If you’ve ever eaten tiramisu, then you have tasted the delicious, creamy goodness of fresh mascarpone cream. This easy mascarpone cream recipe makes a sweet, velvety dessert you can eat with a spoon with just four ingredients: eggs, sugar, water and mascarpone cheese. It is a super simple recipe that can be eaten by itself or used as a base in many different delicious Italian desserts such as tiramisu, as a layer in a multi-layer cake, with ladyfinger cookies or even baked goods like panettone.
What is mascarpone cream made of?
Mascarpone cream is simply made from egg yolks, sugar, water and of course, mascarpone cheese. It is the perfect creamy base to then create a more complicated dessert, or can be served with fresh fruit or a sprinkling of cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
Equipment you’ll need to make mascarpone cream
We love making this recipe in our stand mixer, but you can also make it with a hand mixer. Here is a list of the kitchen utensils necessary to make this creamy mascarpone cream recipe.
several mixing bowls
stand mixer or hand mixer
fork or spoon
small pot for heating water
From start to finish, this easy mascarpone cream will be whipped, fully mixed and in single serving bowls and ready to serve in just 15 minutes. On your marks, get set, go!
The ingredients you will need
We would bet a million dollars that you already have white sugar, water and egg yolks standing by and ready to go! If you have trouble finding mascarpone cheese, you can substitute with regular cream cheese, but most Italian delis and higher-end supermarkets should carry mascarpone.
Egg yolks (30 grams|2 tbsp or about 2 small yolks) – used pasteurized and/or fresh organic eggs if you can, but it is not completely necessary because you will be adding hot water to the eggs which cooks them enough to make them safe.
White sugar (60 grams|5 tbsp) – you can use granulated or white sugar or even raw sugar for this mascarpone cream, but not brown sugar as the taste is too strong and can be overpowering to the recipe and not powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar.
Water (15 grams|1 tbsp) – filtered tap water or bottled water both work.
Mascarpone cheese (250 grams|1.11 cup) – the cheese should be cold from the fridge and be sure to drain off any excess liquid before using it in the recipe. If you need to, you can substitute with the same amount of cream cheese. If you are worried it’s too decadent, because mascarpone has a high fat content as well as saturated fat, you can use a reduced fat cream cheese instead.
Vanilla extract (as desired) – this is an optional addition if you want a vanilla flavor.
How to make mascarpone cream, step by step
Follow our step by step directions to mix and whip up this rich, smooth, thick dessert with the perfect sweetness.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
Put the yolks to a large bowl, preferably the bowl of a stand mixer which you will eventually use to mix everything, or if you prefer a regular high-sided bowl and then you can use a hand mixer photo 1.
To dissolve the sugar, put the water in a small pot and add the sugar. Heat over medium-low heat while you whisk until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes like a light syrup, it should only take a minute or two. Be careful not to let it caramelize photo 2.
Now immediately pour the hot sugar water into the egg yolks photo 3 and whip with electric beaters at high speed until frothy and the volume triples. It will take about 5 minutes to be whipped sufficiently photo 4.
Put the cold mascarpone into another mixing bowl and stir with a spoon or fork so that it becomes softer and more malleable. You can add some vanilla extract if you like the flavor photo 5-6.
Now spoon small amounts of the egg custard into the mascarpone, first two tablespoons, then another two tablespoons and so on, folding in slowly with a spatula so as not to deflate it photo 7. Do this until the egg is completely incorporated. You will get a velvety, fluffy mascarpone cream photo 8.
Serve the mascarpone cream in small individual bowls with a sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa powder and a few ladyfinger cookies or a slice of cake.
Expert tips for making mascarpone cream
Don’t add the egg whites. Some recipes call for adding in the egg whites after you have beaten them, but we don’t recommend this because it gives your mascarpone cream an eggy taste.
Use a chilled mixing bowl. You will want to use cold ingredients as well as a chilled mixing bowl to help the ingredients stiffen up faster and stay hard without deflating after being whipped.
Get more volume. If you want to make the mascarpone cream more voluminous, you can add 100 grams of heavy whipping cream. Whip the cold cream until stiff (adding 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar if necessary to the heavy cream, as it should be sweet, and a dash of vanilla extract if desired) and then let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Finally incorporate it into your mascarpone cream little by little by folding it from the bottom until completely mixed. This is especially good if you are using the cream as a whipped topping for cookies or layers for cakes.
Variations you can try
Enjoy with fresh fruit. This mascarpone cream is delicious served topped with fresh berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries or other fresh fruit such as pineapple or mango. You can sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar on top for the right sweetness, depending on how sweet you like your desserts to be.
Nutella and mascarpone cream ladyfinger sandwiches. With a bag of ladyfinger cookies, you can make one of the most delicious desserts! Spread a layer of mascarpone cream on one ladyfinger and a layer of Nutella on another (or you can use a piping bag if you prefer) and put them together to make a cookie sandwich. Then roll the cookie sandwich in a bowl of cold coffee, very briefly, and then the outside of the cookie sandwich in sweetened shredded coconut for an absolutely decadent dessert.
Egg free mascarpone cream You can make the same dessert egg-less by putting 200 grams of fresh heavy cream straight from the fridge into a bowl. Whip the cream with 45 grams of icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Then, in a separate bowl, whip 250 grams of cold mascarpone cheese (drained with no excess liquid) with 45 grams of powdered sugar until smooth and thick. Add a drop of vanilla extract if desired. Then fold the whipped cream carefully into the mascarpone cheese without deflating either one until smooth. Once it is fully mixed, you can put the cream into individual serving dishes and garnish with fresh fruit or you can use the cream in other recipes for desserts like cakes or tiramisu.
Here are other creamy desserts for you to try:
How and for how long can I store mascarpone cream?
You can store mascarpone cream in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen, but it may loose its volume when defrosted so it is not highly recommended.
Is mascarpone cheese the same as cream cheese?
Mascarpone cheese is made from cows milk heavy cream with cream of tartar (or other acid like lemon juice) added so that it thickens into a smooth and creamy as well as thick and spreadable Italian cream cheese. If you are not able to find mascarpone cheese you can substitute with the same amount of cream cheese. One thing to remember is that it has a higher fat content than other cheeses.
What does mascarpone cheese taste like?
Mascarpone cheese tastes like a sweet, rich, mild smooth cheese that’s a little tangy. The flavor is similar to whipping cream or heavy cream but the texture of mascarpone is thicker and is less sweet with a little acidity.
Is mascarpone the same as whipping cream?
Mascarpone is not the same as whipping cream, although they are both make from cow’s milk. Mascarpone is actually considered a cheese, and is made with cream of tartar to thicken it and it is dense and spreadable like cream cheese. Heavy cream is a liquid, fresh cream and then when it has been turned into whipped cream, it has stiff peaks but is still a much lighter, airier texture than mascarpone which is thick and dense with a creamier texture.