Coconut Cheesecake with Mango and Basil Caramel

coconut cheesecake

You can’t be sad while eating a mango. Same rule applies to anything with sprinkles on top. Trust me, it’s true. But there aren’t many mango recipes on my blog, which is strange as they’re right up there with my favourite fruits… or maybe it’s not that strange, because they usually don’t last very long in my fruit bowl.

coconut cheesecake

In this recipe, mango teams up with some of its best friends: coconut and lime in a creamy cheesecake. There’s a palm sugar caramel on top, as well as loads of fresh mango, and a little twist from a slightly unexpected ingredient, basil. If you’re a mango fan like me, you should definitely try it before the end of the season.

coconut cheesecake

Back to the basil for a quick second. I have always liked pairing fruit and herbs together and there are a lot of combinations that work really well, like watermelon and mint or pear and rosemary. I knew mango went with other herbs like coriander and mint, and even kaffir lime leaves, so the thought of putting it together with basil wasn’t quite as strange as you might think at first.

The basil flavour in the caramel was a bit subtle and next time I would use about double the amount of basil to infuse the cream, but I really loved it when you got a taste of all the elements of the dessert together – the base, cheesecake filling, fresh mango, caramel and the basil leaves on top.

coconut cheesecake

Coconut Cheesecake with Mango and Basil Caramel
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller


  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 60g shredded coconut
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup palm sugar syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml coconut cream
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 2 limes
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Basil Caramel
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil, washed
  • 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream 
  • 50g unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup (330g) white sugar 
  • ½ cup (125ml) water 
  • ¼ cup palm sugar syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
To decorate
  • 1-2 mangoes, cut into 2cm cubes
  • Small basil leaves
  • Lime zest
  • Coconut chips

For coconut base, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Combine flour, coconut, brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 40g melted butter in a bowl, spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until evenly golden (6-8 minutes), then set aside to cool. Process in a food processor with remaining butter to combine, then press into the base of a 20cm-diameter spring-form cake tin buttered and lined on the base with baking paper and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).

For the cheesecake,
process cream cheese and sugars in a food processor until smooth, add eggs one at a time and process to combine. Add coconut cream, lime rind and juice and vanilla seeds, process to combine. Pour over coconut base, reduce oven to 160°C (320°F) and bake until light golden and set around edges with a slight wobble in the centre (25-30 minutes). Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until completely chilled.

In the meantime, make the basil caramel. Place basil and cream in a saucepan and heat until just before boiling point. Cover and allow to infuse for at 1 hour. Strain out the basil leaves and return to the saucepan. Add the butter and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the sugar and water in another medium saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan increase the heat to high.
Bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes, without stirring, or until the temperature reaches 150°C and the mixture is a deep caramel colour. Remove from the heat and add salt, palm sugar and cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return to the heat and cook for a further 2 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before serving. Makes 2 cups.
To serve, unmold cheesecake onto a serving plate and spoon some caramel sauce over. Top cheesecake with mangoes, lime zest, coconut chips and basil leaves. Serve with extra caramel sauce.

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