What Does Marzipan Taste Like?

What Does Marzipan Taste Like?

Marzipan tastes like an almond-flavored sweet, soft candy. It is made of finely ground almonds making its texture slightly rough. Marzipan made with blanched and peeled almonds has a less pronounced flavor and a lighter color than marzipan made with unpeeled or toasted almonds.

Marzipan is made from finely ground almonds, so it has a slightly rough texture. It contains quite a lot of sugar, and the flavor is often enhanced with a little almond extract, so it’s sweet with quite a strong nutty almond flavor.

Read on…

What is Marzipan?

Marzipan is made by mixing ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites into a soft dough.

 Small cakes can be covered in marzipan, and sometimes they are dipped in chocolate.  It can be rolled out to cover a cake or made into shapes and figures to decorate a cake.

Marzipan is also used as a filling for boxed chocolates or as a center for chocolate-covered candy bars. 

Marzipan tends to be quite expensive to buy as the price is controlled by the success or the failure of the almond harvest.

Sometimes, when marzipan is used in a manufactured product, it’s made with almonds plus other types of nuts with added almond flavoring to keep the cost down.

It’s easy to make your own marzipan, and I usually buy whole almonds or ground almonds when I see them on special offer at a reduced price and freezer them until I need to use them. They will keep in the freezer for up to a year, providing they are double wrapped in freezer bags.

You can find an easy marzipan recipe in this article on my blog – How to Make Your Own Marzipan.

Now you know what marzipan is, what’s it used for?

Chocolate Dipped Marzipan Cakes
Small, marzipan covered cakes dipped in chocolate

What is Marzipan used for?

Marzipan is used all year round, but it’s usually associated with Christmas baking in many countries, especially Europe.

One of the main uses for marzipan is decorating rich fruit cakes for Christmas.


It is usually used as an undercoat for frostings such as fondant or Royal icing, but it can be used on its own as the finishing coat.


The marzipan is rolled out, draped over the cake, and molded to its shape, and smoothed out.

English-style rich fruit wedding cakes are usually covered first with marzipan and then rolled fondant or Royal icing.

Apart from rich fruit cakes, marzipan can be used as a covering for other types of cakes that have a firm texture, such as a genoise or a pound cake but, it’s not suitable to cover lighter, airier cakes such as sponges because the weight of the marzipan would flatten the cake.

Marzipan is also used as a filling for boxed chocolates as the center for chocolate bars.

It’s also made into marzipan ‘fruit’. The marzipan is colored and molded into the shape of fruit such as apples, pears, oranges, etc., put into boxes, and sold at a very high price.

The cake tool manufacturer PME sells Marzipan Fruit roller boards that you can buy from Amazon or your own cake equipment supplier.

Make your own marzipan (see the link above), which you can color with Gel Paste colors, and you will find it’s far more economical to make your own marzipan ‘fruit.’

How can I make marzipan stick to a cake?

What can I use to stick marzipan to the cake?

Unlike other types of cakes, a rich fruit cake doesn’t require a crumb coat.

You never use buttercream on a rich fruit cake.

A rich fruit cake is first covered with marzipan, and to stick the marzipan to the cake, you will need some apricot jam. Apricot jam is used because its flavor won’t overpower the fruit used to make the cake.

If the apricot jam has large chunks in it, pass it through a sieve, and if the jam is very thick, you may need to warm it slightly to make it easier to spread.

I usually mix a couple of tablespoons of brandy into the apricot jam and then paint it all over the top and sides of the cake. If you prefer not to use alcohol, then use the jam without adding anything.

If you cover a different type of cake with marzipan, such as a Battenberg cake, then the apricot jam is also used to stick it to the cake.

If you want to cover a chocolate cake with marzipan, then fill the center of the cake with ganache and spread a crumb coat of ganache over the top and sides of the cake, leave it until it’s nearly set, then cover the cake with a thin coat of marzipan.

You can also do the same with other types of cake and use buttercream as a crumb coat before covering it with marzipan.

How quickly can I put the icing on top of the marzipan?

Apricot Jam is Best
Jam made from apricots is used to stick marzipan to a cake

Can I marzipan and ice a cake on the same day?

No, It’s not advisable to marzipan and ice a cake on the same day.

Once you have put the marzipan on your cake, let it sit at room temperature to dry without covering it for at least twelve hours and up to two days before applying the fondant or Royal icing.

It needs the oil from the almonds to dry out from the surface and for the marzipan to become a little bit harder, so there is a more stable base before applying fondant.

If you don’t let it harden a little, once you start to smooth the fondant over the cake, the marzipan will move, and you will have difficulty achieving a smooth finish to your cake.

I have found that shop-bought marzipan dries faster than marzipan I make myself, so because I use marzipan I make from my own recipe, I usually let it sit for a couple of days before adding the fondant coat.

You can find an easy marzipan recipe in this article on my blog – How to Make Your Own Marzipan.

Now the marzipan coat is finished, how can you stick the fondant to the marzipan?

How can you stick fondant icing to marzipan?

You will need some water boiled and cooled and a clean pastry brush to stick the fondant to marzipan.

Using the pastry brush, paint the water over the surface of the marzipan. Next, take a piece of kitchen roll and blot the surface of the marzipan, leaving it just damp, and then you can place the rolled out fondant over the cake and mold it to the marzipan.

It’s important to blot any surplus water from the marzipan surface, or you will end up with a sticky mess, and you will be unable to smooth out the fondant.

If you are going to ice the cake with Royal icing, it is unnecessary to dampen the marzipan surface because there should be enough moisture in the icing to enable it to stick to the marzipan.

Is marzipan better than fondant?

Cream Marzipan and White Fondant
Rough textured, cream-colored marzipan against silky smooth white fondant

Marzipan vs. fondant

One is not better than the other: Marzipan and fondant are completely different, and they have their own place in cake decorating.

Although marzipan and fondant are used in similar ways, the finish on them is very different.

Marzipan has a slightly rough texture because it’s made from finely ground nuts and is a pale cream color.

Fondant has a silky smooth texture because it’s made from powdered sugar and its natural color is white.

Use Gel Paste colors to color both marzipan and fondant. Don’t use liquid colors because they will alter the consistency of both of them.

If you are making a wedding or a celebration cake covered in gum paste sugar flowers and want a perfectly smooth finish, you will use fondant.

Although you could use marzipan to cover a celebration cake, it would not have the same perfect shiny finish. It would have more of a rustic finish.

What can I do if I don’t like marzipan?

Can you ice a fruit cake without marzipan?

Yes, you can.

If you are using rolled fondant icing to cover a fruit cake, then paint a thin coat of warm, strained apricot jam over the cake before applying the fondant icing.

If you are using Royal icing to cover the cake, you can apply the icing straight onto the cake without the jam because there is enough moisture to allow it to stick to the cake.

Buttercream is NOT used to coat a rich fruit cake.

I hope I have been able to answer some of the questions you have about marzipan. If you have more questions about it, please put them in the comments box below, and I will do my best to answer them.

Joyce Freeman

Joyce Freeman

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