Make homemade marzipan (or almond paste) with just 3 ingredients in 5 minutes! This traditional German Marzipan recipe is naturally egg-free, vegan, gluten-free, and optionally paleo and Keto friendly!
As a German, growing up in Germany, I ate marzipan like it was nobody’s business. So, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the first things I learned to make when moving to the tropics. Not only is homemade marzipan far cheaper to make at home, but it tastes fresher, takes minutes, and is really easy to adapt.
You can adapt the sweetness level, the sugar you use (i.e., regular vs. keto-friendly Erythritol), any add-ins you choose to use, and its consistency (firm marzipan vs. softer almond paste).
What Is Marzipan?
Marzipan (often misspelled as mazipan/ marzapan) is an almond-based confection popular across the globe (especially during the holidays). While its roots are highly contested, we know it has origins in China, the Middle East (Iran), and Europe -particularly Germany (“Niederegger Marzipan”) from Lübeck and Spain “Marzipan de Toledo”- In the 14th and early 15th Century.
What is marzipan made of? The primary marzipan ingredients are almonds (blanched and ground) and powdered sugar. Then there are several regional recipe variations, including adding almond extract to enhance the flavor, rose water, and even raw egg whites.
This version is the traditional German marzipan I’m used to, made without eggs for a naturally vegan treat. I’ve also shared sugar-free keto marzipan. Once prepared, there’s no limit to the number of ways you can enjoy this homemade almond paste/ marzipan. Keep reading for my favorite suggestions!
Almond Paste vs. Marzipan?
Marzipan and almond paste are similar and rely on the same key ingredients of almond meal and sugar (in North America, almond paste is often used to refer to Marzipan). However, the amount of sugar and texture differentiates the two. For example, almond paste traditionally uses a 1:1 ratio of almond and sugar and may use eggs, cream, or corn syrup as a binder, and is excellent for filling baked goods and molding into soft shapes, etc.
In comparison, marzipan contains much more sugar and has a smoother and firmer texture that is easier to mold and roll out (i.e., to cover cakes or make molded marzipan roses or fruit).
German marzipan traditionally contains less sugar and falls somewhere between the two. However, when making this recipe at home, you can easily tweak the ingredient ratios based on whether you want homemade almond paste or marzipan.
The Marzipan Ingredients
You only need three ingredients to prepare this homemade marzipan recipe (or almond paste).
- Almonds: You can use store-bought blanched and finely ground almond flour or make it yourself.
How to make almond flour?
Use 90 g of whole almonds and cover them with boiling water. When the water is lukewarm, you should be able to easily slip off the skins (alternatively, blanch them in boiling water for a minute). Then drain and pat them thoroughly dry, and process them for a couple of seconds in a food processor until floury. The result won’t be as finely ground, though.
- Powdered sugar: You can use regular powdered sugar (make sure it’s vegan) OR a sugar alternative like Erythritol (e.g. “Swerve”) or powdered monk fruit sugar for sugar-free marzipan (keto marzipan).
- Liquid: Use water or a liquid sweetener. I.e., maple syrup, agave, rice malt syrup, light corn syrup, etc.
- Almond extract: Technically optional, but highly recommended, to enhance the almond flavor.
What Else Could I Add?
- Salt: Just a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness in this vegan marzipan recipe.
- Rose water: A small amount (adjust to taste) of food-grade rose water adds a subtle yet absolutely delicious flavor.
- Orange blossom: Ditto the above. You could even combine the two.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla to avoid an artificial taste.
- Alcohol: Instead of water/syrup, you could use alcohol to bind the mixture, like Grand Marnier, a vegan Irish cream, etc.
- Cocoa powder: Make German marzipan candy, ‘Marzipankartoffeln,’ which dusts small marzipan balls with cocoa powder to resemble potatoes (see photo further below).
- Chocolate: Shape the marzipan into balls, rectangles, or squares and dip them in melted chocolate as a simple homemade marzipan candy.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How to Make Marzipan?
A food processor and a few simple steps are all you require to prepare delicious homemade marzipan or almond paste.
- Transfer the almond flour and powdered sugar to a food processor and blitz until well combined and smooth.
- Then, add the water or liquid sweetener, almond extract, and rose water (if using). Pulse just a few times until the dough forms a ball.
If the dough is too dry and doesn’t clump up, add more liquid, just a few drops at a time. If it’s too wet, add more almond flour.
- Remove the almond paste ball from the processor, knead it gently on a clean surface for about 30 seconds, and roll it into a log.
- Then wrap it in cling film and place it in the refrigerator until firm (which makes it easier to work with when shaping, rolling out on a cake, etc.). Enjoy!
How to Use Marzipan and Almond Paste?
There is no shortage of ideas on almond paste and marzipan uses, including:
- Use it to cover cakes: Like Christmas cake, Battenberg cake, Galette de Rois, etc.
- Use it as a crust for tarts and pies
- Use in marzipan cookies like Italian rainbow cookies (almond paste) or German horns ‘Mandelhörnchen.’
- Crumble almond paste/ marzipan over cobblers, crumbles, and crisps
- Enjoy it as a filling for pastries like croissants and bear claws (almond paste)
- Make marzipan stollen
- Use it in place of modeling paste to make cake and cupcake decorations
- Make German Marzipankartoffeln by rolling it into balls and dusting with cocoa powder
- Enjoy marzipan chocolate candies by shaping and then dipping the marzipan into chocolate
How to Store?
Store: Wrap any leftover marzipan/ almond paste in cling film and store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks (aim for 10-14 days if you use water instead of a liquid sweetener).
Freeze: Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (I like to roll it into a log first), then freeze it for up to 3 months. Leave it to thaw in the fridge when you want to use it again.
Can I make this marzipan recipe without a food processor?
You could also use a small stand mixer. Or, if you’re using fine almond flour, you could mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it holds together. However, the resulting almond paste/ marzipan won’t be as smooth.
Can I use finely ground almonds?
If they aren’t peeled, the marzipan will be a darker color, but it will still work.
Can I use dried almond pulp?
I don’t recommend using leftover almond pulp (from almond milk) for this recipe, as almost no fat will be left in the pulp, impacting the binding, flavor, and consistency. However, adding a small amount of additional almond oil (or another neutral-tasting oil) back into the mixture may work. Let me know in the comments if you try.
Can I substitute the almonds?
While not traditional, it’s possible to make pistachio marzipan. Plus, Mexican marzipan ‘Mazapan’ uses ground peanuts in place of almonds.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Make your own powdered sugar: Simply add the granulated sugar (or Erythritol) to a high-speed blender or coffee/spice grinder and grind until powdery.
- The water content is variable: For example, if you’re using almonds, you’ve soaked and peeled yourself, you may need less (maybe just 1/2-1 tsp), etc.
- Adjust the amount of sugar: Increase or decrease the amount of sugar in this easy marzipan recipe to suit your taste buds. You’ll need to tweak the ratio of wet to dry ingredients accordingly.
- Be careful not to over-process the mixture: The longer you process nuts, they’ll release their oils and become nut butter. You just want to mix everything until it’s smooth and dough-like, no further.
- Adjust the consistency: If you want more of a spreadable almond paste vs. stiffer moldable marzipan, just tweak the ratio of wet and dry ingredients.
More Sweet Confections
- Vegan Snickers Bars
- Vegan Bounty Bars (Coconut Candy)
- No-Bake Chocolate Salami
- Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- German Hazelnut Cookies
- Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars)
- Vegan Coconut Macaroons
If you try this easy German marzipan recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Homemade Marzipan Recipe
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.I recommend using a kitchen scale for this recipe.
- Add the water (or your favorite liquid sweetener), almond extract, and rose water (optional) and pulse a couple of times until the dough holds together and forms a ball.
- If the dough is too dry and doesn't hold together, add a tiny bit more water (or syrup). Make sure to add just a little until a thick dough is formed. If it's too sticky and wet, add more almond flour.
- Take out the marzipan ball and knead it on a clean surface for about 30 seconds. You can now shape it into a log, wrap it up in cling wrap and refrigerate it. It will firm up slightly in the refrigerator.
- If you use agave syrup or corn syrup, you should be able to store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks (probably even longer) or up to 3 months in the freezer. If you use water, use it within 10 days.
- Almond flour: Instead of almond flour, you can use 90 grams of whole almonds. Cover them with boiling water. Wait until the water is lukewarm, then slip off the skins with your fingers. Drain the almonds really well (pat-dry with a tissue) and process them in your food processor. You will need less water, maybe just 1/2 to 1 tsp. Add more if the mixture is too dry. I recommend using finely ground blanched almond flour for convenience.
- Powdered sweetener: If you are using powdered sugar/icing sugar, make sure it's vegan (not all brands are) or use Erythritol as I did for a sugar-free version.
- Water or liquid sweetener: If you have a sweet tooth, you can use agave syrup, light corn syrup, rice malt syrup or any other liquid sweetener for sweeter marzipan.
- The recipe makes just a small batch of 185 grams (6.5 oz). Double the recipe for a larger batch.
- Nutrition facts are for 1/4 of the recipe made with powdered sugar.
- The refined sugar-free & keto-friendly version made with Erythritol contains just 129kcal, 2g carbohydrates, and 1g sugar.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically