I can’t overstate the incredible flavor of homemade marzipan. It’s a different animal than the store-bought tubes.
When made from scratch, marzipan tastes like sweet ambrosia-- complex, cozy, soft, sweet flavors that come together in a beautiful and delicious harmony.
Unlike the store-bought stuff, which can after an unpleasant bitter note and a commercial uniformity, homemade marzipan tastes like sweet almonds and (if you want), a delicate floral note from rose water.
It is shockingly simple to make and, once you get a feel for how the ingredients work together, you can play with the consistency to make a marzipan that suits your needs.
what is marzipan?
Marzipan is a paste made out of finely ground almonds and sugar. Some recipes bind together with egg whites or yolks, while other recipes use corn syrup or honey. You can bake it in pastries, cakes, and cookies, or you can color and mold it into shapes (like miniature fruit) for edible decorations.
Our favorite way to use it is in marzipan truffles!
why is this the best marzipan recipe?
Historically, almond marzipan has been made every which way in a variety of cultures. Some recipes use honey, some eggs, and some add a splash of rose or orange water. Some methods start from scratch and boil the almonds, while others leapfrog most of the process and start straight with almond paste.
In our marzipan recipe, we focus on workability, simplicity and flavor.
- Almond flour: While it’s totally possible to blanch and grind your own almonds, I prefer to buy super-fine blanched almond flour.
- Ratio: Traditionally, marzipan is about 4 parts almond to 3 parts sugar. I find a ratio of 1:1 gives a wonderfully smooth, pliable consistency with very little impact on flavor. The higher the almond percentage, the more crumbly and finicky the recipe-- it’s much easier to overwork and get oily.
- Quick and easy: Just toss everything in a food processor, pulse a few times, then knead to bring the marzipan together.
- No eggs: I prefer to use corn syrup instead of egg whites to bind the marzipan. Egg whites work fabulously, but I don’t want to worry about food safety when I make marzipan candies or decorations that won’t be baked or refrigerated. This has the added benefit of being vegan, which many people prefer. While using just water is also an option, the marzipan is more likely to crack and isn’t as pliable and smooth.
- High-quality ingredients: Don’t cut corners here. The quality of your almond extract and rose water will directly impact the quality of your marzipan. Cheap almond extract and rose water will make this taste like bad perfume. And high-quality almond flour will give the smoothest texture and it will be less likely to get oily on you.
what does marzipan taste like?
Marzipan is a sweet nut paste that’s firm, pliable and fairly smooth. It has a rich almond flavor and can often have a subtle hint of rose or orange. It’s delicate and subdued flavor pairs really well with chocolate and fruit desserts.
almond paste vs marzipan vs fondant vs frangipane:
These are commonly confused and, in some recipes, can be used interchangeably which makes them all the more confusing. Here are some basic definitions to help you keep it all straight!
- Almond paste: Almond paste has a higher percentage of almonds than marzipan. This gives almond paste a coarser, more crumbly texture and more pronounced nuttiness. The higher sugar in marzipan makes it smoother, sweeter and more pliable-- ideal for shaping and molding.
- Fondant: Rolled fondant (or sugar paste) is a type of icing, cooked into a dough-like consistency. It’s used primarily for covering cakes to give them a smooth surface. It’s purely decorative and is not celebrated for it’s taste.
- Frangipane: Frangipane is an almond custard used for filling desserts. Almond paste or almond meal/ flour may be used in the recipe to add the almond component.
- blanched almond flour
- powdered sugar
- corn syrup
- almond extract
- rose water
A note on types of almond flour:
- Blanched almond flour gives the smoothest and prettiest marzipan.
- Unblanched almond flour is made from almonds with their skins, so it will have flecks of brown throughout that will darken the color but should not affect the texture.
- Almond meal is a bit coarser than flour, so the marzipan won't be as smooth. It will also be darker if the almond meal is unblanched.
how to make marzipan:
- Pulse almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor until mixed.
- Add almond extract, rose water, corn syrup and water.
- Pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened and mixture clumps when squeezed.
- Transfer to a bowl and knead into a ball.
- Use right away or shape into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Wrap in plastic wrap to protect it from air. Exposed marzipan will dry out and form a crust.
- It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- For best results, thaw overnight in the fridge.
ways to use marzipan:
- Candies (marzipan truffles)
- Edible decorations (colored and shaped into eggs, animals, flowers, vegetables or miniature fruit shapes)
- Rolled into thin layers for cake fillings
- Marzipan stollen and other fruit breads
- Covering cakes and petit fours (like fondant)
- Cut into chunks and folded into scones, muffins or cookies
- Used in challah or babka
- Knead in a few drops of water if the dough is crumbly.
- Dust a surface with powdered sugar if the dough is sticking.
- Mix only as much as needed to bring the dough together, overmixing can cause it to get really oily!
- You can also make this in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Start with the low amounts of extracts as written in the recipe. You can always knead in more at the end, to taste. If you want more, remember to go drop by drop-- they are powerful flavors!
- Cover with plastic wrap when you’re not using. The paste will dry out and form a crust when left uncovered (fine for decorations, not fine if you still want to shape it).
- Marzipan will easily absorb colors from various surfaces, so make sure to have really clean equipment and counters. It will also turn an ugly gray color from aluminum pans (like baking sheets!) so cover those in parchment if using.
- Marzipan will stiffen when chilled. Let it warm to room temperature for the softest consistency.
more nut candy recipes to try!Print
how to make marzipan
Homemade marzipan tastes like sweet ambrosia: cozy, soft, sweet flavors with a smooth, pliable texture. Make it in less than 10 minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: scant 10 oz
- Category: Candy
- Method: Food processor
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract (plus more to taste)
- ⅛ tsp food-grade rose water (plus more to taste)
- 3 tbsp corn syrup
- Combine almond flour and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add almond extract, rose water, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon water. Pulse another 20- 30 times, careful not to overmix, until mixture is evenly moistened and clumps together when squeezed.
- Transfer to a bowl and smoosh together into a ball. Knead a few times until dough is smooth and pliable (overworking will make it oily). Use right away or shape into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1 oz
- Calories: 127
- Sugar: 16g
- Sodium: 5.4mg
- Fat: 5.6g
- Saturated Fat: 0.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Protein: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 0mg