Homemade Mascarpone

Homemade Mascarpone

Before we get to the homemade mascarpone recipe, let’s first be clear about what exactly mascarpone is. It is a rich, creamy, knee-wobblingly luscious fresh cow milk cheese from Italy that’s perhaps most commonly experienced stateside in tiramisu. This recipe makes a sorta cheater’s stand-in for proper Italian mascarpone that we guarantee will impress even your fussiest friends. (Not that we recommend trying to impress fussy people. Life is too darn short for that crap.)–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC What To Do With Your Mascarpone Note

Not only is this homemade mascarpone recipe ridiculously indulgent, it’s easy as heck to make. And—yes, there’s more!—it’s an insanely satiating way to salvage the last dregs of heavy cream languishing in the fridge. Just add a bit of lemon juice to the cream and you’ve got homemade mascarpone. Works like a charm. Honestly? There’s nothing we can think of that isn’t made more charming by a dollop of mascarpone. Read on for some things we’ve done with mascarpone lately.

Plop atop a bowl of in-season berries.
Slather on a peach half, sprinkle with light brown sugar, and broil until bubbly.
Stir in a little marsala or tawny port and serve with fresh figs.
Cram it inside pitted dates, roast for 5 minutes in a 425°F (218°C) oven, and sprinkle with coarse salt and olive oil.
Fold it into lemon curd and use as pie filling,

Homemade Mascarpone

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 10 M
  • 8 H
  • Makes 1 cup
5/5 - 6 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Special Equipment: Candy or deep-fry thermometer; cheesecloth or flour sack towel (optional)



In a small nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat, gently bring the cream to the point where bubbles just begin to appear. (This could take as long as 25 minutes.) Do not allow the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the lemon juice and salt, and gently simmer the cream for 5 to 7 minutes as you maintain a temperature of 185°F (85°C). Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, a flour sack towel doubled over itself, a couple paper coffee filters, or a double layer of thick, damp paper towels. Without stirring, gently tip the cream into the lined sieve, letting everything run into the bowl below. Sprinkle a small pinch salt over the cream. Cover and refrigerate the bowl-and-sieve contraption for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The mixture will slowly yet surely turn into a rich, creamy, velvety smooth concoction that seems a lot like softened cream cheese and is, in fact, nearly identical to actual mascarpone that’s made and cultured in Italy.

Remove the mascarpone from the sieve by lifting the cheesecloth or flour sack towel or coffee filters or paper towels by the corners and twisting them to form a packet. Discard the whey, which is the liquidy stuff in the bowl. Mascarpone will keep, wrapped in the cheesecloth in a covered glass or ceramic bowl in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. Wipe away any collected whey in the bottom of the dish daily to keep the cheese fresh.

Print RecipeBuy the Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    Small Batch Homemade Mascarpone Variation

    • Anxious about having an entire batch of homemade mascarpone on hand with no one standing between you and the fridge? Frustrated that someone used some of the heavy cream you were saving for this recipe in their coffee? Not to worry. You can make a mere fraction of this recipe. Simple get out your pen and paper and your 4th-grade math skills and figure out the proper amounts. It’ll work just fine.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We may never buy mascarpone again. This homemade mascarpone recipe was so easy to follow, and the timing was accurate. We tasted the cream after 8 hours, and the edges were set and very thick while the center was still a bit wobbly. Both were delicious. After 24 hours, most of the cream was firmly set. This mascarpone was deemed "a winner" by all our taste-tasters. Everyone tasted the mascarpone plain and then as a topping for buttered baked pears. "Yumms," "mmmms," and "ahhhhs" were heard by the plenty. We used damp, double-thick, heavy-duty paper towels instead of cheesecloth, and the damp paper easily peeled away from the cream.

    This is an easy recipe that produces rich, delicious, creamy homemade mascarpone that really is very comparable to what you buy—and can pay a lot more for—at the store. I took the temperature of the cream as soon as there were bubbles around the edges but before the cream was fully boiling, and it had a temperature of around 185°F. The recipe does not specify how much salt to add. This allows for a lot of error. I added a small pinch, about 1/2 teaspoon maybe, and that was good. I used regular ultra-homogenized cream since that's what I had on hand, and the non-homogenized stuff is almost impossible to find. The yield was pretty good, and very little whey was produced (maybe about 1/4 cup after 8 hours draining). I served the mascarpone with strawberries, agave syrup, cocoa nibs, and crumbled lemon scones.

    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. 5 stars
      This recipe works like a treat. I cannot buy lactose-free mascarpone where I live, so making it with lactose-free cream is an excellent hack. Thanks for sharing.

      A point of note, however, with the recipe. There is no quantity provided for the salt. I only added a pinch where the recipe called for it and it worked well. Plus, I was planning to use the cheese for tiramisu so I didn’t want it to taste too salty, and it didn’t.

      Also, I tried making a double batch once before. Not too sure if it was because I only let it sit in the fridge for 8 hours, but it wasn’t as set/firm in the centre as a single batch over the same time.

      Thanks again.

      1. You’re welcome, Franco. I’m so pleased that this turned out so well for you. If making a double batch again, I’d definitely let it sit for longer. There’s more liquid to drain out so it will take longer.

    2. Have to try this over the weekend! And if I hear one more judge on Chopped say “mar-ska-pone” I am going to scream!

    3. Anyone ever tried with soy milk. I know. I know. Just asking….

      ps before this rasn-frasn allergy, I used to make homemade yogurt from real farm fresh milk all the time. Making Greek style left me with whey, whey too good to waste. Here are some ideas:

      1. use to poach or marinate meats
      2. use to boost protein of smoothies
      3. give to any body-building gym rat friends, they will thank you.

      Thx in advance for any tips on a dairy-free version. I know. I know….


      1. Hi Jacqueline, thanks so much for your tips on ways to use whey. I have not seen mascarpone made with soy milk. If you are looking for a vegan alternative, coconut milk and cashew butter might work. Maybe some of our readers have a suggestion as well?

    Have something to say?

    Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

    Rate this recipe!

    Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

    Upload a picture of your dish