Homemade Marzipan – A Great Paleo Dessert!

I love the taste of marzipan… theoretically. Well I do like it, except that every time someone has offered me some marzipan lately, it just doesn’t taste right. I decided to investigate.

I went to Amazon and looked at a variety of marzipans they have for sale. Mystery solved. Most types of marzipan on the market have more sugar than almonds, some have high fructose corn syrup too, and soy lecithin, among other totally unnecessary and bizarre ingredients.

Sounds like it’s time to make it myself.

Real marzipan is made from only three ingredients:

  • almonds
  • sugar
  • wild almonds

I discovered all about wild almonds the hard way (read about that here). They have a fascinating taste: first the flavor of regular almonds comes through. That quickly gives way to an intensely bitter flavor, then comes the distinctive marzipan taste. The bitter taste, by the way, comes from cyanide. It can’t be too concentrated though, because I ate about 10 of them (before I discovered that it had cyanide), and didn’t suffer any ill effects. Don’t worry, they’re soaked before they go into the maripan, so no death by maripan.


wild almond

Wild Almonds

For those who don’t have wild almonds within easy reach, you can make marzipan with almond extract, but make sure you use the real thing – not artificial almond flavoring.

Making marzipan isn’t difficult, but you’ve got to do things correctly. The almonds have to soak, so remember to start the day before.


Homemade Marzipan


360 gm. unroasted, unpasteurized almonds, preferably organic

4 small bitter almonds OR ¼ tsp. almond extract

Sugar syrup:
2 tbsp. water
6 tbsp. organic cane sugar

Let’s cook!

1. Prepare the almonds

Soak almonds in water for 24 hours. This not only makes it possible to get the skin off, but rids it of anti-nutrients. Drain the almonds. If the skin doesn’t come off easily, drag a knife blade over the joint edge of each of the almond to peel away a teeny strip of skin. Then pour hot water over, leave for two minutes, and almonds should be easy to peel. Towel dry, sun dry, or oven dry on the lowest heat setting.

2. Prepare the wild almonds

(Skip this section if you are using almond extract).

You have to soak the almonds to get rid of their poison. Soak the almonds overnight in a glass of water. Peel and break them in half, and leave them to soak for another 24 hours, changing the water a few times. Dry.

3. Grind the almonds

Add the bitter almonds to the other almonds and grind them all up using a food processor or coffee grinder.

Tip: If you need to rid the coffee grinder of the taste of coffee or spices, just grind a small amount of white rice and tip it out.

Grind the almonds to a very fine powder. The coffee grinder, if you’re using that, will give some resistance and you’ll see that it’s done. Once your almond powder is ready, it’s time to make the syrup.

4. Prepare the sugar syrup

Put the water and sugar in a small pot on low heat, stirring constantly until all the sugar has melted. This doesn’t take long so babysit it so it doesn’t burn or caramelize. Add the almond extract to the sugar syrup and stir.

5. Time for the magic

Add the sugar syrup and almond extract to the almond powder. Knead the marzipan until it forms a consistent paste, squeezing out any air bubbles. It should be soft and pliable. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and you’re done!

Homemade Marzipan

Homemade Marzipan!



You can shape it any way you like, maybe even a in the shape of a squirrel.

Homemade Marzipan

Photo: Vidar Hoel


Or piggies!

Homemade Marzipan




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Posted in Paleo Desserts, Paleo Diet Recipes Tagged with: ,
7 comments on “Homemade Marzipan – A Great Paleo Dessert!
  1. joannabanana21 says:

    i make my own marzipan, too!!! i use almonds, almond extract, and pure maple syrup. it tastes just like the real thing. my only problem is coloring. i have tried turmeric, carrot juices, and a few other juices but they totally change the consistency and i just end up having to add more almonds which changes the color back. what do you use for colorings?

  2. Sara says:

    I used to make them 50 yrs ago as gifts, but lost the recipe.
    We used to have this as a special treat on St. Nicks day on December the 6th
    Thank you Ruth for posting this.

  3. Eva says:

    Okay, Ruth, I want a batch of this for my birthday!!

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