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How to Make the Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese

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It might be hard to find mascarpone cheese in the store, but it is not hard to make! Open up a whole new world of sweet and savory dishes!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Bold Baking Basics is back in full swing, and I’m excited to share what’s next with you! From How to Make Cream Cheese to Homemade Buttermilk, these recipes and techniques are here to provide you with the building blocks for all of your favorite recipes.

My recipe for How to Make the Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese is one of my best yet, as I know just how hard it can be to find this lovely rich Italian cheese. Now instead of ignoring all the recipes made with this versatile ingredient, you can finally open up a whole new world of sweet and savory dishes.

What’s The Difference Between Mascarpone And Cream Cheese?

The main difference between mascarpone and cream cheese is the fat content. While cream cheese is made with whole milk, this cheese is made with heavy cream. This is what provides that slightly sweeter, more buttery flavor, whereas cream cheese is more like an actual savory cheese.

The neutral less acidic flavor of mascarpone really lends itself to sweet baking. While the flavor of this and cream cheese is very different, they are made in a similar way. To make the mascarpone you simply boil the cream over medium heat then add the acid — in this case, lemon juice. After this mixture simmers and thickens it is set aside in a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a thin kitchen cloth. The mixture sits in the fridge overnight and what you’re left with the next day is truly the creamiest homemade cheese.

Never again do you have to worry about not being able to find this luxurious ingredient, because it’s so easily made at home.

[ Did you know that you can also make your own butter? Follow my Homemade Butter recipe! ]

When To Use Mascarpone Cheese, And What It Can Be Added To

This cheese is truly one of my favorite blank canvases. From flavoring with savory herbs & parmesan, then adding it to lasagna or my Mushroom, Mascarpone & Egg Pizza, to using it with classics like my 10-minute Tiramisu, homemade mascarpone cheese is so versatile.

I love using it in frosting, making a rich alternative to traditional cream cheese frosting, or spreading it on crostini and topping it with toasted nuts and sliced figs. Talk about YUM!


Is There A Dairy-Free Alternative To Mascarpone Cheese?

There are dairy free alternatives out there, but they do have a bit of tang similar to a cream cheese. KiteHill brand makes several nut-based cheeses, and this creamy spread of theirs can be an alternative in your cooking and baking. While I think there really is nothing quite like mascarpone, this is a great option for those that are vegan or trying to avoid dairy products.

Can Mascarpone Be Frozen?

Using mascarpone when fresh will yield you the best results, however if you find yourself with extra mascarpone you can wrap it up well and freeze for up to 6 weeks. To use, I let it defrost in the fridge overnight, then I use as normal — all it needs is a good stir.

Just note that frozen mascarpone may lose some of its texture and flavor, and because of that the thawed cheese is best suited to cooked dishes, such as sauces, soups and casseroles, but not the best for Tiramisu.

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4.39 from 62 votes
The Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

It might be hard to find mascarpone cheese in the store, but it is not hard to make! Open up a whole new world of sweet and savory dishes!

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 1/4 cups
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 2 1/2 cups (20floz/565ml) heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.

  2. Once the cream comes to a simmer add the lemon juice and whisk until the cream begins to thicken, roughly 13-15 minutes.  

  3. When thickened, turn off the heat and transfer the pan to an ice bath. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  4. Place the lined sieve inside a slightly larger bowl and transfer the cooled cream to the lined sieve. 

  5. Cover the cream and store in the fridge for 24 hours.

  6. After 24 hours the cream will set and you will get a little bit of whey from the cream into the bowl that you placed below the strainer. Save this to use for other recipes. What's left in the cheesecloth* will be a thick mascarpone cheese.

  7.  If your cream is firm leave it out a room temperature. 

  8. This mix yields you 1 1/4 cups (roughly 11 oz) of mascarpone . Cover and store the mascarpone cheese in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

*If you don't have a cheesecloth you can use a very thin kitchen towel. 



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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Molly on September 20, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Why isn’t mine thickening???? It’s still a liquid
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on September 20, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Molly. What cream did you use?

  2. Kylie Sek on September 6, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Would it be possible to use paper towel instead of a cheesecloth or tea towel?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 7, 2019 at 9:44 am

      I would not recommend a paper towel as that would easily break or disintegrate and contaminate the cheese. The cheesecloth is the most common tried and tested material that’s ideal for this recipe. A very think kitchen towel can also do the deed.

  3. Mary on September 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Gemma, Thank you so much. I made your mascarpone and it came out just beautiful. Taste was great. My grand child who is getting married ask me to make a Lemon Cream Wedding Cake so I used your mascarpone in the whipped cream with the powder sugar and lemon juice and lemon extract and the rind and I am telling you that that cake was a bit hit. I made 5 batches of this cheese for the large cake. The cake was so good and there was none left. I have been ask for the recipe over and over. I tell them to thank Gemma and direct them to your page. I have made a huge mistake though. Everyone is asking me to make more for them. I will soon be tired of this cake but I am a hero in my grandchild’s eyes. The cake was beautiful and it was my first one ever. Thank you, I love learning how you make things.

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2019 at 2:12 am

      Hi Mary,
      I am delighted! Thank you for telling me about this. How lovely for your grandchild, this is a memory for her life, well done you.
      Haha! yes, the problem with getting these things right is that there will be a demand for the bakes, and you have to learn to be mysterious and say NO, the hardest word of all to say for a generous person, you will have a job for life!
      Thank you for this lovely review, it will inspire others to be just as bold in their baking,
      Gemma <3

  4. Ziba on August 29, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for your recipes!
    Question- When you say cover and put in the fridge, I just cover the top with the left over cheesecloth that was hanging off the sides and put it in the fridge. Did you mean I need to put plastic wrap over it or will the cheesecloth covering be sufficient?

    Thank you again for sharing your talents with us!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 29, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Ziba! Did you mean when you store it? I do store it in an airtight container, like a bottle. This is to keep the cheese from drying out and from absorbing other odors in the fridge. Hope I answered your question. Gemma 😊

      • Ziba on August 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm

        I meant when it needs to set for the 24 hours? After that I was going to put it in an air tight container as you mentioned. Thanks again for responding so quickly.

  5. Janetta on August 24, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Just found YOU and I LOVE IT your just dull of information and recipes…..can’t wait to get cooking !!!! I saved so many “how to make” recipes that I can’t WAIT to try LOVE making my own. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I will visit many more times I subscribed !!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 25, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Janetta. Let me know how you get on.

  6. RF74 on August 20, 2019 at 3:22 am

    I didn’t find it at nearby supermarkets so I made this . As you said it’s really the creamiest mascarpone! It’s hard to stir because it’s so thick and creamy. Gonna make tiramisu soon! This time I won’t put that much alcohol.

  7. Sofia quadri on August 11, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Hi gemma! I love your recipes!

    Where i live i get either 25% fat cream or 65%.

    Which is better to use for the mascarpone?

    Also can i reduce the fat content in the 65% cream? If so how?


    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      So Sofia I think honestly either of those would work for mascarpone. You don’t need it to be super high fat content fro this particular recipe.

      If you are whipping cream or making my ice-cream the 65% is what you want to use.

      P.S I think if you wanted to lower the fat content you would mix a little of both creams together.


  8. Angie on August 9, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I can not have milk but i can have dairy free yogurt will that work thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 10, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Angie,

      Unfortunately you can’t use yogurt to make mascarpone cheese. And you need fresh milk/ cream to make it.


  9. Franca65 on August 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Gemma, I tried to make Mascarpone cheese and when I put it through the strainer it went right through so I think it was not thick enough. I put it back on the stove & simmered for a few more minutes & it thickened up. When I put it through the strainer no liquid came through. It is in the fridge now so I will see how it looks tomorrow. Thanks for all your amazing recipes.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      Keep me posted! Hopefully it still worked out 🙂


  10. Ted Boosalis on July 29, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    This is a perfect recipe. I did make mine with sour cream to be “dashing” about it. But… I prefer heavy cream. My next step is to adhere to the recipe and post a pic of the result. I want the yellowing of the cream to stand out – using sour cream (Daisy brand) didn’t yellow the mixture upon the thickening stage.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2019 at 8:10 am

      I’m thrilled to hear that, Ted! Thanks for trying t out 🙂

      Looking forward to seeing a picture.


  11. karen on June 24, 2019 at 7:06 am

    for all: go get one or two nut milk bags for draining. I use for everything; yogurt cheese, coconut milk, nut milks. May be thicker but does the same trick. And BTW here in Ecuador where local coffee is made on a stand with a funnel bag, those bags are the same and I have used for small batches of some things.
    they clean up and are reuseable!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Karen! Really good tip! Gemma 😊

  12. karen on June 24, 2019 at 7:01 am

    some have mentioned boiling the milk and I assume waiting for the cream to rise in the fridge? are they talking abour raw milk? Is that the way to get cream from a bottle of raw?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Karen. The boiling question I think was about the process of boiling the cream here to turn it into mascarpone cheese. Gemma 😊

  13. Chathuri Galagamamudali on June 23, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Hi Gemma, i cannot find heavy cream in where i live. But i do have whipping cream. Can u pls tell me if i couod use that. May be if i could get the correct fat content… pls help.
    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on June 23, 2019 at 10:21 am

      Hi Chaturi! Yes you can use whipping cream if that is what you have where you are. Ideally, you’d have a fresh dairy cream that has at least 35% fat content for it to work best. The downside would be you might not have as much curd from the fat, which might be less. Best to check the label of your whipping cream. Hope this answers your question. Gemma 😊

      • Chathuri Galagamamudali on June 26, 2019 at 12:59 am

        Thank you very much Gemma❤️❤️

  14. Kulsum on June 13, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Hi gemma. I made mascarponr cheese cream todsy. N it didnt turn out cream. While boiling the cream split n rhe whey was very oily. The final cheese is very grsiny not creamy at all.
    Cn i still use this cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 13, 2019 at 6:25 am

      Hi there,
      I think it sounds like this was overheated. These are the instructions:
      Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
      Once the cream comes to a simmer add the lemon juice and whisk until the cream begins to thicken, roughly 13-15 minutes.
      When thickened, turn off the heat and transfer the pan to an ice bath. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

      A simmer is just barely moving, very little in the way of bubbles, slight steam rising. That is my best guess about this, I hope it is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

      Place the lined sieve inside a slightly larger bowl and transfer the cooled cream to the lined sieve.

  15. Kulsum on June 13, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Hi gemma.
    I made mascarpone cheese today. While cooking the cream split is this normal.
    Thank u.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 13, 2019 at 8:13 am

      Hi Kulsum! Did the cream split when you added the lemon juice? If yes, then this is normal. That is what is supposed to happen. But if not, your heat may have run too high, too fast. Gemma 🙂

  16. Esther on June 11, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Can i use half and half ??

    • Gemma Stafford on June 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Hi Esther! Yes! that will make a good rich cream cheese, though it need to be heavy cream for mascarpone.
      I hope you enjoy this recipe. Gemma 🙂

  17. Shikha on June 11, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Hi Gemma… can this mascarpone be used for making a baked cheesecake?? Or else it is mandatory to add cream cheese to a cheesecake? Help me with this confusion please

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Shikha! You can definitely use mascarpone in cheesecakes. Whatever you have, mascarpone or cream cheese should work. Gemma 😊

  18. Farseena on June 4, 2019 at 12:22 am

    Hello gemma i tried dis recipe bt its a bit sour i added 2 tbs of lemon juice i havent tasted mascaporne before so dont knw if my cheese has came out well

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Farseena,
      Mascarpone cheese has a ‘tang’ rather than being sour. It should have thickened up for you, but the proportion of lemon juice to cream will matter too. If you have had cream cheese of any sort then that is how it should taste, more or less, but it is a much richer cream cheese.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Nimz on June 2, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    Hi if we cant use it in 5 days is it ok to freeze it???

    • Gemma Stafford on June 3, 2019 at 8:54 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, you can happily freeze this cheese,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Dia jaitly on May 29, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Hi Gemma,
    wont this become cottage cheese or paneer as we call it India after adding lemon juice to it?
    when you add lemon juice to cream it will just become a richer version of paneer or cottage cheese.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 30, 2019 at 1:44 am

      Hi Dia,

      I haven’t found that with this cheese at all. It does has some similar trates to cream cheese but you can tell there is a difference.


  21. Patricia Wood on May 15, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I noticed when you made the cheese you put the cream inside a bowl cold water do you drain the water out before you leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours or do you just leave the water in the bowl

    • Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2019 at 2:19 am

      Hi Patricia,
      I am not entirely sure what you mean. The pan is placed in an ice bath when it comes off the heat, in order to cool it as soon as possible. Then the cream is transferred to a lined sieve, over a bowl, which will collect the whey. Go back and have another look at the recipe, it may be a bit clearer for you now.
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Arthi on May 6, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Gemma, I want a dairy free Mascarpone. I love tiramisu. I am avoiding dairy and gluten for my kids. Can you please come up with a recipe for this?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2019 at 3:36 am

      Hi Arthi,
      I guess this will be a different recipe. Mascarpone is rich cream cheese, made with cream. There are ways to make substitutes, but it is a process, and you will need to google this, I do not have an alternative which is dairy free. You can make ladyfingers with gluten-free flour too, but it seems like a lot of adjusting of a recipe, and I am not sure the results will justify all the trouble.
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Sam on April 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Hi! I want to make mascarpone for a stabilized whipped cream frosting, but I don’t have cheesecloth. Should I use paper towel? Maybe just some regular cloth? Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 28, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      Use a regular cloth Sam. That will work really well. And make sure to rinse it out straight away when you are done making your cheese.


  24. Greg Thompson on April 27, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Hi everyone I have made my first batch of mascarpone cheese, it failed. I cooked 35% cream to 185 F put it in the fridge and it is a thick consistency like batter.

    My question is:

    Can i reheat add more lemon juice and rechill it? If not what can I do with the failed batch in the fridge.


    • Gemma Stafford on April 30, 2019 at 8:05 am

      Hi Greg,

      oh gosh, I don’t know the answer to that. Does anyone else know if thats possible?

      Don’t throw it out even if it dint set firm because you can add it to desserts, sauces, pasta, bakes, pizzas etc.

      Hope this helps,

      • Gregory Thompson on April 30, 2019 at 9:38 am

        Hi Gemma,

        I know the answer to my question

        NO….lol I reheated and added more lemon juice and it was a flop.

        But fear not I have not given up

        • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          uh, sorry Greg! Practice makes perfect.

  25. Lauren Lore on April 20, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I’m considering trying this recipe out however i was wondering if i could add either vanilla bean/vanilla extract/or almond extract to it. And if so at what part of the cooking process should i add those items in at? If i put the vanilla bean seeds in will it get stuck in the cheese cloth or if i use extract (how much) and will it change the texture of the final product?

    Thanks for your help!
    —Lauren L

    • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2019 at 3:56 am

      Hi Lauren,
      generally, this type of cheese is not flavored. If you decide to do this it would be best to use natural extracts, for the best flavor.
      You can add the flavor at the end on the cooking process when you are allowing it to stand. Two teaspoons of any extract should work well for you. You can make your own extracts too (
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Nadira on April 16, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Heyy I’m from India and lemon isn’t easily available here. It’s just like, can I use it?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2019 at 9:50 am

      Hi, you can use lime juice or vinegar instead.

  27. Jenny on April 12, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Gemma…just tried making your mascarpone cheese recipe…it didnt seem to come together…the fats seemed to separate from the cream. Just put it in the fridge, so we’ll see if it works! I had used whipping cream that I had in the freezer…could this be why!?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Hi, this can just be the curds separating from they whey, this normal. When it’s done let me know what you think!

  28. Ginny Meehan on April 1, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I too am a Professional Pastry Chef (retired).
    Currently I’m doing the Keto program. Getting healthy loosing inches.
    Of all my recipes I can’t convert 1:1 ratio of cake flour for almond flour. I also use coconut flour; it’s tricky because you use a lot less as it absorbs moisture. Its been trail and error. Do not use white, brown, demerara sugar. I use Swerve blends of stevia and erthritol.

    Gemma have you ever worked with these ingredients?
    Thank you for the recipe for sour cream.
    Looking forward to the mascarpone cheese also.
    Best Regards
    Ginny M

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2019 at 9:58 am

      Hi, yes Liv, our alternative baker uses almond flour all the time. They can not be subbed 1:1, but have a look at these recipes, many are keto approved!

  29. Kassandra on March 30, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    I love making homemade butter and it is creamy when I first make it but when I put it in the fridge it gets real hard.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      As long as its not too hot in your kitchen you can leave butter out at room temperature so it is real to spread.


  30. Tina G on March 30, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Gemma , I grew up on farm and had what I called cow milk now can you tell me what the different types of creams are. Table cream ,pouring cream , ect. Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Tina,

      I’ll be putting a post out there soon about the different types of creams.

      Stay tuned,

  31. Judy Marr on March 21, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Is it possible to flavor the mascarpone while it’s still warm? Say add in cocoa?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 22, 2019 at 4:17 am

      Hi Judy,
      I cannot think of a reason not to, apart from it limiting its’ use. You can always whip it in to a portion at a later time, when it is cold. I suppose it depends on what you will use it for.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Sofia H. on March 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    does it really need to sit in the fridge for 24hrs?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Hi, yes this is what strains off the water and makes it really rich and creamy.

  33. Myra G. Barg on March 18, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Hi Gemma my comment is out of the topic this is regarding ice cream I would like to make mocha ice cream flavor what I have 3in1(mixture of coffee,cream&sugar) instant coffee that you can find in our groceries here in the Philippines and cocoa powder how much is the ratio for a single ice cream base, thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      Hi you can use 1 tsp of instant coffee and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. Let me know how you go 😀

  34. Janine on March 17, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Hi! I wanted to have a dairy free mascarpone cheese. Can I use coconut cream? 😁

    • Gemma Stafford on March 18, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Hi, i;ve never tried that but i think it would work.

  35. Kim on March 2, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Gemma, I need 3 cups of Mascarpone. Can this recipe be doubled or tripled or do I need to make 3 individual batches?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 2, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      Hi, yes you can double or triple it, enjoy!

  36. Sofia on February 28, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Hi gemma i only get either 25% cream or 65% fat fresh from the dairy.

    I used the 65 % it came out really thick and had a strong lemon flavour.

    perhaps i may have over cooked it. I waited for a thick cheese coat on the back of a spoon. Is a thin coat sufficient?


    • Gemma Stafford on March 1, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Ah, yes you might have taken it a bit too far or added to much lemon as the flavor should be fairly neutral. Please do give it another go and let me know what you think!

  37. Sidra on February 20, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I really like your recipes.. can I use the cream that comes on the surface of fresh milk after it has been boiled and cooled down ?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 20, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      Hi, do you mean the whey? The liquid that separated from the curds? That can be saved and used in place of buttermilk for making scones and biscuits.

    • Abby on March 7, 2019 at 3:44 pm

      Hi back at home, that’s what we call fresh cream. After boiling the milk I remove the cream. As long as the milk hasn’t undergone pasteurization. That is Full cream milk.

  38. Ruth David on February 3, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Hi Gemma many thanks for your amazing recipes
    I have some extra feta cheese… Is there anyway I can use this in baking or cooking recipes

    • Gemma Stafford on February 3, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Oh absolutely! You can use feta cheese in salads and on pizza or other flatbreads!

  39. Priyanka on February 3, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Hey Gemma
    Can we have a recipe for homemade mozzarella cheese?

  40. Samiksha Parkar on January 17, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Hi Gemma.
    Around my place we get 25% milk fat cream will that be useful for making this recipe. Please help.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 19, 2019 at 2:41 am

      Hi there,
      Yes! that will be very good for this recipe, a reall rich cream cheese. The cream I use will be 35% fat, and of course that makes it a bit richer, but this one will be great.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

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