This vegan mascarpone spread, made with only four ingredients, is high in protein and tastes like cream cheese only richer, just like traditional mascarpone made with whole cream. Spread it on toasts, layer it with chocolate, dollop on pie!
Healthy Vegan Mascarpone Spread
A delicious deeply creamy vegan mascarpone spread that is wonderful layered with chocolate and cookie crumbs as I have done here. But equally yummy spread on toast or dolloped on cake or pie.
And the spread is healthy, contributing considerable protein with every bite. You cannot say that about the traditional dairy-based mascarpone stuffed into elegant pastries at fine restaurants world-wide.
What is Mascarpone?
Traditional mascarpone is actually a soft Italian cream cheese. It is super fatty which makes it a luxury cheese because of it's velvety spreadable texture.
The problem for me is the traditional is made of heavy cream, typically dairy-based.
What You Need to Make Vegan Mascarpone
To make my version vegan and healthier, I used coconut cream and cashews. Both contribute the level of fat needed for the creamy texture, but healthy fats that contribute to heart health.
And they each contribute other nutrients. Cashews in particular provide protein. Coconut cream provides a slew of benefits and healthy fats, short and medium chain triglycerides that are said to aid in weight-loss.
Because the flavor needs the tang of cream cheese, I used lemon juice which also helps create a thicker texture. The traditional mascarpone is strained at this point but the vegan version does not need to be. A high speed blender will give you the velvety spreadable texture you want.
If you can't eat cashews, try it with macadamia nuts instead, only don't soak them more than 2 hours.
How To Use Mascarpone?
I layered it here with chocolate sauce and crushed graham crackers. I also stirred a bit of chocolate into some of the mascarpone to turn it chocolate.
The spread can also be used traditionally in a tiramisu. I have a vegan tiramisu recipe on the blog here. In this recipe I provide a different version homemade mascarpone, made with macadamia nuts.
The advantage to this current recipe is that cashews and coconut cream are less expensive than macadamia nuts. The macadamia mascarpone however is extremely buttery so you might want to try it.
Other uses for this delicious healthy spread are left to the imagination. I have also spread it on toast, dropped spoonfuls on cakes and pies. And served it alone, as a rich but simple pudding with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
And it's not just for desserts.
My mother loves to stir it into mash potatoes and even once served it as a creamy sauce in mac-and-cheese dish.
How to Make Vegan Homemade Mascarpone
Very easily! Soak the cashews overnight to soften for blending, and chill a can of full-fat coconut milk so the coconut cream separates out.
The next day blend it all up with lemon juice and salt - taste test for both. You can even add a tsp or two of maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter, less tangy mascarpone. And you can add a touch of apple cider vinegar to up the tang factor.
The delicious spread lasts about 4 days refrigerated but ours doesn't last 24 hours before we've eaten it all up!
If you like easy chocolate desserts, you will love my chocolate protein bars recipe and how-to as well as my recipe for Chocolate Carmel Cakes. It has a bit longer ingredient list, and but so delicious and nutritious!
And the 3 easiest healthy dessert recipes on the planet:
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Vegan Mascarpone Spread
- ¾ cup cashews, raw and unsalted (or macadamia nuts, but soak only 2 hours)
- ¼ cup coconut cream (The solid cream from a can of full fat coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (up to 3 tbsp to increase tangy flavor)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup optional
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (add this for a much stronger tangy flavor)
- Soak the cashews overnight to soften for blending, and chill a can of full-fat coconut milk so the coconut cream separates out
- Blend up the cashews until cream. Add in the coconut cream, lemon juice, and salt.
- Blend and taste-test. If you prefer it sweeter, add maple syrup at this point. If you prefer more tangy, add up to 4 tbsp lemon juice. For ultra tang, add a tbsp of apple cider vinegar but no more than 2 tbsp of lemon juice to prevent it from being too watery.
- Store this spread in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.