Marzipan Vs. Fondant

Decorating By jbc Updated 13 Jun 2013 , 4:11pm by lomfise

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jbc Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 5:03pm
post #1 of 13

I was recently asked to make a cake covered in marzipan. Now I am not able to do the cake because of schedule conflicts, but it made me have some questions since I have never worked with it before. First how close is it to fondant to work with? Do you still put a layer of buttercream on the cake before the marzipan? Also all the marzipan recipes I found were made with raw egg are all marzipan recipes that way? If you have raw egg in your marzipan can you let it safely sit out for the length of a wedding reception or does it have to be refrigerated? Anything you can tell me about it would be much appreciated I would like to play around with it since I am now curious. It will also give me some knowledge about it if anyone asks for it on a cake in the future. Thanks!

12 replies
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Cakeonista Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 5:28pm
post #2 of 13

I have heard of people using a thin layer of marzipan under fondant but not as a frosting. Maybe someone with more experience can answer this question more precisely for you.

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jbc Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 4:28am
post #3 of 13

Give this a little bump. There are some beautiful cakes covered with marizipan in the gallery so someone out there has to have more info on this.

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FromScratchSF Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 6:35am
post #4 of 13

The marzipan I make is a lot different then fondant, it does not stretch the same (but it does stretch a little), it's really sticky and it dries really quickly. It's used a lot in Europe, cakes are torted, filled, then the outside is brushed with apricot jam (so the marzipan sticks), then covered in royal icing. Cakes like Princess Cake, which is really yummy, has the marzipan on the outside over whipped cream, and there are 2 bakeries here that sell boatloads of them and do not refrigerate them.

I use Toba Garrett's recipe out of the Well Decorated Cake and it does not have egg whites, but maybe that is what makes some marzipan have more stretch like royal icing? In her book she covers a whole cake but actually cuts a circle for the top and cuts a strip for the sides instead of covering it like you would fondant. Anyway, on the rare occasion I only use it for cutouts since I have yet to have anyone request a whole cake. Bummer!

Egg question: in short, no, you have no worries about your recipe having egg whites and leaving it out. You literally have a .005% chance of getting sick from an egg white, or once every 84 years!


Too bad you didn't get the chance to try something new though, that's always fun, especially when someone wants to pay you for it!


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Jennifer353 Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 11:30am
post #5 of 13

I have only used almond paste as opposed to real marzipan but I know my Mum uses lemon juice instead of the egg whites when she is making it (she wouldnt ever use raw egg).

Almond paste (ie store bought marzipan) is much closer to fondant in texture than marzipan but is denser. I find it easier to work with but I guess thats because I dont have much practice with fondant. When I used it to cover a cake (the house cake in my photos) I used jam to stick it to the cake, as FromScratch says apricot jam is traditional. In that case I couldn't use buttercream anyway because one of the people the cake was for is lactose intollerent although I guess you could. I have never seen it used with whipped cream but it sounds yummy!

The marzipan my Mum makes sounds like FromScratch's - sticky and not very smooth and my Mum at least doesn't roll it out very thin. I would expect it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to roll it thinly but recipies probably vary.

You could colour either but would need to take into account that it starts off with a yellow tinge so would need to adjust the colouring to allow for that.

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kizrash Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 12:57pm
post #6 of 13

Hi, here is a link that explains all about marzipan. HTH thumbs_up.gif

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Gerle Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 5:07pm
post #7 of 13

Kisrash, can't get the link to work.

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kizrash Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 7:49pm
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by Gerle

Kisrash, can't get the link to work.

Hi Gerle, I just tried the link and like with you it didn't work so I copied and pasted it and that worked. If you try that to see if it works for you. thumbs_up.gif

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jillyscakes Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 8:38pm
post #9 of 13

The recipe I have uses egg white but I use powdered egg white that is what is usually used here instead of fresh. Marzipan is good for making models on cakes.

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Nashwa Posted 21 Apr 2013 , 7:48pm
post #10 of 13

Hi, this is the recipe i'm using its so stretchy and it tastes great,,you can use Wilton powder which is the raw egg alternative..



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


1. Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water.

2. Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

3. Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.

4. Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

5. Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.

6. Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, the place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick.

7. Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.

8. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant.

9. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping

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tarttokig Posted 21 Apr 2013 , 8:35pm
post #11 of 13

I always cover my cakes in marzipan, and have a thin layer of buttercream under it. The most important thing I have learned is that it's quite hard to color. Since it has a yellow-ish color to begin with you can't get very bright colors. So you need to keep that in mind when designing cakes/figurines. My latest cake was covered in marzipan and as you can see the colors are a little muted (but since that's what I wanted, it didn't really matter).

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LEB923 Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 3:32pm
post #12 of 13

Would it be possible to use marzipan in a mold, and then fill it with a cake? I have been thinking it would be like covering a cake with marzipan, but I'm concerned about getting the cake to fit into the shape of the mold (it's odd-shaped and rather small, and I would not be very good at cutting a cake down to the shape and covering with marzipan as I would do with fondant on a simpler shape). Perhaps a traditional pudding or bread pudding spooned in to the inside of a molded marzipan brushed with jam, then covered with a layer of marzipan and turned out? Would you recommend molding the marzipan and letting it dry first, or adding the cake/pudding into it while it's being molded?

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lomfise Posted 13 Jun 2013 , 4:11pm
post #13 of 13

Hi, my experience is, that you can use (real) marzipan over buttercream, but not over ganache because the cream makes the marzipan react and it starts to "sweat". Marzipan is more fragile to roll out and move than fondant, and also harder to colour.


You can, however, knead marzipan and fondant together 50/50 and it will have marzipan taste and fondant texture. I use the Danish brand Odense Marzipan (which by the way tastes fantastic! icon_lol.gif)



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