It's easy to make your own almond paste and the bonus is that it's more economical than store-bought. Here we show you how to make homemade almond paste three different ways.
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Why Make Your Own Almond Paste?

There are compelling reasons for making your own almond paste. It’s quick and easy, it’s more economical than the store-bought product, and homemade almond paste does not contain any additives or preservatives.

Also, most supermarkets only sell one type of almond paste. It is pale in color because it is made of blanched skinned almonds. Making your own almond paste gives you more choices. You can toast blanched almonds or leave their skins on, both of which give the almond paste a deeper, more intense flavor and color.

How to Make Almond Paste, Three Ways
How to Make Almond Paste, Three Ways
| Credit: Nadia Hassani

Most almond paste recipes call for egg whites. Because the almond paste is generally used for baking, the risk of salmonella contamination is low, as the hot oven temperatures kill the salmonella bacteria. However, you can make a vegan almond paste by skipping the egg white and making a syrup-based boiled almond paste instead.

Toasted almonds
Grinding toasted almonds
Processing blanched almonds for almond paste
Left: Toasted blanched almonds | Credit: Nadia Hassani
Center: Grinding toasted almonds | Credit: Nadia Hassani
Right: Processing blanched almonds for almond paste | Credit: Nadia Hassani

How to Make Almond Paste, Three Ways

Here are three different versions of almond paste that you can easily make at home: almond paste with blanched almonds, almond paste with unskinned almonds, and a vegan boiled-syrup almond paste.

It's important to note that almond paste requires whole almonds. Using almond meal or almond flour won’t give you the same slightly coarse texture.

Blanched almond paste
Blanched almond paste
| Credit: Nadia Hassani

Almond Paste with Blanched Almonds

Almond paste with blanched untoasted almonds is best for delicate cakes, tarts, and pastries where you don’t want to overpower the other flavors. Toasting the almonds gives the almond paste a nuttier flavor.

1½ cups whole blanched almonds, toasted if desired
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 large fresh egg white, more as needed, at room temperature, lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Place the almonds and the confectioners’ sugar in the food processor and process to a meal-like consistency, scraping down the sides and over the bottom of the bowl as needed. Don’t overprocess it — at this point, the mixture should still be crumbly, not paste-like.

Add the egg white and the almond extract, if using, and process until it lumps together. If it remains crumbly, add more egg white, a few drops at a time.

Using a silicone spatula, remove the almond paste from the food processor. It not using it right away, wrap it in wax paper and store in an airtight container and use within a few hours. Or place the wrapped almond paste in a freezer bag for up to six months.

Makes about 1½ cups

Unskinned almond paste
Unskinned almond paste
| Credit: Nadia Hassani

Almond Paste with Unskinned Almonds

This type of almond paste is best for rustic sweet breads and wholegrain pastries.

1½ cups whole unskinned almonds, lightly toasted
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 large fresh egg white, more as needed, at room temperature, lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Follow the recipe above. Almond skins absorb more liquid so you will likely need a little more egg white.

Makes about 1½ cups

Boiled almond paste, a vegan option
Boiled almond paste
| Credit: Nadia Hassani

Boiled Syrup Almond Paste

This almond paste is egg-free, making it vegan and allergy friendly. The boiled syrup helps to bind the paste in the way that egg does in the above versions.

1 cup whole blanched almonds
½ cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
¼ cup water
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Place the almonds in a food processor and process to a meal-like consistency, scraping down the sides and over the bottom of the bowl as needed. Don’t overprocess it — at this point, the mixture should still be crumbly, not paste-like.

In a small saucepan, mix water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F, or until it becomes a medium thick syrup. Don’t overcook the syrup, otherwise it will harden when cool.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the almonds and almond extract, if using. Return to the heat and cook, stirring with a spatula and scraping over the bottom and down the sides of the pan to prevent scorching. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds, just until the almond paste holds together. Be careful not to cook it for too long, or it will caramelize.

Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, use it right away, or wrap it in wax paper and store in an airtight container and use within a few weeks. You can also freeze it for up to six months by placing the wrapped almond paste in a freezer bag.

Makes about 1 cup

Scraping toasted almonds
Syrup for vegan almond paste
Cooking almond paste
Left: Scraping toasted almonds for almond paste | Credit: Nadia Hassani
Center: Syrup for Vegan Almond Paste | Credit: Nadia Hassani
Right: Cooking almond paste | Credit: Nadia Hassani

More About Almond Paste

Check out our recipes and resources for all there is to know about almond paste and more baking inspiration: