Working with Marzipan

Marzipan is perfect for sculpting small fruits, whimsical animals, flowers, figures or other objects. Nowadays, it is also used to cover cakes.

Marzipan is sweeter than almond paste. It consists of the latter and sugar mixed together into a pliable dough. A small amount of liquid sweetener, such as syrup, also contributes to this pliability.


Equal parts by weight of almond paste and sugar likely yield the best quality product. The color is ivory. Its almond flavor is subtle. It is neither too sweet nor sticky.

Helpful tips:1

  • Confectioners’ sugar prevents sticking.

  • Flour causes fermentation.

  • Stainless steel material prevents discoloration.

  • Proper wrapping and storage prevent drying out and prolong shelf-life up to 3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in a thick, black plastic bag to prevent fading from exposure to light.

  • The highest standard of sanitation for nonporous work surfaces, machinery, equipments, tools, hands is necessary to prevent bacterial growth and fermentation.

Making homemade marzipan is quick and easy with the following ingredients.

Almond paste 1 lb.
Glucose or corn syrup 4 oz.
Confectioners’ sugar 1 lb.

  1. Blend almond paste and syrup on low speed until well combined.
  2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, just enough to make a pliable paste.
  3. Wrap tightly in plastic, place in a black plastic bag if possible and store in a dry place.

While searching for easy cookie recipes, I came across this interesting method of sculpting carrots for decorations.2

Marzipan 7 oz.
Orange gel-paste food coloring
Chocolate wafer cookies as much as needed
(finely ground)
Fresh carrot greens or fresh dill

Making marzipan carrots

  • Add a drop of orange food coloring to the paste and knead to combine thoroughly. Adding a little bit more color, if necessary, until it reaches the desired shade.

  • Roll a mounded ½ teaspoon into a ball, then back and forth into log, about 2-inches. Shape one end of the log into a tapered point to form a carrot shape.

    Don’t strive for perfection because actual carrots do have lumps and bumps.

  • Make a small hole at the top of the carrot using a toothpick.

  • Make small grooves randomly across the surface using a sparing knife.
    At this point, carrots can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

  • Just before serving, roll carrots in chocolate cookie crumbs. Brush off excess and insert carrot greens or dill into the top hole.
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    1Labensky, Sarah with Eddy van Damme, Priscilla Martel and Klaus Tenbergen. On Baking – A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals. Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 2005.

    2Steward, Martha. Martha Steward’s Baking Handbook. 1st Edition. Clarkson Potter, New York, NY. 2005.