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Marzipan is a baking ingredient that is often used in Holiday treats, but is also popular year-round for decorating cakes and making candy. This easy step-by-step recipe shows how easy it is to make it at home with only a few ingredients!

A log of marzipan with two slices cut off and leaning against it on a grey marble surface with some almonds next to it.

This homemade Marzipan Recipe shows how easy it is to make this famous ingredient from scratch! Marzipan is one of my favorite sweets, it tastes sweet, but not overly sweet, has a distinctive almond aroma similar to Amaretto and the texture is a bit like cookie dough.

In Germany, you can buy sweets made from this almond-based confectionary in every grocery store, some shaped into Marzipan Fruits, Marzipankartoffeln (marzipan potatoes), or chocolate-covered marzipan but there are also many baked goods and pastries made with Marzipan which you can get at every good bakery.

We love to make homemade sweets and cookies and always have a plate of cookies on the counter. Right now, we’re enjoying our Meringue CookiesCornflakes Cookies, and Vanillekipferl. Check out our favorite German Christmas cookies for more ideas!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Tastes better than store-bought, and you know exactly what’s in it
  • Traditional German recipe made with only a few simple ingredients
  • Easy to make from scratch in less than 5 minutes

Ingredient Notes

Here is an overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom for quantities.

Marzipan Ingredients in bowls on a marble surface.
  • Almonds – I recommend using blanched sliced almonds because they already come peeled and retain more moisture than ground almonds.
  • Sugar – Powdered sugar works best, it gives the marzipan a smooth texture and adds sweetness.
  • Almond extract – I like to add a little bit of almond extract for a more intense almond flavor.
  • Rose water – Rosewater is often used for flavoring Marzipan. It tastes and smells quite strong if you’re not used to it. You can also leave it out if you don’t like the taste or don’t have it on hand.

How to make this recipe

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page on the printable recipe card.

How to make marzipan.
  1. Grind almonds: Making Marzipan starts with blanching almonds or using already blanched almonds, and processing them in a food processor until they are finely ground.
  2. Combine: Add the powdered sugar and almonds extract and mix until combined.
  3. Finish: Then add water, one teaspoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a crumbly dough. Add rose water if desired and mix until incorporated.
  4. Shape: Turn marzipan out onto a surface sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar and use your hands to shape it into a log.

Expert Tips

  • I recommend using blanched sliced almonds because they already come peeled and retain more moisture than ground almonds and almond flour.
  • A food processor works better for this recipe than a blender because it is easier to get the mixture out
  • The mixture will be crumbly after combining it in the food processor, using your hands to knead it together and form it into a log works best
  • Don’t add too much liquid or the mixture will be sticky. Start by adding only a tsp of water at a time
  • Depending on the humidity in your kitchen and the weather, you might need to add less or more water to get the desired consistency
  • You can use different extracts to flavor the marzipan. I recommend starting with almond extract
  • Only use rosewater sparingly, it tastes quite strong if you’re not used to it. You can also leave it out if you don’t like the taste or don’t have it on hand

Recipe FAQs

What is marzipan?

Marzipan is a soft, dough-like mixture that is often used as an ingredient in baking, for example in cookies or to cover cakes, but can also be made into small candies. To make candy, it is often dyed with food colors and then shaped into little figurines or covered with chocolate. It is not clear where it originated, some say Persia, but others claim it came from Europe. One of the most famous producers is Niederegger Marzipan in Germany, which was founded in 1806 in Lübeck and still operates today.

What is marzipan made of?

The main ingredients are almonds and sugar. The higher the proportion of almonds, the higher the quality. It often gets flavored with extracts like rose water or almond extract for a stronger almond flavor. High-quality German marzipan is made without any added egg whites or corn syrup.

Almond paste vs Marzipan

Almond paste and marzipan are NOT the same. Both are made from almonds, but almond paste is often coarser and doesn’t have any or only a little bit of sugar added. It is often used in cake fillings. Marzipan is combined with sugar and is smoother and is often made into candy because of its sweetness.

Marzipan vs Fondant

Marzipan and Fondant can both be used to cover cakes, and both can be dyed in any color and rolled out thinly. The finish is a bit different, fondant provides a smooth flat finish and marzipan is more speckled and not as smooth. Fondant is the better choice if the cake is served to people with a nut allergy, but some people don’t like the taste of fondant because it is quite sweet and candy-like.

A log of marzipan on a grey marble surface with a red, white and green dish towel in the back.

What to do with Marzipan

  • Marzipan Potatoes (Marzipankartoffeln): Easy to make at home and a fun Christmas cookie to make with kids
  • Marzipan Fruits: How to Video
  • Marzipan Cake: Simple Marzipan Cake, German Stollen Recipe
  • Marzipan Chocolate: Shape into loaves or balls and dip into melted chocolate
  • Marzipan Cookies: Bethmännchen (coming soon), Mandelhörnchen (Almond Horns)

Storage

Marzipan has to be stored in an airtight container to prevent it from hardening and dehydrating. It keeps fresh for at least 2 weeks at room temperature but can also be stored in the fridge.

To prevent the almond oil from getting rancid, it should be protected from direct light and stored in a cold and dark place.

German marzipan potatoes in a white bowl, one ball has a bite taken out of it.

More German Christmas recipes

Tools used for Making this Recipe

Food Processor (affiliate link): I love my Food Processor! It has an adjustable Slicing Disc which is so helpful and it is really sturdy. I would 100% recommend it!!

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5 from 13 votes

Marzipan

Marzipan is so easy to make from scratch and so much cheaper than store-bought! It comes together quickly and can be used in cookies, cakes, and sweets.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 12 oz loaf

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 tsp water
  • 1 tsp rose water, or 1 tsp more water

Instructions 

  • Put almonds in a food processor and mix until finely ground.
  • Add powdered sugar and almond extract. Mix until combined.
  • Then add water, one teaspoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a crumbly dough. Add rose water if desired and mix until incorporated.
  • Turn marzipan out onto a surface, sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar, and use your hands to press crumbs into a log. Add water by the teaspoon if the mixture is too dry.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a dark and cool place until needed.

Notes

  • I recommend using blanched sliced almonds because they already come peeled and retain more moisture than ground almonds and almond flour.
  • A food processor works better for this recipe than a blender because it is easier to get the mixture out
  • The mixture will be crumbly after combining it in the food processor, using your hands to knead it together and form it into a log works best
  • Don’t add too much liquid or the mixture will be sticky. Start by adding only a tsp of water at a time
  • Depending on the humidity in your kitchen and the weather you might need to add less or more water to get the desired consistency
  • You can use different extracts to flavor the marzipan. I recommend starting with almond extract
  • Only use rosewater sparingly, it tastes quite strong if you’re not used to it. You can also leave it out if you don’t like the taste or don’t have it on hand

Nutrition

Calories: 1986kcal | Carbohydrates: 220g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 113g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 1423mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 186g | Calcium: 510mg | Iron: 7.1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I THANK YOU FOR THIS SIMPLE RECIPE FOR MARZIPAN ,HAD TROUBLE TRYING. TO BUY MARZIPAN FROM SHOPS. IN FUTURE I WILL MAKE IT MYSELF THANKS AGAIN FROM A GRATEFUL 86 YEAR OLD MAN

  2. This is my first attempt to make marzipan to completely cover a Christmas cake (20x7cm). Could you please tell me how many times I should repeat this recipe to have the right amount? Many thanks!

      1. Thanks for that info. I have one other question. When you say store in a dark and cool place is it not necessary to refrigerate it? Would a cold storage room or root cellar be sufficient?

        1. No, you don’t need to refrigerate the marzipan. A cold storage room or root cellar works perfectly but the pantry is also fine, just make sure to wrap it airtight in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.

  3. Just wondering if you can skip the almond extract? I don’t have any at home but need to make the Marsipan today.

  4. Made your recipe. Delish!!! Chilling the logs to put in Italian cake. It has to be shredded, then added to the batter. I did use almond flour, though. It worked great, without all of the blanching, etc., of the almonds.

    1. You need to use almonds for this recipe otherwise it would not be Marzipan. Instead of sliced almonds, you can also use blanched almonds (without skin).

    1. I’m not sure, Wendy. It will probably depend on the temperature of where you store the cakes and if they are covered airtight because the marzipan will dry out otherwise.