How to make marzipan cake decorations

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to make marzipan cake decorations
Use kitchen tools and utensils to add detail to marzipan decorations.. (Thinkstock/Getty Images)

Real marzipan is an edible clay that contains at least 25 per cent ground almonds. The remaining ingredients include sweeteners, natural thickeners and flavourings. Higher ratios of powdered sweeteners make a firmer marzipan. The addition of moist sugars like syrup softens the marzipan, making it easier to work with. Cake decorations formed from marzipan can be used right away or wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to six months.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) pure almond paste
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) icing sugar
  • 1 Egg white
  • 2 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) light syrup
  • Gel or paste food colouring
  • Cling film
  • Zip-top plastic bag
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Mix the almond paste, icing sugar, egg white and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the light syrup to make the marzipan softer. Work gel or paste food colouring into the marzipan a few drops at a time until the desire colour is achieved.

  2. 2

    Wrap the marzipan tightly in cling film. Seal the wrapped marzipan in a zip-top plastic bag. Place the sealed bag in the fridge for two weeks.

  3. 3

    Remove the bag from the fridge. Allow the sealed bag to warm at room temperature for one hour. Pull out the amount of marzipan needed for a single cake decoration and reseal the bag.

  4. 4

    Knead the marzipan with clean hands until it is warm and soft. Form the edible almond clay into the shapes desired for the decoration. Roll the marzipan into round and oblong fruits or flowers or other shapes that fit the theme of the cake or party.

  5. 5

    Use kitchen utensils to add lines and designs to the surface of the formed pieces. Add details to the forms with small knives, spoons and biscuit cutters. Poke holes or give the marzipan a rough surface texture with the sharp end of a wood skewer.

  6. 6

    Place the formed marzipan on a wax paper-covered tray. Dry the almond paste cake decorations for two hours in the fridge. Paint additional colours and details on to the cake decorations with gel or paste food colouring and a paintbrush.

Tips and warnings

  • Seal the completed marzipan forms in plastic bags and freeze them for up to six months or refrigerate for up to one month.
  • Place the marzipan decorations on the cake at the last possible minute prior to serving.
  • Add natural flavourings and essential oils to the marzipan recipe for extra flavour.
  • A drop or two of pure peppermint or almond flavouring can be tasted in the finished decoration.
  • Marzipan can be rolled into flat sheets and draped over baked goods like fondant icing. Dust the smooth surface and the rolling pin with icing sugar to prevent sticking.

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