A Step By Step Guide to Making Marzipan Figures

It is something of a joke that I am so good at cookery and yet when it comes to baking I am something of a nightmare. I create exotic recipes from scratch and make some great combinations (even if I do say so myself) and yet even a simple sponge defeats me. If you have seen the “funny” doing the rounds that shows people’s spectacular failures when it comes to trying to recreate something they saw on Pinterest, well that could be me!

I am by nature something of a Christmas fairy and so now would be a good time to grab the bull by the horns so to speak and learn some new fancy skills.

This guest post is a step by step (easy!) guide to making marzipan figures. I’ll be testing these tips out and depending on my success will post a picture (but not if they look truly awful!).

Marzipan is one of the best mediums for creating figures to decorate the top of your cake, and given that Christmas is just around the corner now is a great time to perfect your modelling skills. A marzipan Father Christmas is the perfect topper on a traditional Christmas cake, but there is a definite knack to creating beautiful marzipan figures.

Fortunately the basics of marzipan modelling are relatively easy, and once you know what steps to follow it’s just a case of practising to get everything perfect. Marzipan is quite a forgiving material to work with, as it’s very malleable so it’s easy to correct any mistakes as you go. Follow this guide and you’ll be making your own marzipan marvels in no time.

For this article we’ll make a little man, but you can adapt the basic process and use your creativity to create any kind of marzipan figure you can imagine.

  1. Take a lump of marzipan to create the figure’s legs. Marzipan can be coloured so knead the marzipan to make it pliable and work in some food colouring paste until you have the colour you want. Then roll it out into a sausage shape. Flatten both ends and fold the marzipan in half so that both flat ends (the feet) are together. Be sure to make the feet big enough to support the figure. Marzipan can get quite sticky when you’re working it so if needed dust a little icing sugar on. Set the legs aside to let the dry out while you make the body.
  2. Next make the body in the same way. Be sure to mould in little details like shirt buttons, pockets and other touches that will make your model seem more lifelike and give it character. Be careful not to make the body too big in comparison to the legs or else the model may topple over.
  3. For the arms make two separate ropes of marzipan. Make sure you sculpt little hands on the end.
  4. Now the head. This can be the trickiest part, especially if you’re going for detail on the face. Roll the marzipan into a ball and begin to sculpt it into the desired shape. Then using a modelling tool create the face. If you don’t have any specific tools you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with a simple toothpick. You’ll need to be careful, but remember if you bodge it you can just smooth the marzipan over and try again.
  5. There are two methods for joining all these parts together. You can use small sections of dry spaghetti to skewer the parts together. This does give a solid join, but remember to warn anyone who wants to eat the marzipan that they need to slide the parts off. The other option is using cooled boiled water. Just apply a coat onto the surface of the parts and press together.
  6. Let your marzipan model set before mounting it on to the cake.

These are the essential steps you need to follow to make beautiful marzipan figures for decorating your cake. With a bit of patience and practice you’ll be able to make cute and tasty toppers for any occasion. For more top tips on using marzipan visit renshawbaking.com.

This could have been one of my "creations"
This could have been one of my “creations”

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Guest post