what is marzipan

What is marzipan

Make marzipan yourself: a simple guide.

To make marzipan yourself, you only need two ingredients: almonds and sugar. With this recipe, you can easily make your homemade marzipan.

What is marzipan made of?

Traditionally, marzipans consist of ground almonds, sugar, and rose water. The proportions of the ingredients are decisive for the quality. According to the legal requirements, a maximum of 17% liquid, 35% sugar, and 48% almonds may be used for the marzipan paste. For commercial marzipan, however, manufacturers usually add more sugar. Only in the case of high-quality products, such as certain brands of fine marzipan, is no additional sugar mixed in.

Make marzipan yourself: the basic recipe.


For the homemade marzipan, you need these ingredients:

  • 200 g almond kernels with skin (alternatively walnuts)
  • 150 g powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid (classic here is homemade rose water or from the pharmacy or health food store)


  1. Boil the almonds in about a liter of water for one to two minutes.
  2. Pour the almonds into a colander.
  3. Let them cool down briefly.
  4. Peel them by pushing them out of the skin with your fingers.
  5. Chop the almonds in a good blender. Depending on the moisture content of the almonds, you will get a floury to pulpy mass.
  6. Put the ground almonds in a bowl.
  7. Sieve in the powdered sugar.
  8. Add a tablespoon of rose water.
  9. Now knead all the ingredients by hand to form a smooth dough. You may need to add some more liquid. (That also depends on whether you’ve dried your almonds after cooking).
  10. When the marzipan is ready, keep it airtight in the refrigerator – for example, in a screw-top jar.

Then the homemade marzipan is ready for further processing!

Depending on your taste, you can use other liquids instead of rose water. Orange liqueur or amaretto, for example, or a few drops of bitter almond oil are suitable. This makes the mass a little upset and more intense in taste.

Which almonds are best for marzipan?

Almonds belong to the rose family and believe to have come initially from Southeast Asia. Today the kernels are also cultivated in Pakistan, Iran, and the Mediterranean region. However, over 80 percent of the almonds grown worldwide come from the USA, specifically California. 

However, there has been a drought there for several years. Almond cultivation does its part: to harvest one kilo of almonds in California, around 10,000 liters of water use. The high water demand of the almond plantations is also critical in European growing areas. 

So when you buy almonds, make sure they are not from California. The long transport route around half the globe also worsens the ecological balance. At best, buy almonds from Europe and organic farming. 

Instead of almonds, you can also regionally grown walnuts in organic quality to use for the marzipan. The procedure is the same, and the taste is very similar to that of almond marzipan.

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