This MARZIPAN RECIPE is so easy and so delicious, it is the only Marzipan Recipe you will ever need. Gluten free and dairy free.
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DON’T LOSE THIS RECIPE… PIN IT FOR LATER…
The Easiest Marzipan Recipe
This is the easiest marzipan recipe ever. How do I know? Because I’ve been making it for literally years… And the day I worked out how to make it was the day I stopped buying ready-made marzipan… forever!
This marzipan recipe uses just 4 ingredients and can literally be made in 5 to 10 minutes. It tastes incredible (way better than the shop stuff)… You have complete control over the flavour additions… AND you’re about to save a small fortune by making it yourself.
Where does Marzipan originate?
Marzipan (and its slightly softer sister, known as almond paste) have been around for a long time. Apparently, there is reference to an almond paste being used as an aphrodisiac in Middle Eastern Folk Stories (The Arabian Nights), which span the 8th to the 14th Centuries. However, the earliest references to something called ‘marzipan’ appear to date back to the 16th Century, with pharmacies apparently offering it as having healing qualities!
Although these days, it is found in various recipes and treats across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the creation of the original marzipan recipe as we know it today is disputed. Both the towns of Tallinn in Estonia and Lübeck in Germany claim the invention crown. Even Turkey has apparently registered their interest.
In reality, no one really knows… But this time-old, treasured confection remains a rather exotic treat. Whether moulded into intricate shapes and painted, smothered in chocolate, or used as a fruit cake covering for Christmas, weddings and celebrations, marzipan is still considered something decadent in the confectionary and baking world.
Whatever its origins, it is utterly delicious.
How to make this Marzipan Recipe
For the sceptics among you who are questioning just how easy it is to make something as luxurious as Marzipan with just 4 ingredients and in less than 10 minutes, read on…
As long as Marzipan history dictates, the base marzipan recipe has only consisted of ground almonds, sugar or honey and something to bind (usually egg white or whole egg). In addition, it is usually flavoured with additional almond extract for intensity. Or, may alternatively be infused with anything from vanilla, cinnamon and other spices… to citrus or floral extracts.
Many ‘formal’ Marzipan recipes dictate boiling or heating of sugar-mixtures to make the marzipan paste. But to be honest, it seems like a lot of faff for something which tastes no better.
To make this marzipan recipe, you literally get a large bowl or food processor… weigh the ingredients (almonds, icing (confectioners) sugar, egg white and any flavouring) into it… and mix until smooth. Actually… I think the result tastes better than many marzipans bought in the shops. But don’t listen to me… Make some at home and let yourself be the judge.
Can I Marzipan a Christmas Cake with this recipe
The quantities of ingredients listed on the recipe card are enough to cover a deep 8 inch Christmas Cake. And just like shop-bought marzipan, the recipe is suitable for using and storing ahead of time.
Some of you may be worried about using raw egg whites. But actually, raw egg has always been the traditional moistener for marzipan and the shelf-life has never been an issue. However, when I make Marzipan, I mostly use the pasteurised egg whites that come in a carton from the supermarket. It gives added reassurance that the marzipan will last as long as the cake!
Tips to Marzipan a Christmas Cake
Before Rolling the Marzipan…
If you are a little worried about getting the marzipan onto the cake, here’s a few tips and tricks to help. At the end of the day… the marzipan will be covered in icing anyway, so I really wouldn’t stress too much about perfection.
- Make sure that the Christmas Cake has had time for the last ‘feed’ to be absorbed fully before starting the decoration process. (Typically 1 to 2 weeks between final feed and marzipan coating).
- Prepare the marzipan and (if it has been stored in the fridge) bring to room temperature before rolling.
- To ensure that your marzipan is rolled out to the right size, take a piece of ribbon or string and hold one end at the base of one side of the cake. Holding firm, unroll the ribbon/string across the top of the cake (as central as possible) and down to the bottom of the opposite side. Cut the ribbon/string at that point. The ribbon is now equal to the diameter the rolled marzipan needs to be to fit the cake.
- The fruit cake will need to be coated in a light layer of suitable smooth jam before covering with marzipan. Clear apricot jam is ideal. Transfer about half a jar of jam to a microwavable bowl or small saucepan and heat thoroughly until just boiling and runny. Then brush the jam over the whole of the cake.
From rolling pin to cake…
- Generously dust a large piece of baking parchment or the work surface with sifted icing sugar.
- Slightly flatten the marzipan into a disc with your hand, before carefully rolling, frequently turning to keep the rolled marzipan as circular as possible. Measure the marzipan with your guide ribbon/string from time to time and stop rolling when the marzipan has been evenly rolled to a tiny bit bigger than the length of the ribbon-guide. Make sure the ribbon ‘fits’ the whole way around the circle in all directions.
- Using the support of the rolling pin, carefully lift the rolled marzipan centrally over the cake.
- Use hands and a cake scraper, smooth the marzipan on the top cake surface before working the sides.
- Then carefully ease the marzipan down the sides of the cake with your hands, working slowly round until the marzipan is tight on the cake and smooth.
- Use a sharp knife to carefully trim the excess marzipan away from the base of the cake.
- Give a final smoothing of the surface and sides with the cake scraper.
- Leave the marzipaned cake in a cool, dry place to harden and dry out before adding an icing coat (typically around 24 hours).
What else can I do with homemade Marzipan?
Marzipan is a versatile confection. Whether a homemade marzipan recipe or shop-bought, it can be used for making anything from simple marzipan chocolates, through to covering the Christmas Cake, putting in Gluten Free Stollen, or making a delicious marzipan-coated Battenberg Cake. It is popular at Easter as well as Christmas for decorating Simnel Cake (and Simnel Traybake) and at Gluten Free Alchemist we have even hidden it inside home-made Hot Cross Buns and some Christmas Scones for an extra seasonal surprise. Marzipan is a perfect topping alongside fondant icing on our autumnal spiced Pumpkin and Walnut Cakes and for our Pistachio, Orange and Raspberry Fondant Fancies.
Can I make Marzipan with different nuts?
For those of you who don’t or can’t do almonds, but can have other nuts, the great news is that Marzipan can be made in a variety of forms… As long as the nuts are ground to a rough sand-like consistency, it seems that most will work. I’ve tried a few different nut marzipan recipes… pistachio, hazelnut, walnut… The ratios of liquid egg may need to be a little less or more dependent on the oil-content of the nuts, but the basic principles are the same.
Click for my Pistachio Marzipan Recipe… It’s one of my favourites!
Can I make Marzipan that isn’t flavoured almond?
Absolutely yes! A basic almond marzipan recipe is a blank flavour canvas. It can be infused with any extracts and spices that you love. At Gluten Free Alchemist, we have also made a marzipan recipe which includes freeze dried fruit powder to make Cherry-Almond Marzipan for a Cherry-Chocolate Battenberg Cake… A delicious triumph.
If it’s a boozy treat that you enjoy, homemade marzipan will even take the addition of a little alcohol in spirit form (but avoid cream-liqueurs as they will likely limit the shelf-life of the dough).
Whatever inspires, the likelihood is that marzipan will take it willingly… And when unsure, it’s easy to knead a drop in to test a taster, without the risk of wasting the whole batch.
Is this Marzipan recipe ‘free-from’?
For the Coeliacs, gluten avoiders and dairy free among us, the great news is that this Marzipan recipe is safe. You’ll find no gluten or dairy here!
For the egg avoiders, sorry. This recipe does contain egg. However, it should be relatively easy to substitute this with finely-sieved aqua faba (chickpea water) at a similar volume to the egg white (adding a little at a time until happy with the consistency). I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually tried it myself, but it seems logical that it will work… I have even seen some recipes that simply use water in place of egg.
For those with a nut-allergy, we can also oblige. Although this recipe uses almonds, we do now have a NUT FREE Marzipan recipe at Gluten Free Alchemist too. Not only does it have the taste and texture of standard marzipan, but it can be used in exactly the same way.
Made my marzipan recipe?
Do let me know if you make this Marzipan recipe. I’d love to hear how you found it and what you used it for… Leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on social media with any photos of your incredible creations.
For all other gluten free recipe inspiration, check out our Gluten Free Recipe Book Index.
Easy 4-Ingredient Almond Marzipan Recipe
- large mixing bowl or food processor
- wooden or silicone spoon
- cling film
- 230 g ground almonds almond meal
- 230 g icing sugar confectioners sugar
- 60 g egg white preferably pasteurised (or to desired texture)
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- Weigh the ground almonds into the bowl.
- Weigh the icing sugar and if mixing by hand, sieve into the bowl with the almonds. If using a food processor, weigh straight into the processor bowl.
- Mix the ground almonds with the icing sugar using a firm wooden/silicone spoon or by giving a quick 'pulse' in a food processor.
- Add the egg white and almond extract and mix together until even and well blended with the spoon, or for a few seconds in the food processor. The dough should now be a smooth, soft ball of marzipan.
- Knead the marzipan with hands for a couple of minutes before wrapping in clingfilm.
- Refrigerate until ready to use, but bring to room temperature before rolling or moulding.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist