How to Make Marzipan

Making marzipan at home is easier than you'd expect and requires just two basic ingredients. Find out how to make marzipan, step-by-step!

Marzipan Ingredients

There are surprisingly very few ingredients in marzipan, with there being only two ingredients that you absolutely need:

Almonds + Sugar = Marzipan
Marzipan can be made in different ways, but two ingredients are a constant: almonds and sugar. The almond to sugar ratio varies from recipe to recipe. Marzipan can be made from whole almonds or almond flour. However, using whole almonds is preferred because in almond meal, the almonds have greater exposure to oxygen, which affects shelf life. While you can buy whole peeled (blanched) almonds, starting with raw unpeeled almonds and taking the time to peel them yourself yields the best result.

No need for eggs
Some recipes call for egg white to make the marzipan pliable. But egg white is not essential to make marzipan. Also, raw eggs may contain salmonella, which raises particular concerns because marzipan, unlike almond paste, is often consumed uncooked. Moreover, egg makes the marzipan unsuitable for a vegan diet. So stick to egg-free marzipan recipes to keep it safe and easy for everyone to enjoy!

Optional flavorings and colorings
Adding flavorings such as rose water, almond extract, or orange blossom water is optional. Similarly, you can opt to leave marzipan in its natural state or to add food coloring.

Marzipan Ingredients
Marzipan Ingredients. Nadia Hassani

How to Make Marzipan, Step-by-Step

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup raw almonds, preferably unpeeled
1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon water, more as needed
a few drops rose water, almond extract, or orange blossom water (optional)
food coloring (optional)

Skinning almonds for marzipan
Skinning almonds for marzipan. Nadia Hassani

1. Peel the almonds

If using unpeeled almonds, place them in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them stand for a few minutes, which will loosen the skins. When the water has cooled down enough to handle, remove the almonds, a couple at a time, and slip off the skins. Meanwhile leave the other almonds in the warm water, otherwise it becomes more difficult to remove the skins. Drop the peeled almonds in a colander to drain.

Drying almonds after peeling
Dry the almonds after removing their skins. Nadia Hassani

2. Dry the peeled almonds

Spread the almonds out on paper towels or a clean tea towel to dry for a few minutes.

Grinding almonds for marzipan
Grind the almonds till fine. Nadia Hassani

3. Grind the almonds

Place the almonds in the food processor and process to a very fine consistency, scraping down the sides and over the bottom of the bowl as needed.

Processing almonds and sugar for marzipan
Processing almonds and sugar for marzipan. Nadia Hassani

4. Process with sugar

Add the confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon water. Keep processing until a thick, smooth paste forms. If the mixture remains dry and crumbly, add water, about ¼ teaspoon at a time. Continue to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl.

Adding coloring to marzipan
Adding coloring to marzipan. Nadia Hassani

5. Optional: Add flavoring or coloring

When the marzipan mixture is smooth and grit-free, add flavoring (if using) and process for a few seconds longer.

If you want to dye the marzipan all the same color, you can add the food coloring at the end of processing (you can also knead in the food coloring after the resting period). A little goes a long way, so start with 1 to 2 drops and let the food processor run until the color is mixed in evenly, then add more until you get the desired color.

Marzipan after kneading
Marzipan after kneading. Nadia Hassani

6. Knead and rest

Using a silicone spatula, remove the marzipan from the food processor and briefly knead it to compact it. Freshly prepared marzipan is difficult to shape so figure in at least an overnight resting period before using it.

Marzipan in an airtight container
Store marzipan in an airtight container. Nadia Hassani

Marzipan storage

Place the marzipan in a container with a tight-fitting lid and cover. Refrigerate overnight, better a full day, before using. You can also freeze it, which is the best way to store homemade marzipan if you don't use it within one week.

Marzipan ideas and inspiration:

That's it! Your marzipan is ready to use in just a few easy steps. For more marzipan ideas , we have lots of marzipan recipes to inspire you:

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