How To Make Marzipan from Almond Paste

Marzipan is very expensive to buy in the grocery store, and is often dry and flavorless. This marzipan recipe is super easy. I’ll show you how to make  marzipan that is much cheaper than pre-made, and tastes much better.

marzipan roses
Add a little extra sugar to your marzipan to make decorative pieces

If you live in the US and you’ve bought marzipan in the grocery store, chances are you were sorely disappointed. Pre-made marzipan is expensive and is usually dry and tasteless.

I always make my own marzipan recipe from almond paste. Marzipan is a fairly luxurious ingredient but is very easy to make. You’ll need just 3 ingredients and it comes together in mere minutes.

Ingredients

  • Almond Paste – Almond paste is made from “bitter” almonds, which have the distinctive marzipan flavor.
  • Corn Syrup – Gives the marzipan a supple texture.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar – Add less sugar for a softer marzipan like you’d use to cover a cake. Use more sugar for molding marzipan into fruits or flowers.

How to make Marzipan from almond paste:

a bowl with almond paste
  • Combine almond paste with corn syrup to start making your own marzipan.
a piece of almond paste and a piece of homemade marzipan
  • Almond paste is darker in color and has a rough texture. Homemade marzipan is lighter in color, is sweeter and has a smooth texture
  • Add enough sugar to make the marzipan as soft or firm as you need.

How to use Marzipan

Homemade Marzipan has a million and one uses.

  • Cover Christmas fruitcakes with marzipan before finishing them with fondant. The marzipan creates an extra layer to keep the cake moist, plus it tastes much better than fondant. When making marzipan to cover cakes use the lower amount of sugar in the recipe. With less sugar the homemade marzipan is very soft and has a strong almond paste flavor, perfect for a cake covering.
  • Marzipan can be used as a candy filling. Add orange zest to the marzipan and a little extra sugar to make it a little firmer. Cut the flavored marzipan it into small squares, cover the squares in tempered chocolate and you’ve got a fantastic little bon bon.
  • Use homemade marzipan to make tasty and pretty decorative pieces. Add enough sugar and the marzipan becomes firm enough to make rose petals or holly leaves and berries.
  • You can mold life-like pieces of fruit from marzipan, hand color them with powdered food coloring and create a show-stopping centerpiece that is delicious.
a plate of marzipanfruit
Marzipan fruit makes a beautiful and delicious table decoration.
marzipan holly & berries
Use homemade marzipan to make delicious decorations for you holiday desserts.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.

marzipan rose
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4.48 from 48 reviews

Marzipan Recipe

Marzipan is very expensive to buy in the grocery store, and is often dry and flavorless. Homemade marzipan is cheaper than pre-made, is super easy to make and tastes much better.
Prep Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
24 portions
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Ingredients

  • 7 oz Almond Paste (see note)
  • 2 oz light corn syrup (1/4 cup)
  • 8 oz confectioner’s sugar (approximately)

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the almond paste and corn syrup on low speed until it forms a smooth paste. If working by hand use a wooden spoon to mix until combined.
    7 oz Almond Paste, 2 oz light corn syrup
  • Scrape the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed add 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar. If mixing by hand stir half the sugar. Turn the dough out onto a surface generously sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. Add additional powdered sugar to achieve the desired consistency (see note).
    8 oz confectioner’s sugar

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Notes

A softer marzipan is good for covering cakes.  Add more sugar for a firmer texture if you plan to make roses or other decorations

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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32 Comments

  1. Have you tried using a food processor instead of a stand mixer? It seems reasonable to me, it could create a finer texture, but it might go wrong for a reason I haven’t thought of.

    1. I haven’t tried it so couldn’t say for sure. But it is a very, very sticky mixture and needs to be finished by hand to get all the sugar in. You’d have to have a powerful motor on your food processor to not burn out with the heavy mix. I’m thinking it would work similarly to how I do it in the mixer. Start the marzipan in the processor and finish kneading by hand. Getting it out of the processor and off the blade may be a challenge. As far as the texture, because you’re starting with smooth almond paste the final marzipan is fine in texture. I’m not sure the processor would do any better than the mixer. If you try it let me know how it works out.

      1. Thanks. I think I’ll just use the mixer. The processor was a wedding gift and we’ve been married 42 years.

  2. How long when on Christmas cake to dry …… before covering …. And how long before icing thank you and thank you for this recipe please reply asap. Merry Christmas

    1. Are you asking how long to let the marzipan dry before icing? If I’m covering the cake with marizpan and fondant I don’t wait at all. I ice the cake with apricot preserves, then I cover the cake with marzipan. I brush the marzipan with brandy so the fondant will stick then cover the cake with fondant. If you are icing the cake with royal icing you can ice it right away over the marzipan. If you watch the video on the Fruitcake Recipe page you’ll see how I cover the cake. That process is done all in one session.

  3. Hi there. I use marzipan for the center of stollen (a baked Christmas sweet pastry) and unless you go high on the sugar, it gets runny and leaks out of the pastry. Just for info.

  4. 4 stars
    I love the fact that it’s EASY because I am going to attempt the Princess Cake no bakery in
    Charlotte will make for me for my birthday. I want a cake I LOVE !
    I’m crossing my fingers, ordering the Marzipan Paste that I can’t find at ANY grocery store
    (Not Whole Foods, not Fresh Market ) & going for it !
    Thanks !
    P.S. The scariest part is ROLLING out the Marzipan covering on this particular cake. Oh ! And the fact that although I’m a pretty good cook, baking ? Not so much !

    1. Just make sure you order real almond paste, not marzipan. There’s a link in the recipe card to the brand I use. It’s very good. (I’m obliged to say that as an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

  5. Pingback: Is Marzipan Gluten Free? (Yes, Here's Why) – Choosing Nutrition
  6. How much would you reduce the sugar by to make marzipan for icing my Xmas cake? So happy to have found a recipe that uses almond paste which I found with the jello in America.

    1. I give a range of the amount of sugar to add. For covering fruitcakes I use the lower amount so the marzipan is soft.

  7. Hi there. I was hoping to make this recipe a few days in advance before I assemble my cake. Could I leave this in the fridge for a day or two and then use the marzipan or should I make it and assemble the cake immediately?

    Thanks.

  8. This turned out great!!! I’m not exactly sure on the consistency (how much sugar it really needed) but it is pliable and can be rolled out to cover these German cookies I’m making so it will work out perfectly.

    1. Hi Joanna, the consistency can be adapted to the use of the marzipan. When I cover fruitcakes I like to use the lesser amount of sugar, but if I’m making marzipan fruit I use more sugar for a firmer consistency. I’d love to see a photo of the cookies when you’re done! Happy holidays!

  9. It is not at all impossible to make your own Almond paste. All you need is 200 gram almonds, scolded and peeled, 4 drops of bitter almond extract, one egg white and 1 cup powdered sugar. I use a special hand cranked almond grinder, but food processor works too, just keep going until it’s really fine, Add eggwite essence and sugar, mix well, Keep in air tight container until used. You can also add a few drops Rose water for a sofisticated taste.

    1. HI Christina. This recipe should make enough to cover an 8″ cake (2-3″ tall cake). Of course it will depend how thick you like to roll the marzipan. What type of cake are you making?

  10. Hi, there is “light” corn syrup and “dark” corn syrup at store, which one should I use for this recipe? Thank you!!

  11. Hi Eileen,
    If i can’t find the almond paste in the grocery store, can i make my own? And if so, is there any recipe which I can use as a guide?
    By the way, the roses and decorations are pretty!

    1. Hi Juliet! To make true almond paste at home would be impossible. Almond paste is not made from regular almonds that you buy at the store. It’s made from “bitter almonds”. Bitter almonds have that “marzipan” flavor. Also, getting the paste completely smooth with no gritty bits of almonds can’t really be done in a food processor. Commerical almond paste is made with rollers that completely crush the nuts. I have ground my own almonds and added almond extract to make a version of almond paste used as a pastry filling. But you want marzipan to be super smooth for most uses. Almond paste can be bought on-line. Is that an option for you?

  12. Hi Eileen. Thanks for this informative piece. I’ve never used marzipan, but i have a customer who wants fruit cake (christmas cake) for her birthday cake. Do you know if buttercream would work the same way as marzipan, before i cover the entire cake with fondant?
    Marcia.

    1. Hi Marcia. I guess there’s no reason you couldn’t ice a fruitcake with buttercream. When I make Christmas fruitcakes I coat the cake with apricot preserves, then with a layer of marzipan and then finally with a layer of fondant or royal icing. That’s the more traditional way to finish the cake. For many fruitcake lovers (me included) one of the best parts of a fruitcake is the marzipan. Also, if she plans to save the cake (fruitcake can keep for months if cared for properly) then I wouldn’t use buttercream since it will go bad.