Easy Homemade Marzipan - A soft almond paste eaten as candy or used in cakes and pastries

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Easy Homemade Marzipan - A soft almond paste eaten as candy or used in cakes and pastries

Marzipan is a smooth, sweet paste made with almonds and sugar. It can be eaten neat, usually in the form of small fruits or cute little animals, or used as a filling or topping for cakes and sweets.

It is full of sweet and irresistible amaretto flavor.

Marzipan is usually bought ready-made, but sometimes it can be hard to find in the supermarket or some brands may have ingredients or additives that you want to avoid.

It turns out that making marzipan at home is incredibly easy and fast.

It only takes about 5 minutes and a few ingredients you probably already have at home: almond flour, powdered sugar, and almond extract.

Marzipan, a hundred-year-old dessert

Marzipan has been around for many centuries and therefore the origins are somewhat uncertain.

It probably originated in China or the Middle East and was introduced to Europe via trade routes with the East.

Several European cities have a long tradition of marzipan production, most notably Lübeck in Germany; Palermo, Italy; and Toledo, Spain.

The difference between marzipan, almond paste and frangipane

It's understandable that there's a lot of confusion between the various almond fillings used in desserts like marzipan, almond paste, and frangipane.

Although they are all made with almonds, they have great differences and applications in confectionery.

  • Marzipan is a paste made with finely ground almonds and sugar. While there are no US standards for almond content in marzipan, it tends to be between 25-30% by weight. Marzipan can be eaten raw and used to make sweets, ice cream cakes, or as a filling.
  • Almond paste is similar to marzipan, but it has more almonds and less sugar. Almond paste is usually 50% almonds by weight. Almond paste can also be eaten raw and is often used as an ingredient in cakes, cookies, or fillings.
  • Frangipane is an almond cream for cakes and pastries made with butter, sugar, eggs, and almond flour or almond paste. It cannot be eaten raw and is baked with a velvety walnut filling.

When a recipe calls for one of these ingredients, it's best to stick with the specified ingredient.

Use ground almond flour for the marzipan

When I make marzipan at home, I always get the best and smoothest results when I use finely ground almond flour.

I have tried using whole blanched almonds, but I can never grind the almonds very well in my food processor.

Uses of homemade marzipan

Marzipan is a delicious sweet alone or carved into various figures such as small fruits or animals, which is especially popular at Christmas and Easter.

You can also dip small mounds of marzipan into the chocolate. It's especially good with dark chocolate to balance out some of the sweetness.

It can also be used in a similar way to fondant as a cake icing.

You can use this homemade version without any adjustment in any cake or other pastry recipe that calls for marzipan.


  • 1 cup (96 g) almond flour (see recipe note)
  • 2 cups (227g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons of water


Combine almond flour and powdered sugar:

Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and process until fully combined and finely pulverized, about 2 minutes.

Stop several times to scrape down the sides and corners with a rubber spatula.

Add almond extract and water:

Add almond extract and water and run food processor until mixture forms a smooth ball, 1 to 2 minutes.

If the mixture is still too dry after 2 minutes of processing, add more water, one teaspoon at a time, processing for one minute after each addition.

It should come together into a thick paste similar to fondant or modeling clay.

Crush the marzipan:

Remove the marzipan from the food processor onto a clean surface, using a spatula to get any pieces not incorporated under the blades.

Use your hands to gently knead the marzipan on the counter for about 30 seconds, just to make sure everything is even and smooth.

Roll the marzipan into a log:

Roll the marzipan into a roll, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use. The marzipan will harden a bit in the fridge.


Store marzipan in the refrigerator wrapped in airtight plastic wrap for up to 10 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

To thaw marzipan, refrigerate, wrapped, overnight or for at least 3 to 4 hours before using.

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