Mascarpone cookies are soft, tender and so simple to make. They’re great on their own, dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with your favorite nuts, dusted with powdered sugar, or jazzed up any way you like.
(Looking to add more sugar and butter cookies to your cookie tray? Try these classic buttery shortbread cookies or these crispy Filipino lengua de gato.)
I like chocolate chip cookies as much as the next person but I really do think my true cookie love are simple butter and sugar cookies. No frills, simple ingredients, easy to make.
And these mascarpone cookies fit the bill.
With it’s tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture and subtle sweetness, they’re perfect with tea, on your Christmas cookie tray, or as a treat at the end of the day.
Mascarpone is most popularly known as the main ingredient in tiramisu (check out my eggless tiramisu recipe) but it’s a delightful ingredient in other desserts as well, like in this mascarpone cookies recipe.
I love baking these cookies and hopefully you will, too.
- Only 6 ingredients. This cookie recipe only has 6 base ingredients and has simple steps for perfect cookies every time!
- Freezes well. You’ll need to freeze the cookie dough for at least an hour but you can certainly freeze it longer than that. So you can make ahead and bake when you need it.
- Highly customizable. Best of all, it’s highly customizable. I love them on their own but they are also great dipped in chocolate, dipped in chocolate then sprinkled with nuts like pistachios and almonds, and more. You can also decorate them like sugar cookies. The possibilities are endless.
Ingredients and baking tools
Not only do you need just 6 ingredients, they’re pantry staples too, like unsalted butter, sugar and all-purpose flour.
For the mascarpone, you’ll want to get one that’s full-fat for best results. We usually find mascarpone at the specialty cheese section of our supermarket, together with ricotta, feta and mozzarella.
In the pictures, I dipped some of my cookies in chocolate and for others, I sprinkled with chopped pistachios.
These are optional and entirely up to you how you want to decorate your cookies, if at all, but if you’d like to do the same, I use melted dark chocolate chips and shelled, salted pistachios.
I use either a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer when making the cookie dough.
How to make step-by-step
In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well blended.
Add mascarpone cheese and beat just until combined.
Switch to low speed and add the flour in thirds, mixing well after each addition.
Divide the cookie dough in two and roll each into a log about 2 inches in diameter (the dough will be sticky). Wrap in wax paper (parchment paper will work too but I find wax paper is easier to use), plastic wrap, then freeze for at least 1 hour.
When ready, pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove dough from freezer and slice into ¼-inch pieces. As you can see, I’m not the best roller so my cookies come out rectangular than circular, and that’s okay!
Place cookies on prepared baking sheet with about an inch of space around each one and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edges start to turn a light golden brown.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Optional: Dip in melted chocolate, place flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Refrigerate until set.
Expert baking tips
Easy, right? It’s a fool-proof, no-fail recipe. Perfect for the holidays or everyday! Here are more tips for amazing cookies every time.
- Room temperature ingredients. Make sure to start with room temperature or softened ingredients (check recipe). The dough comes together easier and you can avoid over-mixing.
- Weight vs volume. I find that in baking, it’s always better to weigh ingredients instead of using cup or volume measurements. Investing in an inexpensive kitchen scale improved my baking immensely.
- Freeze cookie dough. Not all cookie dough need to be frozen but this one does. The dough is sticky and freezing makes it more manageable to work with. Freezing also allows the cookies to keep their shape.
- Bake at the correct temperature. It’s also important to bake at the correct temperature. Some ovens run hot, some run cold, and others have hot spots. An oven thermometer is another inexpensive tool that helps you make sure you’re always at the right temperature.
Mascarpone cheese is often called Italian cream cheese because they are similar, but have distinct differences too:
Texture and Consistency
Mascarpone is creamy and smooth. American cream cheese is firmer and typically sold in bricks that you usually need to soften or bring down to room temperature before using in baking recipes.
Cream cheese is tangier than mascarpone, which is milder and has a slightly sweet flavour.
Mascarpone cheese can contain as much as 75% butterfat vs. cream cheese, which ranges from 33 to 40%.
There are many good substitutes for mascarpone and what you use depends on the recipe.
While I always use mascarpone cheese to make these cookies, I think cream cheese or even ricotta cheese would be good substitutes.
You’ll need to freeze the cookie dough at least 1 hour before baking but you can make it up to 5 days ahead (probably longer but I’ve only tried making it 5 days prior to baking).
Make sure it is well wrapped so it doesn’t get freezer burn.
And it is better to freeze the dough vs. freezing already baked cookies.
These cookies should keep for up to 5 days in a covered container on your counter.
You most certainly can make mascarpone sandwich cookies using this recipe! All you’ll need is make your filling — from chocolate ganache to vanilla filling — spread on one cookie and top with another.
Other recipes using mascarpone
If you love this creamy, soft Italian cheese as much as I do, you’ll enjoy these other easy dessert recipes using mascarpone:
This 4th of July cheesecake uses mascarpone as well and perfect for your celebrations!
Did you make cookies with mascarpone? I’d love to hear all about it! Leave a comment or a star rating below. You can also tag me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to see your creations!
You can also find me on Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
Mascarpone Cookies Recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 piece egg yolk from a large egg room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese (roughly 1 cup) softened
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips melted
- shelled, salted pistachio nuts roughly chopped
- In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well blended.
- Add mascarpone cheese and beat just until combined.
- Switch to low speed and add the flour in thirds, mixing well after each addition.
- Divide the cookie dough in two and roll each into a log about 2 inches in diameter (the dough will be sticky). Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap, then freeze for at least 1 hour.
- When ready, pre-heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from freezer and slice into ¼-inch pieces.
- Place cookies on prepared baking sheet with about an inch of space around each one and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edges start to turn a light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Optional: dip in melted chocolate, place flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Refrigerate until set.
- The total number of cookies depend on how big or thick you make your cookies. I can usually get 32 cookies from this recipe.
- If you don’t have wax paper, parchment paper will work too but I find wax paper is easier to use.
- As you can see, I’m not the best roller so my cookies come out rectangular than circular, and that’s okay!
- It’s easy to over-bake these cookies so watch them carefully. You want them to stay soft and tender and not crispy.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
These cookies turned out perfectly. My family loved them and now I need to make another batch!
Glad to hear that, Colleen!
These cookies were delicious! Never thought of using mascarpone in cookies before but they worked out perfect!
Happy to hear that Joss!
I made cookies for my sister in law and she loves them. Planning to make more! The texture and sweetness just perfect.
Glad to hear that Jess!
I love how you make these cookies easy for us. I made these cookies and my kids love them. Perfect Christmas desserts!
That’s great Amy! Happy to hear the kids loved them!
These cookies are great! First time baking with mascarpone too. Love that they’re not too sweet. Planning to make again for christmas and decorating with red and green finishing sugar.
Glad you liked them Mitch! Enjoy baking your Christmas cookies 🙂
My daughter and I have been baking cookies a lot lately. I want these so bad! I want to dip them in my coffee every morning. Pinning this one for sure!
These are beautiful cookies and just printed this recipe for my mom! I love the sound of these and they are so pretty too! Thank you for the yummy recipe!
These cookies look so tasty! Perfect for a dessert with hot tea or for holiday cookie exchanges!
Wow! This looks absolutely delicious. It’s been a while since I have never tried some mascarpone cheese cookies and would love to. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the step-by-step guide. This is going to be my first time so wish me luck. 🙂
Luck! They’re very easy to make I’m sure you’ll do amazing 🙂
I’m excited to make some. I even have festive chocolate melts to use too.
These look a cookie that my husband would enjoy. I like that they are easy, just slice and bake!
I bet these taste amazing. I would definitely give these cookies a go once I get some mascarpone in. I think that’s all I’m missing!!! How exciting x
Looks absolutely delicious and tasty! Perfect for Christmas!
Love mascarpone! Have never tried them in cookies though. Excited to give these a try.
These cookies sound so delicious. They are also easy to make with dairy free butter.