How-To: Marzipan Animals

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Marzipan Animals
By Sonya Nimri

Marzipan is a paste made out of finely ground almonds mixed with sugar. The result is a pliable, edible, non-toxic crafting material, ideal as a substitute for modeling clay. With marzipan, the only potential side effect with accidental ingestion is a sugar high. An incredibly malleable alternative, whatever you can dream up, you can make with marzipan. These farm animals are a good start. With a single tube of marzipan, a small amount of food coloring, and a whole lot of fast little fingers, this project is sure to turn your countertop into a barnyard.
Marzipan can be found at the grocery store or the craft store in the baking department and is easily dyed by adding a tiny amount of food coloring to a clump of marzipan. When dying the marzipan pink, use just a tiny dot of red food coloring, because a little goes a long way with red. One tube of marzipan is enough to make all five farm animals if you are accurate with your measurements of the different colors.


7 oz tube marzipan paste
Box of assorted food coloring
Black food coloring
Small knife
Clean surface
for rolling balls with your hands


To get started: First separate a quarter-sized portion of marzipan to make the 10 colored discs for the animals’ eyes. Take the rest and separate it into 5 equal parts so that all the animals are more or less the same size. For each animal, first take a little tiny bit of undyed marzipan and roll into 2 little discs for the whites of the eyes. Then proceed with the instructions for each animal below.
Marzipananimals Lambside-1
The lamb is the easiest to make because you only need black food coloring and marzipan.
Step 1: Roll 2/3 of the undyed marzipan into a ball for the body, a pea-sized half round for the little beanie, and 2 pea-sized oval/teardrops for the arms.
Marzipananimals Lamb Step2
Step 2: Dye 1/3 of the marzipan black.
Step 3: With the black, make a round head and 2 eraser-sized black round lamb ears and 2 smaller eyeballs for the lamb. Flatten the front top half of the head.
Step 4: Wash your hands well because the black dye tends to stain hands. Assemble the lamb according to the photo.
Step 5: Use your little knife to make a horizontal slit for the mouth.
Marzipananimals Pig
Step 1: Take your marzipan portion for the pig and dye it all pink using the tiniest dab of red food coloring. Mix the dye in well, making sure there are no streaks. Reserve a quarter-sized piece for the cow’s nose and the rooster’s wattle and comb.
Step 2: Roll out ¾ of the pink marzipan into a big pink ball.
Step 3: Make 6 little balls, 4 for the feet and 2 to flatten and fold in half for the ears.
Step 4: Make 1 squiggly, curly tail.
Step 5: Use the rest to make a bigger pink ball for the nose that will be slightly flattened onto the front of the pig’s face.
Marzipananimalspig Step6
Step 6: Attach all the parts according to the photo, and then add the eyes.
Marzipananimalspig Step7
Step 7: Poke 2 holes into the nose to make the pig’s nostrils.
Marzipananimal Chicken-2
Step 1: Blend all of the marzipan yellow. Reserve about 2 pea-sized portions for the cow’s horns and the rooster’s feet and beak.
Step 2: Take 2 pea-sized portions and add the smallest trace amount of red, blending to make orange.
Marzipananimals Chicken Step3
Step 3: Take 2/3 of the yellow and make 1 big ball for the body and use the rest to make a smaller ball for the head and 2 teardrops for the wings.
Step 4: After attaching the head to the body, blend the marzipan to make the seam between the head and the body disappear by gently rubbing where the head joins the body.
Step 5: Flatten the back of the body and bend it upwards slightly into a tail.
Step 6: Take the orange and make 2 small feet, an oval for the mouth, and an oval line for the top of the head.
Marzipananimals Chicken Step7
Step 7: Attach the eyes and press the knife into the mouth horizontally to make a beak and 2 little cuts into the top of the comb on the head.
Marzipananimal Rooster Side-1
Step 1: Blend the marzipan with 3 drops of yellow, 1 red and 1 green. Mix well to make a medium to dark brown rooster color.
Step 2: Take 1/3 to make a ball for the head and 2 pea-sized teardrop shapes for the wings and 2/3 to make a ball for the body.
Step 3: Take the yellow that you’ve reserved from the chicken and make a ball, then point it into a cone, and 2 discs for the feet.
Step 4: Take a dime-sized portion of pink and add a drop of red. Blend them well to make a medium red, then separate into a pea-sized portion to roll out into a comb for the top of the rooster’s head. Use the rest to make a baguette shape for the wattle.
Marzipananimals Rooster Step5
Step 5: Attach all the parts, then add the eyes.
Marzipananimal Cow-1
Step 1: Separate the natural-colored marzipan into 1/3 for the head and 2/3 for the body, taking a quarter-sized piece off for the arms, feet, and ears.
Marzipananimals Cow Step2
Step 2: Make a round ball for the body and add 3 black dots to the body by rolling 3 different-sized balls out of the black and flattening them randomly to the body of the cow. Save a little black to make 2 worm-like pieces for the cow’s eyelashes.
Step 3: Roll 2 teardrop-shaped pieces into arms, then 4 smaller pieces into feet and ears.
Marzipananimals Cow Step4
Step 4: Make a pink ball for the nose and 2 yellow cones for the horns.
Marzipananimals Cow Step5
Step 5: Assemble all the parts, including eyes then take your toothpick and make indentations in the eyelashes
Marzipananimals Cow Step6
Step 6: Make 2 holes in the upper third of the nose.
About the Author:
Author Sonya Nimri
Sonya Nimri lives and crafts in a little house in Venice Beach, Calif. She is the author of two books: Beadalicious and Just for the Frill of It. Visit her at for lots of project ideas.

12 thoughts on “How-To: Marzipan Animals

  1. jenny says:

    With marzipan, the only potential side effect with accidental ingestion is a sugar high.
    Just keep in mind for people with a nut allergy, the side effect is much more serious! Marzipan is delicious to me, but deadly to, say, my little brother.
    It’s a good idea to be careful with this stuff, especially where kids may be involved. It’s something that people who don’t have a loved one with a life-threatening allergy might not think of.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jenny! Good point! Please do not do this project if you have a nut allergy. If this is the case, fondant may be a good alternative to use instead of marzipan.

  3. Cheri says:

    Why is Craft: working with Klutz? I don’t think they really embody the Craft: spirit I’ve come to know and love. It’s particularly strange to see them on this site after the Bristlebot/Evil Mad Scientist incident…

  4. Natalie Zee Drieu says:

    Hi Cheri,
    Klutz is sponsoring our kids craft projects this month. Most of the projects posted on the site are by our regular crafty writers along with previews and reviews on Klutz titles we love. By all means, Klutz’s craft books have helped serve the foundation of craft love for most of our editorial team while growing up. The Bristlebot incident is all resolved with all parties happy in agreement.
    We hope you enjoy our kids craft projects each day this month as well as the many other projects for Thanksgiving, the holidays, and more.

  5. Renee says:

    Thank you for these instructions, they are easy and well detailed- hopefully I can make them look as good as these- I’m going to put them on top of my sons first birthday cake. :)

  6. Michelle says:

    Wondering how many days in advance can you make marzipan creatures – I need to make 50 lady bugs for cupcakes and was hoping to get them started but want them to stay together and taste good.

  7. granger says:

    I LOVE your marzipan animals, thank you for the inspiration! I just wondered how long they lasted for? ie how far in advance could I make them and expect them to still be edible?! Thank you…

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