Mascarpone cheese is a staple for bakers, and it is made using heavy cream. Oftentimes, mascarpone cheese is compared to cream cheese, although mascarpone tends to be richer and a bit sweeter since cream cheese is made using whole milk instead of heavy cream.
Mascarpone is used to make desserts such as cheesecake, muffins, cakes, or it can even be eaten on its own. If you’re a vegan, traditional mascarpone isn’t something you can eat. Luckily, there are several substitutes for mascarpone that can be used to make vegan desserts.
So what are the best vegan friendly substitutes for mascarpone?
The top vegan friendly mascarpone alternatives are vegan mascarpone cheese, vegan cream cheese, and tofu.
Make sure to read on to learn how to use each replacement in your particular recipe. And if you happen to be looking for a dairy option, check out our mascarpone substitutes guide.
Vegan Friendly Mascarpone Alternatives
Mascarpone is called for in all sorts of tasty dishes. Mascarpone provides a creamy texture and rich flavor that works in everything from sweet desserts to delicious breakfast recipes.
So when replacing it with a dairy free and vegan friendly alternative, you want to use an ingredient that provides a similar flavor and texture.
Use one of the following mascarpone replacements in your recipe.
Vegan Mascarpone Cheese
You can always purchase vegan mascarpone cheese, but you can also make it yourself. Homemade vegan mascarpone is just as delicious as traditional mascarpone and is made using only a few ingredients – cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice, maple syrup (optional), and a pinch of salt.
You will start by soaking the cashews overnight to soften them before using them in your mixture. Be sure to add your can of coconut cream to the fridge too so that it separates out.
Once the cashews are ready, blend them until smooth and add in coconut cream, lemon juice, and salt. To sweeten your mixture, you’ll add in your maple syrup, adding more or less as you go depending on how sweet you want your mascarpone.
Related Recipe: Dairy free oatmeal cookies
Equivalent1 cup of vegan mascarpone equals 1 cup of regular mascarpone
Vegan Cream Cheese
Another great alternative for mascarpone is vegan cream cheese, which is usually made with an almond milk base.
Blend the vegan cream cheese with coconut milk and lemon juice and you’ve just created a vegan substitute for mascarpone cheese.
To sweeten it, you can use agave syrup or even an orange rind to give it a hint of citrus.
Related Recipe: Dairy free sugar cookies
Equivalent1 cup of vegan cream cheese equals 1 cup of mascarpone
Believe it or not, you make vegan mascarpone using tofu. All you need is a package of silken tofu, raw cashews, lemon juice, and salt.
Making this is simple: just combine all of the ingredients together in a blender and put it on high speed. Be sure to blend until your mixture is entirely smooth, which could take a few tries.
When you feel like your mixture is as smooth as it’s going to get, you can scoop it out and place it into a container. Then, leave it in the fridge to firm up.
Tofu is a great ingredient to use here because of the fact that it can be blended down to be of a creamy consistency. This in turn makes a great alternative for dairy when trying to make vegan versions of mascarpone or even vegan ice cream.
Equivalent1 cup of tofu mixture equals 1 cup of mascarpone
How to Use Dairy Free Mascarpone
You can use your freshly made vegan mascarpone in the same way that you would use your traditional non-vegan mascarpone. The sweetness of mascarpone means it’s often used in desserts such as tiramisu, but you can always use it in savory recipes too.
Mascarpone makes a great pizza topper or even base as a replacement for sauce. In fact, you can even mix it into your pasta sauce for a creamier texture. If you aren’t feeling up to making anything too crazy, you can simply use your mascarpone as a dip for your fruits and vegetables.
Mascarpone also helps make a great vegan frosting for cakes or cupcakes or even as a substitute for whipped cream. The sweetness of mascarpone means that you can even scoop some of it into your coffee or hot chocolate as an alternative to milk and creamer.
Storing Vegan Mascarpone
After it’s made, mascarpone typically lasts up to a week in the fridge where it should be stored in an airtight container.
Related: How to freeze mascarpone cheese