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

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

Rich and creamy, homemade mascarpone cheese allows you to treat yourself to an elegant ingredient without having to search high and low to locate it!

Have you ever wasted half a day calling numerous grocery stores or driving from market to market to locate just one ingredient? Mascarpone cheese can often be hard to track down, but it’s not difficult to make from scratch!

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese in a white bowl

Homemade 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!

Yup, me, too. But often the payoff is well worth the hunt. My friend, Erin, made Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese which would be marvelous in lasagna and even cheesecake. I was inspired to make homemade mascarpone. I’ve used store bought mascarpone in many desserts including Poached Peaches with Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake, Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries (one of my favorite cheesecakes!!), and these elegant Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone.

What’s the Difference Between Mascarpone Cheese and Cream Cheese?

Mascarpone cheese is definitely richer than cream cheese as it’s made with heavy cream versus whole milk, giving it a creamier, more luscious texture.  You can substitute cream cheese for mascarpone in a pinch, but you must mix in some heavy cream to duplicate the texture.

Known as Italian Cream Cheese,  mascarpone hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, mascarpone is 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.

Homemade Mascarpone in a white bowl with raspberries

Mascarpone from Scratch

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.

How to Make Mascarpone

  • PRO-Tip: As noted above, read the label and track down some pasteurized heavy cream NOT ultra pasteurized. I find it at Whole Foods.
  • 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 cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Add lemon juice and cook till thickened.
  • Drain in a cheesecloth lined strainer and chill and you’ll have 12 ounces of quality mascarpone for little effort and money.
  • PRO-Tip: Store covered in an airtight container. Use your homemade mascarpone cheese within 7-10 days.

Homemade Mascarpone in a white bowl with fresh raspberries

More Recipes You’ll Love:


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

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

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

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1½ cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Italian


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


  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.





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68 comments on “Homemade Mascarpone Cheese”

  1. Hi Liz!
    I made this last night and took it out this morning!
    It is AMAZING! So easy! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Once again I was out looking for mascarpone today and couldn’t find it. This time I’m printing the recipe. Thanks Liz!

  3. Wow i love this! Mascarpone is hella expensive in Sg and its so hard just finding a proper one! What does it mean to use paesturised cream? Regular ones? How do i tell the difference?

    • Around here most cream is ultrapasteurized–and you don’t want that. If you don’t see ultrapasteurized on the label, I’d guess it was just pasteurized (the cream of my childhood!). Hope that helps.

  4. Thank you for making such a wonderful delicacy within the reach of all of us! I expect to make
    this and want to go on to the next step and make ‘cream cheese’ icing with it: what would I
    do next? Many, many thanks!

  5. This is even better than store bought! And so easy to make!

  6. This makes any dessert better!

  7. I love how easy this is to make! Thank you!!

  8. I can’t tell you how many times i’ve had people ask me how to do this. Thank you!

  9. Hello Liz,

    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.

    • Great points, but in a pinch this works for adding to cheesecakes and more. And I’ve never had mine turn out sandy. Many cooks don’t have access to real mascarpone or tartaric acid. This works perfectly in a pinch when you don’t have other options.

  10. Im a italian from Napoli and we use acid citric or lemon juice. Original Italian Mascarpone can be made with both acido citrico and or acido tartarico, we prefer acido citrico from lemon juice because it is much easier and faster than with tartarico.
    U can check it out at wiki or at this site:

  11. Is it 190 Fahrenheit or celsius 

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