Marzipan vs Fondant – How Do They Differ From Each other?

Marzipan vs Fondant

In the world of baking and confectionary work, you will find several decorating ingredients that are very similar to each other but serve different purposes. Just like the old debate of marzipan vs fondant superiority.

Informatively, marzipan and fondant; being one of the most used ingredients for decorating cake, both almost look similar and the same to a hungry eye.

But as similar as they may seem, they are different in taste, flavor, recipes and the process of making them.

Fondant icing, butter cream frosting, almond paste with other marzipan, I bet you can’t imagine designing and decorating cakes without them. Both are just too good to ignore!

Without mincing words, this article will extensively discuss as well as open your eyes to things you don’t know about marzipan vs fondant comparison.

But before delving into the differences between these cake decoration ingredients and which of the two is better, it’s ideal we explain the key concepts in the topic of discourse.

At least, you may be somewhat familiar with fondant, confectioners sugar, marzipan and almond paste but just don’t know their meaning, and that’s exactly where things can actually get a bit complicated.

What is Marzipan?

Marzipan is also known as the almond candy dough. It’s a paste made out of ground almonds, glucose syrup, water, sugar and in some cases, egg whites.

Usually, it is being made into chocolate-covered marzipan as well as small marzipan imitations of vegetables and fruits.

As sweet as marzipan is, it can be used to bake biscuits, rolled over thin sheets and braized for icing cakes. Basically, it’s been used for decorating wedding cake, birthday cakes and Christmas cakes.

How is Marzipan Made?

Marzipan is said to be addictively delicious – there’s isn’t any doubt about that. But it can be very expensive to buy too. So the best solution around this is to make your own marzipan!

Good news…! Marzipan is super simple and easy to make now and with this guide, you should be able to make it on your own anytime, any day.

Accordingly, there are numerous marzipan ingredients out there with little variation from one another. However, the main marzipan recipes include almonds, sugar, and a grinding tool.

There is persipan too, and it is similar to marzipan although it is made from peach kernels instead of almonds. It is best used in place of marzipan for the nut allergies.

Below are, however, some popular marzipan recipe combinations:

  • Ground skinless almonds, almond extract, egg white and powdered sugar;
  • Corn syrup, almond paste and powdered sugar;
  • Almond paste, unbeaten egg whites, sugar and water;
  • Ground almonds, egg whites, glucose syrup, sugar and water; and
  • Blanched ground almonds, starch or sorbitol and powdered sugar.
  • They are simply the best DIY homemade marzipan!

Practically, marzipan can be made by grinding a blanched almond together with some other ingredients. Albeit it can be cooked or leave raw depending on the recipe combination.

Essence, in the process of making marzipan solution, food coloring may be added – though at your own discretion. Marzipan tastes like almonds, similar to clay and sweetable for several decorative purposes.

How To Make Marzipan at Home

The following are, therefore, the breakdown of how to make a homemade marzipan:

Pour ½ pound of almonds into a boiled water and cover it;

Let it alone until it is cool;

Pinch the almonds and bin the skin;

Drain the endocarp (the skinless almonds) of any available liquid;

Pour them inside a food processor;

Add 16 oz. — 2 cups — of sugar over the skinless almonds;

Run the food processor until the solution is smooth;

Add 2 egg whites and mix them together until you see the mixture forming a clay-like consistency;

Add a ½ teaspoon of salt, almond extract and any other essentials to aid the flavor;

Bring out the mixture from the pan, wrap and store it in the refrigerator (it can use up to 2 weeks there);

So the final output will give you malleable and speckled-white dough ready to be served on all sorts of cake and confectionery treats.

What is Fondant?

Fondant is an edible and frosting icing often used in cake decoration, cookies, candies, pastries and the likes.

It tastes sweet and sugary with moldable consistency just like the marzipan.

Equally, fondant is made out of sugar and not almonds, which provides it a flavor different from that of marzipan.

Types of Fondant

Majorly, there are three types of fondant, and they are;

  • Poured fondant;
  • Rolled fondant; and
  • Marshmallow fondant.

Poured Fondant

The poured fondant is so creamy, soft and icing that it is often rain over cakes, cookies, candies and some other pastries.

It is usually made by boiling enormous amount of confectioners sugar together with corn syrup.

Hence, the corn syrup will be allowed to cool off a bit after which it’ll be beaten or stirred until it forms an obscure mass of creamy consistency.

In addition, a few drops of vanilla cream, food coloring and/or any other essentials may at this stage be added.

Rolled Fondant

On the other hand, rolled fondant is a pliable sugar dough often rolled into paper. The rolled fondant could be a sugar paste or an ordinary gum paste.

The rolled fondant is usually made by adding hydrogenated vegetable oils, confectioners sugar and corn syrup.

Food coloring, flavor or any other essentials may be added too. Food-grade glycerin, agar or gelatin may be added to the dough.

Marshmallow Fondant

This type of fondant is in form of rolled fondant which is usually made and used by DIY home confectioners and hobbyists.

Marshmallow has a melted marshmallow, powdered sugar, water and vegetable shortening in its combination.

Be that as it may, hobbyists and home bakers use this marshmallow recipe for made at home fondant because of their easy access to the required and necessary ingredients.

How to Make Fondant at Home

Be enlightened that the main ingredient used in the making of fondant recipe is the confectioners sugar irrespective of the fondant varieties.

Marshmallow fondant is made out of a melted mini marshmallow. You’ll put the marshmallow inside microwave, add a little water after which you’ll mix it with vegetable oil and powdered sugar until the mixture is firm and pliable.

Rolled fondant is made out of a mixed corn syrup, powdered sugar and vegetable oil. The mixture will be stirred continuously until it is firm and pliable. Most often, they do add gelatin as well.

Poured fondant is made out of a boiled corn syrup, confectioners sugar and water. The mixture will be beaten until it shows a creamy and opaque in consistency.

Steps to Make It

Prepare your baking table with a baking sheet on the table top, and sprink it with a little water;

Add the corn syrup, sugar, and water in a saucepan and put it inside the microwave;

Stir the mixture continuously until the sugar  dissolves. Then cover it again and boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes;

Open the saucepan lid and leave the mixture to cook for 240° Fahrenheit (115 C) without stirring;

Pour the mixture into the baking sheet;

Allow it to cool down;

After 2-4 minutes, dip your hand into the mixture lightly to see if it’s warm and not hot;

Dampen a dough scraper or metal spatula with water, and then use it to pile the mixture into the sheet;

Begin to “cream,” the fondant with a spatula in a figure-8 shape;

Keep on scraping the fondant in a figure-8 manner, and scrape it again. The fondant will be fluid and clear at first, but it will — gradually — become creamy and opaque;

The fondant will look very stiff and hard to manipulate after 8-10 minutes;

Once you notice this, moisten your hands with vegetable oil and begin beating it like bread dough.Stop beating and kneading the fondant immediately you notice a smooth ball with no lumps;

At this stage, your fondant is ready and it can be poured or rolled over a cake for decoration.

Marzipan vs Fondant Taste and Appearance

Whenever it comes to making decision on the type of icing to be used in decorating your cake, all we crave for is you making the right decision.

And while most clients, hobbyists and confectioners are fond of fondant, another wonderful icing is on the loose and that is; marzipan!

The best flavor and taste marzipan could give is that of almonds while fondant is full of saturated sugar syrup, its taste really yummy and sweet!

Basically, marzipan has a cream-like color and can not be dye into white but fondant naturally is white in color.

The Marzipan vs Fondant debates and Arguments

From the forgoing, it is glaring and apparent that the infamous comparison and arguments of marzipan vs fondant is one that was made from heaven.

These are two different ingredients that can be judiciously used for decorating cakes and pastries.

While marzipan is a paste made out of almonds and confectionery sugar, fondant is a soft icing cream rian over cake.

This paste and icing cream are used in covering cakes and shaping candy and other pastries. Thus, it isn’t easy to spot the difference between the two via taste.

As both the marzipan and fondant are equally tasty, this article will therefore pinpoint the difference between them and end the marzipan vs fondant tussle.

The Difference Between Marzipan vs Fondant

In a bid to fully understand these two important ingredients for decorating cake, we’ve made an effort to highlight the difference between the marzipan vs fondant and they are as follows;

1. They taste differently

The first expo to knowing the differences between the marzipan vs fondant is the way they taste. The difference is obvious and clear.

Marzipan is an end product of grinded almonds with water as such, it taste less sweeter compare to fondant that is made out of sugar and water.

So in other to pick the best out of the two and end the age long rivalry of marzipan vs fondant, you can judge the two ingredients based on how the taste.

In a nutshell, fondant is sweet but Marzipan taste better as it is made of almonds.

2. Solidification

Another important gist to spot the distinction between marzipan and fondant as a cake decoration ingredient is the solid-ability.

That being said, marzipan can be mould, baked and sold into candy and pastries whereas fondant is like a liquid substance, hence it can’t be baked.

That is to say, marzipan is solid in nature while fondant is a liquid in nature and it can only be poured or rolled over cake and pastries.

3. Design

Apparently, marzipan and fondant are the most common cake decoration ingredients. Both almost look similar and the same to a hungry eye but their distinction lies in design.

Marzipan is clay like in nature and it can be used to decorate cake in an animal figures, fruits or anything while fondant can only be rolled or poured to decorate cakes.

In line with the above submission, marzipan makes cake looks gorgeous as it gives room for elaborate design and decoration while fondant is seen as the center of attraction.

4. Colour

As has been said about marzipan vs fondant being a distinct ingredient for decorating cake. So if you can’t tell the difference through the taste, you should by their colour.

Therefore, it’s safer to say marzipan by nature is like clay and creamy in colour, as such it cannot be dyed into white while fondant is best use in decorating a white cake.

5. Pliability

Whatever the reason why you still believe that the marzipan vs fondant issue is long been settled as the two serves the same purposes, you may have to consider their pliability.

Logically, marzipan is solid and can’t be remoulded while a rolled fondant can be used to design flowers on cakes as it has an edible jelly capable of making the icing so soft.

In a simpler term, fondant is very flexible and soft, and it can be dressed in a way and manner that it’ll looks decorated. But marzipan, on the other hand is rigid and hard; it can only be cut into shapes.

6. Universality

The last important point to make on the difference between marzipan vs fondant is the universality of the two ingredients.

Without prejudice or whatsoever, it is admitted that both marzipan and fondant are similar and they serve the same purposes, but one is better use elsewhere than the other.

Needless to say, confectioners uses marzipan to design whatever they want as it can be baked into pastries and such is an advantage it has over fondant

To crown the difference between these two important ingredients all, if you’re concerned about the taste and sweetness, then fondant should be your ideal choice.

But on the contrary, marzipan is the real deal. It produces flavor, and such is the hidden card of most confectioners out there.

When is the best time to use marzipan and fondant?

When talking about the best area and time to use the marzipan vs fondant ingredients, there are some vital things to put into consideration.

Vital things like the health condition of your known and unknown customers — in case they are allergic to nut —, the availability of the ingredient, strong flavor, etc.

However, for purpose of clarity, the best time and the workable area to use or apply marzipan and fondant will be discussed separately below.

When to use Marzipan

As a confectioner who is working on a wedding cake, the best time to use marzipan is when you’re about to mould the cake into shapes.

Another place where marzipan will come in to play a role is when making decorations like veggies, fruits and animals shapes to adorn the cake.

Also, marzipan can best be used in making various chocolate-coated candies. Such is an obedient ingredient used for the famous tortell and princess cake.

When to use Fondant

Since icing is sweet and pliable, the best place and time to use fondant is when covering the cake surface.

Similarly, it’s appropriate to use fondant — the gum paste to be precise — when decorating cakes with flowers.

In the same vein, confectioners make use of the fondant when designing appliqués and bows on the cake.

Poured fondant is best used when making a liquid-filling candy and other pastries since it can be treated with invertase.

Where to Buy Marzipan

Okay, now that you’ve known the difference between Marzipan vs Fondant; would you like to give it a shot? Oh, well, since you’re quite interested and would probably want to give it a try, but don’t actually know where to buy Marzipan recipes; below is a link to some of our recommended shops. 


Lastly, cake decoration is one of the surefire ways one can adopt to be creative enough about things that people eat. So if you’re a passionate baker, you must be having hard time in respect to marzipan vs fondant brouhaha.

Fondant icing may not have flavor, but it is advisable to use it as the main cake decoration ingredient. Its neutral taste will go on to unleash other flavors in the cake.

Also, the presence of marzipan in a cake will make it delicious, but using it excessively isn’t advisable as it’ll make the cake heavy and engulfed with almonds taste.

However, we believe we were able to look beyond the ordinary taste of the marzipan vs fondant cake ingredients by giving you a well detailed difference between the two recipes.

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