22 January, 2010

Mock Marzipan - With Whole Wheat Semolina

Here it is: marzipan for the poor man, or a  marzipan sweet for people allergic to nuts. 
Marzipan has always been a very popular sweet in the Christmas time in Germany, and especially marzipan from Lubeck is known as the finest and best. Now Lubeck is in West Germany, and before the fall of the German wall in 1989 the people living in East Germany had no access at all to anything produced in West Germany.
The other day, I talked to my mom about homemade marzipan and she told me that in East Germany we used to make mock marzipan at home, as nuts in general were hard to get in the shops or very expensive. I asked her to find the recipe for me. I tried it with whole spelt semolina to give it a bit of a healthy touch. It worked fine. According to my mom's handwritten cookbook, the amount of butter can vary from 125g to 250g in 250g semolina. I worked with the amounts given below and was happy with the result. Give it a try or two and you'll see what works best for you.


250g semolina (whole wheat or whole spelt semolina can be used, regular is fine too)
250g icing sugar
200g butter (room temperature)
2-3 tablespoons almond extract (for nut allergics rather vanilla extract)

Flavoring (Optional)
a little rum
orange zest

Coating (Optional)
icing sugar
cocoa powder
Combine the basic ingredients and your preferred flavoring and knead until well combined. The batter should well stick together. If the mixture becomes too dry, add a little condensed milk. Make balls of the size if a cherry, and roll them in your favorite coating. Alternatively, press the batter in candy/marzipan molds. Keep in the fridge to cool, then press the marzipan shapes out of the molds.


  1. I would never have thought you can make mock marzipan. There is a lot of it in Hungary as well, but like you said the nuts can get expensive. I have a roommate with a nut allergy and this would be perfect so that she can enjoy it too. And I LOVE the sea shells!!! I've never had the urge to eat something that looks so authentically like sand but those look delicious! :D

  2. I'm somewhat confused (and I'd love to make some. sounds great!) -

    The semolina I have is a grain-like flour.

    Isn't there a stage of cooking or soaking it first? or do I use it as it is?

  3. AnjasFood4Thought24 January 2010 at 22:22

    Hi Miri, yes you are using raw semolina. It gets soaked up by the butter. Good luck!

  4. Wonderful recipe! I always wanted to make marzipan but my husband hates almond flavor, great alternative, I'll bookmark this! I'm a new follower now!

  5. Amazing! And the mold you used? Awesome!

    I've been looking for an idea for something exactly like this to go with my sand castle cake pan ... these will be the perfect decorations for the cake!