Craving a lactose-free twist on classic Mascarpone cheese? Look no further! Our creamy Vegan Mascarpone recipe is the ultimate game-changer! It is nut-free, requires only 4 ingredients, and is ready in 10 minutes.
Whether it's the holidays or any other ordinary day, use it as a dairy-free substitute for mascarpone cheese in your favorite desserts like this vegan tiramisu, cheesecakes, and creamy vegan frostings.
Whip up a luscious vegan fruit dip or dollop it on fresh berries for a better-for-you snack. This versatile lactose-free substitute is a game-changer for all your culinary creations and the only vegan mascarpone recipe you need!
To make vegan mascarpone at home you need the following ingredients:
- Silken tofu: This smooth and creamy tofu serves as the base for our dairy-free mascarpone. It provides a silky texture and mild flavor, making it an excellent alternative to nut-based recipes. We recommend using firm silken tofu, however, regular silken tofu from the store works also.
- Chilled coconut cream: Rich coconut cream adds a touch of indulgence, firmness, and creaminess to our mascarpone.
- Fresh lemon juice: Tangy, zesty lemon juice is a key player in our recipe. It not only adds a refreshing flavor but also helps replicate the slight tanginess of traditional mascarpone.
- Optional you can sweeten the mascarpone with organic cane sugar, and vanilla sugar.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Are you looking for substitutions or quicker alternatives? We got you!
- Cashews or almonds: Instead of silken tofu, you can experiment with soaked and blended cashews or almonds. These nuts offer a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor, adding a unique twist to your lactose-free mascarpone.
- Vegan yogurt: For a tangier mascarpone, consider using a high-quality non-dairy yogurt instead of coconut cream.
- Lime or orange juice: While fresh lemon juice is the classic choice, you can experiment with lime or orange juice to give your mascarpone a different citrusy note. Use freshly squeezed for the best fresh flavor!
- Agave syrup or maple syrup: Both are great alternatives to organic cane sugar, and/or vanilla sugar.
Remember, substitutions will bring their own unique flavors and textures to this recipe! Enjoy exploring different variations and discovering your favorite twist on this recipe.
There are many delicious flavor variations to explore with this vegan mascarpone! Here are a few ideas to play around with to zing up the flavor:
- Berry - Fold in a handful of fresh or frozen mixed berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries to give your mascarpone a burst of fruity flavor.
- Chocolate - Mix in cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate to create a rich and creamy chocolate mascarpone.
- Maple Caramel: Drizzle in some maple syrup or caramel sauce to achieve a sweet and luscious mascarpone.
- Coffee: Mix in a tablespoon of strong coffee or 1 teaspoon of instant espresso for a mascarpone with a subtle coffee kick.
- Matcha: Stir in some matcha powder for a vibrant green tea-flavored mascarpone.
Feel free to mix and match these flavor variations and play with the recipe. Experimenting with different ingredients and flavors is part of the fun! If you end up whipping up a fantastic variation, don't forget to drop a comment at the bottom of the blog post! I'm all ears and absolutely thrilled to hear about your culinary adventures.
🍰 Serving Ideas
Mascarpone can be used for both savory and sweet dishes! How awesome is that?! Here are some of our favorite serving ideas:
- One of the most popular desserts using mascarpone is Tiramisu. We love it in our vegan tiramisu recipe.
- Use it as a vegan whipped cream substitute.
- Add it to your favorite baked goods! For example as a cupcake filling.
- Enjoy it with your homemade dairy-free crêpes or pancakes. We love it on our German apple pancakes!
- Spread on toast, crackers or bagels with fruit or drizzles of syrup.
- Use it as a creamy pizza sauce. We especially love it on our granola pizza and sweet breakfast pizza!
- Incorporate it into or add to pasta sauce.
- Include it in your casserole dishes like vegan lasagna.
- Use it to top your soup, instead of sour cream or crème fraîche.
- Add to your cheesecakes, tarts, or pies.
- Use it in dessert cups.
- It is even good in drinks! Try it in our vegan hot chocolate.
To make this recipe, besides kitchen basics, you will need the following equipment: A food processor or a high-speed blender is essential to blend the silken tofu and other ingredients into a smooth and creamy texture.
While a food processor or blender should be sufficient for blending the ingredients, alternatively you can use an electric hand mixer. You also need a suitable container to store the prepared mascarpone. A glass jar or an air-tight container with a lid is ideal for this purpose.
👩🏽🍳 How To Make
Let's chat about how to make the best vegan mascarpone from scratch! Follow our step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Open and drain excess liquid from the silken tofu packaging. To a food processor (or blender), add the silken tofu.
Step 2: Blend the silken tofu until smooth. Scrape down the sides if needed.
Step 3: Add remaining mascarpone ingredients. Make sure to only use the hardened part from the top of the coconut cream. You can discard the liquid or use it in smoothies. For a sweet mascarpone, add cane sugar and vanilla sugar (or extract).
Step 4: Blend again until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the prepared mascarpone into a jar or an air-tight container. Enjoy it as desired! If you need ideas check the serving ideas section.
Refrigerate the vegan mascarpone in the fridge overnight. This will help it thicken even more. Alternatively, if you need the mascarpone to be ready more quickly, you can place it in the freezer for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
For best texture results, make sure to use firm silken tofu and chill the coconut cream in the fridge the night before. This allows the cream to separate from the liquid, and you'll use only the hardened cream part for your dairy-free mascarpone. The consistency of your prepared mascarpone will thicken up in the fridge overnight.
It is important to blend the silken tofu first until it's completely smooth before adding the other ingredients. This helps to achieve a lump-free and velvety texture in the final mascarpone.
💭 Recipe FAQ
Mascarpone is an Italian dairy cream cheese that is slightly sweet, nutty, and tangy. It has a high butterfat percentage. Mascarpone is used in many recipes including tiramisu, tarts, and frostings.
If you don't have mascarpone, you can substitute it with vegan cream cheese. Mix it with a touch of plant milk to make it a bit smoother and remove the tartness.
Another option is vegan whipped cream, which works well in desserts and is ideal when you don't mind a fluffier texture. For savory dishes, use plain plant-based yogurt or vegan sour cream.
Other than that, our recipe in the recipe card below is, of course, a perfect 1:1 substitution, imitating the flavor and texture of regular mascarpone.
The main difference is in the flavor and texture. Mascarpone is sweeter, with a milkier and nuttier taste compared to ricotta cheese. The texture of mascarpone is very creamy and smooth, similar to whipped cream but a bit denser. On the other hand, ricotta cheese has a more textured and less smooth consistency.
No, it is usually not vegan. Commercial Mascarpone cheese is made out of dairy-based heavy cream, and citric or tartaric acid.
However, our recipe uses tofu and chilled coconut cream instead, which makes it entirely dairy-free, lactose-free, and vegan! Woo-hoo! Follow our recipe and use it as a dairy-free mascarpone substitute.
Unfortunately, vegan mascarpone is not widely available in the US. Thankfully, our recipe is made within minutes and uses ingredients commonly sold in grocery stores. Hopefully, they will start selling some in the stores in the future!
If you are based in Europe you might be able to get Schlagfix's Vegan Mascarpone. It is a delicious store-bought dairy-free alternative!
🥣 How To Store
Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 7 days. You can freeze it for longer shelf life in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight and blend up again once defrosted to get back some of the texture. Please keep in mind that freezing tofu may alter its texture.
Best Vegan Mascarpone (nut-free)
- can opener for the coconut cream
- 16 ounces firm silken tofu
- 7 ounces coconut cream chilled overnight
- 1 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice more to taste
- A pinch salt
For a Sweet Version
- 2 ounces organic cane sugar more to taste (¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Open and drain excess liquid from the silken tofu packaging. To a food processor (or blender), add the silken tofu. Blend the silken tofu until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, if needed.
- Next, add all the other mascarpone ingredients. If using chilled coconut cream, ensure you only use the hardened cream part from the top. You can discard the liquid or use it in smoothies. For a sweet mascarpone, add cane sugar and vanilla sugar (or extract).
- Blend again until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the prepared mascarpone into a jar or an air-tight container.
- Refrigerate the mascarpone in the fridge overnight, as this will help it thicken even more. Alternatively, if you need the mascarpone to be ready quicker, place it in the freezer for 15 minutes to thicken.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For food safety see guidelines at USDA.gov.