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Marzipan or almond paste?

Marsha Oct 21, 2008 10:11 AM

So the British fruit/wedding cake I'm making calls for two layers of stuff on the outside (not counting the layer of apricot jam needed to make it stick): 1. a layer of "almond paste" which has no ingredients listed so I guess I can buy it) to roll out to cover the top and sides of the cake, which I am then to let sit for 24 hours before applying 2. four coats of royal icing, made with egg whites, icing sugar, and glycerine.

I've found contradictory info about the difference between almond paste and marzipan, including implications that they are the same thing. The recipe calls for almond paste, but it also called for "mixed spice" and "mixed peel" which I had to research before coming up with what I think will work.

So what would you do? And would it be a good idea to make my own of whatever I use, or are there some dependable brands out there? I have a couple of months before I'll need whatever I use, so there's time.

  1. m
    Marsha Oct 21, 2008 03:31 PM

    Thanks - I think I'll try to make my own almond paste, and if that doesn't taste good enough, I'll try something commercial from the purveyors you recommend.

    1. e
      emilief Oct 21, 2008 10:32 AM

      I just received a catalog from Burdick's chocolate and noticed that they sell "Almond Paste" which they say is "also called marzipan." Theirs is 70% almonds and 30% sugar, made without the use of preservatives or essences. It is $12 for a 1 lb tub. They also sell almond flour. They ship. You can find them online at burdickchocolate.com.

      1. JoanN Oct 21, 2008 10:19 AM

        Marzipan is almond paste with a lot more sugar in it. Sounds as though you'll have enough sugar going on there, so I'd stick with the almond paste. American Almond is an excellent brand, although not easy to find. And even online, you often need to buy it in huge quantities. Odense is much easier to find, but I don't think as good. You can indeed make almond paste yourself. Here's one recipe:


        I'm sure you can find a lot more of them online.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JoanN
          JoanN Oct 21, 2008 10:46 AM

          Just remembered that although the American Almond brand still exists, it's sold only in commercial quantities. I think the smallest size you can mail order is 7 pounds. The consumer product, available in 10-ounce tins, is now called Love'n Bake.

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