Last updated on February 23rd, 2024.
Almond paste is a versatile and delicious ingredient that adds a rich and nutty flavor to various culinary creations. Whether you’re a baking enthusiast or simply looking to elevate your desserts, learning how to make almond paste from scratch is a skill worth mastering. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from the basics to egg-free alternatives, along with tips on storage and frequently asked questions.
What is Almond Paste?
Almond paste is a delightful blend of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, or in some cases a liquid sweetener such as corn syrup or honey. The result is a smooth and pliable mixture with a sweet, nutty taste.
Chances are you can get a store-bought paste at your local grocery store, but it tends to be very expensive. This is why making your own easy almond paste recipe has many benefits, especially since it calls for simple ingredients and five minutes.
Despite its name, it does not have a paste-like consistency but more of a play dough consistency. If you wish for a softer, cream-like paste, check out my recipe for Almond Cream (Frangipange).
Uses for Almond Paste
The paste is used for many baking recipes like this Almond Cake, this Almond Pear Cake, the famous Italian rainbow cookies, Almond Thumbprint Cookies, and these Pignoli cookies (Italian almond cookies). It provides a rich almond flavor, and since it is rich in fat, it enhances the moist texture in our baked goods. You can also add it to your fruit tarts (like this French Strawberry Tart) and even Fruit pies and Galette (like these Mini Apple Galettes or your favorite apple pie) by rolling a thin layer of it over the crust before filling it with creme, fruits, or both.
It is the base for Almond Filling used to make the famous Bear Claws pastries, Almond Croissants, and fill Semlor cream buns.
Almond Paste VS. Marzipan
While almond paste and marzipan call for the same ingredients, they look very similar, but they are different.
Marzipan. A ready-to-eat confection treat is used mainly for shaping and sculpting. Due to its high sugar content, it is often eaten as candy.
Almond Paste. A raw ingredient used as a base for many recipes, it is denser, less sweet, with a more coarse texture.
The full recipe, including measurements, can be found on the recipe card below.
- Almond meal or blanched almonds. You can use either of the two; the Almond meal is the easy choice. Blanched Almonds (whole almonds, sliced or slivered) have a fresher, more robust flavor.
- Powdered sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Raw egg white at room temperature OR Liquid sweetener (corn syrup or honey)
- Almond extract
How to Make Almond Paste
Time needed: 10 minutes
This smooth and flavorful almond dough is used for cakes, pies, pastry fillings, and more.
The almonds, salt, and 1/2 cup (60g) of the powdered sugar into a fine powder.
- Add the rest of the ingredients
The powdered sugar, egg white (or syrup), and almond extract, and process until you have a moist mixture that resembles cooked couscous.
Pile the mixture over a large piece of plastic wrap and press it together into a 6-8-inch log.
Wrap the log with cling film and store, or use it.
How to Make Egg-Free Almond Paste
For those with egg allergies or dietary restrictions, crafting an egg-free almond paste recipe is a simple alternative. Follow the same steps as above, replacing the egg white with a combination of 1/4 – 1/3 cup of corn syrup or honey. If using honey, keep in mind that it will contribute to the flavor, and you might want to increase the almond extract to two teaspoons.
Another option is to mix 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup of sugar. Allow it to cook to a temperature of 240F, then pour into the mixture.
- Quality of Almonds. Almonds are the key ingredient, and it is important to use fresh raw almonds. Nuts tend to rancid fast and should be stored in the refrigerator/freezer. It’s a good idea to taste one almond before using it as a quality control.
- Consistency is Key: Achieve the perfect consistency by gradually adding the liquid sweetener until it comes together smoothly. If the mixture is too thick and won’t come together, process it for a bit longer. If needed, add a little bit of water (about one teaspoon).
- Experiment with Flavor: Customize your recipe by adding extracts like vanilla extract, rose water, or lemon zest.
To maximize freshness, tightly wrap the paste in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freeze it for up to six weeks for a longer shelf life.
I recommend dividing the paste into 4-5 parts and storing it in small batches.
Absolutely! It stores well in the refrigerator or freezer, making it a convenient ingredient to have on hand.
Marzipan is a confection consisting mainly of almonds, sugar, and sometimes honey. It is a ready-to-eat treat with a play dough consistency making it ideal for shaping and baking with.
While they are similar, almond paste is less sweet and has a coarser texture.
More Almond Recipes
Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. Would love to see your creations!
Almond Paste Recipe
Fast and easy recipe using simple ingredients
- 2 Cups Almond flour, or blanched whole almonds (200g)
- 1 1/2 Cups Powdered sugar (180g)
- 1 Large Egg white OR 1/3 cup honey or corn syrup (80ml)
- Pinch Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Almond extract
Using a food processor, process the almond meal (or whole almonds) with 1/2 cup (60g) of the powdered sugar into a fine powder.
Add the remaining sugar, egg white (or syrup), and extract and process until you have a moist, coarse mixture that sticks together when you press it with your fingers.
Pile the mixture over a clean surface, press it together, and shape it into a 6 or 8-inch log.
Wrap the log with plastic wrap, tighten the edges, and refrigerate for up to three weeks, or freeze for up to six weeks.
- If using raw egg white, make sure to use the paste for baking before consuming, and keep it in the refrigerator.
- Use the following amounts of Almonds: Whole almonds 1 1/2 cups (225g). Slivered Almonds 2 cups (200g).
- Store the paste wrapped in a plastic wrap, inside a plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to six weeks.
- Add extracts like vanilla, or citrus zest to add some flavor to your recipe.