This rich and creamy chocolate mascarpone frosting is simple to make and holds it shape for decorating layer cakes. Light and fluffy and made with only 5 ingredients, it’s everything you want a frosting to be.
Celebrations are my favorite occasions to bake, sharing the joy I get in the kitchen, and the sweet treats, with those closest to me. Anyone who’s related to me also has a sweet tooth, so it’s no surprise that for my little baby’s 1st birthday she went straight for this chocolate mascarpone frosting!
It’s hard to believe my baby is becoming a toddler – this past year has been a whirlwind, with lots of ups and downs, but looking at her now, on her 1st birthday, definitely makes it all worth it. Seeing her smile is my favorite thing in the entire world, and the love I have for her is something words, nor cake, can describe.
I made a chocolate layer cake for her birthday and when I was talking about the chocolate frosting on Instagram I got a ton of requests for the recipe, so here it is! It took me over 10 years to perfect it, but now it’s my favorite frosting recipe to use for celebration cakes. My daughter is also a fan, as when I went to take a photo of her with the chocolate cake she immediately reached for the mascarpone frosting. She’s a very picky eater, so this was my favorite part of the day!
What Is Mascarpone?
Mascarpone is a creamy Italian cheese that is most commonly known as a main ingredient in Tiramisu. With a sweeter taste than cream cheese, mascarpone is the perfect ingredient for a light and creamy frosting. The frosting tastes almost like a chocolate whipped cream, but more complex in flavor because of the mascarpone. It’s very rich and creamy, which gives this frosting a stable texture strong enough to hold its shape in layer cakes.
How to Make Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting
Before you begin, check to see that your cake is cooled and ready to be frosted. This mascarpone whipped cream frosting needs to be used right away and doesn’t take long to make.
Gather your ingredients and make sure the mascarpone cheese and heavy cream are cold. Sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Don’t skip this step! Powdered sugar is what stabilizes frosting. I like chocolate frostings because the cocoa powder offsets the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the mascarpone cheese and the sifted cocoa sugar mixture on medium speed until combined. You’ll need to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. It may take 2-3 minutes of mixing since the cheese is cold, until everything comes together. If it doesn’t come together easily, you can use the paddle attachment, and switch to the whisk attachment before adding the heavy cream.
Once combined and smooth, add the heavy cream and gradually increase the speed to high. Whisk the mascarpone frosting until your desired consistency is reached. I like to have a firm frosting for decorating that holds its shape well, so I whisk until stiff peaks stand straight up and appear firm when the beaters are lifted.
Be careful not to overwhip your frosting. Once you get stiff peaks stop, otherwise the cream splits and your frosting will have a grainy texture.
When your chocolate mascarpone icing is ready, immediately start frosting your cake. This recipe makes enough mascarpone frosting for a sheet cake or large round cake. If you want to make a layer cake, multiply the recipe by 1 ½ or even 2 to make sure you have enough for all the layers.
I like to use this chocolate mascarpone frosting for my chocolate layer cake recipe. The tangy whipped frosting pairs perfectly with the moist and tender chocolate cake. This frosting can’t stay outside for too long, a few hours during a party is fine but any longer and you’ll want to store it in the fridge. I like to serve chocolate cakes at room temperature and this frosting holds its shape for several hours.
If you need a frosting that can last for longer than a few hours outside – perhaps a birthday party in a park or pool – then check out my chocolate buttercream recipe. This classic recipe is one of my favorites and will hold its shape much longer than this chocolate mascarpone frosting.
With this easy chocolate mascarpone frosting recipe you can have your celebration cake decorated in under 30 minutes. It’s a luscious smooth frosting that holds its shape and spreads easily. This is my new favorite frosting for celebration cakes, chocolate cupcakes, or simply eaten on its own with your finger, like my daughter prefers.
More Mascarpone Recipes
This recipe makes enough mascarpone frosting for a sheet cake, large round cake, or 12 cupcakes. If you want to make a layer cake, multiply the recipe by 1 ½ or even 2 to make sure you have enough for all the layers.
- 1/3 cup (35g/1.2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed)
- 2/3 cup (80g) powdered sugar
- 250 g/8 oz. cold mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy cream
This frosting needs to be used immediately to frost cake so make sure your cake is ready to be frosted.
- Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Don’t skip this step!
Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder and powdered sugar on medium speed until combined. Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Because the cheese is cold it’s ok if it takes 1-2 minutes or more until it’s combined (If it doesn't come together easily, you can use the paddle attachment, and switch to the whisk attachment before adding the heavy cream). Add heavy cream and gradually increase speed to high. Whisk until desired consistency is reached; for a frosting that holds its shape well whisk until stiff peaks – keep whisking until the peaks stand straight up and appear firm when beaters are lifted up. Be careful at that point not to overwhip, which will cause the cream to have a grainy texture or eventually turn into butter. Use immediately.