Lactose Free Mascarpone

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Dessert, featured, Recipes, Vegetarian | 15 comments

Lactose Free Mascarpone

It has been both interesting and at times exciting to watch the range of lactose free dairy products expand over the years. When I first discovered lactose was an issue for me, I could find UHT milk and cream, but that was about it. Now there is fresh milk in skim, low fat and full cream varieties. Fresh cream is also easy to find, although only reduced fat where I live. Cheddar cheese is available and the most exciting for me, lactose free ice cream! Even with all these great lactose free dairy products, there are still others I miss, particularly soft cheeses.

So, I decided to try an experiment. After doing a bit of research I learned that it is possible to make soft cheese at home with just a few ingredients. Regular soft cheeses are quite high in lactose and can be problematic for those of us who malabsorb this FODMAP. With imaginations of tiramisu and creamy pastas and risotto, I got to work on my first batch of mascarpone.

I read up here, here, and here to figure out what to try. The ingredients are simply cream and lemon juice. I started with two 300ml pots of lactose free cream, but given that it was lower in fat that regular cream I wasn’t sure it would work.




A few particular pieces of equipment are required including a candy thermometer and something to strain the cheese in.




The cream is gently heated to 80-85°C in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. At this stage I stirred in 1½ tablespoons (30ml) of lemon juice, causing the cream to thicken and start to separate.


Heated cream


After allowing the cream to cool to room temperature I chilled it in the fridge overnight. The cream thickened even more and I could tell this was going to work well.




I lined a fine sieve with cheesecloth which was fold into several layers, and strained my cheese overnight, although I think several hours might be enough. The resulting cheese was a lovely smooth ball, firm enough to hold its own shape but still a soft and spreadable consistency. The taste is quite mild, ready to carry whatever flavours you care to add, such as citrus zest, vanilla, herbs and so on.


Straining 2


Although the process of making the mascarpone happens over a few steps, it required very little effort and just some careful attention during the initial heating of the cream. Another bonus when making your own mascarpone is that it is much cheaper than buying a ready-made tub.




Next time I will show you what I made with my mascarpone…

What would you do with your own batch of mascarpone?


  1. Thanks for sharing, will have to give it a go. I have a question for you Natalie, have you ever tried tablets “Lacteeze”? I am going to Japan and Canada in 2 weeks and it was suggested I try them as I might find it difficult in Japan to find Lactose free milk. Has anyone ever taken UHT milk with them overseas?

  2. Hi. I have tried the lacteeze tablets. They work well, but cause me to be severely constipated. Try at home first before you go :)

  3. Hi,
    Where do you buy the lactose free cream?

    • Hi Christina,
      Depends where you are, but most supermarkets stock lactose free cream these days. We have the “Zymil” brand here in Austrlia. If you are also in Australia but haven’t found it I suggest you contact them to ask where it is stocked, or ask you supermarket.
      Another option would be asking for lactase drops to add to regular cream from you health food shop or pharmacist. They are called “Lacteeze” in Australia.
      Cheers, Nat

    • In England we can get alpro cream in most big supermarkets now.

      • Alpro cream is a soya-based liquid. I like it, but while it doesn’t have lactose in it, it’s not the lactose-free cream Natalie is referring to in her post, which is a dairy cream (ie. comes from cows) which has had the lactose removed. Alpro also isn’t suitable for fodmap-free folks who can’t tolerate soy/tofu.

        In the UK look for LactoFree milk or cream in the dairy section of the supermarket. Most of them stock it. Some Morrisons also stock the LactoFree cheese but it’s harder to find. There also used to be a LactoFree ice-cream, but it seems to have disappeared off the shelves :-/

  4. Hi!

    I am in the process of trying this right now and am wondering if you let it cool overnight and then the strained it over a second night? Or if you let it cool to room temperature and then strained it overnight, 1 night?

    Help please!

    • Hi Kate,
      I chilled the cream mixture in a jug before straining for another night. If you are pressed for time I think you could chill for just a few hours before straining overnight. It might not turn out quite as thick but I would expect enough.
      Cheers, Nat

  5. Hi Kate,

    I’m in the process of straining out the mascorpone. I want to add a vanilla flavour to it so I bought the vanilla paste. Do I add the vanilla bean paste into the mascorpone after it has strained? If so, do I just mix it in with a spoon or is there another way that you recommend I add the vanilla flavour?

    Thank you :)

    • Hi Kate,
      When I made my cheesecake using the mascarpone I added vanilla when mixing the ingredients. If you add vanilla, and/or any other flavourings earlier, you will probably find those flavours develop more throughout the mascarpone with more time…delicious.
      Cheers, Nat

  6. Hi Natalie!
    First of all I must say I love you for making this webpage! I am new in this whole IBS and FODMPA diets and finding these, and close to christmas, was amazing!
    Unfortunately I live in Argentina and the only lactose free product you can find here is milk, and only for 500cc at a very high price, so my options are limited. I loved the idea of a cheesecake!
    Do you by any chance know how I could make mascarpone from milk instead of cream? And do you also by any chance know if you can do something to lactose products to turn them into lactose-free?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Laura,
      Thank you for your kind feedback.
      There are several products available on the market which provide a supplement of the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose-containing products. These come in both chewable tablet form and liquid drops. Although I haven’t tried it, I understand that the drops can be added to lactose-containing products to convert the lactose into more digestable sugars. I suggest you do an internet search on these products and you may find something that can be ordered online.
      Sorry I haven’t tried making mascarpone with milk. Im not sure that would work, but you could probably make a decent ricotta with milk. There are many tutorials available online. Let me know if you give it a go!!

  7. So excited to find this and ready to give it a whirl! Can’t tolerate soy so had given up on cream cheese. Cheesecakes, dips, tiramisu…can wait to experiment! Thanks Natalie!

  8. Hi!
    I wonder,, wouldnt this work with regular cream/sourcrem? Isn’t it the whey that separated from the cheese? And if so isn’t almost all the lactose in the whey?
    //. Patrik

    • Hi Patrick, you are correct in suggesting that the process of draining the cheese would reduce the lactose content of the end product. However,regular cream cheese still contains a moderate amount of lactose, as analysed by Monash University, and this still may be too much for some people with lactose intolerance. This recipe therefore, offers a lactose free alternative.

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