Rich and creamy, Homemade Mascarpone Cheese cheese lets you treat yourself to an elegant ingredient without searching high and low to locate it! Plus, it’s much less expensive to make at home.

Have you ever wasted half a day calling numerous grocery stores or driving from market to market to locate just one ingredient? Mascarpone can often be hard to track down, but it’s not difficult to make from scratch! You’ll have this rich, buttery, and tangy ingredient available for all sorts of delicious Mascarpone Recipes!

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese in a white bowl


Why You Should Make Mascarpone Cheese

  • Until Whole Foods and Fresh Market opened locally, foods like mascarpone cheese were impossible to find in our local grocery stores.
  • Making mascarpone from scratch is ridiculously simple, though, and only takes two ingredients and a candy thermometer.
  • So besides sharing some yummy recipes utilizing mascarpone, I also will teach you how to whip it up in your own kitchen!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mascarpone Cheese?

Mascarpone Cheese is an Italian cream cheese which hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. Made with heavy cream, it’s definitely richer than American cream cheese and is featured in dessert recipes like Tiramisu. The addition of mascarpone gives desserts a creamy, luscious texture.

It’s also great on scones, instead of clotted cream, along with a smear of jam! According to the Farmers’ Almanac, mascarpone is described as a buttery, double or triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk which is ivory-colored, soft, and delicate and can be either nearly liquid or similar to butter in texture. Mascarpone can be substituted for cream cheese in many circumstances, though the flavor is slightly different. But it’s also a little looser in texture than cream cheese.

So if using mascarpone in a cookie recipe, for example, it may need a bit of extra flour to reach the right consistency. You can substitute cream cheese for mascarpone in a pinch, but you must mix in some heavy cream to duplicate the texture. Or you can make it at home with two simple ingredients, pasteurized heavy cream, and lemon juice!

What Do You Use Mascarpone In?

Besides the Italian classic, Tiramisu, mascarpone cheese can be used in cheesecakes instead of cream cheese, with a little sugar to garnish desserts instead of whipped cream, and loads of other desserts. Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries is one of my favorite cheesecake recipes of all time.

I also love a no-bake Mocha Icebox Cake as well as a nontraditional Berry Tiramisu, too. But Italians have savory mascarpone cheese recipes as well, like as a white pizza sauce, in a rich, pasta sauce or as a soup topping.

How Do You Pronounce Mascarpone?

Unless you’re Italian or watch a lot of Giada DeLaurentis, you may not know the proper way to pronounce mascarpone. So here goes: mahs-kahr-POH-neh(nay). Now you know!!!

See links to the mascarpone cheese recipes mentioned right above the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to Make Mascarpone

All that’s needed to make homemade mascarpone is heavy cream and lemon juice. Who knew? Take some time to find pasteurized heavy cream, not ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. The flavor is fresher and definitely superior, but if you cannot find it, don’t fret. I found mine at Whole Foods but I realize that’s not an option for everyone. PRO-Tip: This recipe will work with ultra-pasteurized cream if that’s all you can find.

Steps for Making Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

This Mascarpone Cheese Recipe is easy if you have the right supplies. First, you need an accurate thermometer to make sure you pull the cream mixture off the heat at the proper temperature. Also, hunt down some pasteurized heavy cream. Ultra-pasteurized will work in a pinch, but the results may not be as creamy.

  1. PRO-Tip: As noted above, read the label and try to track down some pasteurized heavy cream NOT ultra-pasteurized. I find it at Whole Foods.
  2. PRO-Tip: The process is simple. Pour the cream into a saucepan and cook to 190º F, just to a simmer, not a rolling boil. Use a clip-on thermometer, if available) to monitor the temperature.
  3. Add lemon juice and cook just until thickened.
  4. Drain in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and chill and you’ll have 12 ounces of quality mascarpone for little effort and money.
  5. PRO-Tip: Store covered in an airtight container. Use your homemade mascarpone cheese within 7-10 days.
  6. If you can’t possibly use all the mascarpone cream, it can be frozen for up to 6 weeks. The quality may not be as quite as good as fresh, but after stirring, it’s perfectly fine to use in recipes.
Homemade Mascarpone in a white bowl with fresh raspberries

More Recipes You’ll Love:

Here are some delicious recipes using mascarpone cheese plus you might like to spread it on this yummy Brown Sugar Bread!

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This recipe was first shared in November 2014. Text was updated in 2021.

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese in a white bowl with fresh raspberries and a red handled spoon

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 1½ cups

A simple recipe to make mascarpone cheese at home. Adapted from Pastry Affair.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream (pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Pour cream into a large sauce pan and heat to a simmer (you don't want it to boil). Stir in lemon juice. With a candy thermometer, monitor the temperature and keep around 190º F. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, till mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Pour through a strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth and positioned over a bowl. Flip cheesecloth over top of strainer and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  4. Scrape cheese from cheesecloth into a storage container and press plastic wrap over the surface.
  5. Store for up to a week.

Notes

Pasteurized not Ultra-Pasteurized Heavy Cream is preferred, but both will work.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 68Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

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