questions about marzipan

Joined Mar 13, 2002
i'm completely confused about marzipan. i've found recipes for cooked and non-cooked, made with almond flour, almond paste, etc. i have made marzipan once, using a recipe with almond flour & it was not cooked. it turned out fine, tasted fine & i was able to make flowers & other things with it but since i'm not sure i've ever had "classic" marzipan before, i don't really have anything to compare it to. can anyone unravel this mystery for me?

Joined Mar 4, 2000
I've never heard of marzipan with almond flour.:eek:
Classic marz. is made with almond paste, glucose, 10x sugar, and usually some fondant (although I've made it without, and it's just a bit oilier). Don't overmix!!
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Apparently marzipan made in Lubeck, Germany is supposed to be the best in the world. The recipe is simple, "The best marzipan recipes use a two to one ratio of almonds and sugar. The old masters don't consider a mix that contains more than half sugar as true marzipan. A trick used to make really great marzipan is to use 1 bitter almond to every 100 good almonds in the almond mix. If you've ever tasted a bitter almond, you understand how only one can have a serious effect. The smallest taste is an extremely gross experience you won't soon forget. A bitter almond uniquely alters the recipe and is always used in the best almond paste used in marzipan. One note about bitter almonds: do not be eat them in large amounts because they contain to trace amounts of cyanide."

For more on marzipan and its orgins and history and how to make it, look here:


LŸbecker Marzipan

Joined Mar 13, 2002
momoreg: i notice you use some fondant in your recipe. does this make the marzipan more pliable? would you be able to cover a cake with it?

p.s. almond flour (or so i thought) was just ground blanched almonds??? the recipe i used included almond flour, an egg white and p. sugar.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
yes, the fondant makes it more pliable, and less oily. You can cover a cake in it indeed.

Almond flour is finely ground blanched almonds, yes; but it is not an ingredient in any marzipan I've ever seen. Nor is egg white.

If you do make that recipe, I'd be curious to hear about your results, but I think you'll end up with a grainy paste, because almond flour is simply not fine enough to make a smooth marzipan. And then egg white will make it perishable at room temp. Marzipan has a pretty long shelf life, ordinarily, as long as it's well wrapped.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
I also thought that the main difference between the two was that marzipan is cooked. But I haven't found any mention of that in the Larousse Gastronomique.

In The Sweet Kitchen Regan Daley writes:

Almond paste is a finely blended mixture of ground almonds and sugar. In some cases, glucose or glycerine replaces part of the sugar for a smoother texture. Almond extract may be added to intensify the flavour. Almond paste is used extensively in many traditional European pastries, baked goods and confections such as frangipane and macaroons. It should be firm but malleable…

Almond paste should not be confused with marzipan, a similar paste confection with a higher ratio of sugar to almonds. Marzipan appears frequently in the baking and confection of many European cuisines, as a garnish or petit four on its own, incorporated into cake or biscuit doughs or as an ingredient in filling for cakes, pastries and confections It is available from many gourmet and speciality food shops, as well as most good European Deli.

In The Professional Pastry Chef, Bo Friberg gives the definition for almond paste and marzipan:

Almond paste: A moist mixture of finely ground blanched almonds and sugar (generally 50-50 by weight) that has a doughlike consistency. Almond paste has many applications in the pastry kitchen. It is the primary ingredient in macaroons, marzipan…and frangipane filling, and is used to flavor cake and cookie batters and numerous pastry and cookie fillings.

Marzipan: Marzipan is used extensively in European pastry shops, particularly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and Scandinavia. It is made of almond paste and powdered sugar, with the addition of a moistening agent such as glucose or corn syrup. Some recipes substitute egg whites or even fondant, but the purpose is the same. Marzipan, plain or tinted, is rolled into thin sheets and used for covering cakes and pastries, It is also sculpted into ornamental figures such as animals and flowers.

Here is the recipe for Marzipan: :

2 pounds almond paste
1/2 cup glucose or light corn syrup
2 pounds sifted powdered sugar

In a stainless steel mixing bowl, use the hook attachment to mix the almond paste with the glucose or corn syrup at low speed until combined.

Start adding the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add enough of the powdered sugar to make a fairly firm yet malleable dough.

Store the marzipan, wrapped in plastic, inside an airtight container in a cold place.
Joined Mar 13, 2002
it sounds like i need to just buy the almond paste & go from there. momoreg: i had tried the recipe calling for almond flour, egg white & sugar and it worked fine. didn't seem to taste or look overly grainy, but then again i think i need to make some classic marzipan and compare it side by side so i can tell the difference, especially texture-wise. it rolled out smoothly, i liked the way it handled & i made some roses and other things w/it. it did seem like it might be too tender to cover a cake with tho & u're right about the raw egg white being a consideration. can't wait to try adding fondant to it, once i concoct a recipe i like. thanks again everyone!

Joined May 29, 1999
if you want to make almond paste you would need steel rollers to get the fine texture. almond flour is good for frangipan and meringues but too grainy for marzipan.
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