Homemade Almond Paste {Recipe}

A few weeks ago, my friend Kayte and I decided to try a recipe from Nick Malgieri‘s new book, Bake! She chose Orange & Almond Scones.

I had all the ingredients on hand, including almond paste, which I had recently purchased for another recipe. It had taken some searching to find the almond paste, and, as you know if you’ve ever bought it, it was quite expensive. In the process of hunting for it, I had come across a number of recipes for homemade almond paste. After paying nearly $6 for a small can of it, I decided making my own might not be such a bad idea.

The recipes I found mostly fell into two categories: paste made with a sugar syrup, or paste made with egg whites. I’m not at all squeamish about uncooked egg whites, but I did think the recipes made with sugar syrup might last longer, so I decided to try the following recipe:

Almond Paste

Ingredients:

10 oz dried blanched almonds
10 oz powdered sugar
5 oz granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup water

Instructions:

Make a sugar syrup by placing the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir it to combine. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for a few moments. Let it cool.

Place the almonds in a food processor and process them to a fine powder. Add the powdered sugar. With the food processor running, slowly add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste.

Store the almond paste tightly covered. If you will be storing it for more than a week, store in the refrigerator.

This recipe came together easily, at least until the end. Evidently, when the recipe says, “add the sugar syrup until the mixture forms a paste”, it means to add it just until it forms a paste. I added all the sugar syrup and ended up with something the consistency of tahini paste. Way too thin for almond paste, although the taste wasn’t bad.

I decided to go ahead and try one of the egg white versions to compare. Here’s the recipe I used:

Almond Paste

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups blanched almonds
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, egg white, extract and salt; cover and process until smooth.
  • Divide almond paste into 1/2-cup portions; place in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

 This was also a quick and easy recipe, and the taste was far superior to the sugar syrup version, owing mostly to the almond extract and salt.

I had never used almond paste before, so I decided to open the can of paste to see how it compared to the homemade versions.

Almond pastes: egg white (top left), sugar syrup (top right), and canned (bottom)

The taste and consistency of the egg white paste was closest to the canned version. I actually liked the homemade version better, as it had the most “almondy” flavor.

I remade the sugar syrup version, this time adding only enough syrup to get it to a similar consistency to the egg white version. I also added salt and almond extract to the recipe, which improved the flavor considerably.

At the end of the day, I prefer the egg white version over the other two. The canned is my second favorite, with the sugar syrup version landing up on the bottom of the list.

Since I can buy slivered blanched almonds at Mr. Bulky’s pretty inexpensively, and it’s really easy to mix up, I doubt that I’ll buy almond paste again.

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25 Comments

  1. December 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    [...] it goes?)  Fortunately, I recalled that our same fearless leader had posted, about a year ago, how to make your own.  And as long as you have a food processor, it’s blindingly simple.  Kicked up with a bit [...]

  2. Sara said,

    November 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I just tried these: a great lifesaver when I had already started the macaroons recipe and realized I didn’t have almond paste. (My macarons turned out OK, as will all be revealed, but the errors are all mine). Very neat that it actually works. (I tried the egg white version!) Do you have weights for the amount of almond paste/powdered sugar used? I was wondering if blanched whole almonds measured diferently, volume-wise, than slivered almonds.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      I don’t have weight measures, but I don’t think this one is really all that exacting. Whichever you use, I think you’d be fine.

  3. November 3, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I love how you do all the hard work and recipe testing for us to find the very best way to do things. You’re like my very own personal “Cook’s Illustrated!”

    • gaaarp said,

      November 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks. One is pleased to be of service.

  4. October 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

    [...] In the process of searching for almond paste and realizing how expensive it is, I had also found a few recipes to make it. So, the evening before the Twitterbake, I made two versions of almond paste. I liked [...]

  5. September 19, 2011 at 7:30 am

    [...] for the Modern Baker Challenge was a quick, easy dessert. It consisted of puff pastry with an almond paste filling and apricots. I decided to make this for dessert the other evening about 10 minutes before [...]

  6. July 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    [...] the dough chilled in the fridge, I put together the filling, which consisted of almond paste, sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, and flour, all whirred together in the food processor. Then I [...]

  7. May 29, 2011 at 9:00 am

    [...] sugar).  I used canned almond paste (Solo brand, which was on special at Christmas, though you can make your own too) which is an attractive off-white gel with little brown specks in it.  Yes, lovely.  [...]

  8. May 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    [...] of The Modern Baker, this one was quite simple to put together. In fact, since I already had homemade almond paste in the fridge and pine nuts in the cupboard, I didn’t even have to buy any [...]

  9. bakermom said,

    March 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    hello, I was wondering the web, looking for almond paste recipes as I do not have any stores near me with any. I have never baked with it, and I bake all the time! So its about time I bite the bullit and make some. Your post proved to be the most helpful. I have almond meal from trader joes I am going to work with. Its all just almond anyway, pre-processes, so it should work. I am going to try the egg white method. Bear claws, here I come! thanks,

    • gaaarp said,

      March 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I hope you like the results! I never buy almond paste anymore.

  10. rsb said,

    December 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Arriving late to this post, with a question.Is it possible that you didn’t like the boiled sugar version because the recipe is too sweet? The other versions had a stronger almond presence–relative to the sugar and syrup–which would change the texture, too. Other recipes for boiled sugar versions used less sugar, typically 2 c almonds to 1 c sugar plus 2 tb syrup, which is more like the ratio in your egg white not cooked version. I am guessing that the commercial preparations are also cooked, but I don’t know that for sure. Posters of other boiled versions gave the impression of authenticity, perhaps because that version is harder to make?. Since it is supposed to ripen for about a week, it’s impractical for last minute cravings, which leads to the egg white version. Just wondering, as I have never made either kind but am anxious to try King Arthur’s Almond Clouds without spending mega bucks on commercial almond paste….
    happy holidays.

    • gaaarp said,

      December 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks for your comments. This post contains the sum total of my knowledge and experience of almond paste, so I’m not really sure about the sugar issue. It didn’t seem overly sweet to me. It was more the consistency and lack of strong almond flavor. They both worked well for baking and kept well in the fridge.

  11. November 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

    [...] and decided to make almond croissants with the other half of the dough. I had some leftover almond paste in the fridge, which I shaped into logs and then rolled into the [...]

  12. Sara said,

    November 9, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    This is great to know! I’m wondering: I’ve seen almond paste and marzipan (sold in tubes) and then there is the almond paste in a can. What’s the difference if you know, and what’s the recipe above the equivalent of? (Well, I know it’s the same as the canned almond paste, but what about the others?)

    I just saw almond paste for the first time in a can; and along with poppyseed paste it was on special! But I think it’s a seasonal thing at our store. Of course, I can’t remember all the recipes I saw that used poppy seed paste or almond paste in a can NOW that I have it. Always the way…

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      Sara, marzipan is actually made from almond paste. In fact, some people consider it a form of almond paste. The almond paste sold in a can (which, as you note, is what this recipe is the equivalent of) is used in baking, being added to recipes as a flavoring.

      Marzipan is made by adding sugar to almond paste and is thus much sweeter than standard almond paste. Like fondant, marzipan is pliable and easily rolled, and is used for molding and decorating, rather than as a flavoring agent.

  13. Nicole said,

    November 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for this!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      You’re welcome!

  14. Anne Marie said,

    November 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    My favorite baking scientist in action…

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      How do you spell “Mu ooh ooh ooh, ah ah ah?”

  15. Kayte said,

    November 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Good to have the recipe right here where I can always find it. I did not make the corn syrup version after you said you liked the egg white one more, so it was very nice to be able to see the photo of all three of them together. I thought the egg white version was great, very fresh tasting as opposed to the canned one, which I opened to see…the canned one actually had a rather “tinny” taste to it, like the nuts had picked up the flavor of the can somehow (but that could be me as I have that going on with canned things quite often). I have to use that canned one up somehow as I tossed it into the freezer after I tasted it. Maybe cookies at Christmas time, certainly not for the crumb buns which are going to get the rest of my homemade paste. It was fun baking with you, and I learned a lot about almond paste! Thanks for trying both versions of the homemade and reporting…ever the researcher!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

      I agree about the canned paste. It did have a tinny taste. I saved mine to use for something, though, as it’s too expensive to waste. I’m going to use the second batch of the sugar syrup version for the crumb buns, as I used all of the egg white batch on the scones (I made a small batch).

      I’m looking forward to baking with you again this weekend.

  16. Heather said,

    November 5, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this recipe because I’ve always avoided recipes calling for almond paste because I can never find it. Now that I know how easy it is to make, I’ll definitely try this out. Thanks for the information. As always, very helpful and much appreciated!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm

      I had the same issue with almond paste. I couldn’t find it, and it was way too expensive to buy online. So I was glad to find these recipes and to realize how easy it was to make.


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