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This article will cover the best almond paste substitutes you can use in your kitchen…
Almond paste is a popular ingredient used in many recipes, from marzipan to macaroons to Danish pastries. While the almond paste is delicious, it’s not always the easiest ingredient to find at your local grocery store. I know I have had trouble finding it.
But there are a few ways we can swap it out with something else or make our very own almond paste. But before we dig into that, let’s me sure we understand what almond paste is. This will help us find the best replacement.
What is Almond Paste?
Almond paste is a sweet and flavorful product commonly used as an ingredient in baking recipes like stollen. It is made with finely ground almonds, sugar, and other additives such as honey, food coloring, emulsifiers, and preservatives.
This combination of ingredients creates the unique texture and flavor of almond paste that has become popular in a variety of baked goods. Almond paste is usually sold in cans or tubes and is used to add richness to cakes, cookies, pastries, tarts, creamsicles, and even croissants. However, due to its level of sweetness, it’s not generally eaten by itself, but instead, it provides baked goods with body and flavor.
What Is the Difference Between Almond Paste and Marzipan?
Almond paste and marzipan are sweet almond-based confections that appear very similar in appearance and taste.
However, there are important differences between the two. Generally speaking, almond paste is made with blanched almonds that are ground with sugar into a sandy paste.
Marzipan, on the other hand, contains additional sugar and can even have added corn syrup. This results in a much smoother texture compared to almond paste, while marzipan also has a higher sugar content.
Additionally, marzipan’s smooth texture allows it to be molded into shapes or used as a base for decorative candy pieces.
Almond paste is used primarily in baking recipes such as macarons or frangipane.
Make Your Own Almond Paste
As I mentioned in substitutes for almond butter, you can also make your own almond paste at home. All you need is a few ingredients, especially almonds, and powdered sugar.
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds (learn how you can blanch your almonds)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Place almonds and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a food processor. Process almonds and sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a very sweet almond butter.
Add the rest of the sugar and plus to incorporate. Then add the egg white to the mix. Process until a dough is formed. And that’s it! You have just made your very own almond paste. No need to worry about substitutes with this method!
*If it seems too sticky, all you have to do is add a bit more powdered sugar
Substitutes for Almond Paste
Each almond paste substitute below can be used at a 1 to 1 ratio.
As I mentioned earlier marzipan has a sweeter taste than regular almond paste as well as being more pliable for shaping into fun figures or using in baked good.
You can buy marzipan ready-made from most supermarkets and it works great if you can’t find almond paste.
Almond Butter with Powdered Sugar
Almond butter is a great substitute for almond paste as it is made from ground almonds and has relatively the same consistency.
To make almond butter into an almond paste, mix together equal parts of almond butter and powdered sugar until well blended it forms like a dough.
Chestnut paste is a sweet, nutty paste made from chestnuts that is often used as an alternative to almond paste in baking recipes. Similar to almond paste, chestnut paste has a unique flavor and texture that can be used to add richness and depth of flavor to a variety of baked goods.
Chestnuts are available both fresh and canned year-round, so they can easily be made into chestnut paste at home by blending roasted chestnuts, sugar, and/or honey, and milk until it forms a thick puree. Delicious! Here is a recipe if you want to give it a whirl… Chestnut Puree Recipe -Only 4 Ingredients!
Chestnuts from trees should not be confused with water chestnuts which come from water grass.
Bitter Almond Paste
For those who don’t live in the USA (illegal), you can use bitter almond paste. It has a more intense almond flavor than traditional almond paste, made with oil of bitter almonds rather than sugar and ground almonds.
It’s often used in amaretti cookies and other sweet treats like cakes and pies.
What I Don’t Recommend As An Almond Paste Alternative
You read some crazy things on the internet, especially on what people think you can use as a substitute. Well, you won’t get that here at The Substitute Foodie. Here are two things that just won’t work if trying to replace almond paste.
De La Rosa Mazapan (Peanut Candy)
De La Rosa Mazapan is a type of candy made with peanuts. It doesn’t work as a substitute for almond paste because it has a distinctly different flavor. If you don’t mind or enjoy the flavor of peanuts and feel like it would do well with your recipe then this could work. But it will not have the same flavor or consistency as an almond paste.
Almond extract is a type of flavoring. It does not work as a substitute for almond paste because it’s just an extract! If a recipe calls for a paste, then it needs a substance with the flavor. Yes, the almond extract will give you that almond flavor, but it can’t replace almond paste in dessert recipes, especially when the almond paste is used as a filling.
My Final Thoughts On Almond Paste Substitutes
Overall, there are few alternatives out there when it comes to finding substitutes for regular almond paste — whether that’s almond butter with powdered sugar, bitter almond paste, marzipan, or simply making your own version at home with ground blanched almonds and confectioners’ sugar!
So next time you fancy baking something special but don’t have any handy ingredients lying around just remember these great swaps – they may come in very useful! Happy Cooking!