This no bake mascarpone cheesecake is THE EASIEST CHEESECAKE YOU’LL EVER MAKE! Actually, it might be one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make, period. And let me tell you, the results are incredible. With a press-in biscotti crust and a creamy, almond-scented filling, it’s one of my very favorite desserts ever. VIDEO below!!

No-bake mascarpone cheesecake with a slice removed.

No-bake mascarpone cheesecake

This no-bake mascarpone cheesecake was inspired by a cake that we ate last year in Italy. It was made with just heavy cream, sugar and water (from what we could gather, as the chef spoke no English), with a crushed biscotti crust and a thin layer of jam. We nicknamed it cloud-pie due to its fluffy texture. It was one of my favorite food memories from the trip, and I knew I had to recreate it at home!

Close-up of a slice of mascarpone cheesecake on a plate.

No-bake cheesecake

This version is a bit richer than the version we had in Italy, incorporating mascarpone for a cheese-cake like flavor and ice cream-like texture (the cake slowly softens as you eat it, turning ultra creamy). Almond extract gives the cake an incredible flavor, which is highlighted by a layer of cherry jam on top and a super simple almond biscotti crust on bottom (I use these store-bought gluten-free biscotti, but you could use any crunchy almond biscotti). Instead of being baked, this cheesecake is simply frozen, making it completely fuss-free!

No cream cheese mascarpone cheesecake

Instead of using cream cheese, this no-bake cheesecake incorporates whipped heavy cream and mascarpone cheese for a silky, creamy texture. There are no eggs or other binders in the cake!! 

Mascarpone and whipped cream filling in a biscotti crust with an off-set spatula alongside.

What is the difference between mascarpone and cream cheese?

Mascarpone is often referred to as “Italian cream cheese.” It originated in Northern Italy and has a more luscious and creamy texture compared to American cream cheese due to its higher fat content. For this no-bake cheesecake, it’s important to use mascarpone (which you can find in almost all grocery stores), not cream cheese.  

How do you make a biscotti crust?

  • In a food processor, process store-bought almond biscotti to fine crumbs. 
  • Add melted butter and process to the texture of damp sand.
  • Press the crumbs over the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and freeze while you make the filling.
Process shot divided into four quadrants, showing the steps for making the biscotti crust.

How do you make the cheesecake filling?

  • Beat softened mascarpone cheese with sugar until combined. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream with sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract to soft peaks. 
  • Beat one-third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone (this will help lighten the mixture), then fold in the rest of the whipped cream using a rubber spatula.
Process shot divided into four quadrants showing the steps for making the mascarpone filling.

From there, spread the filling into the cold crust and freeze the cake for 1 hour to set up. Once the cake is firm, spread warm jam over top, then freeze the cake again for at least 3 hours, or overnight.  

Hand using an off-set spatula to spread cherry jam over the cheesecake.
Mascarpone cheesecake on a plate with a pie server alongside.

Make-ahead cheesecake

This frozen cheesecake is the perfect make-ahead dessert. It’s a wonderful finale to any dinner, and it’s perfect for the holidays (think Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc.!).

Close-up of a slice of mascarpone cheesecake on a plate with a bite taken out.

Tips for making this recipe:

  • You’ll need a 9-inch springform pan for this cake. 
  • For the crust you can use any store-bought crunchy almond biscotti. I use these gluten-free almond biscotti.
  • Be sure to use mascarpone cheese in this cake, not cream cheese, which won’t give you the same texture. Take the mascarpone out of the fridge at least an hour in advance to come to room temperature. If you forget, you can microwave the mascarpone in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until softened. 
  • If you can’t find cherry jam or preserves, you can use seedless raspberry jam instead. The jam should be warmed just until it’s liquidy (so it spreads easily), but not piping hot (let it cool if needed).
  • This cake needs no decoration, but I love to garnish it with these natural maraschino cherries. You could also use fresh cherries or toasted sliced almonds!
  • If you freeze the cake overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften slightly before slicing. 
Close up of a slice of cheesecake with a bite taken out.

Other easy make-ahead desserts:

Other recipes you might like:

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Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

No Bake Mascarpone Cheesecake

This no bake mascarpone cheesecake is the easiest cheesecake you’ll ever make! With a press-in biscotti crust and an almond-scented filling, it’s the perfect dessert for any occasion or holiday. The frozen filling has an ice cream-like texture that slowly softens as you eat it, turning ultra creamy. Take note that this cake needs to freeze for an hour before adding the cherry jam topping, then for another 3 hours to set. However, you can make it completely the day (or several days!) before. Take the mascarpone out of the refrigerator an hour or two before making the cake to come to room temperature, or follow the instructions in the notes below for softening it quickly.
Prep Time20 mins
Freezing time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy cheesecake recipe, easy no bake cheesecake recipe, mascarpone cheesecake, no bake mascarpone cheesecake
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

Crust

  • 6 ounces almond biscotti (regular or gluten-free), or 1 1/2 cups biscotti crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (78 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch salt

Topping

  • 1 cup cherry jam
  • Fresh cherries or maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Make and freeze the crust

  • Place the biscotti in a food processor or Vitamix and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is the texture of damp sand. Scrape the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan and press them into a compact, even layer over the bottom. Freeze the crust while you make the filling.

Make the cheesecake filling and freeze

  • In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone and 1/4 cup of the sugar using hand beaters until fully incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and a pinch of salt. Using the same hand beaters (no need to wash them!), beat the mixture to soft peaks (the cream should look billowy and creamy but should hold a soft point – see the video above).
  • Scrape about one-third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture and beat just until just combined (you don’t want to overwork the mixture). Add another third of the mascarpone and use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream into the lightened mascarpone. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold just until evenly combined (don’t overwork the mixture, otherwise it could turn grainy).
  • Scrape the filling over the cold crust and spread it in an even layer. Cover the pan and freeze for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  • Warm the jam on the stovetop or in the microwave until runny. Let cool slightly. Pour the jam over the top of the cake and spread it in a thin layer. If the cake had only been frozen for 1 hour, freeze it again for at least 3 hours. If the cake was frozen overnight, freeze it again until the jam sets, about 30 minutes.
  • To serve, remove the cake from the springform ring (if needed, run a thin knife or offset spatula around the edges to loosen). Run a large off-set spatula (or thin knife) under the crust to loosen it from the base, and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand (or you can serve it right on the springform base!). If the cake was in the freezer overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften slightly. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Notes

Do Ahead: The cake can be covered tightly and frozen for up to 1 week.
Tips:
  • You’ll need a 9-inch springform pan for this cake. 
  • For the crust you can use any store-bought crunchy almond biscotti. I use these gluten-free almond biscotti.
  • Be sure to use mascarpone cheese in this cake, not cream cheese, which won’t give you the same texture. Take the mascarpone out of the fridge at least an hour in advance to come to room temperature. If you forget, you can microwave the mascarpone in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until softened. 
  • If you can’t find cherry jam or preserves, you can use seedless raspberry jam instead. The jam should be warmed just until it’s liquidy (so it spreads easily), but not piping hot (let it cool if needed).
  • This cake needs no decoration, but I love to garnish it with these natural maraschino cherries. You could also use fresh cherries or toasted sliced almonds!
  • If you freeze the cake overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften slightly before slicing. 

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