Easy Mascarpone Frosting is light and sweet with a creamy whipped texture, made with only 4 ingredients in less than 5 minutes!

I love how light this frosting is, and it’s not as sweet as your typical cream cheese frosting. It goes perfectly with this Gluten Free Carrot Cake, and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake!

A chocolate cake topped with mascarpone frosting and a frosting spatula.

Easy Mascarpone Frosting has to be one of my favorite types of frosting, with almost no prep time and comes together really quickly. It’s not too sweet, and has a light and fluffy texture like whipped cream. It’s a lot like whipped cream frosting, but the mascarpone helps stabilize everything. 

It’s perfect for piping, or just spreading on a cake with a spatula. It also holds up really well for decorating, like buttercream frosting. You can add a small amount of food coloring to the mixer for decoration, or add different flavoring extracts for different cakes. This will soon be your new favorite frosting recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients for mascarpone frosting on a table.

Mascarpone Cheese. Mascarpone is a really creamy cheese with a lighter flavor, so it goes really well with sweeter recipes. Keep it cold for this recipe, just store it refrigerated until ready to use. 

Mascarpone is also used for cannoli filling. Try this cannoli dip recipe for your next potluck!

Powdered Sugar. Also called confectioners sugar or icing sugar (not the same as granulated sugar). This adds the sweetness to the frosting. Some people sift the sugar, but I didn’t think adding it directly made a big difference.

Heavy Whipping Cream. Heavy cream is the main texture of mascarpone frosting. For this recipe, you’re going to essentially make whipped cream. Use the regular, full-fat version for best results. 

Vanilla Extract. A teaspoon vanilla extract adds a nice flavor to the frosting. You can also use almond extract, or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract for the holidays. 

How to Make Mascarpone Frosting

Step by step photos of how to make mascarpone frosting.
  1. Using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, whisk together the cold mascarpone cheese, powered sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until just combined.  
  2. Increase to medium-high speed and slowly add the heavy cream to the mascarpone mixture. Once completely added, stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  3. Turn the mixer back on and set the speed to medium and mix until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to over-mix. Use immediately, or refrigerate the frosting until ready to use. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mascarpone frosting better than cream cheese?

Both mascarpone frosting and cream cheese frosting are great options. Personally, I prefer mascarpone frosting because it’s not overly sweet and has a light and airy texture. 

Cream cheese frosting will be sweeter and thicker, closer to a buttercream. Both are good for piping, and both need to be refrigerated. 

Can mascarpone and cream cheese be used interchangeably?

Substituting mascarpone for cream cheese will end in a lighter, less indulgent frosting than a cream cheese frosting. Because mascarpone has less of a tangy flavor to start with, it won’t be quite the same.

But, in a pinch, you can sub one for the other. Make sure the mascarpone is chilled when you start. If you’re using cream cheese, let it soften first, or it will be lumpy.

What is the different between mascarpone and cream cheese?

Mascarpone is kind of like Italian cream cheese. It’s creamy when cold, while regular cream cheese is more solid. For a frosting recipe, you usually want to soften the cream cheese by letting it come to room temperature, while this is not needed for mascarpone. 

Flavor-wise, mascarpone is closer to brie than it is to cream cheese. But not quite as strong, which is why it works well with the sugar and vanilla. 

Storage

Refrigerate frosting (and any cake that uses the frosting) in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Let it sit out for 15-20 minutes before using it to decorate. 

I don’t recommend freezing this, because it won’t defrost with the same texture. This is really quick to make, so I recommend starting with a fresh batch of frosting. 

More Dessert Recipes

Recipe Variations

  • Add 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to the powdered sugar mixture for a chocolate mascarpone frosting, perfect for chocolate cupcakes! Or serve over hot chocolate.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest for a lemon mascarpone frosting. 
  • This frosting would go really well over fresh fruit as a lighter dessert option at the end of a heavy meal! Or over fresh strawberries on valentine’s day. 
  • Add a few tablespoons of strawberry syrup for a fruity flavor, perfect for strawberry shortcake! 
  • Add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for fall. 
  • I like the sweetness around 1 full cup of sugar, but you can reduce to 1/2 cup for less sweetness. 

Cooking Tips

  • Make sure you use the whisk attachment, not the paddle attachment, for the stand mixer, this is a key step for smooth texture and a sturdy mascarpone frosting.
  • Try not to over-beat the sugar and mascarpone, or the texture may become too soft or become grainy. If this happens, try adding a small amount of heavy cream at a time until the texture improves. 
  • I don’t recommend making this frosting with milk instead of cream. The heavy whipping cream turns into whipped cream, and the mascarpone and powdered sugar mixture helps stabilize it. You won’t get the same thing from milk. 
  • You can make this ahead of time, fill the piping bags and close off the ends, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to decorate. 
  • I recently used this frosting to make a double-layered cake, and I doubled the frosting recipe and had a small amount leftover. I also added a layer of frosting between the cake layers and around the sides. 
  • You can also do this with an hand electric mixer and a medium bowl. 
  • Chill the mixer bowl in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes beforehand to help make a stable frosting. 
A mixing bowl full of mascarpone frosting with a spatula.

If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!

A chocolate cake topped with mascarpone frosting and a frosting spatula.

Easy Mascarpone Frosting

Easy Mascarpone Frosting is light and sweet with a creamy whipped texture, made with only 4 ingredients in less than 5 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer (with whisk attachment)

Instructions
 

  • Using the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, whisk together the mascarpone, powered sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until just combined.
  • Increase to medium-high speed and slowly add the heavy cream. Once completely added, stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Turn the mixer back on medium and mix until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to over-mix. Use immediately, or refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Refrigerate frosting (and any cake that uses the frosting) in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 
I don’t recommend freezing this, because it won’t defrost with the same texture. This is really quick to make, so I recommend starting with a fresh batch of frosting. 
Cooking Tips
  • Make sure you use the whisk attachment for the stand mixer.
  • Try not to over-beat the sugar and mascarpone, or the texture may become too soft or become grainy. If this happens, try adding a small amount of heavy cream at a time until the texture improves. 

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 41mg (14%)Sodium: 16mg (1%)Potassium: 20mg (1%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 556IU (11%)Vitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 40mg (4%)Iron: 0.03mg
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish and tag #dishingdelish!

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