Easy Dessert: Mixed Berry Shortcake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

by Maris Callahan on June 9, 2011

It’s a sad reality that when I have parties, dessert is often forgotten. No matter how much time I spend preparing a tart, cake or crumble it is inevitably overshadowed by the savory dishes, the cocktail table or my never-empty wine rack (really, if I had a dollar for every time someone said “how come you don’t drink all of this?” I would be in the Bahamas right now and In Good Taste, as you know it, would cease to exist).

So, my new rule of thumb is that when I’m having parties, unless they are civilized, sit-down dinner parties (and let’s be honest, what fun is a civilized party?) desserts should be hand-held, bite sized or easy to assemble on your own. Like these dessert cups filled with fresh berries and mascarpone whipped cream.

First we are going to talk about this whipped cream. Holy hell, this whipped cream is break-your-diet, unbutton your jeans good. As if homemade whipped cream isn’t delicious enough, a healthy addition of mascarpone makes this thicker, creamier and adds that little something extra that will make you feel like you own the kitchen.

Though the dessert uses prepackaged dessert shells, the homemade whipped cream more than makes up for the lack of home-baked goodness. The shells are merely a vehicle, with fresh berries and soft, rich whipped cream as the star. The dessert shells are pretty low in calories so this is a nice dessert to spring for after a day in a bathing suit.

Mixed Berry Shortcake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

What You Need:

1 6-piece package dessert shells*
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup mascarpone whipped cream (recipe below)
Fresh mint for garnish (optional)

*Look for dessert shells in the bakery section of your grocery store. Here is an example from Specialty Bakers).

How-To:

Prepare whipped cream recipe as directed below. Mix berries in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine them. Arrange dessert shells on a plate or platter and top each with approximately 1/4 cup of mixed berries. Top berries with 2 tablespoons of fresh whipped cream and garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

What You Need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

How-To:

Place a metal mixing bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer) and a metal whisk (or whisk attachment) into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bowl and whisk once its chilled and attach the whisk to your mixer.

Just before you’re ready to use it, take the whipping cream and mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator – it should still be very cold when you pour it into the bowl. Add the cream, then the sugar into the mixing bowl and whisk until the cream reaches stiff peaks. [What are stiff peaks? The cream should be stiff, like hair gel, and it shouldn't drip from the whisk when held upright].

Store any unused cream in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate June 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm

This sounds so divine and I love how simple the mascarpone cream recipe is! Definitely am going to tuck this one away for the next dinner party. Thanks!

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Mary June 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I love desserts like this, delicious and easy – mascarpone cream is a winner!
Very much enjoyed visiting your blog, I’ll be back
Mary

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The Waspy Redhead June 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I adore Mascarpone in desserts – its rich and creamy without being too sweet.

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Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray June 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Yum! These look delish. I love the addition of mascarpone.

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Erica June 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Who needs the cake? I’ll take just the berries and that AMAZING whipped cream please :) I bet this is creamy deliciousness!

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Nelly Rodriguez June 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Definitely a simple dessert that you’ve made even better by the addition of mascarpone. I try to not unbutton my jeans at parties, but desperate times call for desperate measures? ;) Lovely dessert!

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Daryl June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I love the fact that you can have such a lovely and delicious dessert without baking!

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leslie June 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Ohhh lord have mercy..that whipped cream sounds out of this World!!!!

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courtney @ cupcakedynamite June 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm

these look gorgeous! and remind me of fourth of july as a kid. :)

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Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique June 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm

This looks delicious! :)

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Three-Cookies June 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Really nice and easy, almost like a ‘make your own cheesecake’. Civilised parties can be boring:)

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Vanessa June 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm

oh my gosh!!! Mascarpone whipped cream **swoons**. The berries at the market are so sweet right now. This dessert is just perfect for summer.

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Sommer@ASpicyPerspective June 9, 2011 at 9:53 pm

That whipped cream is TO DIE FOR. :)

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Caroline June 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I’ll definitely be bookmarking this recipe, looks divine. and I love mascarpone cheese, especially when used in desserts. Me and my huge sweet tooth never forget dessert at dinner parties. :) I must make this soon.

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Jamie | My Baking Addiction June 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Such a beautiful and light dessert for summer. I LOVE mascarpone too!

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Christy June 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Hahaha, how could people miss your lovely desserts like these??? I do agree, and I never did quite get it too, how people would tuck into all the savory dishes and then decide they don’t have the room for desserts anymore and I do know that desserts are also usually the ones which take the longest time to prepare!:p
I love mixed berries, and give me anything with berries and I am hooked:)

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Courtney June 10, 2011 at 1:03 am

Looks delicious!! Easy is always nice!! :)

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Linda June 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

Marscapone whipped cream! sounds heavenly!

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Melissa June 10, 2011 at 2:49 am

a) I would never shun dessert. Feel free to make something complicated and delicious and regardless of the amount of wine I consume (which will probably be a healthy amount), I will wildly praise it.
b) Mascarpone is always a positive. Except if you’re lactose intolerant. Then, I guess it’s just sad.
c) If I’m rarely seen in a bathing suit, does that mean I can spring for two dessert shells and some extra of this yummy whipped cream?? (Hint: The answer is YES.)

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Nami @ Just One Cookbook June 10, 2011 at 2:59 am

I appreciate anything easy for dessert department. I really need to work on this field… It’s much easier to make dinner but when it comes to dessert, I feel I don’t know how I can construct something so yummy. This is very nice, Maris!

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mandy June 10, 2011 at 4:23 am

This sounds amazing. Like oh my god, I need to invite some friends over and have this tomorrow night amazing.

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

That marscarpone whipped cream looks and sounds amazing!!

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yummychunklet June 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

Great idea! I love handheld, easy to make desserts. They’re fun and whimsical, exactly what desserts should be!

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Kristen June 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Unbutton your jeans good – now that is some pretty tasty stuff!

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jessica June 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

it might be easy but it looks gourmet and simply delicious. This is my kind of dessert. I am with you-= when I throw parties I want something easy and something I know the quests will love. You can’t go wrong with that line of thinking. This looks incredible and as always you give the best recipes and advice

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Running With Mascara June 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Ahh! I love mini-desserts! My favorite restaurant has mini $1 desserts and I always take up that offer! Your mini shortcakes looks amazing!

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The Harried Cook June 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm

They are picture perfect, Maris… And that mascarpone whipped cream – wow! I could eat that with a spoon! Thanks for sharing :)

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jenna laughs June 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I love the idea of this whipped cream – looks so thick and creamy! Yum!

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Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 June 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

I love how pretty these are. I’ve never put mascarpone cheese in whipped cream before, but it sounds wonderful. This is the perfect summer dessert.

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing June 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

hoooly these look good! anything marscapone is a stand-out to me. and fresh berry desserts are just perfect this time of year :) .

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Claire June 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

WOW. WOW. Your photos are so gorgeous and I want to lick the screen right now.

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather June 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Mmm that whipped mascarpone sound divine! That quick treat.

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Greg June 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm

So perfect for entertaining. I like that it allows people to pace themselves. Although, they better hurry because if I get there first, there won’t be any left. I love the marscapone cream too.

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Courtney June 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Why is it that the desserts always get me?? I have a serious sweet tooth, apparently. These look terrific – and I love that they’re low in calories – because then I can just have more. ;)

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NancyC June 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Those shortcakes look so yummy! It’s great that they’re so easy to put together, too! :)

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rebecca June 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

wonderful and simple dessert love it enjoy the weekend Maris

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Sawsan@chef in disguise June 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm

That cream is woth every calorie..yummy indeed..
love the dessert..quick easy and not short on flavor

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Susan June 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

I can’t imagine anyone passing up your desserts! I think there’s always room for berries at the end of a meal and the mascarpone whipped cream sounds amazing. I will have to try that next time I made shortcakes!

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bhavani/ameanderingmango June 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm

What a good idea – small, handheld desserts seem to make entertaining that much easier. These little shortcakes look simply divine – and I love mascarpone. Thanks. ps – new to your great blog!

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Megan'sCookin' June 18, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love Mascarpone cheese whipped with cream. We use it on our scones as a fake Devenshire Cream. LOVE IT!!!

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Mel May 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I made this dessert for my boyfriend and I; it was delicious!!! I used strawberries, blueberries, and cherries for the mixed berries, yum! Love the whipped cream recipe. I had to wisk by hand, but it is so worth it.

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