Almond Paste Uses

Almond paste is a versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savory dishes. Made from ground almonds and sugar, almond paste has a sweet, nutty flavor that enhances everything from cookies and tarts to curries and stir fries.

Almond Paste Uses

If you have a container of almond paste in your pantry, don't let it go to waste! Here are some of the best ways to use almond paste and incorporate its rich flavor into your cooking and baking.

Making Cookies and Bars

Almond paste is most commonly used in cookies, bars, and other baked goods to add moisture, texture, and intense almond flavor. Here are some cookie and bar recipes that showcase almond paste:

Almond Shortbread Bars

Buttery shortbread pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of almond paste. Make a simple shortbread dough, adding a layer of almond paste in the middle before baking. The almond paste melts into the shortbread, leaving you with a sublime bar cookie. Top with a sweet almond glaze for even more almond flavor.

Almond Paste Squares

For chewy, fudgy bar cookies, make an almond paste filling and sandwich it between a crispy shortbread crust. The contrast of textures takes these simple squares to the next level. Use brown sugar in the dough to complement the nuttiness of the almond paste.

Almond Paste Cookies

Ground almonds give these Italian-inspired cookies their signature texture. Roll small balls of the almond paste dough in your hands and bake until lightly browned. The cookies will be crispy on the outside with an almost gooey almond paste center.

Raspberry Almond Bars

Take advantage of almond's affinity for fruit by making raspberry almond bars. Make an almond shortbread crust and top with a raspberry jam filling made with Chambord or framboise liqueur. Dollop the jam with mounds of almond paste before baking for a fruity-nutty treat.

Key Takeaway: Almond paste adds moisture, richness and nutty flavor to all kinds of cookies and bars. Use it as a filling or mix it into the dough itself.

Filling Pastries

In addition to cookies and bars, almond paste makes an exceptional filling for various pastries from bear claws to croissants. The almond paste adds a touch of luxury and sophistication.

Almond Bear Claw

Transform refrigerated crescent roll dough into a gourmet breakfast pastry. Roll out the dough, spread with almond paste leaving a border, and roll up. Slice on the bias to create the signature bear claw shape, revealing the almond filling. The nutty sweetness pairs perfectly with your morning coffee.

Almond Croissants

Almond paste is often used as a filling for the iconic French almond croissant. Make your own by slicing croissants nearly in half and spreading the inside with almond paste. As the buttery croissants bake, the almond paste melts, infusing the layers with its heady aroma.

Sugar Cookie Muffins with Almond Filling

Surprise your friends with these tricked out muffins! Make sugar cookie dough and divide among muffin cups. Bake until just set then top with dollops of almond paste. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top and continue baking until the almond paste is melted. The muffins make an unexpected delivery system for the nutty-sweet filling.

Key Takeaway: Fill bear claws, croissants, muffins and more with luscious almond paste for a touch of sophistication.

Enhancing Fruit Desserts

The sweet nuttiness of almond paste naturally complements fruits like apples, pears and berries. It's often used as a base or filling in fruit tarts and galettes.

Swedish Almond Tart

This Nordic dessert starts with a tender, flaky tart dough baked in a round pan. Fill the pre-baked crust with a thick layer of almond paste then top with caramelized almond slices. The interplay of textures between the crust, frangipane and crispy nuts takes this simple tart to new heights.

Apple Tart with Almond Paste Filling

Take your standard apple tart up a notch with a smooth almond paste filling. Simply spread the filling over the bottom of your tart shell before neatly arranging apple slices on top and baking. The almond paste adds a lovely subtle sweet nuttiness without overpowering the fruit.

Chez Panisse Almond Torte

This flourless almond cake from the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant embodies the natural affinity between almonds and fruit. It starts with an almond paste batter enriched with butter and eggs which gets topped with whatever fruit is in season. The tart fruit provides the perfect contrast to the ultra rich, moist cake.

Key Takeaway: Almond paste pairs beautifully with fruits like apples, pears and berries in fruit desserts.

Adding Nutty Flavor to Quick Breads and Muffins

The convenience of muffins makes them a popular breakfast choice for busy mornings. Almond paste can be swirled into muffin batter or used as a filling to make your morning treat extra special.

Almond Scones

Transform ordinary scones into rich breakfast pastries. Work cold cubes of butter into the dry ingredients as you would for traditional scones, then add a couple dollops of almond paste. The almond paste disperses throughout the dough as it bakes, giving you ultra moist, tender scones with almond swirls.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins with Almond Paste Streusel

These nutty muffins start with a basic batter flecked with poppy seeds. Before baking, top the batter in each cup with a spoonful of crumbly almond paste streusel. As the muffins bake, the streusel topping melds into the batter creating a marbled effect with tasty bites of almond.

Almond Stollen

Stollen is a German Christmas bread dotted with raisins, citrus peel and rum-soaked fruits. Adding a seam of almond paste takes the festive bread to the next level. Simply roll out the yeasted dough into an oval, cover one half with a layer of almond paste then fold over and shape. The almond paste remainings distinct, providing delicious bursts of nutty sweetness.

Key Takeaway: Swirl almond paste into scone and muffin dough or use it as a filling for a delightful nutty surprise.

Making Spectacular Layer Cakes

In addition to cookies and pastries, almond paste can be used to make spectacular specialty layer cakes. Its fine texture and concentrated almond flavor allow it to blend seamlessly into cake batters.

Almond Cake

Almond paste is the star ingredient in this easy, moist butter cake. Traditional nut cakes can be dry, but the natural fats in almond paste keep this cake perfectly moist. For best flavor, use high quality almond paste. Dust with powdered sugar or enhance with fruit like fresh berries or sliced peaches.

French Almond Paste Cake

This stunning cake features a crackly, golden brown exterior hiding multiple moist layers infused with almond. It starts with an enriched almond paste dough that bakes up ulta moist and tender. As is slices into this cake, the wonderful aroma of fresh almonds is released.

Almond Cupcakes with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Bring the joy of specialty bakery cupcakes into your home kitchen by making your own almond cupcakes. Prepare a white or yellow cupcake batter, mix in a generous amount of almond paste, then divide the batter and bake. Frost cooled cupcakes with tangy cream cheese frosting spiked with more almond paste for double almond impact.

Key Takeaway: Almond paste blends seamlessly into cake batters and frostings, allowing you to make professional quality layer cakes and cupcakes at home.

Type of Baked GoodIdeas for Using Almond Paste
Cookies and BarsFillings, mix into dough
PastriesFillings for bear claws, croissants, muffins, etc
Fruit DessertsBase or filling for tarts, tortes, galettes
Quick Breads and MuffinsSwirl into batter or use as filling
Layer CakesBlend into batter and frostings


What exactly is almond paste?

Almond paste consists of finely ground blanched almonds combined with sugar and small amounts of other ingredients that act as preservatives and emulsifiers. The nut-to-sugar ratio varies from brand to brand, but most almond pastes contain 50% ground almonds.

How is almond paste different from marzipan?

While both contain lots of almonds, almond paste has a coarser, more rustic texture compared to marzipan which is silkier and more refined. Almond paste also contains less sugar than marzipan, allowing the pure, natural almond flavor to take center stage.

Can you make almond paste at home?

Absolutely! Simply pulse blanched whole almonds in a food processor until very finely ground then combine the nuts with powdered sugar, corn syrup and almond extract. Homemade almond paste won't have quite the same smooth consistency as commercially made, but the fresh flavor can't be beat.

What desserts pair well with almond paste?

Almond paste pairs wonderfully with all kinds of fruits from apples to raspberries to citrus. These flavors beautifully balance out almond's distinctive sweet nuttiness. Almond also goes well with sources of chocolate like cocoa powder. Ultimately almond paste complements anything that would benefit from a rich, buttery, marzipan-like flavor.


With its intensely nutty, buttery flavor and sweetness, almond paste can elevate everything from everyday sugar cookies to gourmet French pastries.

While often used solely as a filling, almond paste can be creatively incorporated into doughs, batters and more.

By experimenting with almond paste, any home cook can easily achieve bakery-quality results.

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