Zesty orange marzipan

Zesty orange marzipan

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins No cook


Homemade marzipan out does shop-bought every time, if orange isn't your thing try ginger or cinnamon - it's simple too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving (12)

  • kcal264
  • fat13g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars34g
  • fibre2g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.04g
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  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g ground almond
  • grated zest and juice 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 egg yolk

To finish the cake

  • shredless marmalade


  1. Sift the sugars and ground almonds together, then stir through the orange zest. Beat together the egg and egg yolk, then add to the sugar mixture, stirring well.

  2. Knead briefly to ensure the marzipan is completely mixed and pliable, adding a little orange juice if the mix is too dry, or icing sugar if too wet.

  3. Place the cake on a cake board and use small balls of marzipan to plug any holes in the cake. Now glaze the cake with a thin layer of marmalade. Dust your work surface with a little icing sugar, then roll out the marzipan in one direction, keeping the pressure even and turning a ¼ turn every few rolls.

  4. When large enough (about 40cm in diameter for a 20cm cake), roll the marzipan onto the rolling pin and lift onto the cake. Smooth the top with your palms and continue down over the sides of the cake, smoothing out any folds as you go. Trim with a knife where the marzipan meets the board, then leave to dry overnight.

  5. How long does homemade marzipan keep? Although homemade marzipan contains raw eggs, the amount of sugar, and lack of moisture, prevents bacteria growing when left at room temperature, so your cake should last for 1-2 months iced. The most important thing is that you don't scrimp on drying time – once you’ve covered your cake in marzipan it should be left to completely dry out for up to 3 days, before you then cover it with icing. If you want to make marzipan before you are ready to cover your cake, then wrap it well in cling film and keep in a fridge for up to a week – as wrapped in a ball it will still contain a little moisture. As it contains raw eggs it shouldn’t be given to anyone in an at-risk group, including pregnant women, the elderly, the unwell and the very young. You can make a cooked marzipan, which carries no risks. It is a little softer, and harder to work with, but a good substitute if you are at all worried.

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Comments (21)

anogatzea's picture

This recipe is a complete disaster. The liquid quantities are so badly wrong I ended up with marzipan soup! I have added all the icing sugar I have in the house (which was needed for icing the cake!) and have to go out to buy more. Maybe you should suggest adding the orange juice a tiny bit at a time?

rosswhite's picture

This receipe takes a fair bit more icing sugar than loosely measured when making this. Personally found it difficult to gauage the moisture level needed to get to a good consistency for rolling, though is now on the cakes, drying, and reckon it should taste pretty good. Also glad I did it this way, with eggs from our own chickens too, rather than buying marzipan this year. Reckon I'll give a better account of myself next year.

rosiequelch's picture

Made this to cover the Zingy Lemon Wedding Cake, really easy to do. Didn't need any orange juice, had to knead in extra icing sugar to get proper consistency, but it worked like a dream. Taste is fantastic; raved over by everybody in the office, marzipan lovers and haters alike (even the guy with the nut allergy...!). Just got to work out what to do with the leftover ball in the fridge...

e-diva's picture

You gave this to a guy with a nut allergy? Really? I don't think he could have really been allergic as this marzipan would have put him in hospital! I should know as I have allergies myself.

Caroline_R's picture

First attempt at making marzipan and this recipe was easy to follow and make. The marzipan is delicious and just melts in your mouth. There is a subtle almond taste but not as overpowering as traditional marzipan. The orange flavour worked really well. I made this to cover a 20" round Christmas cake and still had a third of the mixture left. Will definitely be making again next year.

soniadsa's picture

I'm planning a Christmas dinner for my family and my sister has type 1 diabetes, so I can't use any sugar - will this recipe work with fruit sugar if I use 1/3 less that it says? I'm afraid I might not get the right consistency. I wanted to make marzipan decorations for a different cake.

ruthiebe's picture

First time I've every made my own marzipan. Like previous comment I was afraid to. Used it to cover the Gingery Christmas Cake also from these pages, which was gifted as a birthday cake. Fear of marzipan making banished !

blackbird17's picture

I made this last year and it was fabulous. I have never made marzipan before because I thought it was too difficult. I was completely wrong.
I'll be making it again this year.

esthermarypots's picture

This was lovely. I'm not a fan of marzipan (seems lots of people aren't) but i actually quite liked this. It was initially a bit soggy so had to add quite a bit more icing sugar, but turned out really well. I used the leftover scraps to make marzipan thins for my Step-Dad and he loved them.

dominodo's picture

What i find useful, and avoids any headaches when rolling marzipan, is to roll it between two large pieces of cling film - then you can just lift the lower sheet of film and place the marzipan on the cake (having removed the top layer of film). This way you don't have to use too much icing sugar. Hope it helps.

lisaacma's picture

I made this marzipan and put it on my cake saturday and have not had chance to ice it, is this still going to be ok if I ice tonight?

cathblossom's picture

I need to marzipan and ice a cake in the next two days. Is it essential to leave the marzipan uncovered to dry for 3 days? I quite like marzipan moist.

abigailhiggs's picture

Love this recipe, although like some other people I added too much orange juice and ended up adding more icing sugar. My hubby is used to shop bought marzipan and is a bit unsure about the orange flavour, however I am converted after hating marzipan for years! There is too much to cover a normal Christmas cake, but not enough to cover two which is frustrating as I have to do two this year lol.

Your cake lasts about 6 weeks once the marzipan and icing are on it, so you can make it a couple of weeks before Christmas.

kt_gallacher's picture

I have made this marzipan for the last 3 years to cover the Almond and Sherry Christmas Cake that was in the same issue of Good food. I also am not keen on marzipan but I loved this version as it wasn't too almondy. Also a bit hit with kids who are not so keen on shop bought marzipan. Highly recommended.

jennifert's picture

I've just made this again - and it's still brilliant! I didn't need much orange juice at all, and it was still not quite dry enough when it came to rolling it out, so I kneaded in a bit more icing sugar and it worked well enough, with bits left over to patch the holes/cracks. It tastes great, and is really easy to make :)

jevidrian's picture

this is a lovely marzipan i always use it for my christmas cake and make extra so that i can cut it out into shapes and cover in chocolate to make sweets mmmmm

beavisrose's picture

This recipe is brilliant!
First time i've made marzipan and it was so easy :o)
Tastes great aswell, the orange makes it a lot lighter and a lot less stodgy and sickly than some others.
I'm struggling to keep myself from picking it off my cake while its waiting to be iced!

keavyot's picture

Hi, I would like to make this but am concerned on the marzipans shelf life. If I make my christmas cake now will it keep okay?

carlaamanda69's picture

I didn't read the recipe right when making this and added the juice and zest of the orange to it, which in turn made the marzipan impossible to roll out - a sticky mess on my board!LOL

I ended up doing a patchwork job on the cake, which wasn't perfect but once it was iced you couldn't see the marzipan so it wasn't so bad. It did taste nice and like the other comment, I don't usually like marzipan but I did like this one.

jennifert's picture

This marzipan tastes great - and I don't like marzipan! It's really zesty, and far more subtley almondy than the ready made stuff. Maybe I do like marzipan after all?

I had a lot left over, so about 2/3 quantity would probably do for a 20cm cake. Mine was also possibly not dry enough so it didn't roll brilliantly but it was easy to smooth together over any cracks when on the cake.

I was really surprised that making marzipan is this easy - and it's amazing how impressed people are when you tell them you've made your own! *grin*


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