Marzipan Alternatives

marzipan cup cake image by Cristina Bernhardsen from

Marzipan is made primarily from sugar and crushed almonds. It is often used as a cake topping or dessert filling, or it is formed into small candies. While many people love marzipan, there are plenty of alternatives for those with a nut allergy or who just don't like the taste of almonds.

Cashew Marzipan

cashew nuts image by Edsweb from

If you don't have almonds available, or if you find them too expensive, try a cashew-based marzipan instead. According to, you can make this alternative to Marzipan out of cashews, sugar, egg whites, and almond essence flavouring. An alternative for those who don't like the flavour of almond or who are allergic to almond is to use a different flavouring with the cashew marzipan, such as vanilla.

Flavoured Nut-Free Marzipan

Some people are allergic to all nuts, and a need a marzipan alternative that is completely nut free. has a version that is made of flour, sugar, custard powder, egg white, and flavouring. While the recipe suggests using vanilla extract or orange flower water, you can also make this marzipan-textured paste with any flavouring you like, with ingredients such as rose water, cocoa powder, cherry extract, or even mint extract.

Maple Sugar Candy

Collecting the sap from a maple tree image by Rob Hill from

Maple sugar candy is a pasty substance made from maple syrup. While it is expensive, it is quite a delicacy, and can be used sparingly as a crumbled dessert topping or filling. It looks like marzipan, and has a similar texture to marzipan when it is fresh, but it contains no almonds or almond flavour. Maple sugar is rich in nutrients including manganese and zinc.


Halva is a sweet, crumbly sesame treat similar in colour to marzipan and with a strong nutty flavour. It can be used instead of marzipan in some instances, though its extremely crumbly texture isn't always ideal. Halva is nut free, unless you get the kind with pistachios in it. Halva can be found with vanilla or chocolate flavouring, or you can make it at home.

Pure Almond Paste

almonds image by FJ Medrano from

Use almond paste rather than marzipan for a healthier variation on an almond topping or filling. Almond paste often contains much less sugar than affordable marzipan. Almond paste can be made simply by blending almond meal and sugar, and if you make it at home, you'll be able to control the percentage of sugar.