Substitutes for mascarpone cheese in tiramisu

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Substitutes for mascarpone cheese in tiramisu
You can still make tiramisu without mascarpone cheese. (Gandolfo Cannatella/iStock/Getty Images)

Mascarpone cheese is the rich, creamy filling between layers of ladyfinger sponges in tiramisu. This cheese is sold in supermarkets and delicatessens, but not in all areas. Look in your fridge to find common substitutes for mascarpone cheese in tiramisu.

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Creme fraiche

Creme fraiche is a high-fat French version of cultured sour cream. It is available in supermarkets, but you can also make your own. Warm 1 cup of double cream to 40C. Transfer the cream to a bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of cultured buttermilk. Loosely cover the bowl with cling film and place it in a warm spot for 24 to 36 hours, stirring every eight hours. The finished creme fraiche should have a thick consistency but remain pourable. Store the finished creme fraiche in the fridge for up to one week. Homemade or shop-bought creme fraiche replaces mascarpone in an equal amount in any recipe, including tiramisu.

Cream cheese and cream

The creamy, mild flavour of mascarpone cheese can be replicated with cream cheese. Avoid using reduced fat or low fat cream cheeses for the substitute. Even after mixed with double cream, lower fat cream cheese does not have enough fat in it to coat the tongue like mascarpone. Beat together 3/4 cup of regular cream cheese and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a bowl and use this to replace each cup of mascarpone in tiramisu.


Ricotta cheese is an Italian cheese made from the skimmed whey of the milk instead of the curds. It is usually associated with its frequent use in lasagne, but it will also replace mascarpone cheese. Ricotta has a dry, uneven texture. Whip an equal amount of ricotta cheese to replace mascarpone cheese in tiramisu for a lower fat substitute. To more closely replicate the creaminess of mascarpone cheese with ricotta, tblend 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into 225 g of ricotta cheese to replace 450 g of mascarpone cheese.

Cream cheese and butter

The high fat content in mascarpone cheese gives it a "buttery" flavour. To create this, beat a 225 g block of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. The fats from the butter, cream cheese and cream combine to mimic the rich, creamy texture and buttery flavour of mascarpone cheese.

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