Filed under: Buttercreams
April 30, 2019

Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream

Creamy dreamy chocolate buttercream that tastes like soft serve chocolate ice cream thanks to the use of mascarpone cheese.

5 from 25 votes
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chocolate mascarpone buttercream

Smooth and rich chocolate buttercream made even smoother and better tasting with mascarpone. Beware, you’ll eat most of it before it gets on the cake. 



Why Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream

My trials with this began with a vanilla mascarpone buttercream, but I wasn’t into the texture or the taste. I then tried it as a browned butter mascarpone but the thing about browned butter is that it’s so intense, it just takes over so what was the point of the mascarpone? Again, I wasn’t into it. Determined to find a way to make this work, I tried it with cocoa and… magic. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy and I want to smother it on everything.

We all know and love chocolate cream cheese buttercream, so the texture this recipe produces won’t be too much of a surprise. However, mascarpone doesn’t have the tanginess of cream cheese and instead it adds something more subtle, kind of malty in the background. The best way I can think to describe the taste is that it’s like a chocolate soft-serve ice cream, but more intensely chocolate. It is absolutely wonderful and spreads like a beauty on any cake. I could eat it off the spoon…!


Which cocoa should I use for chocolate mascarpone buttercream?

In the cake batter I use dutch-process cocoa which produces a very dark cake; you don’t need anything else to get that color. In the buttercream I used a bit of black cocoa – but not too much as I find it interferes with the rich cocoa taste I am after. Here’s a couple of side by side photos so you can see the difference in color they produce. The nice thing is that in keeping the black to a small amount, you’ll get the the dark color but you’ll still retain the wonderful chocolate taste that comes from dutch-process cocoa.

On the left, all dutch process cocoa. On the right a mix of dutch and black cocoa. The color difference is noticeable and there is a difference in taste too. Black cocoa always reminds me of oreos, it’s very intense and not at all sweet.


chocolate mascarpone buttercream


Notes on making chocolate mascarpone buttercream

  • Use organic powdered sugar. Look, I know it’s a drag because it needs to be sifted and because it’s expensive.. but it makes a HUGE difference in taste!
  • My favorite dutch cocoas: Guittard Rouge, Rodelle Dutch or Saco’s blend of natural & dutch.
  • Black cocoa: I use King Arthur Flour’s which you can find on Amazon or their site. If you use it, substitute 1/3 cup of the dutch process cocoa with black cocoa.

What cake should I pair this Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream with?


NOTE: Cake recipe from photos above is available HERE.

Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream

The most delicious chocolate buttercream ever, made with mascarpone.
chocolate mascarpone buttercream
Prep Time: 10 minutes
5 from 25 votes


  • 2 sticks or 226g sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz or 226g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 cups or 390g organic powdered sugar sifted
  • 2/3 cup or 60g dutch process cocoa sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk as needed
  • 1/4 cup or 50g dark chocolate chopped, melted and slightly cooled


  • In a bowl or a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for a good 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and salt, beat to combine.
  • Add mascarpone and beat for another 2-3 minutes, until well incorporated. It will look grainy and strange – don’t fret.
  • Sift in the powdered sugar and cocoa straight in or into another bowl then add and beat, scraping down and ensuring all the butter at the bottom is incorporated. Beat for about 3 minutes. The buttercream will be dark at first but after beating will turn a shade or two lighter.
  • Add milk and cooled chocolate, stir to combine.
  • If not using immediately, place in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to use, allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour or melt briefly in the microwave (no more than 20 seconds).


Recipe makes enough to cover a 2 layer 8" cake. 

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I wanted to thank you for this recipe. The frosting is the best chocolate buttercream I’ve ever had and it’s so simple to make. I will be sure to try your other recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Oooh this is lovely. Followed recipe exactly as written and ended up with a smooth fluffy buttercream. I like the flavor, as you don’t taste mascarpone too strongly, it just complements the chocolate perfectly.

  3. 5 stars
    This is my go to buttercream recipe. It’s so delicious and never fails to impress. Once you try it, you’ll never try anything else.

  4. 5 stars
    I absolutely LOVE this frosting. I’ve made this several times, and it is my favorite. Sam’s recipes are amazing, and I look forward to trying more of her recipes. If you haven’t tried making this one, NOW is the time!

  5. Did you use the filling recipe with the cake and your mascarpone chocolate buttercream recipe when you made the cake? Or just the cake and frosting?

  6. How many ounces of chocolate did you use? And what percentage dark chocolate? 60/70/80?
    Thank you. I’m looking forward to trying this.

  7. Hello, you mentioned you didn’t used black cocoa for cake better, is that correct? Because the cake looks so dark. Also, for the frosting, how much black cocoa and dutch cocoa ratio did you use? Excited to make this! =) Thanks

  8. Mine remained grainy looking 🙁 but the mouth feel and flavor was perfecto. do you think I maybe didn’t beat it long enough?

    • Annie! I wanted to tell you I made this a few weeks back and the same thing happened. The way to fix it turned out to make the recipe all that much more delicious: adding melted chocolate. I’m now making it part of the recipe itself =)

  9. 5 stars
    This frosting is AMAZING and easy. It will be my new go to buttercream when I don’t want to make the elaborate version I use that requires melted chocolate. A few days ago I made the frosting again and put it on German chocolate cake. Shared the cake with a neighbor and she said “you should open a bakery and sell only that cake”!

  10. 5 stars

    This was DELICIOUS! I made a half recipe for a 9" square cake. I couldn’t find organic powdered sugar and it was fine. For 1/3 of the cocoa, I used black cocoa, but it actually didn’t make it very dark. Thank you!

    • So sorry I missed this Bronwyn, but yes it will harden due to the butter (probably not as much as a buttercream made with all butter though!)

    • Hi Sally! In the notes section I advise subbing 1/4 cup with black. This is enough to make it dark and keep it chocolatey.

      • Hello! I’m so intrigued by this delicious sounding buttercream. Have you tried to pipe it? I have an event coming up, and I’m making cupcakes. Thank you for your time and for sharing your delicious sounding recipe!
        Sherri =)

      • Hi, sorry to ask again but you mentioned substitute with 1/3 cup of black cocoa above, is it 1/3 or 1/4? Thanks for the great recipe once again! I have been trying out a few of your recipes recently and they’re so awesome 🙂

        • Shuang,I raised the cocoa (and sugar) just a bit because a few people said it was too soft. If you like, you can start with 1/4 black and 1/3 dutch and add more as you are mixing. In my buttercream 101 the check, taste, adjust, method is what I advise for all buttercreams.

      • thank you! Totally embarrassed I missed it! I’m always intrigued by the effects of different types of cocoa – natural vs. dutch vs. black. Thanks!