Marzipan cake

Marzipan cake


Scandinavian Baking
Columbus Leth

The classic Scandinavian marzipan cake. When I was growing up it was only served at parties, weddings or for New Year’s Eve. I love kransekage, so for me New Year’s Eve was something special to look forward to. I had never baked one until I became a chef and somebody ordered a festive tower kransekage for a wedding. You couldn’t say, ‘No, I can’t, I have never done that’; I simply smiled and said, ‘Yes, of course I can do it…’


Quantity Ingredient
100g blanched almonds
200g caster sugar
3 egg whites
500g Home-made marzipan, (60% almonds)
200g tempered chocolate, see note


  1. Whizz the almonds and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground. Add the egg whites and whizz again until you have a smooth, white mixture. Work quickly to make sure it does not get too hot in the processor; otherwise the egg whites start clotting. Grate the marzipan and blend it into the almond mixture. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly and leave to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, or even overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Shape the mixture into 24 rectangular cakes, each about 2cm wide and 4–5cm long, like shortbread fingers. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 15–18 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  4. With a spoon or a whisk, decorate with the tempered chocolate, just lightly drizzling the chocolate back and forth.


  • Tempered chocolate

    Why temper chocolate? It’s simple: if you heat chocolate without controlling the crystals in the cocoa butter through tempering, you risk it losing its shine and having stripes when it dries. If you want a shiny finish with a nice snap, you have to temper the chocolate! This is the easy way to do it, though you will need a sugar thermometer.

    Chop best dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids) finely, take two-thirds of it and place in a heatproof bowl fitted over a pan of very gently simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water and that the water does not get too hot. When the chocolate has melted and reached 50°C, add the remaining chopped chocolate and mix until all the chocolate has melted. Heat very gently until the melted chocolate reaches a temperature of about 31°C. Now the chocolate is tempered and ready to be used.
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