Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make the Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese

4.59 from 308 votes
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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The Creamiest Mascarpone Cheese

4.59 from 308 votes
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!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 1/4 cups
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!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (20floz/565ml) heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

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.
  • Place the lined sieve inside a slightly larger bowl and transfer the cooled cream to the lined sieve. 
  • Cover the cream and store in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • 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.
  •  If your cream is firm leave it out a room temperature. 
  • 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. 

Recipe Notes

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

 

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Mary
1 year ago

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… Read more »

Muzayena
Muzayena
11 months ago

Hi Gemma
My milk started curdling
And when I gave it an ice bath it started becoming thick….after straining there was so little cream left….now I’ve put it in to the fridge…dont know what mess I’ve made…it seems like Indian cottage cheese (paneer)

1 year ago

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!

11 months ago

Came our beautifully. Tomorrow I use it for tiramisu.

Ellie
Ellie
11 months ago

Amazing! Came out perfectly.

Kai Xin
Kai Xin
1 year ago

Hi Gemma, thank you for the easy recipe for baking dummies like me. I was wondering, my cheese doesnt seem to have any whey coming out, and it looks quite hardened up after setting in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I’ve never had mascarpone cheese before so i dont know the cheese looks right or not. Should it be creamy after setting? if it harden up, is it okay if i double boil the cheese to soften it?

Cjs
Cjs
6 months ago

Hi Gemma, why as soon as I put lemon juice into my cream it started to look like a porridge? So many denatured white curds at the top and it doesn’t thicken, thank you for the recipe

Alexei Rodriguez
Alexei Rodriguez
6 months ago

Hello, I used 35% fat cream and when the cream was simmering the fat (butter) and the milk was getting separated, yellow butter layer on top and white bellow. It still started curdling but when straining all the fat went down the bow, should I re-mix it or only use the curdled milk on the top?

Kathy
Kathy
3 months ago

Gemma: This looks very nice and I am going to try it. I have made cottage cheese, ricotta, and farmer’s cheese and used the cloth bag from my tofu making kit. It is a bit small, so I purchased a larger nut milk bag with a drawstring. It works very well for this, and for squeezing the liquid out of cauliflower.

I do have a cheesecloth tip. Buy it at the hardware store, but not in the kitchen section. Go to the paint section. It’s a lot cheaper there. An employee clued me in about this.

Sofi
Sofi
5 months ago

Do we have to leave it for the 5 days?

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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