This vegan marzipan recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and has a lot less sugar than the traditional recipe. Here I stuffed it into dark chocolate cups along with nut butter, making a healthy snack delicious enough to be a dessert or holiday gift, yet so high in protein and fiber that it could serve as a respectful workout snack.
Vegan Marzipan Recipe + Chocolate Cups
Such an adventure, making vegan marzipan, which is sweetened almond paste. And then stuffing dark chocolate cups with it. But it is worth it because the resulting creamy treat is a melt-in-your-mouth dream.
And this marzipan recipe is actually higher in fiber and protein than most candy, and can actually serve as a decent workout snack.
What is Marzipan?
Marzipan is basically an almond paste, sweetened with honey or typically with refined sugar. It is a sweet creamy concoction with a long tradition found in pastries. It originated in Italy or France or Germany no one seems to agree. The name “Marzipan” seems to be derived from the German language, but much of the history seems to be truth mixed with lore.
But it is clear that marzipan has wide-spread popularity in the confectioners in Europe. Many of these chefs go all out with creativity in color and creations use traditional marzipan. And the composition of marzipan is taken very seriously in some countries, whereby the balance of sugar to almonds has to lean more toward almond before the name “marzipan” is allowed on the package.
Here in the United States, marzipan is not so revered. Typically we find it sold as molded miniature fruits in gift packages at candy stores, or as fondant-like decorations on cakes by high-end bakeries.
Commercial versions of marzipan are available of course, but full of processed ingredients and also quite expensive. It used to be hard to make at home when almonds weren’t easy to find, just a decade or less ago. Now however, it is not only easy to find raw almonds, it’s easy to find almond flour, making homemade marzipan super easy.
And making it vegan just takes some creativity and is rather like a chemistry experiment. Ha, my favorite kind of challenge.
How to Make This Marzipan Recipe Dairy-Free
The traditional marzipan recipe is basically almonds, raw eggs (yes, raw!), and a sweetener, typically sugar or honey.
So the first challenge in making vegan marzipan recipe is to remove the egg. Simple. The egg is merely a binder, and lemon juice works perfectly well instead.
And an added obvious plus, the juice brings a brighter flavor to this sweet creamy treat. Also, the citrus bite tones down the overwhelming sweetness caused by the sugar.
Which brings us to the next obvious replacement in this marzipan recipe to make it vegan. We won’t use honey which is not vegan because it comes from bees, although this is a very hotly debated statement.
So we will use sugar. In fact, the original marzipan recipe used powdered sugars so we are actually moving closer to the authentic.
But, eventually I did have sugar-guilt about this (I don’t like sharing sugar-filled recipes). So back to the
drawboard kitchen I went, and toyed with the recipe, my goal being to replace the powdered sugar with something healthier.
The powdered sugar in my recipes is organic, yes, and vegan which means no bone-char, but still it is sugar so I decided to try replacing it with plant-based maple syrup.
It worked, sort of. The resulting recipe produces a more tan marzipan, not the white that you see in my pictures. But it does have the added nutrition of maple syrup, so if the color doesn’t matter to you, go for it! I give you both options in the recipe below.
And this brings us to the last ingredient: almonds. Do we need to replace these in a vegan marzipan recipe? NO! Almonds are a plant. Just in case you didn’t know that.
How Healthy is This Vegan Marzipan Recipe?
Why make a vegan marzipan? Because it can make a useful and tasty protein-rich treat.
How is it protein-rich? By increasing the almond flour. Almond flour is widely considered to be one of the healthier flours. It is not a wheat flour, of course; it is made from finely ground, peeled almonds. So it is gluten-free.
Almond flour is also considered helpful in reducing bad cholesterol, and with its low glycemic index, is great at balancing blood sugar.
Almond flour is also delicious, with a cookie-like, buttery flavor.
And finally, it is packed with nutrients, high in protein and rich in vitamin E and magnesium, two important nutrients for the immune system, sleep, mood and hormone-balance.
And it is the darling of brain support, high in riboflavin and L-carnitine, two important nutrients that boost brain activity and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Make Homemade Marzipan?
Okay, so let’s begin making this creamy, dreamy treat.
The key is to start with finely-ground almond flour. You need to use a brand that is made from blanched almonds, which means peeled, making them light in color and softer and creamier in the recipe.
Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy cookie-dough texture.
Pro tip: As you know, everyone’s moisture scenario is a bit different. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a touch more milk. If the mixture is too wet, add a touch more almond flour. Remember, your goal is to achieve a cookie-dough-like texture that can be formed into a roll.
Scoop the final mixture on to parchment paper, and roll back and forth until you have a 2-inch log. If the marzipan is sticking to the paper, it was probably too wet so dust it with a bit of almond flour now to allow you to form a log.
Tightly wrap the log and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for an hour before serving or using in this chocolate cup recipe. Or store sealed tightly for two months or so.
How to Use this Marzipan Recipe
And I chose to showcase my new vegan recipe within almond chocolate cups stuffed with a mixture of the vegan marzipan, crushed almonds, and almond butter, of course!
But you don’t have to make these cups to enjoy the marzipan, you can also use it in your own recipes, tarts, croissants, or simple serve in bite-sized chunks for afternoon tea.
I hope you enjoy my recipes, and, if you try either recipe, I’d love to hear which one you prefer!
Interested in sharing on pinterest? Perhaps use this image…
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Vegan Marzipan Recipe + Chocolate Cups (5-ingredient almond paste)
Vegan Marzipan Recipe (with powdered sugar)
Vegan Marzipan Recipe (with maple syrup)
To make either vegan marzipan recipe
- Combine all ingredients of the recipe you choose to make into a food processor and pulse until you have a creamy cookie-dough texture.As you know, everyone's moisture scenario is a bit different. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a touch more milk. If the mixture is too wet, add a touch more almond flour.
- Scoop the final mixture on to parchment paper, and roll back and forth until you have a 2-inch log. If the marzipan is sticking to the paper, it was probably too wet so rub it with a bit of almond flour now to allow you to form a log.
- Tightly wrap the log and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for at least one hour before either breaking off bits to serve for tea, or to use in the chocolate cup recipe.Long term storage, keep refrigerated a few days, or freeze for two months or so.
To make the chocolate cups
- Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in a pyrex measuring cup in 60 seconds. Stir until all is melted.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into bottom of the paper liners – 1 tablespoon for regular cupcake size; 1 tsp for mini cupcake size. Tip each cup around by hand to coat the sides of the paper liners. It only goes about half-way up each liner. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set this shell.
Prepare Cup Filling
- You have two choices on how you fill these cups.Choice one: Simple spoon 1 tbsp of marzipan, 1 tbsp of almond butter, 1 tbsp crushed almonds into each cup.
- Choice two: Process or mix the three ingredients until a cream is created. Spoon that into the chocolate cups and press flat with a spoon.Either way, finish by spooning another tablespoon of melted chocolate on the mixture within each cup.
- Sprinkle with a final dusting of crushed almonds, chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then they are ready to eat!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in immunological nutritional studies and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.