Ricotta-Mascarpone Mousse with Balsamic Strawberries

A beautiful blend of fresh strawberries, aged balsamic vinegar, and a hint of sugar, topped with a ricotta-mascarpone mousse.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste


1 Whip cream to soft peaks: In a medium bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form.

2 Beat ricotta mascarpone mixture: In a large bowl combine the ricotta, mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and lemon zest. Using an electric beater, whip the ricotta-mascarpone mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth.

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3 Fold whipped cream into ricotta mixture, chill: Gradually fold the whipped cream into the ricotta until the mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

4 Mix strawberries with sugar and balsamic: Put strawberries in another bowl. Half an hour before serving gently mix in the remaining sugar and balsamic vinegar. Make sure you don't let the strawberries sit in the balsamic vinegar much longer than 30 minutes before serving or the acidity of the vinegar will cook the strawberries.

5 Assemble: When you are ready to serve, fill glass bowls halfway with the strawberries and their juices. Spoon on the ricotta-mascarpone mousse or use a pastry bag to pipe the mousse.

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  • Carolyn

    Delicious! Then I discovered dark chocolate balsamic—which makes it divine. Try it.


  • Liz


    I served this as a dip. I put fresh berries and other treats out for guests to choose and small little cups to scoop the cream. Similar to a sundae bar.


  • Sandi

    How would I save a favorite recipe you post to a recipe box for future, instead of printing it? Is there a place on your website? Love your recipes!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sandi, we do not have a save function on the site. I recommend using a service like Yummly or Pinterest to save recipes that you like. An added benefit to using one of these services is that you can save favorite recipes from as many websites as you like!

  • kris

    This was awesome, even the three-year-old loved it! Thank you for your wonderful recipes.


  • Josette

    I just made this for my sister who just had a baby this week. SHE LOVED IT!! A nice change from the desserts I usually make. definte keeper.


  • arcey

    Just came back from a dinner that I brought this dessert to. It was a big hit! Thanks so much – this one will definitely go into my summer dessert repertoire.


  • savory_fan

    Oh, Dear Elise! It was delightful. Sweet cheese mouse and a little sour strawberries…I am thinking about to add next time a little aspic to the mouse and freeze it. Than you very much for this wonderful recipe.


  • naomi

    How do you think this would be served in chocolate cups?

    That’s an interesting idea. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Sara

    I’m interested in trying this, but I’d like to make it a day in advance of the dinner I’d like to have it for. I’ve seen other recipes for balsamic strawberries, they say you should leave the strawberries in the liquid for a few hours or even overnight. This recipe says not to leave them in the liquid for more than 30 minutes – maybe I should bring the ingredients in a separate container and mix it up while we eat dinner?

    If you leave the strawberries in the vinegar overnight, they will turn to mush. I would bring the ingredients in a separate container and mix while you eat dinner. ~Elise

  • Kimberly

    I made this for the mother’s day brunch I did for my mom this year. We enjoyed this refreshing dessert SO much! Then I had the leftovers for breakfast the next two days: soooo good! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Karen

    wow-love balsamic syrup over strawberries a la Mediteranean cooking. Try 1/4 c pure maple syrup, boil down to glaze pork tenderloin. First tried this with Nestea sweetened iced tea-fabulous glaze!

  • Andi

    I love mascarpone and I love strawberries with balsamic vinegar – this looks like it would be wonderful with some crushed amaretti cookies on top.

  • Lisa

    This is amazing! The strawberries are sweet and tangy, and the mousse has the rich flavor of cheesecake and lightness of whipped cream.

    I used Splenda instead of sugar, which was just fine.

    Next time I would double the strawberries for this amount of mousse. As the recipe is, we ate all the strawberries and have two cups of leftover mousse! I guess there are worse problems to have…

  • Zoe

    Balsamic vinegar is one of my absolute favorite foods/flavors, and I love strawberries, so when I heard about combining them about a year ago I was thrilled. I love the combination. I also like balsamic vinegar on vanilla ice cream — just a little, of course, and it has to be really good quality vinegar. I have a ten year old brand I like to buy, but I can’t remember the name right now.

  • Gira

    I have some pomegranate balsamic at home, been waiting for a good recipe to try it out with and this looks perfect.

    For a quick and easy dessert, I’m in the habit of mixing a couple TBSP mascarpone with 1/2 cu or so ricotta. A couple tsp of sugar or sugar alternative, flavoring of your choice (I prefer almond flavoring or rosewater with this dessert, vanilla seems to overpower it) and voila. If made with sugar alternative, this is a no-carb dessert.

    A good substitute for ice cream or pudding when you’re in the mood for a creamy dessert.

  • Patti

    I serve vanilla panna cotta with balsamic strawbetrries over it. It never fails to win raves from my guests. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon very finely ground pepper to the strawberry balsamic mixture. Yummy!

  • Alice

    Add some freshly shredded basil leaves to the strawberries and you’ll drool even more!

  • jackie

    I would love to know some specific balsamic vinegar recommendations. I’ve heard Trader Joe’s carries some good ones – which ones??
    I want to try this recipe!!

  • Jane

    I make something similar for a no fuss slightly fancy looking dessert. I put 1/4 C. of Balsamic and 1/4 C. of honey in a pan on medium heat and reduce to a nice syrup. I lightly sugar the strawberries and let them macerate for an hour or so in the fridge. I serve them in a compote with a generous drizzle of the syrup and some fresh whipped cream or a mascarpone/whipped cream. I will have to try your mousse though – it sounds divine.

  • Mercedes

    I adore mascarpone mousse, and the addition of ricotta is just perfect. I once had a balsamic ice cream paired with strawberries, it was divine.

  • cab

    I had forgotten about basalmic vinegar on strawberries. I used to serve strawberries that way all the time. Then I moved to topping strawberries with a dollop of Trader Joe’s 0%fat, greek yoghurt and a teensy sprinkling of brown sugar. Marscapone here I come!

  • Felicia

    A friend of mine picked up a bottle of 18 year old balsamic vinegar at a wine shop and I made a similar dessert with it – the strawberries marinated in the vinegar for a few hours and then we topped it with a marscapone based topping – similar to the consistency of zabaglione. The combination of the sweet acidity of the vinegar and the creaminess of the marscapone is simply divine. Yum! I will have to give this mousse a try as the topping next time.