Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

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 we can have the delicacy that is mascarpone cheese in 10 minutes, using just 2 ingredients.

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I didn't discover mascarpone 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.

More: Why stop at mascarpone? Here's how to make feta at home.

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.

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Makes about 2 cups

2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice

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.

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

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.

Photos by Shelly of Vegetarian 'Ventures

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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.


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?
Leona E. July 12, 2015
I get fresh cream right off the top of fresh cows milk... Would it be just as easy to use my fresh cream?
Nancy W. July 12, 2015
Looks like the same recipe as ricotta, find it not to be as creamy as store bought marscarpone.
Serene July 1, 2015
Tried the recipe. However, the mascarpone didn't solidified enough for the cheesecoth to hold up. Put it into the fridge overnight. It did look solid this morning. Will it still work for making tiramisu?
Rhalee H. May 13, 2015
Nonsense. Concrete countertops, Danish cookware, and frayed cheesecloth cannot cover the fact that Mascarpone is not cream with lemon juice. That's like saying that you are minutes away from Pizza if you can put together a pizza bagel. Mascarpone is made with tartaric acid from wine production. Lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid do not belong in it. They will give it a terrible sandy texture and weird flavor; it will likely spoil within days too.
Daniel F. April 13, 2016
Just thought I would bring to your attention, I am looking at a container of Galbani mascarpone from Italy, they use citric acid in theirs, that could very well be lemon juice, instead of the tartaric acid you mentioned. I have seen tartaric acid listed on other Italian brands though.
John H. June 14, 2017
It doesn't cause a sandy texture nor does it cause it spoil faster. This lady is bat shit crazy
Zane D. April 25, 2015
How do you turn it in to ice cream?
Lindysez April 25, 2015
Nancy D. April 22, 2015
Three, count 'em THREE popups to dispatch before this was readable. Bloody irritating.
Ria B. April 24, 2015
I did not have that problem, at all. You should get a good pop-up blocker.
Joi T. April 25, 2015
Try malwarebytes, do Google search, you probably have malware or adware on your computer and you can do the trial for free and it should fix the pop ups
Anna G. April 19, 2015