Cocoa Mascarpone Bars

Author Notes: Inspired by a recipe from Vermont Creamery, these fantastic bars combine a fudgy brownie-like top with moist blondie-like base flavored with almond extract. Best of all, you just make one batter, then reserve 1/4 to swirl with a cocoa powder paste to make the chocolate topping.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one 8" square pan


  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) melted butter
  • 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (7/8 ounce) almond meal (optional, for a more moist bar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 8" square pan and line with parchment. Grease the parchment lightly.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder, hot water, and oil in a small bowl to form a paste. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Add the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and mascarpone and whisk until well-combined.
  4. Add the flour, almond meal (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine but don't overmix.
  5. Pour 3/4 of the batter into your prepared pan. Add the cocoa powder paste to the remaining 1/4 of the batter and mix.
  6. Spoon the chocolate batter over the pan and, using an offset spatula, spread the batter in an even layer. (You can swirl it into the base with a knife if you want to be fancy. I respect that.)
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake!

More Great Recipes: