Indulge in this Decadent Espresso-Mascarpone Cream Recipe

Hey, coffee lovers! This is your barista, and I’ve got a real treat for you today. If you’re a fan of rich and indulgent desserts, then you are going to love this recipe.

I’m talking about Espresso-Mascarpone Cream. This delectable dessert is the perfect combination of espresso and mascarpone cheese, creating a creamy, dreamy delight that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

But don’t worry, this isn’t just any ordinary cream recipe. It’s the Cook’s Illustrated Recipe – meaning it has been tested and perfected for guaranteed delicious results every time.

So, are you ready to indulge in some of the best coffee mascarpone cream you’ve ever tasted? Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Espresso-Mascarpone Cream(Cook's Illustrated)
Espresso-Mascarpone Cream(Cook’s Illustrated)

If you have a sweet tooth for creamy and decadent desserts, then you’ll absolutely love this Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe from Cook Illustrated. This dessert is perfect for satisfying your cravings, especially on colder evenings. With the mascarpone cheese and confectioners’ sugar, you will get a slightly sweet and rich flavor that blends perfectly with the espresso powder. Trust me when I say that the smooth texture of this cream is nothing short of divine.

This recipe’s standout feature is its unique blend of flavors that come together to create something truly special. Mascarpone is often compared to cream cheese, but it has a much smoother consistency and a more elevated taste. It’s perfect for making a light but indulgent dessert like this one. And since mascarpone doesn’t tend to melt when heated, you’ll be able to get a much firmer and creamier texture in your final product.

The cream is also incredibly versatile. It can be used in various desserts such as Italian Tiramisu Cake, Panna Cotta, Yule Log, or even as a topping for Walnut Cake. That means that once you’ve mastered this recipe, you can experiment with other dishes by simply adjusting the serving amounts or adding different flavors to spice things up.

So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s an indulgent dessert that’s easy to make – even if you’re not a seasoned baker! With simple ingredients like heavy cream and instant espresso, it won’t be hard to find everything you need in your local grocery store. Moreover, it doesn’t involve any complicated steps or techniques – just mix everything together and voila! You’ll have an impressive dessert that looks and tastes amazing.

If you’re looking for something sweet yet elegant to impress your guests at your next gathering, then don’t hesitate to try Espresso-Mascarpone Cream Recipe from Cook Illustrated. I guarantee that this dessert will please everyone’s taste buds and leave them wanting more of this decadent treat.

Ingredient List

 Indulge in creamy espresso goodness with our Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe.
Indulge in creamy espresso goodness with our Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this luxurious Espresso-Mascarpone Cream:


  • 1 ⅓ cups mascarpone cheese
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream

The Recipe How-To

 This recipe is so easy, even a coffee newbie can make it.
This recipe is so easy, even a coffee newbie can make it.

Step 1: Making the Espresso

Start by using whole espresso beans finely ground to a powder-like consistency – this will be paramount for a smooth texture. You can grind your own if you have a coffee grinder, but it’s not necessary.

Grab a large bowl and mix in 3 tablespoons of espresso powder with ½ cup of boiling water, whisking until coffee granules have dissolved entirely.

Tip: Avoid using instant espresso made from traditional coffee — it lacks complexity of flavor and if you want the flavors to shine through, stick to whole espresso beans that are freshly grounded.

Step 2: Preparing the Cream

In another large bowl, combine 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 pound of mascarpone cheese, and 1 ¼ cups of confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low speed using an electric mixer till everything is well combined. Increase mixer speed gradually till all ingredients have been incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.

Tip: Mascarpone cheese has a distinct taste when compared to other types of cheese —it’s slightly sweet and more buttery in texture.

Step 3: Making the Mascarpone-Espresso Cream

Add the cooled espresso mixture prepared in Step 1 into the large bowl containing whipped mascarpone cream from step 2. Beat until everything is incorporated uniformly and reaches desired consistency.

Step 4: Filling and Assembling

Transfer the finished espresso-mascarpone cream into a piping bag. This makes filling simpler and quicker with equal distribution on each layer of cake or pastry.

Use the espresso-mascarpone cream as filling for desserts like tiramisu, Italian tiramisu cake, yule log(or bûche de noël), panna cotta, walnut cake among others.

Your Espresso-Mascarpone Cream is now ready for its grand debut on a wide range of delectable desserts. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Keep this cream on-hand for impromptu coffee guests or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Keep this cream on-hand for impromptu coffee guests or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Looking to change things up a bit with this espresso-mascarpone cream recipe? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

First off, let’s talk about the mascarpone cheese. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, no problem! Cream cheese is a good substitute option for mascarpone as it has a similar texture and taste. However, do note that cream cheese is tangier than mascarpone so be mindful of that when using it as a substitute.

If you don’t have confectioners’ sugar on hand, that’s alright too! You can make your own by whizzing regular granulated sugar in a food processor until it becomes powdery.

Now, onto the heavy cream. If you’re looking to cut some calories or just want to use something else, try using coconut cream instead. It has a similar texture and taste as heavy cream but with less fat content.

Want to get creative with the flavors? Add some dark rum or whiskey to the mixture for an extra boozy kick. You can also experiment with different types of espresso powder or use freshly brewed espresso instead.

Finally, let’s talk pairing options. This espresso-mascarpone cream goes great with all kinds of desserts from walnut cake to the classic buche de noel. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, try spreading it on toast or stirring it into your morning oatmeal for an indulgent breakfast treat. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 Add a dollop of Espresso-Mascarpone Cream to your daily brew for a decadent twist.
Add a dollop of Espresso-Mascarpone Cream to your daily brew for a decadent twist.

One of the reasons you’ll love this Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe is because it’s incredibly versatile and can be served in various ways. The creamy and slightly sweet flavor profile of the mascarpone cream pairs beautifully with a variety of desserts.

You can layer this espresso-infused cream between layers of sponge cake to create an Italian Tiramisu cake, or use it as a filling for a classic Yule Log or Bûche de Noël. You could also serve it alongside a slice of warm walnut cake, or use it as a topping for a classic Panna Cotta dessert.

For serving suggestions, I recommend spooning the cream into individual dessert bowls or mugs to enjoy on its own. Another option is to pipe it onto your favorite pastry or cookie for an added touch of decadence. Drizzle some dark rum over the top of the mascarpone cream for an added kick and irresistible aroma.

When it comes to pairing with beverages, espresso is the obvious choice. Brew up a whole espresso or a shot of espresso and serve alongside the dessert. Alternatively, pair with an americano, cappuccino, or latte for a well-rounded coffee experience.

In conclusion, this Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Its mild sweetness pairs perfectly with various desserts, and espresso-based drinks are the go-to beverage pairing options. Try experimenting by pairing this delicious cream recipe with different desserts to find your personal favorite pairing!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Impress your friends with your barista skills and serve up a perfect coffee with our creamy topping.
Impress your friends with your barista skills and serve up a perfect coffee with our creamy topping.

When it comes to make-ahead recipes, Espresso-Mascarpone Cream is an excellent option. Not only can you prepare it ahead of time, but it also stores well in the refrigerator. To store the cream, transfer it to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Reheating the cream is not recommended as it may cause it to break or curdle due to the high fat content. However, you can serve it cold or at room temperature straight from the refrigerator. It makes for a refreshing and indulgent treat on a hot summer day.

If you plan on preparing this Mascarpone Cream recipe for an event, you can easily make it a day in advance. This way, you can focus on other aspects of your meal without sacrificing the quality of your dessert.

Speaking from personal experience, I highly recommend serving this cream with espresso walnut cake or as a filling for buche de noel, a traditional French yule log dessert. It pairs well with espresso powder and dark rum. Trust me; this Espresso-Mascarpone Cream will be a hit at any occasion!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This recipe is a perfect pairing with any bold, full-bodied coffee.
This recipe is a perfect pairing with any bold, full-bodied coffee.

To make the perfect Espresso-Mascarpone Cream, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are my recommendations for ensuring optimal taste and consistency:

Firstly, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients. The mascarpone cheese should be fresh and creamy, and the heavy cream should be of excellent quality.

Secondly, when whipping the cream, make sure not to over-whip it. Watch it carefully as it whips to avoid turning it into butter. You want the consistency to be thick but still able to hold its shape.

Next, when mixing the mascarpone cheese and confectioners’ sugar together, do not overmix it either. Overmixing can result in a grainy texture, which can ruin the overall taste of the cream.

When preparing the espresso powder, ensure that you use finely ground espresso beans for optimal flavor. It is worth brewing a strong pot of coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.

Finally, be mindful of the temperature of your ingredients. Room temperature works best for most ingredients except where otherwise stated.

With these tips in mind, you’re on your way to making a perfect Espresso-Mascarpone Cream every time.


Now, moving on to item (9), we have some frequently asked questions about this Espresso-Mascarpone Cream recipe.

How do Italians eat mascarpone?

If you are looking for a versatile ingredient to add flavor and texture to your cooking, consider using mascarpone. Mascarpone is a type of soft cheese that can be used in many ways- it can be added to cream sauces for Italian dishes or incorporated into cheese sauces for pasta dishes. Additionally, mascarpone can help thicken risotto and add a richer, creamier taste to savory pies or dishes containing smoke fish like salmon. With mascarpone, the possibilities for adding flavor and texture to your dishes are endless.

Does mascarpone melt when heated?

If you’re wondering if mascarpone sauce melts when heated, the answer is definitely yes. This creamy and thick Italian cheese is often compared to cream cheese due to its richness and slight sweetness alongside a hint of acidity. Because of its melting capabilities, it can easily be incorporated into a pink sauce for pasta or any other heated sauce.

Why does mascarpone taste like cream?

The smooth and indulgent characteristics of mascarpone, a cheese rooted in Italy, is attributed to its elevated fat concentration.

Why is mascarpone so good?

When talking about different types of cheese, people often conflate mascarpone with cream cheese, ricotta cheese, crème fraiche, and clotted cream. Though while being similar, mascarpone truly stands out among these options. Unlike its peers, mascarpone has a sweetness that’s complemented by a subtle sourness. Thanks to its velvety, smooth consistency, it’s an ideal addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

Bottom Line

So there you have it – the recipe for espresso-mascarpone cream that will make your taste buds feel alive! This dessert is a perfect finish to your Italian tiramisu cake or your yule log, especially during those winter holidays. It is no wonder this recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, considering what a masterpiece it is!

The rich flavor and velvet-like texture of this cream are achieved by using mascarpone cheese, which is slightly sweet and often compared to cream cheese (but way better!). You won’t find another cream like this, that melts in your mouth so beautifully when heated.

There are many ways to enjoy espresso-mascarpone cream. You can substitute confectioners’ sugar with dark rum or whipped cream (if you’re into less sweet things). Alternatively, you can use it as filling for your favorite recipes such as walnut cakes, buche de noël, or even panna cotta. The options are endless!

If you ever have any questions about the recipe or want some tips for perfect results, don’t hesitate to refer back to this article. I promise you’ll impress yourself and your guests with this cooking hack.

In conclusion, I cannot recommend enough trying out this espresso-mascarpone cream recipe. It just might become your next favorite dessert!

Espresso-Mascarpone Cream(Cook's Illustrated)

Espresso-Mascarpone Cream(Cook’s Illustrated) Recipe

Mascarpone is a fresh Italian cheese that is supple and spreadable. It is sold in small containers in some supermarkets as well as most gourmet stores, cheese shops, and Italian markets. This makes enough to fill the bittersweet chocolate roulade cake.
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Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 cups
Calories 119.5 kcal


  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons whole espresso beans (finely ground about 1 tablespoon ground)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 8 1/4 ounces mascarpone cheese (generous 1 cup)


  • Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan over high heat. Off heat, stir in espresso and powdered sugar; transfer mixture to medium bowl and cool slightly. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 84gCalories: 119.5kcalCarbohydrates: 10.2gProtein: 0.5gFat: 8.8gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 32.6mgSodium: 9.2mgSugar: 9.4g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Birthday, Cheese, Christmas, Dessert, Easy, From Scratch
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