A popular German dessert, this Marzipan recipe is an almond-based specialty that is incorporated into cookies, used in lieu of fondant or simply eaten on its own.
It’s a decedent dessert that is popular around the holiday time. Often associated with Germany, Marzipan is now seen all over the world. It is famous for being shaped into fruit or covered in chocolate.
A high quality marzipan is generally made with more of the high quality ingredient- almonds. When tasting Marzipan you should be able to taste how high quality it is. It won’t be overly sweet and it won’t have a grainy mouthfeel. If you want to mimic this high-quality product, add in more ground almonds and less sugar.
Ingredients for Homemade Marzipan
Marzipan comes together quite quickly in a food processor. After adding all the necessary ingredients together let the dough rest in the fridge so it firms up a bit.
- Almonds: Ground almonds are an absolute must for this Marzipan recipe. You can either make your own by grinding your own blanched almonds in a food processor for a couple of minutes until they are finely ground, or you can buy blanched almond flour.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar, powered sugar will give your homemade marzipan the consistency you’re looking for.
- Almond extract: Even with the almond base, you will still need to add almond extract to your Marzipan.
- Vanilla extract: A staple in any baked good!
- Rosewater: This is a guarded secret when it comes to making Marzipan. Adding a tiny bit of rosewater will complement the almond extract.
- Egg white: The egg will act as a binder in this Marzipan recipe. Don’t like the idea of eating raw egg or want to make this a vegan dish? Try aquafaba instead.
- Salt: A bit of salt will complement the flavors in this dish.
How to Make Marzipan
Making this homemade Marzipan recipe is not only easy, but it comes together quite quickly. It only takes about 5 minutes to make.
You can sift the almond flour and powdered sugar before adding it to the food processor, but I find it to be an unnecessary step. Add in your almond flour and powdered sugar and process until it is a fine powder. Then add in your extracts and egg white.
If you don’t have ground almonds on hand, you can make almond flour. Add your blanched almonds to the food processor (if they are not blanched, the skins will speckle the Marzipan) and process until smooth.
The egg white will act as a binder for the marzipan. If you’re uncomfortable using a raw egg for this recipe you can use the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans instead. This substance is called aquafaba and is often used as an egg white substitute. Not only will you be adding a bit more protein to your Marzipan, but you will also be making this a vegan dish!
Difference between Marzipan and Almond Paste
Truthfully, there is very little difference between Marzipan and almond paste. A high-quality marzipan and almond paste will both be less sweet and more almond-y due to the high content of the ground almonds, the high-quality ingredient. Marzipan often has other flavors in it, such as rosewater. Traditionalist will insist that you add a bit of rosewater to your Marzipan to balance out the vanilla and almond flavors. In almond paste, however, it is usually just almond extract and maybe some vanilla that is added.
Marzipan can be eaten as a dessert on it’s own while almond paste is often added to other desserts.
The two terms, “Marzipan” and “almond paste” are used interchangeably quite often. While they are not exactly the same thing, they are very similar. Only a purist would probably notice if you served almond paste as Marzipan or used one in place of the other.
How to Use Marzipan
Wondering what to do with your freshly made marzipan? You can serve it as a paste or cover it in chocolate as Marzipan truffles.
One of my favorite ways to use this Marzipan recipe is to bake it into Mandelhörnchen, also known as German Horn Cookies. They’re soft and chewy on the inside while being crisp on the outside. Even though this is a Marzipan cookie, the chocolate coating and the slivered almonds give the horn cookie a defining texture.