Get ready to be amazed by this Vegan Mascarpone recipe! It's a culinary magic trick, turning simple, everyday ingredients into a creamy, dreamy spread. It's a friggin’ plant-based miracle cream that'll get married to your vegan ladyfingers, making your vegan tiramisu taste like a traditional one, and will behave like a gorgeous, majestic pony galloping through the mist right into your heart!
Picture this: you're in your kitchen, about to whip up something incredible. You've got cashews, coconut cream, and a few other goodies. In just a handful of steps, you're going to transform these humble ingredients into the creamiest, most versatile mascarpone you've ever tasted. And the best part? It’s made without harming any animals!
Excited? You should be, because this reliable recipe is a game-changer for your pizza, pasta and Italian desserts. Let's get blending!
🥰 Why you'll love this recipe
⚡️ Just 7 Simple Ingredients: You can make this with ingredients you probably have on hand! You don't need soy milk, coconut oil, silken tofu, or fancy, hard-to-find products like vegan heavy cream, or vegan butter to whip up this Italian cream cheese!
🌡️ Chill Factor: The magic happens in the fridge. Cooling allows the mascarpone to thicken, achieving that classic, spreadable texture.
✅ Tested and Approved Worldwide: This Vegan Mascarpone cheese recipe is the culmination of meticulous adjustments and thorough testing, much like the other plant-based recipes I share. I refined this recipe until I was truly in love with it. After that, it was rigorously tested by a massive group of recipe testers I work with across the globe. It received unanimous approval before I decided it was ready to be shared with the world.
🥛 Ingredients and substitutions
Raw cashews bring a rich, creamy texture to the recipe, acting as the base for the dairy-free mascarpone. Unlike almonds and other more fibrous nuts, they become smooth when blended. That’s why I use them in my dairy recipes like cultured plant-based cream cheese, and curries, like you will see if you make my lotus seed curry.
Unsweetened Vegan Yogurt
This adds a subtle tang and helps in achieving the characteristic mascarpone texture. I also love using it to make vegan labneh, and to make my plant-based tikka masala and Punjabi soya chaap curry more creamy and dreamy. There used to be an embarrassingly limited selection, but vegan yogurt now comes in many forms. This recipe works equally well with soy, almond, cashew, or coconut-based yogurts. Just make sure it is unsweetened and unflavored.
Canned coconut cream ain’t just for making Vietnamese Kem Chuoi! Coconut cream contributes to the luxurious texture of dairy-free mascarpone. It lends a subtle, natural sweetness that helps balance the acidity of the lemon juice, vinegar, and tangy flavor from the yogurt to make the Mascarpone’s flavor more well-rounded and full. For the right consistency, make sure to use the thick, fatty part only. This is easy to separate from the liquid if you chill the can for an hour before using, as the solidified fats will rise to the top. If you can't get coconut cream, simply use full-fat coconut milk, following the chilling method to separate the cream from the liquid in the can.
Rice vinegar is my go-to, just very slightly funky acid to use in vegan dairy recipes (like my vegan sour cream), and it contributes to the overall umami. If rice vinegar is not on hand, apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, or distilled white vinegar could be used instead.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
Italian Style with Prosciutto and Mushrooms: In Europe, mascarpone is commonly used on pizzas paired with prosciutto and mushrooms. This combination can be adapted to be vegan using my seitan recipe cut extremely thinly and marinated in dry red wine. Then think about serving the marinated seitan over pasta with mascarpone and vegan bolognese sauce, and if you are a real vegan meat-lover, some vegan meatballs on top. You can also stir some into your favorite creamy pasta sauces as you would with ricotta cheese. Vegan garlic bread on the side anyone? You would be downright crazy not to smash that.
Donut Filling/Topping? Oh yess: Considering mascarpone's key role in the classic Italian dessert tiramisu, a sweet variation of this vegan mascarpone could (and should) be created. Simply mix in a little dry granulated sweetener to taste (my top choice is palm sugar, but you do you, as they say). Then use the sweetened mascarpone on vegan apple fritters, apple cider donuts, Malaysian cekodok pisang, fluffy donut twists, or even Peruvian picarones. Or use them as a topping to serve buñuelos, or vegan lemon pound cake with. The opportunities are endless here.
📖 How to make easy vegan mascarpone cheese
Nail this perfectly on your first shot by following these few simple steps with helpful tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Cashew Bath Time:
Soak your cashews in water for at least one hour. For best results, let them soak overnight in a sealed container in your fridge. After soaking, rinse them under cold running water and allow them to air dry in a colander or wire mesh strainer.
Blend it Up:
Take the soaked cashews and toss ‘em in a blender with vegan yogurt, coconut cream, lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Blend everything together for about 90 seconds until you achieve a silky-smooth consistency. Remember to pause and scrape the sides to ensure everything is well-mixed.
✅ A quality high-speed blender will give you the fastest results here.
Chill and Set:
Pour your blended concoction into a storage container and let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours. This chilling time is crucial as it helps the mixture thicken.
Before chilling, if you find the puree thicker than you prefer, add a small amount of yogurt or a splash of more coconut cream to get it just right. It will thicken a tiny bit more when you chill it.
- Use Full-Fat Ingredients: For the creamiest homemade vegan mascarpone, opt for full-fat vegan yogurt and use coconut cream, not coconut milk. The fat contributes significantly to the luxurious feel of the mascarpone.
- Cashew Proper Preparation: The longer you soak the cashews, the easier it will be to achieve the right creamy consistency. This is especially crucial if you have a crappy blender. My top recommendation is a Blendtec blender. I have been using Blendtec blenders personally and professionally for over 20 years (since before the company was even called Blendtec!) and they are a real pleasure to make food with. If you're short on time, a quick shortcut is to boil the cashews for 20 minutes.
- Adjusting Sweetness and Tang: The base recipe mirrors the slightly sweet nature of traditional mascarpone, but you can tweak it to your taste. For a sweeter and more diverse flavor, add a little more sweetener or opt for a mineral-rich one like maple syrup, coconut sugar, or palm sugar. If you want more tanginess, increase the lemon juice or vinegar to balance the sweetness.
- Storage and Re-Texturizing: Vegan mascarpone stores well in the fridge for up to five days and can be frozen. If it appears curdled after thawing, simply stir or blend it well to restore its creamy texture.
🤷♀️ Recipe FAQs
Keep your vegan mascarpone in a covered container in the fridge for up to five days. As long as you make it with a nut-based yogurt, and not a soy-based one, it’s can be frozen for up to 3 months. After thawing to room temperature, stir it well to restore its creamy texture, even if it appears curdled at first.
For sure! While I am personally vegan because I don’t want to cause harm to animals and the environment, the health benefits are a nice bonus, as far as I’m concerned. Here are a few reasons why the dairy-free alternative version of mascarpone is wayyyy better for you than the stuff that’s made with animal products.
Heart Health and Cholesterol: Traditional mascarpone is made from cream, making it high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, common in plant-based diets, can significantly reduce heart disease risk. A main difference is that vegan cheese, made from nuts and plant-based fats and proteins, contains no cholesterol and is lower in saturated fats, making it a heart-healthier option.
Nutrient Profile Enhancement: A study in the Journal of Nutrition highlighted that nuts, a primary ingredient in vegan mascarpone, are rich in essential nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Dietary Fiber and Gut Health: Unlike regular mascarpone, vegan versions made from nuts contain dietary fiber, which is essential for gut health. Research published in the Nutrients journal indicates that dietary fiber supports digestive health, promotes gut microbiota diversity, and may lower the risk of chronic diseases.
✌️My faves to serve with this cheese:
Say Hi on Social! 👋
Follow me on Instagram & Facebook for more recipes.
❤️Love this recipe? It helps me out greatly if you leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below and maybe even leave me a lovey-dovey comment too!
Vegan Mascarpone Recipe
- Soak the cashews in water for at least one hour, or overnight in a sealed container in your refrigerator. Drain and rinse the cashews, and let them dry off in a colander or wire mesh strainer.
- Put the drained cashews, yogurt, coconut cream, lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar into a blender pitcher. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit of yogurt or more coconut cream to reach your desired consistency.
- Transfer the blended mixture to a container and chill it in the fridge for a few hours to thicken.