Frangipane: Almond Cream

Frangipane-filled tart

The Spruce

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1006 Calories
77g Fat
65g Carbs
22g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 1006
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 77g 98%
Saturated Fat 26g 130%
Cholesterol 300mg 100%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Protein 22g
Calcium 225mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Frangipane is a velvety almond cream that's enhanced with just a hint of vanilla. It adds delicious richness and texture to desserts. The cream, which has a nutty, sweet taste, can be used in many different ways, including a filling for tarts, cakes, and pastries (think almond croissants). Popular recipes are the Bakewell tart (a pastry shell filled with layers of frangipane, jam, and flaked almonds), the conversation tart (filled puff pastry drizzled with royal icing), Pithiviers (a puff pastry pie), and Jésuite (a triangular filled pastry).

The recipe has Italian origins; its name stems from the phrase frangere il pane, meaning "to break bread." There is more than one story as to how this recipe came about, but the one common thread is that it was derived from a member of the Roman Frangipani family, who, legend has it, distributed bread to the poor (hence their name). Another story suggests that it stems from an almond treat given to St. Francis of Assisi on his deathbed. Another story takes place in the 16th century—Marquis Muzio Frangipani, an Italian nobleman living in Paris, invented the bitter almond perfumed glove, a sought-after accessory said to be worn by Louis XIII. To take advantage of the glove's popularity, bakeries added almond flavoring to their pastry cream and called it frangipane. To further complicate things, sometimes its name is attributed to the tropical flower frangipane itself.

Origin stories aside, frangipane is a snap to make and a key part of any good baker's repertoire. The recipe is simple and can be made with a few different methods—in the food processor, stand mixer, or by hand. However you do it, the recipe basically involves adding all of the ingredients at once.

This version offers instructions for using the mixer, but feel free to try the other techniques if you would like. If you have whole or chopped almonds, you can make almond meal in the food processor. Begin by processing the almonds until a fine meal is formed, then add the remaining ingredients and process until well mixed. If you're mixing it all by hand, you can either use softened butter or melt the butter first.

This frangipane recipe makes enough almond cream for one large tart or several small tartlets.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Frangipane ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together.

    Butter and sugar creamed together
    The Spruce
  3. Add the almond meal and mix to combine.

    Almond meal in bowl of stand mixer with butter and sugar
    The Spruce
  4. Then add the egg and vanilla, gently beating until all is mixed.

    Egg and vanilla added to frangipane batter
    The Spruce
  5. Finish by adding the flour and combining until well mixed. 

    Frangipane batter mixed in a stainless steel bowl
    The Spruce

What's the Difference Between Frangipane and Marzipan?

It can be confusing to figure out the difference between frangipane and marzipan. After all, they are both made from almonds and used in desserts. Frangipane and marzipan both require almond paste, which is sometimes sold next to marzipan in the baking aisle. Marzipan is denser than frangipane and is used more for decorative purposes, on top of cakes or shaped into forms and baked (such as cookies). Frangipane is used as a filling and must be baked. Marzipan and frangipane can't be substituted for each other. You can, however, make all of these ingredients yourself, which is usually the fastest way to learn how to use them.

How to Store Frangipane

You can make frangipane and store it in the fridge for about a week. You can also freeze it for up to a month; just make sure to bring it up to room temperature before using it. Thawing in the fridge is always recommended.

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