This silky mascarpone frosting is the perfect addition to your cupcakes or cakes. Pipes beautifully and unlike some other frostings, does not include tons of sugar so it is very well balanced in sweetness. Make this delicious, velvety-smooth frosting in less than 5 minutes using 3 simple ingredients.
💡 What is mascarpone frosting
Mascarpone frosting is basically a smooth, fluffy, whipped cake topping that is made of mascarpone cheese and a few other ingredients such as heavy cream and powdered sugar.
Mascarpone is a rich, velvety, spreadable Italian cream cheese made of heavy cream. It's milky and slightly sweet (sometimes slightly nutty too!) unlike cream cheese (eg. Philadephia) which is slightly savory. Since mascarpone is high in fat, you can use it to replace butter when making frosting.
How mascarpone frosting is used in baking
If you have had tiramisu before, you must remember the delicate taste and texture of mascarpone. Amazingly creamy and slightly sweet, the flavor of mascarpone frosting is a wonderful addition to various baked goods. If prepared correctly, mascarpone icing holds shape beautifully.
You can use this easy mascarpone frosting just the way you use regular frosting in baking. Pipe it on top of your cupcakes, use it as a filling or frosting on your cakes, or you can even make a super simple tiramisu cup dessert with it.
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- It's easy - You don't need to be a pro baker at all! Just follow this easy guide to get the wonderful mascarpone frosting!
- It's quick - You can prepare this frosting in less than 5 minutes! You do not need to wait until the ingredients are at room temperature.
- It has incredible flavor and texture - It yields a sweet and super creamy frosting! And the texture is amazingly smooth!
- It's versatile! You can use this frosting to decorate various cakes! Also, you can get creative and modify the flavor of this mascarpone topping!
- It doesn't need fancy baking tools - You will only need a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients and an electric hand mixer to whip up the mascarpone cream!
📝 Ingredient notes
This recipe doesn't need any butter! The 3 ingredients needed to make this recipe are:
- Mascarpone: Use only high-fat mascarpone (minimum 41% of fat content). No need to bring it to room temperature. If mascarpone is not available for you, check my mascarpone substitute article which also has a homemade mascarpone recipe.
- Chilled heavy cream: This recipe doesn't use butter. So, we need something to replace the fat of the butter so the frosting can hold a stable shape. The combination of mascarpone and heavy whipping cream can do that! Remember that the heavy cream needs to be high in fat (36%) and very cold.
- Powdered sugar: We will need a small amount of powdered sugar or confectioners sugar! Some frosting recipes might require a lot of sugar. That's not the case for this recipe. Keep in mind that it's best to use fine, sifted powdered sugar to avoid any grainy textures. If you want to learn more about sugar, check out my sugar guide.
- Vanilla bean paste: It's totally optional, but it can add an amazing flavor. You can get creative and replace this ingredient with another flavoring agent such as cinnamon or cocoa powder.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. Best mascarpone to use
This no-butter frosting recipe requires mascarpone with a high amount of fat. Only use one with at least 41% fat content. Vermont Creamery Italian Style Cream Cheese Mascarpone is a good example. It has a good amount of fat and a wonderful pack of flavors.
|Mascarpone Brand||Fat Content||Flavor Profile|
|BelGioioso (Mascarpone Cheese)||50%||buttery, slightly sweet|
|Vermont Creamery||43%||creamy, rich (with a subtle nutty flavor)|
|Galbani (Mascarpone Cheese)||40%||rich, buttery|
|Cello||39%||rich, slightly tart|
2. Step-by-step preparation process
Making mascarpone frosting is super simple. Before you whip up the ingredients please make sure that the heavy cream is very cold and that you discharge any potential liquid (water) that is in the mascarpone package.
Follow this method to help you achieve the best result:
- In the mixing bowl, add the mascarpone, heavy whipped cream, and SIFTED powdered sugar.
- Whip them together using an electric mixer. Add the vanilla bean paste or another flavoring agent.
- When it reaches a nice, pipeable consistency, stop the process right away. You don't want to overmix it. Overmixing can cause the frosting to curdle or get runny.
- The lovely mascarpone frosting is ready. Scoop it into a piping bag and use it to decorate your favorite cake!
💡Top Tip: The whipping process will take only about 2-3 minutes. During this time, watch the mixture carefully and do not overmix.
📚 Flavor variations
The default version of this frosting is amazing already! However, you can get creative and try to modify the flavor. Feel free to adjust the flavor and color of this frosting according to your need!
If you want to make a mascarpone cake filling, you can also adjust the flavor to the theme of the cake. For example, you can make coffee mascarpone frosting or lemon mascarpone frosting.
What flavoring can you add to this frosting? Here are some ideas:
- cocoa powder
- cinnamon powder
- pumpkin spice
- melted chocolate (very small amount at room temperature)
- coffee (very small amount at room temperature)
- strawberry reduction (very small amount at room temperature)
- mango puree (very small amount at room temperature)
- caramel (very small amount at room temperature)
- peanut butter
- maple syrup
- almond extract
If you decide to use powder-based flavoring agents such as cocoa powder, always sift it first to avoid any grains and start with a small amount. Always monitor the taste and color before adding more of it.
If you want to use gel-based flavoring agents such as caramel or strawberry reduction, start with 1 tablespoon during the whisking process. Monitor the flavor and consistency and slowly add more amount (if desired) but not too much as it can break the frosting.
If you want to use liquid-based flavoring agents, just add 1 teaspoon of it during the whisking process and check the frosting consistency.
💡Top Tip: If you want to use liquid flavoring agents, make sure that it's not warm as it can ruin the frosting consistency.
🥣 Equipment notes
This easy and quick frosting recipe doesn't need too many baking tools. In fact, you will only need two things: the digital kitchen scale and the electric hand mixer.
A digital kitchen scale is required to help you measure the ingredients precisely. In baking, using the right amount of ingredients is super important as it can affect the consistency and flavor. So, use the digital scale instead of the measuring cups to prepare the ingredients of this recipe.
The second thing that you need is the electric hand mixer. It's the tool to help you mix all of the ingredients and build a nice, fluffy frosting.
Is it a must to use a hand mixer or can you use a stand mixer? Well, if you only make a small amount of frosting, a hand mixer is highly recommended as opposed to a stand mixer. The reason behind this is that the frosting mixture is prone to separating due to overmixing. Using a stand mixer has a higher chance of overmixing, especially when you use the beater one. If you decide to use a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment, not the beater one. Also, keep a close eye on your frosting, and do not walk away during the whipping process.
🎓 Expert tips
- This frosting recipe doesn't use butter. So, the mascarpone and heavy cream need to be very high in fat. Do not use the low-fat version as it can get the frosting thinner in consistency.
- Sift the powdered sugar and the powdered-based flavoring (if you use one). This needs to be done to avoid any lumps or grains in your frosting.
- Use an electric hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. If you want to use a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment instead of the beater attachment to avoid overmixing.
- Avoid overmixing at all costs. Once your frosting looks nicely pipeable, stop the whisking process. Overmixing can get your frosting separated and runny.
- You can get creative and add a flavoring agent to the mixture. Use a powdered-based version if possible and start with a small amount before gradually adding more of it. It's important to also avoid overmixing after adding the flavoring agent.
A runny frosting can be caused by overmixing or too much ingredient liquid. To avoid this, stop the process immediately when stiff peaks form. For the ingredients, it's important to use only high-fat mascarpone and heavy cream that is not just high fat but cold as well. Also, it's important to avoid adding too much liquid flavoring to the mixture.
The frosting will thicken in the process of whipping, no need to add any other thinking ingredient. To help with the consistency, you can also refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before usage.
Grainy frosting can happens when the frosting is over-whipped. Make sure to stop whipping as soon as the mixture achieved stiff peaks, or even slightly before.
Yes, you can! Given mascarpone has higher fat content than cream, in fact, you can whip up the mascarpone with some powdered sugar. The cream gives the mascarpone a fluffier texture, but you can make mascarpone frosting without cream as well.
Yes, you can! The texture and fluffiness primarily come from the high-fat content mascarpone and heavy cream, but this recipe whips up without sugar as well. Consider adding another flavoring eg. cocoa powder or cinnamon.
It's sweet, creamy, and velvety! The final result can vary according to the flavoring agent added.
Of course, you can! When prepared correctly, this frosting will have a nice, pipeable consistency that is ready to use for decorating various cakes!
Absolutely! You can get creative and color the frosting according to your liking! However, be careful when adding the coloring agents. Use only a small amount and primarily powder or concentrated gel food coloring as liquid coloring might break the frosting. Please note that this is a delicate and super white frosting meaning you cannot really color it to darker tones.
Mascarpone frosting is best prepared fresh however if you place it into a piping bag or closed container, you can keep it refrigerated for 1-2 days.
It's not recommended to freeze this mascarpone frosting as the texture will change.
🍰 Recipes using mascarpone frosting
🧁 More frosting and filling recipes
Mascarpone frosting (VIDEO)
Whipped mascarpone frosting
- 150 g (⅔ cups) Mascarpone 41% fat content, cold
- 120 g (½ cups) Heavy Cream 36% fat content, cold
- 40 g (⅓ cups) Powdered sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Place the mascarpone into a mixing bowl. Add very cold heavy cream to the bowl along with sifted powdered sugar
- Whip it up with an electric hand mixer. Add the vanilla bean paste, if desired.
- When the frosting reaches a fluffy (after 2-3 minutes), pipeable consistency, stop right there and do not overmix. If you continue beating the frosting, it will separate and gets runny
- Use the frosting according to the recipe
- Store refrigerated for 1-2 days in an airtight container
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- The heavy cream and mascarpone all need to be high in fat. Using the low-fat version may result in a thinner frosting since it contains more water
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
- Mascarpone frosting is very easy to overwhip. When whipping the frosting stop as soon as the mixture reached a fluffy consistency (will take 2-3 minutes). It won´t get stiffer after this point, in fact, if you overbeat it, it will only get runnier, then it will break
- You can add your favorite flavoring agent or coloring agent to this frosting but you need to do it carefully. Use the powdered or gel version instead of the liquid version whenever possible. Again, do not overmix
I love this frosting it is so easy and really delicious, I have done it as written here and also the caramel version. I wondered if I could add lemon curd to the mix in a similar way to the caramel sauce, I think it would be great on a lemon cupcake.
Fabulous recipe! Great instructions and pictures! Thank you!
I also would like to know if adding lemon curd would work in this recipe! If, so, how much lemon curd? If not, would lemon extract work to give it a good lemon flavor?
I would gently fold in a very small amount of lemon curd after the frosting is whipped up. Even a better solution would be to use the lemon curd and this whipped mascarpone separately to fill a cake or a cupcake eg. fill it with lemon curd the use the mascarpone as a frosting around.
Thank you, I did as you suggested, beautiful.
Maria do Carmo Giannini Balekjian
As I live in Brazil, the available mascarpone in supermarkets, where I live, actually in the country side, is the Galbani.
Should I add more heavy cream to compensate the mascarpone lack of fat? if so, how much?
I look forward to your reply,
What is the fat content of that brand in Brazil? If above 40%, it should work. If below, more heavy cream does not really help bec the heavy cream is usually 36% only.