I love throwing an easy frosting on dessert. It’s such a great way to elevate your sweets, make them a bit more indulgent and fancy.
The trick is to add that decadence that compliments the dessert without overpowering it. This recipe does just that! It adds a creaminess, a mild vanilla flavor, and makes for the perfect balance to any cupcake, cake, muffin, brownie, you name it!
If you’re searching for some recipes that could serve as a base for this tasty frosting, I have some ideas. Soft & Fluffy Sweet Potato Bread or these 25-Minute Moist Mini Pumpkin Muffins would be a really fun option! But if you’re looking for something more dessert-y, Soft & Fluffy Chocolate Olive Oil Cake or Moist Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake are always delicious!
What is Mascarpone?
Mascarpone cheese is a rich and creamy Italian cheese that is known for its smooth, velvety texture and mild flavor. It is a soft, spreadable cheese made from the cream of cow’s milk and is sometimes referred to as “Italian cream cheese.”
Why You’ll Love this Mascarpone Frosting
Creamy and Luxurious! Mascarpone frosting has an incredibly creamy and smooth texture that melts in your mouth. It’s rich and indulgent, making it a perfect topper for cakes, cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, basically everything!
Mild Flavor. Mascarpone cheese has a mild and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with your favorite sweetener. The frosting is not overly cheesy making it the perfect option if you want an alternative to cream cheese frosting.
Versatile. Mascarpone frosting can be used on anything from cakes and cupcakes to tarts and pastries. Its mild flavor makes it adaptable to any dessert base.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Mascarpone is a creamy Italian cheese that is a key ingredient in mascarpone frosting. Its rich, velvety texture adds a luxurious creaminess to the frosting. If you’re in a pinch, feel free to sub in cream cheese. Though, keep in mind cream cheese as a more intense tangy, cheesy flavor.
Agave Nectar, Honey, or Maple Syrup
These natural sweeteners add a touch of sweetness to this frosting. Agave nectar is a neutral sweetener with a mild flavor, honey imparts a floral and sweet taste, and maple syrup adds a warm, maple flavor. Choose whichever sweetener you have on hand or prefer!
Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the frosting and contributes to the overall aroma.
A pinch of salt balances the sweetness and enhance the flavors of this frosting making it more complex and well-rounded.
Heavy Whipping Cream
Heavy whipping cream is used to lighten and smooth out the mascarpone frosting. When whipped, it adds airiness and volume to the frosting, making it light and fluffy.
How to Make Mascarpone Frosting
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add the mascarpone cheese, agave (or sweetener), vanilla extract, and a salt. These ingredients will form the base of your frosting.
Mix on Low Speed
Start mixing the ingredients on low speed for about 1 minute. This initial mixing helps combine the mascarpone cheese with the sweetener and flavorings. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary to ensure even mixing.
Add Heavy Cream
Pour the heavy cream into the bowl with the mascarpone mixture. Turn the mixture to medium and mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting becomes fluffy and smooth.
Keep an eye on the consistency of the frosting as you mix. You want it to be fluffy and easily spreadable or piped. Make sure not to over mix as mascarpone can become grainy or separate if overworked.
Prepare for Piping
If you plan to pipe the frosting onto cupcakes or another dessert, transfer the frosting to a plastic zip-top bag or a frosting piping bag. If using a plastic zip-top bag, cut off a small corner (about 1/2 inch) to create a piping tip. Alternatively, attach the desired piping tip to your frosting piping bag.
Pipe the Frosting
Hold the bag and gently squeeze it with your hand to pipe the frosting onto your dessert.
Can I Make this Cream Cheese and Mascarpone Frosting?
Absolutely! You can sub the 16 oz of mascarpone for 8 oz of cream cheese and 8 oz of mascarpone cheese. Just make sure both cheeses are room temperature so they cream together nicely.
Tips for Success
Use Room Temperature Mascarpone
Make sure your mascarpone cheese is at room temperature before you start. This will help it blend smoothly and evenly with the other ingredients, preventing lumps or an uneven texture in the frosting.
Be cautious not to overmix the frosting, especially after adding the heavy cream. Overmixing can lead to the frosting losing its structure. Once the frosting is smooth and fluffy, stop mixing. It only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute!
Taste and Adjust
Before transferring the frosting to your piping bag, taste a small amount to ensure it has the desired sweetness and flavor. If needed, you can add more sweetener or a splash of vanilla extract to adjust the taste to your liking.
Decorate Immediately or Chill
Mascarpone frosting can soften at room temperature, so it’s a good idea to pipe it onto your cupcakes or dessert shortly after making it. If you’re not serving the dessert right away, store it in the refrigerator to keep the frosting firm until you’re ready to enjoy it.
How to Store Leftover Frosting
Refrigeration: Mascarpone frosting should be stored in the fridge because it contains dairy which is perishable.
Airtight Container: Transfer the frosting to an airtight container with a secure lid. Ensure that the container is sealed tightly to prevent air from entering, which can cause the frosting to dry out or absorb unwanted odors.
Press Plastic Wrap: If using a bowl or dish with frosting, press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the frosting before sealing it with a lid or additional plastic wrap. This helps prevent the frosting from forming a dry crust on top.
Storage Duration: Mascarpone frosting can typically be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Re-whip if Necessary: After refrigeration, the frosting may firm up or lose some of its fluffiness. If needed, you can re-whip it using an electric mixer to restore its smooth and creamy texture before using it on your dessert.
Variations to Try
Citrus Mascarpone Frosting
Add zest from citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, or limes to your mascarpone frosting. The bright, zesty flavors complement the creamy sweetness of the frosting. You can also add a touch of citrus juice for extra flavor.
Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
For a chocolate twist, fold some melted and cooled chocolate or cocoa powder into your mascarpone frosting. This creates a rich and chocolaty frosting that pairs wonderfully with chocolate cakes or brownies.
Berry Mascarpone Frosting
Puree fresh or frozen berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries and swirl them into your mascarpone frosting. This not only adds a fruity flavor but also adds a beautiful natural color.
Coffee or Espresso Mascarpone Frosting
Dissolve instant coffee or espresso powder in a small amount of hot water and add it to your frosting for a delightful coffee flavor. This variation is fantastic on coffee-flavored cakes or cupcakes (like this Gluten Free Coffee Cake Skillet or these Cappuccino Cake in a Mug).
Nutella Mascarpone Frosting
Mix Nutella into your mascarpone frosting for a nutty, creamy, and indulgent frosting that’s perfect for chocolate desserts.
Almond Mascarpone Frosting
Add a drop or two of almond extract to your mascarpone frosting instead of the vanilla extract for a subtle almond flavor. You can also mix in finely chopped toasted almonds for added texture and flavor.
Mint Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
Add peppermint extract and mini chocolate chips to your mascarpone frosting for a mint chocolate combination. It’s perfect for mint chocolate chip cupcakes or brownies (Gluten Free Peppermint Brownie Skillet or Fudgey Chocolate Brownie Crinkle Cookies).
- 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Add the mascarpone, agave, vanilla and salt to the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Mix for about 1 minute until creamed together and combined and add the heavy cream to the bowl.
- Mix again on medium-high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Transfer the frosting to a plastic zip-top bag or frosting piping bag. If you’re using a plastic zip-top bag, use scissors to cut off one corner to easily pipe it.
- Pipe the frosting onto whatever your heart desires (I made cupcakes :)).
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 101
- Sugar: 4.1g
- Sodium: 131mg
- Fat: 6.8g
- Saturated Fat: 4.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 5.7g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 4.4g
- Cholesterol: 26mg