What is the Difference Between Marzipan and Fondant

The main difference between marzipan and fondant is that marzipan has a sweet and nutty taste, while fondant has a very sweet taste.

We use both marzipan and fondant to decorate cakes. Marzipan is a soft confection made of almond paste and sugar while the fondant is a sweet icing mainly made of sugar, water, and flavourings. Since marzipan is made of almonds, it has a slightly nutty flavour and not suitable for people with nut allergies.

Key Terms Covered

1. What is Marzipan
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Fondant
     – Definition, Features
3. What is the Difference Between Marzipan and Fondant
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Fondant, Icing, MarzipanDifference Between Marzipan and Fondant - Comparison Summary

What is Marzipan

Marzipan is a soft, yellow or white confection made of ground almonds and sugar. Marzipan is popular all over the world and has several variations in various countries. For example, in the Middle East, marzipan recipe includes few drops of rose water, while in France, it involves syrup. A basic recipe of marzipan only involves almond paste, sugar and egg whites. The sugar content is usually twice the amount of almond paste. Some chefs also add spices like vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon to this recipe. All in all, marzipan is sweet, smooth and pliable.

Marzipan can be used as an icing for cakes, like fondant. Christmas cakes, fruit cakes, and wedding cakes often have marzipan icing.

Marzipan vs Fondant

Figure 1: Marzipan Cake

Since marzipan has a pliable texture, we can use it to mould small figures of fruits, vegetables, and animals. It is also used to make various chocolate-coated candies.

Main Difference - Marzipan vs Fondant

Figure 2: Marzipan Figures

What is Fondant

Fondant is an edible icing we use to decorate cakes and pastries. There are two types of fondant: poured fondant and rolled fondant. Poured fondant is a creamy paste made of confectioner’s sugar and corn syrup. This mixture is cooked and poured into cakes or desserts. It is used as a filling or coating for cakes, pastries and various types of sweets. Poured fondant can be found in food like éclairs and petite fours.

Rolled fondant is different from poured fondant. It is mainly used to decorate cakes. We also call this sugar paste. In addition to the ingredients used in poured fondant, it also uses gelatin and shortening, which keeps the sugar pliable and adds a dough-like consistency to the icing. Due to this consistency, it can be easily used to cover a cake as it gives a smooth, polished appearance. Rolled fondant dough can also be cut and shaped into any form you like.

Difference Between Marzipan and Fondant

Figure 3: Fondant

Fondant has a very sweet taste since it is made mostly of sugar. Many people remove the fondant from the cake before eating since this extra sweet taste. However, some others enjoy this candy-like taste of fondant.

It is somewhat difficult to make it at home, and even some cake decorators tend to buy premade fondant rather than making it from scratch. Fondants can dry out quite easily, and this can lead to cracks or tears in the cakes. Thus, it must be stored properly. Furthermore, fondant is not well suited for piping due to the texture and consistency of the icing.

Difference Between Marzipan and Fondant

Definition

Marzipan is a soft confection made of almond paste and sugar while the fondant is a sweet icing mainly made of sugar, water, and flavourings.

Taste

Marzipan has a nutty taste while fondant has a very sweet taste. Most people prefer the taste of marzipan over fondant.

Working with Icing

Marzipan is typically more pliable than fondant and is less likely to crack than fondant. This makes it easier to work with marzipan.

Allergies

Moreover, people with nut allergies cannot eat marzipan. Fondant is a good alternative for such people.

Conclusion

Marzipan has a nutty taste while fondant has a very sweet taste. Most people prefer the taste of marzipan over fondant. Since marzipan is made of almonds, it has a slightly nutty flavour and not suitable for people with nut allergies. Thus, this is the main difference between marzipan and fondant.

Reference:

1. Higley, Annamarie. “Marzipan, Fondant and Almond Paste-What’s the Difference?” Taste of Home, Taste of Home, 20 Mar. 2019, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Marzipan cake” (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “16887” (CC0) via Pixabay
3. “1684363” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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