Pumpkin marzipan

By • October 9, 2010 • 63 Comments

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Author Notes: Oh gosh! I wish I had the whole week to play with these. I make small marzipan candies using a host of recipes, some even from potatoes! My joy is painting them with natural food coloring where I blend my own colors. Usually I am doing portraits in miniature of actual fruits and vegetables. Sometimes I use these on chocolate frosted cakes to create my mini gardens. But I have to drive to Queens this weekend to hang a show of my abstract miniature landscape paintings for an opening later at a Thai cafe there! Still, I just had to make the time to create a series of mini pumpkins for this theme. For a very fun children's party, have each child make one. Kids are very good at molding these, especially if they are to carve jack-o-lanterns using toothpicks! It is easy to have work stations set up with toothpicks, paint brushes and food colors, which are all water soluble for easy clean up. It is then very quick to paint these for a take home treat. - SagegreenSagegreen

Food52 Review: Such fun! I had a great time making these delightful marzipan pumpkins. Attempts at sculpted, painted realism gave way to a more stylized version suitable for my skill level. I rolled marble-sized pieces of marzipan dough into balls in my hands, dipped the balls into a saucer of food coloring and then rolled them around in my hands again until they were sufficiently orange. Pushing a clove into the top for the stem shaped the ball into more of a pumpkin form. To mix orange from the India Tree natural food colors, I needed mostly yellow with one drop of red and a micro drop of blue. For Jack-o-lanterns I painted faces with melted chocolate, and alternately, pressed in tiny triangles of dried pear or candy corn. This recipe is terrific for all ages. - Apple AnnieA&M

Serves 8-10

  • 7 ounces marzipan paste
  • 7 ounces sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (linden used here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin jam (or use honey, if you do not have)
  • 10-20 cloves for stems, as per AppleAnnie's innovation
  • natural food coloring, red, yellow, blue and brown
  • tooth picks and small brushes
  1. Work the honey with jam (if you have that flavor) into the marzipan paste. Otherwise you can use all honey. Roll this in a bowl of the powdered sugar to incorporate the sugar into the dough. When the dough is no longer sticky, it is ready to begin molding. You may still have powdered sugar left, which you can use in another batch or in frosting.
  2. With your very clean hands mold the dough into pumpkin shapes. Look at real pumpkins when you do this, so you capture some actual realistic irregularities. I create the stem from a small piece of dough that I then add to the body.
  3. Next using toothpicks score some lines into the pumpkin and stem to simulate details.
  4. Set up some saucers to work with a palette of colors from your natural food coloring. Have some plain water ready to modulate the hues. Using small brushes ( I have a set reserved just for food) paint the surface of your pumpkins with your colors. Mix in some shades for added realism: There are some greens in the stem. Notice there are browns and olives alive in the pumpkin orange. I sometimes use a little honey diluted in water to also dip my brushes in mixing color for tiny bite size candies. This is a crude kind of flavored varnish, in a way.
  5. Serve these to your guests when dry. You can package these as party favors in small boxes with some broken shredded wheat underneath, top chocolate frosted pumpkin cupcakes with them, or just serve them upon fresh grape (or mint) leaves on their own. You can use cloves for the stems if you like.
Jump to Comments (63)

Tags: sweet

Comments (63) Questions (0)

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almost 4 years ago Threemealsaday

A lot of beautiful effort went into this very sweet food art. If not for dessert, then why not use as individual place setting decorations.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

What a lovely idea! I hope to make a set to bring along to an opening of a group show in NYC this weekend with all different fruits and vegetables.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

I just uploaded some photos of the marzipan pears I made; these would work really well with placecard idea for dinner. You could sit them upon pear leaves with the names written on the leaves themselves.

Me

almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I love these pears!!! I'm having a holiday party in another month and love the idea of having one of these at each place setting. Maybe of pomegranates to represent abundance.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Pomegranates would be lovely. I did use dried cloves for the stems with the pears.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

My latest renditions include a pomegranate and a golden apple. I find if I do not look at actual fruit, I can't get the shapes and details right.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

And when you do invert cloves head first into the marzipan, it infuses a burst of spice!

Eda_takoyaki_cooking

almost 4 years ago edamame2003

Wow. Really beautiful...and yummy, I bet!

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks!

Moi

almost 4 years ago Sally

I used to make a lot of marzipan "fruits" and had forgotten about them until now. I love your use of natural dyes and honey. A plate of these would be lovely at the Thanksgiving table and if you had time to spare, I guess you could make pears and apples and other Thanksgiving-y fruits and veggies. Thanks for this.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. What is so nice about these, is that you can make them ahead. I love making them very tiny, so they are the perfect little bite.

Eme

almost 4 years ago Amelia EME

This was such a unique way to cook with pumpkins. I recently experimented with left over pumpkins from my family's Halloween and came up with some fun, if not adventurous, recipes. Hope you check them out and we can continue to exchange ideas with this beautiful vegetable.

-Amelia

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, Amelia. Especially love your pumpkin fondue and mousse! Great site you have.

Annalbu

almost 4 years ago AppleAnnie

I LOVED making these also! I posted a photo of my little pumpkin patch (photo 7), using whole cloves as the stems. I have given most of them away by now, everyone says they are delicious, but I don't have the heart to eat these darling little creations.

Annalbu

almost 4 years ago AppleAnnie

oops, mine is photo 5, it didn't go to the end as I assumed it would.

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, AppleAnnie. What a brilliant innovation you offer with the cloves! I still have many of my little darlings, too. I love making them small, because I think they are more delicious that way...but I, too, develop a sort of reverence in admiring them....which makes eating them all the harder! I eat one occasionally, though. Love your photo.

Dscn2828

almost 4 years ago JoanG

AppleAnnie, your mini pumpkins are just darling. It sounds like you had a great time tsting this recipe! What fun.

Cakes

about 4 years ago Bevi

We love marzipan in our household; in fact, my son gives his dad a box of marzipan every Xmas. This inspires me to include a marzipan session as part of our holiday festivities.

Thanks, Sagegreen!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, Bevi. It is so much fun to make and eat!

Dscn2828

about 4 years ago JoanG

Absolutely adorable! Great confection and winning taste as well!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, JoanG!

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about 4 years ago SallyCan

These are charming! What kind of natural food coloring do you use?

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

For these I used some I bought at Whole Foods. But I also experiment with my own coloring from sugar beets and berries. Then the foods have a shorter shelf life though.

_dsc0674

about 4 years ago Constrained Cook

Having grown up in Belgium, the mention of potato marzipan reminds me of my childhood. I hope you will also share that recipe one day! I love your little pumpkins. They are so gorgeous and look so fun to make!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. I wish this weren't such a busy week at work!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sconegirl made these this afternoon and they are so cute! They came out great. She made four big ones - I do hope she shares!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Wonderful. I am so glad this worked out! I love your pears: Mine would not have compared to yours.

Ashtaco

about 4 years ago wanderash

wow! these are so impressive! i love the jack-o-lantern carving idea!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. The jack-o-lantern idea is perfect for Halloween. But I also love the idea of miniaturizing the giant pumpkin in the patch!

Lobster_001

about 4 years ago nannydeb

These are so cute and you are so talented!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, nannydeb!

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Lovely. Where is your art being shown? I live on Long Island and would love to se it.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks. It is in Jackson Heights. I will send you the info. Later in November-Dec I have more work opening at the Viridian Gallery in Chelsea in a group show!

_dsc0674

about 4 years ago Constrained Cook

Having lived in Belgium when I was younger, your mention of potato marzipan brought me back to my childhood. I hope you'll share that recipe one day! Your pumpkin marzipan are so beautiful! I love that this is an artistic, yet tasty treat. Thanks for sharing!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! Maybe I will get to the potato recipe this week, but we shall see.

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about 4 years ago ellenl

I am astounded at how very talented you are! I wish I had even a little bit of it.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you. You should try these. They are easier than they may look!

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about 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

Wow! great job sculpting those pumpkins! these look great!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, adamsvetcooking. These are really both quick and easy to make, too! This is my favorite marzipan recipe for taste.

Birthday_2012

about 4 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

gorgeous, i didn't realize you were an artist

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, luvcookbooks. Yes, I have been showing my work the last few years and now have one public art sculpture installed!

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

Sagegreen, these are fabulous. What beautiful little creations. I love them!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, gingerroot! I still eat them though even when I get attached to these little guys.

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about 4 years ago lapadia

Excellent and Fun!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, lapadia. I have to get on to work now. These may be my only entry this week!

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

These are absolutely amazing!!! YOU are amazing!!! I just love these little guys! GREAT ENTRY for both photos and recipe!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, ChezSuzanne. You can see how much I love to play with these!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

I can't resist adding a few more photos. The technique of painting these on the surface lends itself really well to making jack-o-lanterns, leaving the white inside unpainted. For fun I carved one of my molded pumpkins to demonstrate. You can use toothpicks to carve out the facial features; no knives needed. You could even add a birthday candle inside the jack-o-lantern for special effect illumination at a Halloween party table.

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

oh my gosh! you are sooo creative! I love it! My daughter will go crazy when she sees these! (she loves marzipan too.)

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Let me know if your daughter makes these. I would love to see her results. How old is she?

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

she's 14. This would be a great project for her!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Great, 14 is just right! This project can work from grade school through adult. Anyone who loves miniatures and marzipan can really enjoy making these!!! I get anywhere from 15-20 little pumpkins from this recipe.

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about 4 years ago TiggyBee

Are you kidding me?
These have got to be the most gorgeous things ever!! I'm wowed!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks! These are remarkably quick and easy to make, too. I have made these with my college students and with grade school kids.

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

Gorgeous!! So creative!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, dymnyno. So is your apple!

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Wow! I'd gobble these up - love marzipan.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, mrslarkin. That is one of the reasons why I make them really tiny sometimes. They are pretty tasty. This is the first time I made them with a little pumpkin jam....of course I had to sample along the way.

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

You can make these any size you like. Mine range sometimes from a tiny half an inch up to an inch and a half tall.

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about 4 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Beautiful!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you. I photographed these while the food coloring is still wet, but they are gorgeous dry, too. I do not like adding food coloring into the dough, but rather painting just on the surface in a water color style.

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about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Beautiful - this recipe is so "you" - and I love marzipan!

Bike2

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you. I LOVE making these!