Delia Smith Marzipan Recipe

Last updated on March 18, 2024

Delia Smith Marzipan Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

Delia Smith’s Marzipan recipe is a delightful blend of almond flavors, perfect for those who appreciate the art of homemade confections. This marzipan is not only ideal for cake decoration but also serves as a delicious treat in its own right.

The recipe is designed to serve multiple people, depending on how you choose to use it – either as a cake covering or for crafting small, decorative shapes. It can be prepared in under an hour, making it a convenient choice for adding a personal touch to your baking without requiring too much time.

What is Delia Smith Marzipan?

Delia Smith Marzipan is a homemade almond paste that is used to cover and decorate cakes, especially for Christmas. It is made with sugar, egg, almond extract, brandy, and ground almonds. It has a rich and nutty flavor and a smooth and pliable texture.

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Why You Love this Recipe

This recipe stands out for several compelling reasons:

  • Simplicity and Speed: It’s remarkably easy to make, requiring just a few basic ingredients and minimal cooking time.
  • Superior Taste: Unlike store-bought versions, which can be dry and lackluster, this homemade marzipan boasts a rich, authentic almond flavor.
  • Versatility in Use: Perfect for covering cakes of any kind, this marzipan can also be dyed and molded into a variety of decorative shapes.
  • Festive Appeal: It not only adds a delightful festive flair to cakes but also complements a range of flavors, including fruit, chocolate, and spices, enhancing the overall taste experience.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Marzipan

To make Delia Smith’s marzipan recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 90g golden caster sugar
  • A few drops of pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon of brandy
  • 175g of ground almonds
  • A little icing sugar (to knead and roll)
  • 1 egg (you may need only half or a quarter of it, depending on the size)

Useful Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • A sieve
  • A whisk
  • A small saucepan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A surface lightly dusted with icing sugar
  • A rolling pin
  • A cake tin or board (the same size as your cake)

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Marzipan

To make Delia Smith’s marzipan, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Almond Mixture

  • Sift the icing sugar and caster sugar into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the ground almonds.
  • This will create a fine and uniform mixture that will form the base of the marzipan.

Step 2: Heat the Egg

  • In a small saucepan, gently heat the egg over a low heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly warm and frothy.
  • Do not let it boil or scramble, as this will ruin the marzipan.
  • The egg will act as a binder and a moisturizer for the marzipan.

Step 3: Add the Flavourings

  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the almond extract and brandy.
  • The almond extract will enhance the almond flavor of the marzipan, and the brandy will add a subtle kick and aroma.
  • You can also use other liquors, such as rum, whisky, or amaretto, depending on your preference.

Step 4: Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients

  • Make a well in the center of the almond mixture, and pour in the egg mixture.
  • Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients, and then use your hands to bring the mixture together into a smooth dough.
  • If the mixture is too dry, add a little more egg. If the mixture is too sticky, add a little more icing sugar.

Step 5: Knead the Dough

  • Knead the dough on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, until it is smooth and pliable.
  • Do not overwork the dough, as this will make the marzipan tough and rubbery.
  • Kneading the dough will help to distribute the ingredients evenly and create a smooth texture.

Step 6: Roll Out the Dough

  • Roll out the dough to the size of your cake, using a rolling pin and a cake tin or board as a guide.
  • Keep turning the dough a quarter turn after each roll, to keep it round and even.
  • Do not roll the dough too thin, as this will make the marzipan crack and tear. The dough should be about 5mm thick, or slightly thicker if you prefer.

Step 7: Cover the Cake

  • Carefully lift the dough and place it over your cake, smoothing it down with your hands.
  • Trim off any excess dough, and use it to make decorations or store it in an airtight container for later use.
  • You can also color and shape the marzipan into various decorations, such as fruits, flowers, or animals.

Step 8: Enjoy or Store

  • Enjoy your homemade marzipan, or store it in the fridge until you are ready to ice your cake.
  • Do not refrigerate the marzipan after you have covered your cake, as this will make the marzipan sweat and lose its shape. Keep the cake in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Delia Smith Marzipan
Delia Smith Marzipan

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Marzipan?

Delia Smith’s Marzipan is a versatile accompaniment to various desserts:

  • Cake Pairings: It’s the perfect complement to any type of cake, be it a rich fruit cake, a light sponge cake, or a decadent chocolate cake.
  • Dessert Enhancements: For an indulgent treat, pair it with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream. Each of these options adds a different but equally delicious dimension to your dessert.
  • Enjoy on Its Own: Alternatively, savour the marzipan as a standalone sweet treat or a delightful snack, enjoying the full flavor of this exquisite almond paste.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Marzipan

Here are some pro tips to make perfect Delia Smith Marzipan:

  • Sugar Choice: Opt for golden caster sugar over regular caster sugar for a deeper flavor and richer color.
  • Almond Extract: Use pure almond extract rather than artificial flavorings to achieve a more authentic almond taste.
  • Brandy for Flavor: Incorporate brandy instead of water to add a subtle depth and aroma. Alternatively, rum, whisky, or amaretto can be used to suit your taste preferences.
  • Egg Temperature: Ensure eggs are at room temperature for optimal blending with other ingredients, preventing curdling or premature cooking.
  • Egg Heating: Warm the egg gently, avoiding overheating to keep the marzipan from becoming hard and dry. Aim for a slightly warm and frothy texture.
  • Dough Handling: Knead the dough just until smooth and pliable. Overworking can result in a tough, rubbery texture.
  • Rolling Thickness: Roll the dough to about 5mm thickness, avoiding too thin a roll which can cause cracking.
  • Preventing Drying: To keep the dough from drying out, wrap it in cling film or a damp cloth, store it in an airtight container or fridge.
  • Post-Covering Care: Once the cake is covered with marzipan, avoid refrigerating to prevent sweating and shape loss. Store the cake in a cool, dry place.

Variations of Delia Smith Marzipan

Customize your marzipan with these variations:

  • Chocolate Marzipan: Mix in 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the almond-sugar mixture, reducing the icing sugar accordingly.
  • Lemon Marzipan: Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon to the egg, reducing the brandy as needed.
  • Pistachio Marzipan: Substitute half of the ground almonds with ground pistachios, adding a few drops of green food coloring.
  • Rose Marzipan: Incorporate 1 teaspoon of rose water and a few drops of pink food coloring.

How do I store Delia Smith Marzipan Leftovers?

Preserve leftover marzipan effectively:

  • In the Fridge: Wrap tightly in cling film or a plastic bag, storing in the fridge for up to a week.
  • In the Freezer: Similarly, wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before use.
  • In the Cupboard: Wrap and store in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Marzipan Leftovers?

Reheat marzipan carefully:

  • Microwave: Cut into small pieces and microwave in short bursts until soft, avoiding overheating.
  • Oven: Preheat to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and bake on a parchment-lined tray for 5-10 minutes until slightly golden.
  • Steaming: Steam in a basket over simmering water for 10-15 minutes until soft and moist, without oversteaming.

Nutrition value per 100g of marzipan:

  • Calories: 424 kcal
  • Fat: 20.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.4 g
  • Protein: 8.8 g
  • Fibre: 3.9 g
  • Sugar: 49.5 g
  • Salt: 0.1 g


How do I make chocolate marzipan?

To make chocolate marzipan, you can add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the sugar and almond mixture, and reduce the icing sugar by the same amount. This will give the marzipan a rich chocolate flavor and color.

Can I make Delia Smith’s Marzipan without brandy for a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of Delia Smith’s Marzipan. Instead of brandy, use an equal amount of orange or apple juice to maintain the moisture and flavor balance. The juice adds a subtle fruitiness that complements the almond taste.

How can I ensure my marzipan has the right consistency and doesn’t become too dry or sticky?

Achieving the right consistency in marzipan is about balancing wet and dry ingredients. Start by adding only half of the beaten egg and mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add more eggs little by little until you achieve a smooth, pliable texture. If it becomes too sticky, lightly dust it with more icing sugar as you knead.

Final Words

Delia Smith’s marzipan recipe is a simple and delicious way to make your own homemade almond paste. It is easy to make, and it tastes much better than the ready-made version. You can use it to cover cakes, make decorations, or enjoy it as a sweet treat.

Follow this complete step-by-step guide to make your own marzipan, and impress your friends and family with your baking skills.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope you will try this recipe soon. Happy baking!

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