Everybody’s favourite at yum cha – mango pancakes! This recipe tastes exactly like the real deal. A thin pale yellow crepe wrapped around cream and fresh mango, many say this is the highest and best use of mangoes. Who am I to argue??
Complete your meal with your favourite yum-cha dishes!
Mango pancakes are thin yellow crepes rolled up like a spring roll with whipped cream and a big juicy piece of mango stuffed inside. They are a highlight for many at yum cha here in Australia (that’s dim-sum in the US), with both kids and grown ups deeming them to be the perfect ending to a lunch of too many steamed dumplings.
But actually, they are quite a light dessert being that it’s mostly mango with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and the pancake is very thin. Listen to me, trying to justify my indulgence!!
One of the things I love above mango pancakes is that they are such a great celebration of one of Australia’s greatest summer fruits – big, golden, juicy mangoes. Being such a fan, I’ve shared a handful of mango-starring recipes over the years (mango ice cream (no-churn!), mango cheesecake, mango daiquiri, to name a few).
And while they are all bursting with big mango flavours, none of them use mangoes like we do in today’s recipe – in big, juicy chunk form. We love, very much!!
What you need for mango pancakes
I’ve set the ingredients out in 3 groups:
The pancake (crepe) batter
Whipped cream filling
The paper thin pancakes used for Mango Pancakes are actually crepes. They are a bit rubbery and very floppy compared to normal fluffy pancakes so they can be rolled up without cracking.
Flour – just plain / all-purpose flour
Icing sugar – known as powdered sugar in the US. It’s finer than ordinary sugar which ensures our pancakes have a perfectly unblemished surface (ie no little speckles of sugar)
Cornflour / cornstarch – this is what gives these pancakes the signature rubbery texture so they don’t crack when we roll them up!
Eggs – Fridge cold is fine here. But make sure they are large eggs which are 55 – 60g/2oz each, labelled as such on the carton.
Milk – Full fat please. Low fat will compromise the softness of the crepes and may make them crack.
Yellow food colouring – to give the pancakes the signature pale yellow colour!
In case you are wondering, mango puree does work but it’s a bit risky as successful crepe making is reliant on the right batter consistency and mango puree thickness depends on the juiciness of variety of mangoes. Food colouring is safer and easier! Also, it didn’t add mango flavour into the crepes.
I fill my pancakes with lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. Technically, it’s called Chantilly Cream. So much nicer than just plain whipped cream!
Cream – Use thickened / heavy cream or other whipping cream. Make sure it is fridge cold so it easily beats into a stiff cream. We don’t want to go for soft peaks here.
Icing sugar / powdered sugar – Ordinary white sugar will work here as it *should* dissolve in the time it takes to whip the cream. I just generally prefer using icing sugar which is finer grains when whipping small quantities of cream because I know they will dissolve faster.
Vanilla – For flavour.
You’ll need 2 big mangoes to get enough pieces out of them for one batch of this recipe.
Use your favourite type of mango, as long as they’re ripe and juicy! My favourite mango variety is Honey Gold (sweetest), followed by R2E2 (a bit less sweet, usually), Keitts (touch of tang), Kensington Prides (very soft juicy flesh) and lastly Palmers (the tangiest and not as juicy, I find). The only Australian variety I avoid is Calypso – cheap, look pretty but least flavour.
How to make mango pancakes
The pancakes for mango pancakes are actually paper thin rubbery crepes. If you’re a crepe first timer, your first one or two (or three….) may not be perfect. But don’t let that dishearten you! It doesn’t matter if they’re wonky. Once rolled, you can’t tell what shape the crepe was! If you tear them, so what? Roll around the tears. A little too thick? It really doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the pancakes!
Batter – Pour the milk into a bowl then sift the dry ingredients in (flour, cornflour, icing sugar). Whisk until lump free, then whisk in the eggs and food colouring. The batter will be very, very thin.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Don’t skip or shortcut this step as during this resting time, the flour absorbs liquid which makes the crepe softer so you can roll the crepes without cracking. Also, the batter thickens slightly to the right consistency for cooking.
Cook pancakes (crepes)
Mango pancakes are actually crepes which are thin pancakes that won’t crack when you roll them up. They have a slightly rubbery texture with a bit of stretch rather than being “cakey” like your usual fluffy breakfast pancakes.
The one thing that’s a must is to use a very non-stick pan. If you don’t, you’ll be cursing /crying. Been there, done that!
Measure out 45 ml / 3 tablespoons of batter. I use beakers – super handy! (I have stacks of them for recipe testing and filming purposes).
Spray a non stick pan lightly with oil then heat over a medium low stove.
Size matters! I use a pan that has a 18cm/7″ flat base and rim-to-rim of 24cm/10″. Makes the perfect size mango pancakes! The brand I use is Tefal 24cm fry pan, sold at Coles/Woolworths in Australia. If your pan is bigger or smaller, just adjust the crepe batter quantity as necessary. If using a standard crepe pan, you will need 60ml / 1/4 cup of batter. You’ll also need to adjust the size of your mango pieces.
Pour the batter into the middle – it should sizzle very lightly
Swirl – Immediately swirl to cover the base in a thin layer of the batter.
Set to touch – Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the middle is set to touch.
Do not flip in the pan. We only cook one side of the crepes. The top side that is not in contact with the pan will be the presentation side of the mango pancake (smooth and untarnished!).
Loosen – About halfway through cooking, start loosening the edges with a rubber spatula to ensure it flips out easily. Don’t be shy about getting under those edges!
Flip the crepe out onto a work surface. Flip quickly, and with confidence!
Don’t worry if your crepes fold or wrinkle when they land. Just leave them while hot as they are quite delicate. They become less fragile as they cool, then you can straighten them out.
Repeat to cook remaining crepes. You should get 10 to 12 in total. You can flip them out on top of each other, they will not stick because of the oil.
Fully cool before filling (about 30 minutes) else the cream will melt.
If you can roll a burrito, you can roll a mango pancake! It’s actually easier because they’re smaller. 🙂
Filling – Place crepe on a work surface. Place a dollop of cream just below halfway. Spread the cream so it’s about 1cm/1/3″ thick, a smidge larger than the shape of the mango piece. Top with mango.
Fold the bottom up to cover the mango.
Fold the sides in.
Continue rolling, firmly but gently.
Finish with the seam side down.
And that’s it, you’re done. YOU JUST MADE MANGO PANCAKES, you cooking goddess! (Or god)
While I cut them in half neatly to show you the inside, no respectable person would actually eat a mango pancake with a knife and fork. Eat with your hands, biting into them like a spring roll!
Go forth and enjoy! No more do you have to queue up at your favourite yum cha to get your mango pancake fix. Also – you’ll save a bomb. The mango pancakes at my favourite yum cha restaurant are $13.80 for 2. This recipe makes 10 to 12 and so by my calculations, it’s about 75% cheaper to make these yourself. WOAH! – Nagi x
PS My favourite yum cha in Sydney is Star Capital Seafood restaurant which is in Chatswood on the north side of the Harbour Bridge (where I live). It’s a bit more expensive than places out west and in the city (because of location) but the portions are generous, the dumplings are plump, fried goods always hot and the service is on point: just enough plate banging to make you feel like you’re at real yum cha, but not as grumpy as some places!
Watch how to make it
The pancake (crepe!):
- 1 cup milk , full fat
- 1/3 cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1/4 cup cornflour / cornstarch
- 1/4 cup icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 3 large eggs (55-60g/2oz each)
- 1/4 tsp yellow food colouring (Note 1)
- Canola oil spray
Mango (Note 2):
- 2 large ripe mangoes , skin peeled with a knife, cut into 10 to 12 pieces (7 x 2.5 x 1 cm, 3 x 1 x 1/2")
- 3/4 cup thickened/heavy cream , fridge cold
- 3 tbsp icing sugar / powdered sugar , sifted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Batter – Place the milk in a bowl. Sift the flour, cornflour and icing sugar in then whisk until lump free. Add eggs and food colouring, whisk until combined. It will be a very thin, watery batter.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour. (Note 3)
- Measure batter – Give the batter a mix (to stir in flour settled at bottom) then measure out 45 ml (3 tbsp) of crepe batter.
- Non-stick pan – Use a 18cm/7" non-stick pan (Note 4). Spray lightly with oil then heat over a medium low stove.
- Cook pancake – Pour the batter into the middle – it should sizzle very lightly – then swirl to cover the base in a thin layer. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until the middle is set to touch. About halfway through cooking, start loosening the edges with a rubber spatula to ensure it flips out easily.
- Flip the crepe out upside down onto a large cutting board. GOAL: Surface is set, underside has no golden patches. (Note 5) Adjust heat as needed.
- Cook more! Spray pan with oil then continue cooking the pancakes. You can flip them out on top of each other.
- Cool – Full cool the crepes for 1 hour before using.
- Cream – Just before assembling, place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a cold bowl and beat until stiff (about 2 minutes on speed 8 of a 10 speed hand mixer).
- Filling – Place a crepe on a work surface so the side that was in contact with the pan is facing up. (Note 6) Spread 1cm/1/3" thick layer of cream one-third of the way up the pancake, in the shape of a piece of mango. Top with mango.
- Roll, burrito style (see step photos or video), ending with the seam-side down. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- Serve immediately! Mango pancakes wait for no-one (due to the cream).
* Ensure it is very non stick, else you will be cursing!
* Size – Mine has a 18cm/7″ flat base and rim-to-rim of 24cm/10″. Makes ideal mango pancake size! Brand is Tefal 24cm fry pan, sold at Coles/Woolworths in Australia. If your pan is bigger or smaller, just adjust the crepe batter quantity as necessary.
* Traditional crepe pans are a little larger so you’ll need 60ml / 1/4 cup of batter. 5. Crepe cooking – Mango pancakes are yellow, no golden patches! So the goal is to have a crepe that’s cooked through but no browning else you will see it (even if it’s on the inside when you roll the pancake). 6. Cooked side on inside – When you flip the crepe out of the pan, the side that was in contact with the pan will be facing up. This is the side you want to put the cream on – so it is on the inside of the pancake, and the outside is the nice smooth surface. 7. Storage – Crepes can be kept overnight. Cool, cover with baking paper then cling wrap. OK to stack as the oil stops them sticking together. Once assembled, eat immediately as the cream will start to weep. To extend the shelf life, use stabilised cream – recipe here. It should last at least a day, pre-rolled.
Life of Dozer
Just in case you’re wondering if the mango pancakes were signed off by Dozer, the official taste tester: