Happy autumn (if you are in the southern hemisphere as we are) or spring (if you are in the northern hemisphere)! Whatever the season, these easy and versatile mascarpone scrolls are sure to come in handy. They make for a great snack, an easy on-the-go breakfast and, because they are nut free and low in refined sugar (read: only what is contained in your pastry and natural sugars in the fruit), they are also perfect for your kids’ school lunch boxes.
I made three different varieties of these mascarpone scrolls last weekend (cherry, banana and mango) but there are so many options – just add whatever soft fruit you have which needs to be used up!
Whatever your preference, these come together quick on a Sunday afternoon and make for a great little baking project to make with the kids.
More scrolls, please!
Did you know that simple homemade scrolls are very popular among the readers of this blog? More specifically, these easy pizza scrolls have been my number one recipe since they were published and I don’t blame you – they are fantastic little savoury treats, easy to make and great for snacks and kids’ lunch boxes. (And to blow my trumpet a little more, the kids and I just noticed that this recipe is ranked third if you search for “pizza scrolls” on Google, out of 2m+ results – I am a little chuffed right now, I admit!).
These mascarpone scrolls are a little rif off those popular pizza scrolls, only sweet. So if you’re feeling like sitting down with a cup of tea and indulging in some beautifully flaky pastry with lightly sweet, fruity and creamy filling, then you’re in for a treat.
They may not be as beautiful as the scrolls you’ll find in the shops but I find their homemade rustic shapes endearing. And just wait until you taste them – the caramelised banana is our favourite, permeating the light pastry with its gorgeous tropical flavours. Or the mango scrolls, with chunks of roasted mango, which just shines through beautifully. And the cherry scrolls are a classic, with the creamy filling punctuated by the little cherry pieces – it’s heaven. So, you see, looks are not everything.
Mascarpone scrolls – how easy are they to make?
Because I have used pre-made rolled out pastry sheets and, apart from the fresh fruit, standard pantry and fridge ingredients, these don’t require any extra shopping and come together really easily.
If you don’t have mascarpone (say, left over from these delicious individual mascarpone cheesecakes which we love and make often), you can use cream cheese as a substitute – the cherry scrolls are made with cream cheese, the banana scrolls are made with a combination of cream cheese and mascarpone and I used only mascarpone in the mango scrolls. They all came out beautifully (even though the cream cheese is a little thicker so helps make tighter scrolls; that said, the cherry scrolls had the lowest volume of fruit in them and that also helped) so whatever you have in your fridge, it should work. This is a great recipe for using up the last bits of cream cheese and mascarpone from your fridge, if they’ve been hanging around there for a little too long.
Versatile mascarpone scrolls
The basic scroll recipe is made up of the following ingredients:
- puff pastry
- mascarpone or cream cheese
- maple syrup
- speculaas spices
To this basic scroll recipe, you can add whatever fruity fillings you like. I have shown you cherries, bananas and mango and they all work wonderfully but whatever soft fruit you have which needs to be used up should work – try berries, nectarines, apricots, plums, ripe pear or even some grated up apples.
You can also combine a couple of different fruits, like banana and mango for some lovely tropical flavours, but don’t get too greedy – if you overfill the scrolls, they may spread too much and become a little too delicate to handle. So try and restrain yourself – I know it’s tempting – it will be so worth it, I promise you.
Easy mascarpone cheese scrolls three ways [cherry, banana and mango, no added refined sugar]
Basic mascarpone scroll ingredients (enough for one fruit filling) – if you want to make more, please multiply accordingly
- 1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted according to instructions
- 100 g mascarpone or cream cheese
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp speculaas spice mix (make your own – the recipe is here)
Fruit fillings (choose one)
- For cherry scrolls: 4 to 5 fresh cherries, chopped into smallish pieces
- For banana scrolls: 3/4 banana, sliced
- For mango scrolls: 1/2 to 3/4 mango, diced into small to medium pieces
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Line a pizza baking tray with baking paper. (I find the round shape suits these rolls better than a rectangular baking sheet – but if a rectangular baking sheet is all you have, by all means use it – it will be fine, just space the cut rolls as apart as you can).
- Place the defrosted puff pastry sheet flat on a clean kitchen bench.
- In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone or cream cheese, maple syrup and speculaas spices until well combined.
- Spread the mascarpone or cream cheese mix all over the defrosted puff pastry sheet, making sure you go all the way to the edges.
- Spread the chopped fruit filling you're using fairly evenly over the mascarpone/cream cheese layer. It doesn't have to be super even because once you roll it, you won't be able to tell if you spent 20 minutes on arranging the filling or 5 (promise).
- Gently roll up the pastry, making sure that, at the same time, you roll it up as tightly as possible but don't squeeze the filling too much (an impossible task, I know, but give it a go). The more fruit filling you put in, the less tight the rolls are going to be but that's ok as long as they're not falling apart.
- Once rolled, roll until the joint is down the bottom before you start cutting.
- Cut the rolls into 8 even pieces – I usually start by cutting the roll in the middle, then cut each half into two parts, and then each of those pieces in half again.
- Arrange the cut rolls on the pizza baking tray, spacing them out as much as possible. To get a nice golden glow all over the roll, I find it best if they don't touch each other. This might possibly mean that your rolls will spread a little more but the pastry will be beautifully crispy.
- Pop the cut rolls into the oven for about 35 minutes or until golden.
- Take the tray out of the oven and let the scrolls cool before tucking in.
Recipe notes – mascarpone scrolls
Each amount of the recipe above (including one fruit filling) will make 8 scrolls. If you want to make more flavours, either divide the fruit filling amounts up to include into one batch, or multiply for more batches.
These scrolls are best eaten on the day they were baked but will keep in a glass container on your kitchen bench for a couple of days. They are delicious for breakfast, even for kids (just sayin’ – a perfect school day morning treat, serve it along with some fresh fruit and a yoghurt and you really have something).
Try other fruits if you don’t have cherries, banana or mango – perhaps berries, nectarines, apricots, plums, ripe pear or even some grated up apples.