What Is Marzipan—and How Do You Make It?

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You probably know two things about marzipan: It’s delicious and it starts popping up everywhere around Christmastime. But do you know what marzipan actually is or how it’s made? 

What Is Marzipan?

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Marzipan is a candy-like mixture made by mixing ground almonds with sugar, corn syrup, and egg whites. Most commonly associated with holiday baking, it’s often molded into festive shapes and used like fondant to decorate cakes or other desserts. Marzipan, which can range in color from bright white to off-white, is also commonly covered with chocolate and eaten as candy. 

You can make Persipan, a marzipan-like substance, by using apricot or peach pits instead of almonds. Since peaches and almonds are related, they produce a similar taste. However, true marzipan enthusiasts will likely be able to detect a slight difference.  

Marzipan vs. Almond Paste

Many people (wrongly) believe that marzipan and almond paste can be used interchangeably since they have similar consistencies and a common main ingredient. If you’re considering substituting almond paste in a recipe that calls for marzipan, we have one word for you: don’t. 

Marzipan is sweet and contains egg whites, which make it smooth and easy to mold into shapes. Almond paste, meanwhile, is coarser and less sweet. It is typically used as an ingredient or filling in pastries.

How to Make Marzipan

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You can buy tubes of marzipan in grocery stores for about $5 per package. However, it’s easy enough to whip it up at home if you’d rather make it from scratch—all you need is sugar, water, almonds, almond extract, egg whites, and a little bit of patience. 

Find our best marzipan recipe here. 

What Can You Make With Marzipan? 

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Kick off holiday baking season in style with one of our favorite recipes that call for marzipan. 

  • Marzipan Acorns
  • Baked Marzipan Doughnuts
  • Marzipan Bees
  • Apple Marzipan Galette
  • Algerian Stuffed Dates

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