What Is Marzipan?

You may not know exactly what marzipan is, but it sure is fun to say! Go on, say it. Marzipan! It just rolls right off the old tongue. Marzipan. Arugula. Ham. All fun words to say. In addition to being fun to say, it’s also fun to eat. Marzipan usually gets busted out around the holiday season. It looks neat, tastes sweet, and is made from almonds. But what is marzipan? What is marzipan made of? Where is marzipan from? How is marzipan made? Let’s go wild on some marzipan facts!

What is marzipan?

Marzipan is a sweet confection consisting of sugar and almond meal. It’s a sweet treat that can be eaten on its own or used to decorate something like a cake, bread, or gingerbread house. Essentially, Marzipan is the original fondant. It’s used to decorate and protect cakes. Like cake security? Good question, I’m glad you asked. No, things like fruitcakes can have marzipan on the outer layer so as to lock in their moisture. 

Marzipan is not a new kid on the block, it has been around for centuries. It’s originally from the Middle East or the Mediterranean, most likely around Persia. Although Germany, Spain, Italy and France all try to lay claim to it. Spain brought marzipan to the Americas where peanuts were substituted for almonds. Marzipan in Mexico is still made this way. 

What is marzipan made of?

If marzipan is made with sugar and almond meal, is it just pretty much the same thing as almond paste? No, how could you ask that? So what is marzipan made of? Marzipan has more sugar than almond paste and additional ingredients like egg whites and almond extract to intensify the flavor. This also gives it a nice pliable consistency so it can be molded into different shapes. 

What does marzipan taste like? 

Marzipan has a different flavor than almond paste. Marzipan tastes smooth and sweet, like candy. 

How is marzipan made?

You can make a simple marzipan yourself by mixing almond paste with confectioners sugar and corn syrup.

What is marzipan used for?

Marzipan can be used to make candy-like treats. A common way to eat marzipan is to mold it into small shapes and dye it to look like fruits like tiny lemons, oranges, and apples. Marzipan is also used to decorate cakes and help those big, special event cakes keep their shape. 

Marzipan is very popular in Britain and is seen regularly on the Great British Bake-Off, especially their holiday episodes. In Germany, marzipan is traditionally flavored with fruits and baked into a loaf to be given to friends and family during the holidays. 

I try to eat a little bit of marzipan every day of the year so that I can always have a little bit of the holiday spirit. The doctor at the emergency room said that may be killing me. I just told that guy “whatever, Scrooge” and ate more marzipan!

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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