Barneblad: Magical marzipan

Shaping good luck for a fun and festive holiday

A monthly feature to share with kids and grandkids

Photo: Fredrick Hagen / NTB scanpix

Brought to you by Lori Ann Reinhall

Marzipan (marsipan in Norwegian) is a delicious substance made of sugar or honey and ground almonds. It is often made into sweets and is often colored and shaped into small figures of fruits and animals.

In Norway, it is common to eat marzipan pigs for Christmas and New Year’s. A marzipan pig means good luck and makes a delightful gift for your family and friends. In Norway, if you find an almond in your traditional Christmas rice pudding, you often will get a marzipan pig as a prize!


Photo: Terje Bendicksby / NTB scanpix

Making marzipan
You can buy the best marzipan in Scandinavian specialty shops—and we encourage you to shop at them—but making marzipan from scratch is easier than you might think, if that is your only option.

This recipe for homemade marzipan contains only four ingredients (powdered sugar, almond flour, almond extract, and water) and is ready in just five minutes! Please note that this recipe requires the use of a food processor and must be made with an adult.

Marzipan recipe
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp. almond flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsps. water
1/2 tsp. almond extract

  1. Put the almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor and blitz until smooth.
  2. Add the water and almond extract and pulse a couple of times until the dough forms a ball.
  3. Take out the marzipan ball and knead it on a clean surface for about 30 seconds.
  4. Wrap it in cling wrap and refrigerate until it is firm.

Photo: Alice Wiegard / Wikimedia Commons

Modeling marzipan

Working with marzipan is like working with modeling clay, except that you can eat it. Please make sure that your hands are very clean before you set out to work to shape into your own lucky pig.

Some people like to put food coloring into batches of marzipan to make little colorful pieces of fruit or Christmas balls, decorative and delicious for your holiday celebrations.

Wishing you a fun and festive Christmas holiday filled with good luck!

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 27, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.