Crafting homemade mascarpone is a delightful dive into Italian culinary traditions. It’s simple – heat double cream, add lemon juice, and behold as it transforms into creamy richness. And yes, it can be lactose-free, just ensure a 35% fat content. Patience? It’s key! The joy lies in the creation and waiting. Skip the store, embrace this hands-on culinary adventure. It’s worth every moment!




Ready In:


25 min




Good For:



Homemade  Mascarpone Recipe

By: Silvana Lanzetta

Would you believe it? I’ve found a new kitchen adventure in making homemade mascarpone, and it’s genuinely been a revelation! Truth be told, it had never occurred to me before, but it’s ridiculously straightforward and something any one of us can do.

All you need is cream and lemon, just two everyday ingredients, and a few common kitchen bits and bobs: a cooking thermometer, a sieve, a bowl, and a cheesecloth. It’s a piece of cake!

You might be curious about how this marvellous recipe found its way to me.

This recipe is used by top Italian chefs

A few years back, a good friend of mine, who happens to be a professional pastry chef, attended a patisserie conference in the beautiful Italian city of Brescia. She was rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest in the business, including the legendary Master Iginio Massari and three world champion pastry chefs – Emanuele Forcone, Fabrizio Donatone, and Francesco Boccia. I must admit, I was a tad green with envy!

Among the myriad of remarkable recipes she was privy to, she brought back this humble gem – homemade mascarpone!

Homemade mascarpone in a bowl - side closeup
making mascarpone
mascarpone cheese
Lodi Cathedral, Italy
Iginio Massari, award winner Italian pastry chef

Iginio Massari, award winner Italian pastry chef

Homemade mascarpone is delicious and easy to make

Honestly, it’s been nothing short of phenomenal. The result is delectably creamy, with a hint of sweetness and a dreamy texture. And here’s a bonus: this recipe can be a godsend for those on a lactose-free diet. It’s pretty easy to find lactose-free cream, but lactose-free mascarpone is a different story. So, if a craving for tiramisu has been thwarted by your intolerance, it’s time to whip up your own mascarpone!

The magic of mascarpone begins with the cream of milk. Start by heating the cream to 82°C (180°F), then add in some lemon juice or citric acid. This combination of heat and acidity triggers the protein curdling process.

After that, all you’ve got to do is let it drain on a sieve lined with a cheesecloth, allowing the mascarpone to separate from its whey and firm up. The result is a lusciously thick, slightly sweet cream that you can add to your favourite dishes. Trust me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll be chuffed to bits with the result!

Mascarpone originated in Lombardy in the 12th Century

This delightful cheese is originated in the region of Lombardy, and is named after “mascherpa,” a local term from Lodi meaning “cream of milk.” 

Mascarpone has a fascinating history dating back to the 12th century. It originated as a way to utilize and preserve excess milk. 

It used to be a winter delicacy due to its tendency to spoil quickly in warm weather. It was stored in glass and porcelain containers in cool places like cellars, intended for prompt consumption.

Mascarpone also has some interesting tales associated with it. Some claim its name originated from a Spanish nobleman’s enthusiastic reaction upon tasting it, exclaiming “mas que bueno!” meaning “better than good!” Even Napoleon, the French Emperor, was fond of Mascarpone and insisted on its inclusion in his feasts.

There is also a story about François Vatel, a famous French chef and pastry maker, who tragically took his own life when he apparently couldn’t obtain Mascarpone for a dessert he planned for the Sun King.

whipped cream in a bowl with hand mixer
lemon juice in a small cup


Homemade mascarpone  is known for its rich and creamy texture. It is high in fat and calories. While it provides negligible amounts of carbohydrates and protein, it is primarily enjoyed for its indulgent taste rather than as a significant source of nutrients.

  • Proteins 3% 3%
  • Carbs 1% 1%
  • Fats 80% 80%
Homemade mascarpone in a bowl- top closeup

Ingredients for homemade mascarpone

Double Cream

Why do we need cream with at least 35% fat for mascarpone? Simple! It’s that luscious fat that gives our homemade mascarpone its famously creamy texture. Once we heat and acidify it, that fat jumps in, helps the protein structure, and voila! We’ve got ourselves some beautifully thick and curdled cream.

However, heating up the cream isn’t just about getting it warm—it’s also about helping the proteins to unwind and create that fabulous mascarpone texture we all love. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and the cream begins to thicken and curdle into delicious creaminess. Just a quick tip: keep a close eye on that thermometer! You want the cream to be at 82°C (180°F) exactly. Too hot or too cold, and you might not get the perfect mascarpone you’re dreaming of. 

Lemon juice

Hey, ever wonder how a little lemon or citric acid can make our mascarpone simply perfect? It’s all about making our cream a bit acidic, which gets the proteins to cozy up and form a lush, creamy texture. Remember, though, it’s all about striking that perfect balance—too much acid and you might end up with a mascarpone that’s more sandy than silky. Enjoy your cooking adventure!

Make your delicious mascarpone

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Homemade mascarpone in a bowl- top closeup

Easy Mascarpone Cheese

  • Author: Silvana Lanzetta
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 portions 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


Make your own mascarpone at home with this easy 2 ingredients recipe


Units Scale
  • 1 litres of fresh double cream (use lactose-free cream if desidered)
  • 17 ml of filtered freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1.2 ml of citric acid


1. Start by pouring your cream into a saucepan. Place it on the hob and gently heat until it reaches 82°C or 180°F. To ensure your cream doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, stir it regularly using a whisk. Alternatively, you can opt for a double boiler for a gentler and more uniform heat.

2. Once the cream reaches the desired temperature, it’s time to add the lemon juice. Stir this mixture continuously for about 3-4 minutes. You’ll notice the cream start to thicken as it reacts with the lemon.

3. After stirring, allow your mixture to rest and cool down for approximately 15-20 minutes. 

4. While the mixture is cooling, prepare your straining setup. You’ll need a container with a sieve resting on top. Line your sieve with a cheesecloth or a clean tea towel (make sure it’s washed without any fabric softener). 

5. Pour the now thickened cream onto the prepared cloth, allowing it to cool. Once cooled, cover the container with cling film.

6. Place the container in the fridge and let the mixture rest undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours. During this period, the mascarpone will separate from the whey (the watery part), and it will firm up whilst retaining its creaminess.

7. After the resting period, the final step is to remove your homemade mascarpone from the cloth. Use a spoon to gently scoop it out, and then store it in a sealed container with a lid. 


For best results and freshness, always keep your homemade mascarpone in the fridge. Be sure to use it by the expiration date listed on the original cream’s packaging. As a general rule of thumb, aim to enjoy your homemade mascarpone within a maximum of 3-4 days.

To make lactose free mascarpone, simply substitute the double cream for a lactose free cream. Just make sure hat the fat content is at least 35%

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: Italian
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Silvana Lanzetta

Silvana Lanzetta

“Ciao, I’m Silvana, a fourth-generation pasta artisan from Napoli with a lifetime of experience! I began making pasta at the tender age of 5 under the watchful eye of my pasta-making generalissimo, my granny. Through her guidance, I’ve become a master in crafting traditional pasta dishes. Since 2014, I have been teaching pasta making classes in London, sharing my expertise with aspiring pasta enthusiasts. I’ve also had the privilege of showcasing my knowledge on BBC and in national newspapers like The Sun and iNews, and held pasta making demonstration in Harrods. Join me in exploring the world of Italian pasta and let’s create unforgettable culinary experiences together!”


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