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If you’re not already using frangipane in your baking, you’re in for a real treat! Read on to find out what it is, what kinds of desserts you can make with frangipane, and how to quickly and easily make your own from scratch. 

What Is Frangipane?

Frangipane is a sweet custard-like cream made from almonds. It’s used to fill cakes, pastries, and tarts, and is an absolute staple in French baking. (Wondering how to pronounce frangipane? It’s frahn-zhee-pan.)

Texture and Taste

Frangipane has a sweet, nutty taste. Though it’s not necessary, many bakers also add a hint of almond extract to enhance the almond flavor. The texture of frangipane is typically smooth, thick but spreadable. The texture can also vary depending on the ingredients used—if you grind up your own almonds, the consistency may be a little grittier than if you were to use store-bought almond flour.

frangipane
Source: Pixabay
Peach frangipane tart.

The Difference Between Frangipane and Marzipan

Frangipane and marzipan are made with similar ingredients, but they’re actually quite different. Frangipane is most often used as a cream filling and needs to be baked before it can be consumed. Marzipan, on the other hand, is considered a confection on its own and can be used to make fondant or cake decorations. When it comes to the texture of marzipan vs. frangipane, marzipan is much denser, less spreadable, and more pliable. 

Marzipan and frangipane are also made differently. If you already know how to make almond paste—almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites—marzipan follows a similar process but with fewer almonds and more sugar. Frangipane, on the other hand, also contains egg yolks, butter, flour, and sometimes a bit of milk. 

Desserts That Use Frangipane

Frangipane makes a wonderful addition to any dessert, but here are some classic frangipane recipe favorites:

Apricot Frangipane Tart

Frangipane pairs particularly well with caramelized apricots or apricot jam in this delicious, buttery treat. 

frangipane
Source: Pixabay
Apricot frangipane tart. 

Pear Frangipane Tartlets

These mini tarts are filled with frangipane, poached pears, and a hint of lemon, creating a classic French pastry.

Bakewell Tart

This traditional English dessert is made with layers of jam, frangipane, and flakes of almonds.

Galette Des Rois

Also known as “King’s cake,” this dessert features frangipane sandwiched between layers of puff pastry and is at the heart of many cultural traditions across Europe.

frangipane
Source: Pixabay
Galette des rois.

Cherry Frangipane Galette

This free-form pie is both delicious and easy to make because it doesn’t require any special equipment.

Pithivier

This is a French enclosed puff pastry pie with frangipane filling, characterized by the beautiful spiral lines that decorate the top layer.

Bostock

This is a quick treat anyone can make—all it takes is a slice of sweet bread, a thin layer of jam, and a layer of frangipane. You can sprinkle some slivered almonds on top, too, if you’re feeling fancy!

Frangipane Croissants

The only thing better than a soft buttery croissant is one filled with delicious sweet frangipane! 

frangipane
Source: Unsplash
Frangipane croissant. 

How to Make Frangipane: a Recipe

The name “frangipane” makes it sound like you need to spend hours in the kitchen wrestling with complicated ingredients. In truth, frangipane could not be more simple to make! Here’s a quick and easy recipe you can follow.

Total time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 2 cups 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup almond flour (see substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. You can mix them by hand, use an electric mixer, stand mixer, or a food processor. 
  2. Once you’ve reached a creamy consistency, add the eggs and continue mixing to incorporate them. If using, add the almond or vanilla extract at this point and mix it in.
  3. Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour and mix until everything is combined. The all-purpose flour here helps thicken the cream and hold it together, but can also be omitted for a gluten-free option. 

Use the frangipane as a filling in tarts, cakes, and pastries. Remember that, because the almond cream contains eggs, it needs to be baked before it can be safely consumed. 

If you’re not using the frangipane immediately, it can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week or frozen for up to three months. 

Substitutions: 

If you don’t have almond flour, you can make your own by grinding almonds in a food processor. Use blanched almonds for a more creamy frangipane or unblanched ones for added texture. 

Though traditional frangipane is made with almonds, feel free to try it with other types of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, or some combination! 

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