: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Nicola Pretorius

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  1. Yum! Ice cream in November… so tempted to try!

    1. I suppose you’re in a colder part of the world? Here in SA we’re gearing for summer!! But ice cream is good anytime of year! 😉

  2. This is seriously easy …!!!! Since, Mangoes are my favourite fruit, this quick ice cream will definitely help beat the heat !!! Can’t wait the mango season to start !!!!

    1. Remember that you can also buy frozen mango pulp – all year round! It works just as well. 🙂

  3. We made this yesterday with a bag of frozen mango! Really easy and really delicious! Thank you for sharing, will definitely be making this again (can’t wait til mangoes are in season again here in Australia)! 🙂

    1. So happy to hear that Jamieanne!

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