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What Is Persipan? Discover the Almond Paste Alternative in Baking

Persipan is a marzipan-like paste crafted from apricot or peach kernels, offering a slightly different taste and a more affordable option for confectionery delights. Its nuanced flavor profile adds a unique twist to traditional sweets. Have you ever wondered how persipan compares to its almond-based cousin in your favorite desserts? Join us as we explore the subtle differences.
Angie Bates
Angie Bates

Made primarily from sugar and ground apricot or peach cores, persipan is a substitute for the dessert filling marzipan. The term itself is a hybrid of the scientific name for the peach, Prunus persica, and "marzipan." The filling is created in the same way marzipan is made, but since it uses peach cores instead of almonds, it is considerably cheaper than marzipan.

Like marzipan, persipan is made worldwide but is most popular in Europe. Whereas marzipan is created by grinding almonds and mixing them with sugar, persipan is created by grinding peach or apricot pits, often called kernels, and adding those to sugar. This combination creates a paste from which the filling is created, generally by adding more sugar. The paste will contain about 35 percent sugar. The filling, however, will have closer to 60 percent sugar.

Persipan is made from peach (or apricot) kernels.
Persipan is made from peach (or apricot) kernels.

Unlike marzipan, persipan often contains 0.5 percent starch. Since the fillings closely resemble each other, the starch is often a required addition so persipan can be easily distinguished visually from marzipan using an iodine test. When iodine solution comes in contact with starch, it dyes the starch dark purple.

Both peach and apricot kernels are poisonous in their raw state. They contain amygdalin, which, when broken down, becomes hydrogen cyanide. These kernels are never safe to eat raw and must be processed before they are used in order to remove the toxin. The toxin is also the reason these fruit cores are not often used in food production and are, therefore, less costly.

Peach pits are ground and added to sugar to make persipan.
Peach pits are ground and added to sugar to make persipan.

Persipan is generally considered of lower quality than marzipan. There is also a difference in taste which some people prefer over marzipan. Additionally, persipan often contains more sugar than its more expensive counterpart in order to combat the bitter taste of the fruit kernels.

Although persipan can be used as a substitute for marzipan in any type of dish, commercially, cake fillings and cookies are the most common desserts that use the substitute. Marzipan is also frequently found in candies, but persipan is rarely used commercially for candy treats. The paste, however, can be purchased online or in some European stores for use in homemade desserts.

Since they are often an ingredient in holiday treats, both fillings are most frequently found around Christmas. In Germany, however, both can be found year-round. In the United States, these fillings are far less popular. Though marzipan can be found commercially in the US, generally around the holiday season, most Americans are not familiar with persipan at all.

FAQ on Persipan

What is persipan and how is it different from marzipan?

Persipan is a paste similar to marzipan but made primarily from apricot or peach kernels instead of almonds. The kernels give persipan a slightly different taste and a more bitter flavor compared to the sweet, nutty flavor of marzipan. While marzipan is smooth and easily colored or flavored, persipan has a coarser texture and is less malleable, making it less suitable for detailed sculpting but still useful for fillings and baked goods.

Can people with nut allergies safely consume persipan?

Although persipan is made from apricot or peach kernels, which are not nuts, it may still pose a risk for individuals with nut allergies. This is because the proteins in these kernels can be similar to those found in almonds and other tree nuts, potentially triggering an allergic reaction. It's essential for those with nut allergies to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming persipan.

Is persipan vegan and gluten-free?

Persipan is typically vegan as it is made from fruit kernels, sugar, and a binding agent such as starch. However, it's important to check the label for any additional ingredients that may not be vegan. As for being gluten-free, persipan itself does not contain gluten, but it can be processed in facilities that handle gluten-containing products, so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should look for a certified gluten-free label.

How is persipan used in cooking and baking?

Persipan is commonly used as a filling in pastries, cakes, and confections. It can be found in traditional European baked goods such as stollen, a German fruit bread, or used as a layer in various tarts and pies. Its ability to withstand high temperatures without melting makes it ideal for baking. Additionally, persipan can be rolled out and used as a covering for cakes, similar to marzipan.

Where can I buy persipan and how should I store it?

Persipan can be purchased at specialty baking stores, online retailers, or in some European markets. It may not be as readily available as marzipan, so it might require a bit of searching. Once acquired, persipan should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in a cool, dry place. It can also be refrigerated to extend its shelf life, but should be brought to room temperature before use for best results.

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Discussion Comments


I'm curious. What is the process used to detoxify amygdalin (a cyanogenic glycocide) from the apricot kernels? Does the process truly remove all (or the majority) of amygdalin? Since amygdalin converts to hydrogen cyanide during digestion, it seems like a pretty important concern. When buying a tube of apricot kernel paste, does the tube include a label with a warning? Are there laboratory analysis results available to prove the safety of the paste post-detox?

I realize that there may not be answers for all of these questions - they're just what pops into my mind when thinking about persipan. It just seems strange to me to use stone fruit kernels as a food source at all, since they all contain amygdalin or other cyanogenic component. I'd much rather use them to grow new apricot or peach trees (which I've done and, with any luck, I may actually be able to eat the fruits from said trees before I depart from this mortal coil.


Please can someone tell me where to buy it in the UK, or where to order it online, even if it's in bulk? I can't find it anywhere.


Actually, aside from peach and apricot cores, persipan also sometimes refers to filling made with bitter almond cores.

The bitter almond is not preferred for marzipan and so many marzipan manufacturers actually use the bitter cores to make persipan which is sold at a lower price.

I know that most of the persipan in the U.S. is imported from Europe, but the actual fruit cores generally come from elsewhere. The persipan I use is made with apricot cores from Iran.

So just because it may be processed and made in one place doesn't mean that the actual kernels are from the same place. Just wanted to point that out in case anyone wants to pay attention to the source when buying.


@simrin-- I'm glad you're enjoying persipan candies.

Have you ever tried ameretti liquor? That also has persipan and I think if you like persipan sweets so much, you will also love this liquor.

If you fancy cooking with persipan, there are international groceries and online shops that sell it in plain bulk. They also have different varieties, like more bitter or more sweet, depending on what you prefer.


I love trying different German and European snacks, cookies and sweets from International grocery stores. I've noticed that persipan is used in quite a few of them and I had to look it up because I've never heard of it as an ingredient before.

My favorite treats are German Domino treats which is a combination of persipan, fruit jelly and chocolate. It is very delicious, great for having with coffee.

I'm really enjoying persipan sweets and now that I know what it is, I think I'm going to be stocking up on them for the holidays. It would be great as holiday gifts and treats for the guests.


I have tasted both marzipan and persipan and I couldn't tell too much difference between the two.

One reason might be because the persipan filling I tried had some ground almonds in with the peaches. This would be more like a combination of the two fillings.

I actually liked the taste of this better than the marzipan alone. Many people have never heard of either of them, but once they taste that sweet filling, wonder what it is made of.


I am familiar with marzipan as I have a favorite holiday recipe that calls for this. The only time I look for marzipan on the shelf is around Christmas time, and have always been able to find it without too much trouble.

This is the first time I have heard about persipan and it sounds like it could be used in place of marzipan for most recipes if you needed to.

Since I love the taste of peaches and almonds, both of these sound like they could be a tasty filling.

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    • Persipan is made from peach (or apricot) kernels.
      By: Anna Kucherova
      Persipan is made from peach (or apricot) kernels.
    • Peach pits are ground and added to sugar to make persipan.
      By: Jeffrey Collingwood
      Peach pits are ground and added to sugar to make persipan.