Tuesday, July 21, 2009

World's Easiest (Fake) Marzipan


Since I was a little kid, I've loved decorating cakes. Mom, as usual, has saved every piece of kitchen hardware she's bought since 1970 and so I grew up using one of those nifty pump action frosting appliers that looks like some sort of victorian medical device.

However, since then, I've grown substantially better at the whole icing thing, but lately I've wanted to expand my horizons to more challenging techniques. Fondants and marzipan being the most obvious choices, I've started experimenting on my own to see what sort of shennanigans I can get into.

Marzipan, traditionally is made from almonds. However, I am unemployed and broke as a joke. Therefore, I have to find new and exciting ways to make things that cost money. Like pounds of almonds. So this is the recipe I came up with. I realize that this is basically a modified fondant. Shut up.

A birthday cake made with fakezipan and painted with food color.

To make your Fakezipan you will need….

  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla (or almond) flavor extract
  • 1/2 a bag of mini marshmallows
  • about three cups of powdered sugar

Run the shortening, corn syrup and extract through the mixer very briefly to combine. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Mix will look like a bunch of powdered sugar in a bowl.

Melt marshmallows in microwave in series of 15 second bursts until melted through. (This usually takes me about 30 seconds total).

Grab a handful of shortening. Seriously. Rub it all over your hands. Don’t ask questions. Just do it.

Add melted marshmallows into bowl of powdered sugar. Now, with your greased hands (see? I have my reasons) knead together the marshmallow and powdered sugar until it forms a glossy ball. If you need to add a little more powdered sugar, do it to it. Mix is ready when it feels like thick playdough.

What it should look like.

What it should look like.

Hooray! you made fake marzipan!

To color: break off the amount you need and knead in food coloring until color is blended through.

To store: Roll unused fakezipan into a ball and rub the outside lightly with shortening. Wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge.

If it gets really dried out, knead in a DROP or two of water at a time until mix returns to its normal elasticity.

To make 3-D figures, simply use like clay. Create cute things. Eat them.

Gary The Fakezipan Penguin

Meet Marzi the Penguin.

Marzipan tips:

Don't roll out too thin! At it's thinnest (if you're using for a cake) you want about 1/4 of an inch. Make sure you ice the cake first so the fakezipan has something to stick to. (And make the icing as even as possible. this will help it lay flat and create a clean, non-lumpy look).

Roll out between two pieces of wax paper for easier transference/handling. (Handle as little as possible to get that sexy smooth finish).

Speaking of lumpy: make sure you beat your powdered sugar with a mixer to break up any lumps. And just avoid making this if your kitchen is at all humid because it will save you loads of stress. Lumps of powdered sugar in your fakezipan are just no fun.

I'm just learning, so right now it's a lot of experimentation (and abysmal failures).

That's the best part of new techniques...it's going to be an adventure for a long time.



  1. Here is information on the EPFX machine which claims to be able to cure disease, but was recently banned by the FDA: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/11605#more-11605

  2. this is a lot of fun... love the Fakezipan. Cant afford almonds so thank you for this!