DIY Food

How to Make Homemade Mascarpone Cheese in Just 10 Minutes

It's so much easier than you think.

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home. Today: Shelly from Vegetarian 'Ventures shows us how to make creamy, delicious homemade mascarpone cheese in 10 minutes, using just 2 ingredients. Check out her step-by-step recipe, photos, and tips below.

I didn't discover mascarpone cheese—a type of Italian cream cheese—until a few years ago, but since then, I've become addicted. It is fantastic added to oatmeal, turned into ice cream, and stuffed in ravioli, but my favorite way to enjoy it is whipped with honey and vanilla seeds and used as a dip with fresh fruit. This is my go-to dessert in the summer, as it is light and refreshing, yet wonderfully satisfying to my sweet tooth.

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I learned how easy it is to make mascarpone while visiting my mother in a small town in Northern Indiana, where I couldn't get my hands on it in any grocery store. As a last attempt, I did some research and was pleasantly surprised to learn that such a rich, creamy, and oftentimes expensive cheese is one of the easiest to master.

I'm now able to feed my cheese addiction without breaking the bank or using every utensil in the house. Homemade mascarpone requires only 10 minutes of active time and a rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, it will be ready to be devoured over pancakes or mixed in with granola.

Learn how to make creamy mascarpone cheese in the video below, or check out the super simple recipe (with photos so you can follow along!) underneath. 

Watch: How to Make Mascarpone Cheese

The Easiest-Ever Recipe for Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Time: 10 minutes

Makes: About 2 cups


- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Step 1: In a saucepan over low heat, slowly bring the heavy cream to a low simmer. The temperature should climax at 180°F, and the goal is to try to keep it around there. Let the cream simmer at 180°F for about 3 minutes, then add in the lemon juice and simmer for another 3 minutes.

Step 2: Remove the pan from heat, and let the mixture cool to room temperature. I find it's best to step away for about 30 minutes. Perhaps you should take this time to dream about how you'll enjoy the finished product.

Step 3: Fill a small strainer with several layers of cheesecloth (I use 3 layers) and put a small bowl under the strainer. Pour the cooled mascarpone mixture into the cheesecloth and stick the entire bowl with the cheese and cheesecloth in the fridge overnight to strain out the whey.

My cheese usually releases only a few tablespoons of whey, but the mascarpone still comes out thick and creamy in the morning. Who could have imagined that a delicacy like this could be so easy to make!

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here!


What's your favorite way to use mascarpone? Share you go-to recipes in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Debra Colavecchio
    Debra Colavecchio
  • Amy Dimond
    Amy Dimond
  • Parvin
  • Dave S
    Dave S
  • Buon Giorgio
    Buon Giorgio
Shelly spends her days slinging records at Secretly Canadian Distribution and her evenings cooking up flavorful recipes over at Vegetarian ‘Ventures. She is also crazy about wolf t-shirts, hibiscus iced tea, road trips, and Stevie Nicks.


Debra C. June 26, 2020
This looks so easy. So my first attempt failed. Was it because I got to a boiling point by not watching the pot?!
Ruthywa September 9, 2020
If you failed it's probably because you need to wait for it to cool a food bit before you put it in the cheesecloth/ strainer. It needs to be thick enough to not fall through. If you did fail, don't throw it away. Use the resulting thick cream to make a ganache. It'll taste like a chocolate sour cream mix.
Amy D. June 19, 2020
I've made this recipe many times and love it. I do use heavy whipping cream, which may account for a slightly mellower, rich flavor.
Parvin January 13, 2020
Lemon juice varies in acidity lemon to lemon, so the results can suffer. I always use Cream of Tartar (tartaric acid). For two cups of cream you only need 1/8th teaspoon. I has never failed to set. Just make sure you hold the temperature at 180°F for the 3 minutes before and after adding the coagulant. Delicious... And SO much less expensive than those tiny store-bought tubs filled with preservatives.
Dave S. December 20, 2019
This didn't work at all.
Buon G. November 22, 2019
I really appreciate the effort, BUT:
- the original recipe DOES NOT use lemon
- you are missing sugar and eggs, which are quite important
- last but not least, you learnt how to do mascarpone in Indiana. Really?

Sorry, I just feel like your lemon whipped cream would be delicious (I am super serious), but it is not really mascarpone.
reliablefrog November 25, 2019
Mascarpone can be made with citric acid (like that in lemon juice), acetic acid (like that in vinegar), or tartaric acid (aka the wine byproduct). It never has sugar or eggs. Maybe you're thinking of a mascarpone filling of some kind?
smr November 28, 2019
Since when does mascarpone have eggs and sugar in it?
Ellie3 January 19, 2020
You don’t know what you’re talking about Buon G., marscapone doesn’t even have eggs and sugar for one thing, and that’s a pretty mean-spirited remark about learning in Indiana.
Charlene Z. September 26, 2019
does any one know how to make danish feta cheese ?
Charlene Z. September 26, 2019
Does any one know how to make danish feta cheese i cant find any recipes on the web?
mmurray July 23, 2019
this sounds like a homemade ricotta-type it really smooth like mascarpone or do you get curds like ricotta. I'm really confused by the ingredients used and method which sounds like every recipe you read for ricotta which has definite curds. Thoughts anyone?
Olen1009 August 2, 2019
First of all, every recipe for making ricotta cheese from milk is deceptive: What you are making is a form of "Farmers Cheese" (...cottage cheese is the same, but some whey remains, which keeps the curds separate). The point is that these recipes you are referring to result in a product which has large firm curds, and contains all of the proteins in the original milk.
But, it is not true ricotta, which is made with whey that is remains after making a fresh cheese like mozzarella. True ricotta curds consist mostly of albumin protein, which remains uncoagulated in the liquid whey during the initial product of the mozzarella (which consists of the the other predominant milk protein, casein.) If that's confusing...because you don't see individual curd in is because the fresh mozzella is heated and stretched repeatedly, which loses the "curdy" structure.
Unlike casein curd, albumin curds (that drop out of the whey simply by cooking it) are almost-powder fine, compared to the cottage-cheese like curds of"ricotta" made from whole milk. Remember, too, that the casein curds start out as almost a Jello-like mass, that must be cut into cubes in order to extract all of the whey...whereas, again, the ricotta albumin curds don't clump together in a mass like that.

The reason why mascarpone doesn't resemble Farmers Cheese is because it starts out as heavy cream, not milk. You're beginning with something having butterfat content of 38% that, after curdling it and draining off close to half its volume in liquid, ends up with double the original, already high, butter content.
Think of it: Butter is defined as having a minimum butterfat content of 80% and mascarpone can have as much as 75% butterfat. That is a whole hell of a lot different than cottage or ricotta cheese!
In fact, this product is closer to "creme freche" or sour cream, than to what we generally think of as "cheese". On the other hand, it is actually closer to butter itself: Thus, this fellow's comment about the "lightness" of this product is deceptive. It's not light, except compared to actual butter. Let's call it "light butter", which is actually what mascarpone is! Sure, it's delicious, but you wouldn't sit down to a bowl of butter, while the mascarpone has nearly the same fat content. So: just be forewarned: If you enjoy a bowl of mascarpone on a daily basis, don't be surprised when you find that you must widen your doorways!
I hope these comments are enlightening. Cheese-making is fascinating, and you might want to read more from people who actually know about the processes. Unfortunately, one of the biggest shortcomings of our wonderful Internet is that it is filled with "experts", who actually don't know what they are talking about! Thus, everything needs to be taken with a grain (or pound) of salt!
Johnny M. November 13, 2020
I was wondering when someone would be honest about what marscapone truly is.
It is as you said and best described as "butter lite" since it mostly consists of butter fat, and has a sweet cream flavor. It is basically butter with a bit more retained milk whey than butter.
I can only assume it's called a cheese, perhaps because anything that is produced from the curdled solids in milk and cream are broadly classified as a "cheese", though what most people think of as cheese is made from milk whereas marscapone is made from cream alone.
Since few people regularly make cheese these days, it doesn't makes as much sense as it did in the past to call it cheese just because of the way it is made.
Today, the things most people consider cheese are the end product of several more steps beyond that (flavorings, ripening Etc.) and none have the super-high milk fat content of marscapone.
Personally, I like to use it in place of butter to cook. The much higher whey content results in the food having a much richer butter flavor.
Susan's R. December 9, 2017
This is probably pretty weird, but I am rather fearless in the kitchen when it comes to substitutions. I had whole milk and a can of spray whip cream. Used all that was left in can, about 3/4 cups and topped off with the milk. There was some stickage during heating and needed stirring, but the results are really nice. Semi-sweet spreadable cheese that is going into a pumpkin hazelnut recipe.
bobbe September 16, 2018
Great tip. I work with the "first pour" which gives me mostly cream but some milk beneath the cream (milk from local organic dairy, raw) . . . so I was wondering if I could experiment with my pint jar of mostly cream (thick and wonderful).
Connie T. May 19, 2017
Can I use vegetable rennet?
LInnea L. May 18, 2017
I had frequent problems with the lemon juice method. I finally got some tartaric acid, and it works so much better. Call up local wine and beer-making stores. One packet will last me for many recipes. The flavor is better now too. Plus, more solids and less whey.
Sophie L. May 18, 2017
Taste more like sour cream than mascarpone...but it's still ok
I just wouldn't call it mascarpone ;-)
Ivy W. May 18, 2017
wow its so simple and easy to make. Really an awesome idea. I will surely try. Thanks for sharing.
For any other recipe related tips please visit -
tamater S. May 18, 2017
I do. Are you asking on the HOTLINE? I've not been answered there, I think, but have been answered in 'comments' sections like here, by fellow 'FOODERS'... Good luck to you!
Evelynn P. December 18, 2016
I made this using ultra pasteurized heavy whipping cream (it's what my grocery store had and I didn't know there were different kinds of whipping cream.) It came out great, maybe a little thinner than store-bought mascarpone, but it still held its shape when I removed it from the cheesecloth. I mixed it with some vanilla and a little powdered sugar and served it with a poached pear. It was amazing. I will definitely be doing this next time I make tiramisu--much cheaper than buying the imported stuff.
Whitney April 25, 2016
Does anyone get their questions answered?
LInnea L. December 20, 2015
What do you do when the cream curdles after adding the lemon juice? This is happened twice so far. I ended up with loads of whey and very little finished cream. I want to make this work!
Soraiya G. September 25, 2015
How much of lime juice do u add ??
Kylie C. August 20, 2015
What a fabulous food blog! Can't wait to try the homemade mascarpone recipe above, along with the feta.
dee July 30, 2015
I made this recipe using using organic heavy whipping cream (pasteurized). Was thick, creamy and rich! I served small scoops with homemade raspberry sauce at an office luncheon - received rave reviews from my foodie colleagues.
Don L. July 29, 2015
Did anyone try this at home? Comments?