Our Easy Marzipan Recipe Is… Actually So Easy!
Looking to make delicious marzipan but feeling a little intimidated? Don’t be – our easy marzipan recipe is honestly really easy.
This classic holiday flavor is often a must-have when it comes to desserts and sweets for Christmas!
Made from just three ingredients – ground almonds, powdered sugar, and a liquid – this can be used in holiday baking, for cake decorating, or can even be eaten just by itself.
We have a great recipe for German Marzipan Potatoes – a cute little dessert that really emphasizes the sweet, nutty taste of marzipan!
Interestingly, the origins of marzipan are actually kind of disputed. Historians generally agree that it came to Europe from China through the Middle East. However, once in Europe, there are two main theories.
Some will argue it came through Eastern Europe and that bakers in medieval Lubeck, Germany substituted almonds for flour when there was a shortage.
As a result, Lubeck has a grand history of manufacturing marzipan of the highest quality – with a high concentration of almonds to sugar ratio.
Another line of thought says that marzipan was brought through trade lines into Spain. People in Toldeo eat it all year round.
What’s clear now is that marzipan is enjoyed all over Europe in different ways. Tallinn, Estonia also has a tradition of making marzipan, and “marzipan pigs” are often enjoyed in Scandinavia.
In the Netherlands, there are marzipan treats as gifts from Sinterklaas. The UK lines fruitcakes with marzipan while Mozartkugeln (marzipan dipped in dark chocolate) are a famous treat in Austria.
Lots of people would agree that marzipan is a delicious dessert to be enjoyed year-round – but mainly during the holidays.
However, there are some people that strongly dislike marzipan. This is often because marzipan is sometimes used in a dessert as a decor item and not intended to be an actual edible component of the dessert.
Also, some mass-produced marzipans you find on desserts have colors or preservatives which give it a “fake” taste. This might have happened when you tried a marzipan flower off a cake and thought “that’s gross”. Real, fresh marzipan doesn’t taste like that.
Our marzipan is made from nothing but ground almonds and sugar so it’s definitely more palatable than store-bought marzipan. Our Marzipan recipe is also made without eggs so it’s actually a vegan marzipan recipe.
You can find marzipan made with eggs but that makes the recipe a little trickier and you need to be more careful when it comes to storage.
How to Make Easy Marzipan – Step by Step
If you’d like to tackle this easy marzipan recipe yourself, you can follow the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
And in case you’d like to see the process photos for how we made ours, you can have a look at them below and follow along!
For this recipe, we use finely ground almonds (but not technically almond flour) so keep that in mind if you follow this recipe. It should also work with almond flour but we haven’t tried it yet.
Start by adding your ground almonds into a bowl. If you want to make your own ground almonds, read the note section of the recipe card below!
Then sift the powdered sugar into the bowl. By sifting the powdered sugar you avoid large sugar lumps from getting into the bowl.
Add a little bit of liquid and start kneading the dough with your hands or with your food processor.
Traditionally, you use rose water to make marzipan. However, we know that it can be difficult to find. If you don’t have it available and can’t order it online, you can use normal water, orange syrup, orange liquor, or even amaretto as (part of) your liquid.
We usually use normal water and a little bit of amaretto if we make marzipan without rose water.
Keep kneading and adding liquid to your dough until you can form a ball without it falling apart. In our case, this is usually at just over 2 tablespoons of liquid.
However, depending on how dry your ground almonds are, you might need a little bit more water.
Once your marzipan has the right consistency you can roll it into a thick sausage. We like doing this since it makes it really easy to cut pieces of marzipan off when we need them.
Wrap the marzipan in cling film and store it in the fridge until you need it. Use it within two weeks.
- 2 cups ground almonds, (for making your own ground almonds, see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons liquid, approximately (see notes)
- Put the ground almonds into a bowl or the container of your food processor.
- Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl or food processor container with the almonds.
- Add one tablespoon of liquid. Start mixing everything together either using your hands or your food processor. After a couple of minutes assess the mixture. If it is still crumbly, add a little bit more liquid. When making marzipan from store-bought ground almonds, we usually need just over 2 tablespoons of liquid.
- Your marzipan is done once it forms a ball that doesn't fall apart. Roll it into a simple sausage, wrap it in cling film, and store it in the fridge until you need it. For example, you can use it to make classic German Marzipan Potatoes.
- If you want to make your own ground almonds, use around 1 and 3/4 cups of whole almonds with skin. Boil the almonds in a pot with hot water for around two minutes. Drain the almonds and remove the skin by pinching the almonds with your thumb and index finger. Pat the almonds dry with a kitchen towel, then add them to your food processor and grind them until you have a fine almond meal. Then continue with step 1 of the recipe instructions.
- Traditionally you use rose water for Marzipan but we know that it can be difficult to find. If you don’t have rose water available, you can use normal water or other liquids such as orange syrup (if kids will eat the marzipan), orange liqueur or amaretto (if it’s adults only). We like using 1 1/2 tablespoons water and 1/2 tablespoon Amaretto when making Marzipan.
- When using store-bought ground almonds, you’ll most likely have to use a little bit more liquid than when making your own ground almonds. It’s important to add very small amounts of liquid at a time and then knead the dough a little bit more since you don’t want to add too much liquid at once.
- It’s best to store the marzipan in the fridge where it should keep for multiple weeks. Since this recipe doesn’t include eggs this is not super critical to store it in the fridge, but we would still recommend it.
- This recipe makes around 12 ounces of marzipan.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.