This Vegan Mascarpone is made with just 3-ingredients and is incredibly easy to whip up! It's creamy, light, and slightly sweet with a subtle tang. Serve this in tiramisu, dolloped on pies, or on top of french toast!
If you've been looking for a dairy-free substitute for mascarpone in tiramisu, look no further! This vegan mascarpone recipe is a perfect choice for all your mascarpone needs. It's easy, versatile, and tastes delicious!
What is Mascarpone?
Mascarpone is known as Italian cream cheese that is slightly sweet, tangy and has an almost nutty taste. It is traditionally made from heavy cream with added citric acid like lemon juice. You can find mascarpone as the main ingredient in the classic Italian dessert tiramisu, and tarts, and can even be used in savory recipes.
Traditional mascarpone is not vegan but this simple vegan version is tasty and a perfect non-dairy alternative.
Mascarpone is similar to cream cheese and that's the same case with this vegan version but vegan cream cheese is not sweet at all whereas this vegan mascarpone is slightly sweet. Cream cheese is a great alternative to mascarpone in some cases.
In order to get a nice mascarpone-inspired flavor, we needed a base, an acidic ingredient, and a little sugar for balance! Here is what I used:
- Firm Tofu
- Lemon Juice
- Powdered Sugar
This easy dairy-free mascarpone cheese is made with 3 simple ingredients that you most likely have in your fridge and pantry already. Tofu may seem like an interesting choice but when blended with the other ingredients- it becomes silky smooth and creamy. It's the perfect mascarpone alternative!
- Firm Tofu: Firm tofu is the base of our vegan mascarpone cheese. When the water is squeezed out and it is blended until smooth- it gets super creamy and spreadable!
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice adds a tart flavor which is essential when trying to mimic the flavors of mascarpone- tofu is rather bland in taste but it does have a slight flavor so it also helps mask that!
- Powdered Sugar: Mascarpone is just slightly sweet so powdered sugar is the way to go! I don’t recommend adding regular sugar or a liquid sweetener like maple syrup because this could change the texture.
- Salt: Just a pinch! You could even leave it out so I'm not counting it as an essential ingredient but everyone has salt in their kitchen so just throw a pinch in there for balance.
- Splash of Plant Milk: This is again not an essential ingredient because you more than likely won't need it- depending on your blender. If you have a Vitamix, you probably won't need it but you might need it if you're using a magic bullet or Nutri-bullet.
You'll want a blender for this recipe. It doesn't necessarily need to be a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. You can use a Nutri-bullet or Magic Bullet as well. Depending on your blender, you may need a splash of non-dairy milk to get things moving.
I attempted this in my food processor and while it worked and tasted great- I preferred using my high speed blender. The blender will result in a smoother texture and a food processor might leave it with a slightly grainy texture.
How to Make This Recipe
Making this super easy 3-ingredient vegan mascarpone cheese takes only a few minutes and a couple simple steps!
Crumble the tofu and add to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.
Squeeze out as much water as you can.
It should look like this!
Add the tofu to a blender along with lemon juice, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Blend until a smooth and creamy texture is reached. Depending on the blender, you may need a splash of non-dairy milk to get it moving.
Transfer the smooth and creamy vegan mascarpone to a jar and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips & Tricks
Don’t have a cheesecloth or nut milk bag? No worries! Add the tofu to a clean dishcloth and squeeze the water out of it. Alternatively, you can press the tofu out by using a tofu press but I opted to go with the nut milk bag or cheesecloth simply because it was quicker.
Firm Tofu: I recommend using firm tofu. Soft tofu or silken tofu would be too soft in texture and would be more like pudding- and I believe extra-firm would work but could result in a gritty texture so would need to be blended a little longer and might require an extra splash of non-dairy milk.
Blend until smooth! Use a blender to ensure a smooth and creamy consistency- a food processor could leave a few small lumps.
Substitutions & Additions
Make it sweeter: Add a few more tablespoons of powdered sugar. I don’t recommend going under 3 or 4 tablespoons simply because the added sugar and lemon mask the flavor of the tofu which is important in this particular recipe. If you're looking for a recipe without added sugar try my Tofu Cream Cheese recipe instead.
Add a flavor: You can flavor this however you'd like- traditionally, it's plain but a splash of vanilla extract would be delicious!
How to Serve Mascarpone
- Use in replace of whipped cream- on top of Vegan French Toast with Just Egg, Quick & Easy Fluffy Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes, or Spiced Vegan Waffles.
- Use in a vegan tiramisu recipe: you'll need this vegan mascarpone, vegan ladyfingers, coffee syrup, and cocoa powder.
- Mix into pasta sauce, vegan lasagna, on top of pizza, or in soups
- Use as a topping for cakes, tarts, cupcakes, pies, or other vegan desserts
- Make a parfait or top off granola bowls and chia pudding
- Serve on a vegan scone or biscuit with fresh fruit
- Dollop on top of fresh berries instead of whipped coconut cream
Storage: Transfer the vegan mascarpone to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir it before serving!
Freezing: I recommend not freezing this recipe as it could heavily change the texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
I've seen vegan mascarpone made from nuts but I much prefer this firm tofu version- it's silky smooth, perfectly tart, and slightly sweet.
They are quite similar but this vegan mascarpone has a slightly sweet undertone whereas cream cheese does not.
I have not attempted to make this with anything other than tofu because it works best in my opinion but feel free to give soaked raw cashews a try!
Mascarpone is more smooth in texture whereas ricotta is more textured- creamy, just not perfectly smooth.
More Vegan Basics You’ll Love:
Easy Vegan Mascarpone
- 1 14oz Block of Firm Tofu see note
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tablespoon Plant Milk if needed
- Crumble the tofu and add to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Add the tofu to a blender along with lemon juice, powdered sugar, and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Depending on the blender, you may need a splash of non-dairy milk to get it moving.
- Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.