Spicy Mango Ice Pops

Spicy Mango and Hibiscus Ice Pops

My brother Pedro loves anything spicy especially mango with chile, and he’s not alone. It has become one of the most common combinations in sweets in Mexico. In fact, when you eat fresh mango, powdered chile of some kind is always on the table. I wanted to do something in this book just for him, but I am sure he won’t mind sharing. (That’s the kind of guy he is.)

The chile powder you use in these ice pops is a matter of taste. It isn’t just about the heat; it’s about the flavor. I particularly like the piquin chile from Oaxaca, but feel free to substitute it for ground guajillo, chipotle, or your personal favorite.–Fany Gerson

LC Where's the Recipe for That Crazy Crimson-Colored Ice Pop?! Note

Smitten with that crimson-colored ice pop pictured above? Look no further than the recipe for Hibiscus Ice Pops.

LC Manhandling Mangos Note: There are essentially three ways to acquire mango purée. You can buy it at the store, packaged in shelf-stable aseptically packaged boxes like the ones used for soy milk. You can purchase it online from purveyors who typically cater to chefs and bartenders and the like, including Gerson’s favorites, L’Epicerie and The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Or you can make your own, simply by peeling and pitting really ripe mangoes—you know, those mangoes that have maybe sat on your counter a day or two too long and ooze sweet, sweet juice the moment you slice into them—and dumping both the chopped fruit and any juice into a food processor or blender.

Spicy Mango Ice Pops Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 20 M
  • Makes 6 to 8


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 dried arbol chiles, with seeds, broken into pieces
  • 3 small limes, juiced
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh mango purée (store-bought or homemade from ripe, ripe mangoes)
  • 1 to 2 medium ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup piquín chile powder or other chile powder (you can vary the amount as well as the type of chile depending on how spicy you want the pops)


  • 1. Bring the sugar, water, and arbol chile pieces to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • 2. Strain the arbol chile mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the lime juice and mango purée. Taste and adjust the amount of lime accordingly.
  • 3. If you prefer to dust just the outside of the ice pops with the piquín chile powder, hold on a second with the spicy chile powder and proceed to step 4. If you prefer to infuse the pops with chile flavor, toss the mango pieces with the piquín chile powder.
  • 4. Divide the mango chunks among ice pop molds or paper cups then add the mango purée. Freeze until it’s just beginning to set, about 3 hours. Insert the sticks into the molds or cups. Let the ice pops freeze for at least 3 more hours, then unmold as directed or peel off the paper cups.
  • 5. If it’s a spicy mango flavor desired, dust the outside of the pops with piquín chile powder by first allowing the pops to thaw slightly so the powder will stick. Dump the piquín chile powder on a plate or in a shallow bowl and dip the ice pops, 1 at a time, to coat.

Where to Find Chile Peppers

Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

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Recipe Testers Reviews

This recipe is precisely what it promises—a sweet, refreshing, surprising treat that pleases the palate and provides welcome relief on a hot summer day. The recipe is quick to whip up, is forgiving (if you have slightly less or more mango, the recipe will still turn out delicious), and is more interesting than a standard fruit pop or fudgesicle. While finding pureed mango can be a challenge, most groceries carry mango chunks which, after draining, can easily be converted to a puree in a blender or food processor. The chunks of mango at the top of the pops are wonderful. If you are not a person who likes spice, however, hold back on how liberal you are with the piquín chile powder. The pops would be delicious with or without dipping in the powder. I also didn’t dip the pops but rather mixed the piquín chile powder in with the mango chunks for a delightful kick when you first bite into the pop.

I chose to stir in the piquín chiles to the mango mixture prior to freezing. It did take more than the time suggested for the pops to freeze. I think that the lime could also be zested which would add a special spark to the pop OR a lime zest chile salt could be made and later sprinkled evenly on the frozen pop right before serving. Just adding my preferences…I will try my salty-citrus-chile topping next time!! LOVE mango season!!


  1. I love the chili mango combination! Last time we were at Trader Joes, I grabbed a box of their chili mango bars to try and totally fell in love! My man got the heat that he craves, and I got the mango that I dream about. Sigh. It was heaven.

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