What Is the Difference Between Marzipan & Fondant?

Written by elisabeth natter
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What Is the Difference Between Marzipan & Fondant?
Marzipan is typically formed into colourful candies. (pâtes d'amande image by KALISTE A from Fotolia.com)

Both marzipan and fondant have been the tools of confectionery artists for more than two centuries, but the sugary creations differ in their ingredients and the way in which they are used.


Marzipan is made primarily from ground almonds and sugar. Although similar to almond paste, it has a higher sugar content. It is naturally cream coloured.


Fondant is made with sugar, water and a stabiliser such as gelatin or cream of tartar. It is cooked to the soft ball stage in candy processing, then kneaded to a smooth and pliable consistency. Initially white, it is often tinted with food colouring for various decorating purposes.


Both marzipan and fondant are easily shaped and rolled, so both are used to create three-dimensional cake decorations. However, fondant is frequently used in place of icing to completely drape a cake with a smooth shell. Lisa Smith, owner of Ann's Cake Pan in Horsham, Pennsylvania, uses fondant to create ribbons, flowers and unique decorations for her cakes because the mild flavour complements the cake. Because of the intense almond flavour of marzipan, it is eaten most often as a candy. Especially popular in Europe, it is moulded into decorative fruit, animals or people and colourfully painted.

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