5 Ingredients or Fewer

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

August 27, 2021
8 Ratings
  • Prep time 8 hours
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

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.

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 with the super simple recipe below (with photos so you can follow along!). —Vegetarian 'Ventures

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. In a saucepan, 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).
  2. Let simmer at 180° F for about 3 minutes then add in the lemon juice.
  3. Simmer for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Fill a small strainer with several layers of cheesecloth (I use three) and put a small bowl under the strainer.
  5. Pour the cooled mascarpone mixture into the cheesecloth and stick the entire bowl in the fridge overnight (mine only strained a few tablespoons of whey, but the mascarpone came out thick and creamy in the morning).

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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.

42 Reviews

Jill March 7, 2022
This sounds identical to homemade ricotta, what is the difference?
ALBriny August 21, 2020
Can you make this in the instant pot? Sounds similar to Ivy Manning’s home made ricotta. If I boil the cream and then add the lemon juice can I cook for three minutes in the instant pot? What setting would I use for the three minutes after I add the lemon juice?
Rebecca L. March 22, 2020
I just made this and it worked out perfectly. It’s incredible. I used some on a bagel while rationing food during the coronavirus.
Donna C. April 24, 2019
Can this be used in a recipe that calls for mascarpone to be added to other ingredients?
I make a Tiramisu layer cake that calls for mascarpone and this homemade version would definitely cut back on the cost.
Lindsay April 24, 2019
Absolutely! I've used it for Tiramisu so many times. It's amazing how much more economical it is to make your own mascapone.
Lisa August 8, 2018
I made this and left it to room temp for 30 minutes. It did not thicken and poured right thru the strainer, no problem. I don't understand. Is it suppose to be so thick it takes all night to strain? Are you just letting the extra liquid drip off? I had to use ultra pasteurized. The next morning it was the consistency of cream cheese and had thickened up. But it is doubtful I removed any whey. Can I eat it? It does not smell like fresh cream. It smells funny. Everything was fresh. I have never made anything like this before. Any helpful comments are appreciated.
Daniel F. September 27, 2018
You can't use ultra-pasteurized cream. it has been heated to a temperature and held there long enough to kill all the bacteria in the cream. While this stops us from making cheese with the cream it allows for a longer shelf life. thus increasing the sellers holding time before the item sells. Less losses to sellers. As always follow the money.
Cabe S. February 12, 2020
I can only find ultra-pasteurized locally. I live in a small farming community, but due to over regulation, there are only a few boutique dairy farms in our state.
Rebecca L. March 22, 2020
Are used at least six layers of cheese cloth.
Donna C. November 25, 2017
I am a little confused here. So you put the cooled mixture in the cheese cloth, set it in a strainer and put it in the fridge overnight. this is just to drain right? then when you take it out in the morning you just remove scoop it out of the cheese cloth and put it in a container or do you have to strain it again?
Alice October 2, 2018
Scoop it, or it may be so solid that all you need to do is invert the cheesecloth over a container and it will plop out). No need for additional draining.
Ron B. June 19, 2017
Could you use a yogurt strainer instead of the cheese cloth?
Alice October 2, 2018
Walter A. May 19, 2017
How do you make the Feta cheese??? This was left out of the receipt I love the tartness of Feta. my email is [email protected]
Iceni May 18, 2017
Sounds like a great recipe. I have never had marscapone chesses somwould like to try.
Where do you get the cheese cloth and apart from farmer's markets,where do you get the cream? Is it available at a supermarket?
Thanks for any advice.:)
Lindsay May 18, 2017
I didn't have cheesecloth, I used a clean kitchen towel and it worked great. The cream is just normal, 33% or 35% heavy cream, that you would whip for whipped cream.
Alice October 2, 2018
Cheesecloth is available in grocery stores and also in hardware and cookware stores, in small plastic packets. Heavy (also called whipping or possibly double cream) is sold in grocery stores, next to the milk. Do not use "ultra pasteurized
" cream.
sarahhoyt March 23, 2020
Super-clean square of tee shirt cotton works really well for many soft cheeses.
Bruce W. March 8, 2017
save the whey for marinating foods or making bread
Stephanie B. June 3, 2016
Omg I had no idea mascarpone was so easy! This was less than 10min active time. I found non-ultra pasteurized (just normal pasteurized?) cream from a local dairy and my mascarpone turned out ridiculously thick and creamy. Does anyone have any tips on making it a little more neutral flavored though? Mine tasted a little tangy from the lemon juice. This isn't necessarily a bad thing thing, but I'm curious how to make a non-lemon flavored mascarpone.
Aidan D. September 17, 2018
You might try citric acid (which I believe is also called lemon salt). I buy mine in bulk from the amazing spice and herb section of a local import grocer, but you could also find it online, and perhaps elsewhere; maybe a spice shop? I have often seen otherwise identical recipes that use lemon juice or citric acid on different sources. That’s what I use in my cheese making, and I have substituted it successfully. You can google the method and proportions for the substitution, but it involves mixing a tbsp (or whatever measurement) in a little water until dissolved, then adding it where you would the lemon juice. Very easy, and no worries about whether you have a lemon handy.
Laura August 19, 2021
I believe you can use about half the amount in cream of tartar instead of lemon juice. I haven’t tried this, but I’ve read it’s a good substitute to avoid the lemon flavor.
Cathy B. May 27, 2016
How is this different from making ricotta cheese? Do you just need to strain more of the whey out of it?
Alice October 2, 2018
Ricotta is made by recooking (the name means "re-cooked") the whey saved from making the original cheese. Most cheeses are not made from cream, but rather milk, and would yield more whey than this recipe. But essentially the same, cooking whey with more acid until curds form.
Lindsay May 23, 2016
I did it! Thanks for the great recipie! It worked out perfectly :-)
Christina D. July 1, 2016
The recipe doesn't mention stirring. Did you stir it? The whole time or just to mix on the lemon?
Lindsay July 4, 2016
I added the lemon juice, gave a quick stir, and then let it sit. I hope you make it, as it is amazing!
Heather B. July 29, 2018
I tried making it and it all strained through all the layers of the cheese cloth. Very disappointed!!!! Help?
Jennifer M. July 9, 2015
Is this naturally sweet? If not, how can we slightly sweeten it? Thanks!
Daniel F. April 9, 2016
When you buy mascarpone in the store it is never sweetened. If you want it sweet add sugar. Many times in a recipe, (like tiramisu), another component of the recipe will have the sugar in it.
Jennifer P. April 9, 2017
You can add sugar/sweetener. vanilla extract ....etc.. after it has drained and settled in the fridge
Brian March 31, 2015
How long does the cheese last once made?
Daniel F. April 9, 2016
When you open a container of heavy cream, it`s good for 7-10 days before it turns sour, I`m guessing the same rule applies to this. Though I`m not sure if the acidity of the lemon juice might help it keep a few extra days ?
pangaea99 March 30, 2015
I made this recipe and it worked out well, but I had to make a change for it and cool it before straining because it just strained like water even at room temp- not sure if it was because it was ultra-pasteurized or what- therefore, if it's not working for you, cool the cooked/room temp mixture in the fridge before straining, works wonders! My review: http://www.nevrothing.com/?p=12
rikasper March 23, 2015
would you make this recipe with buttermilk? thanks!
Alice October 2, 2018
No. It would not be mascarpone.
Cindy F. August 21, 2020
Cream and buttermilk makes a great creame fraiche. 3 tablespoons of buttermilk in 2 cups cream.
Ann T. March 22, 2015
Yes, thank you for answering my question about whether ultra pasteurized cream can be used successfully. Now I will be able to try it without any pre-conceived qualms --- I always become really nervous about trying a recipe whenever what the recipe calls for cannot be found.
Suzanne H. March 20, 2015
How long will it keep in the refrigerator?
sheron T. April 28, 2015
Kathryn P. March 20, 2015
Is this a recipe that for which one must avoid "ultra pasteurized" heavy cream?
Vegetarian '. March 20, 2015
Preferably but I've made it with ultra pasteurized in the winter (when we don't have a farmers market) and it's turned out fine. Hope that helps!