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Marzipan Colours, Differences and Advice when using it. (1 Viewer)

Marzipan comes in two colours, white and yellow (golden).

The difference between them is white marzipan is pliable and can be dyed with food colour to make modelled fruits or vegetables etc., and yellow/golden marzipan is generally used to cover cakes, although white marzipan may also be used as a covering.

The golden or yellow marzipan is used as a first layer to cover Christmas or Wedding Cakes giving you a smoother surface to work with, allowing the final layer of icing fondant to be applied on the top.

The cake should be covered in apricot jam prior to the marzipan being adhered to it. The jam acts as an adhesive and allows it to stick to the cake.

The marzipan acts as a protective layer, preventing the fruit cake from staining the icing fondant and keeping the cake fresher longer.

Here is my Christmas Cake covered in Marzipan and then covered in icing fondant to create an igloo.

The final design was an Igloo Penguin Cake.

Christmas Cake Help Me Bake.jpg

Christmas Cake Marzipan Help Me Bake.jpg


  1. Yellow or Golden Marzipan is used to top Simnel Cake and can be used as the filling or swirl in Stollen.
  2. White or Golden marzipan can also be used to cover a Battenburg Cake.
  3. In the UK, marzipan can also be referred to as almond paste; however, this is not the case in other countries. In places such as the USA, they are different. This is because almond paste has similar quantities of both ground almonds and sugar along with other ingredients, whereas marzipan will have a higher sugar content, additional ingredients such as oils, and can also be rolled out easier. Therefore always check the label to see what you are working with.


  • When rolling out or using Marzipan, always dust your work surface with icing sugar or confectioners sugar and not cornflour/cornstarch (always check your icing sugar does not contain cornflour/starch). This is because cornflour/cornstarch reacts with Marzipan causing fermentation and one big sticky mess!
  • Buttercream also reacts badly with marzipan, so never use them together.
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New Member
My mum hates icing but loves marzipan. Can I cover her rich fruit birthday cake with first yellow and then white marzipan instead of icing?


Staff member
Hi @DippyDebs

Welcome to the site. 😊

If you wanted to cover the cake, you can use either the white/golden marzipan. However, once the marzipan is exposed to air, it starts to harden and dry out, which is why we use it under icing/fondant rather than as a topcoat covering.

You could use it on your cake, but you might not get the overall finish of a cake that you would with icing/fondant. You could do a trial cake pre-hand and see how the marzipan fares and whether you're happy with the results. Or the other option is to cover the cake as near to the time of celebration, not ideal but would give your marzipan less exposure and less time to dry out.

I hope this helps.
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