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Marzipan vs. Nougat — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on December 30, 2023
"Marzipan" is a sweet, almond-based paste used in confections, while "nougat" is a chewy confection made from sugar, nuts, and egg whites.
Marzipan vs. Nougat — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Marzipan and Nougat


Key Differences

Marzipan is primarily made from ground almonds and sugar, forming a pliable paste, whereas nougat is a mixture of whipped egg whites, sugar, and nuts, resulting in a chewy texture.
Marzipan is often used as a covering for cakes or in candy-making, while nougat is typically found in candy bars or as a standalone sweet.
The texture of marzipan is smooth and easily moldable, ideal for sculpting and decorative purposes, in contrast to nougat, which is firmer and chewier.
Originating from Europe, marzipan is a staple in traditional confections, particularly in German and Spanish cuisines, whereas nougat, with variations like Italian torrone and French nougat, has a broader Mediterranean origin.
Marzipan often takes on intricate shapes and colors in confectionery art, while nougat is usually found in simple bar or loaf forms, sometimes coated in chocolate or other flavors.

Comparison Chart

Primary Ingredients

Ground almonds and sugar.
Sugar, nuts, and egg whites.


Smooth, pliable paste.
Chewy and firm.

Use in Confectionery

Covering for cakes, sculpting, decorative items.
Found in candy bars, standalone sweets.


European, especially German and Spanish cuisines.
Mediterranean, with variations across the region.

Forms and Shapes

Often molded into intricate shapes and figures.
Typically in bar or loaf forms, sometimes coated.

Compare with Definitions


A sweet paste made from ground almonds and sugar.
The cake was covered in smooth marzipan.


A chewy confection made from sugar, nuts, and egg whites.
The nougat bar was deliciously chewy.


A key ingredient in European confections.
Marzipan is essential in traditional German stollen.


Sometimes used as a layer in desserts.
The dessert had a layer of soft nougat.


Sometimes eaten alone as a sweet.
He enjoyed a small piece of marzipan as a treat.


Commonly found in various candy bars.
Nougat adds a soft texture to the candy bar.


Can be colored and shaped into various forms.
The marzipan fruits looked almost real.


Has regional varieties like Italian torrone.
The Italian torrone is a type of nougat.


Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar or honey and almond meal (ground almonds), sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract. It is often made into sweets; common uses are chocolate-covered marzipan and small marzipan imitations of fruits and vegetables.


Can be flavored with chocolate, fruits, or honey.
The nougat was flavored with honey.


A confection made of ground almonds or almond paste, sugar, and sometimes egg whites, often molded into decorative shapes.


Nougat (US: NOO-gət, UK: NOO-gah; French: [nuɡa]; Azerbaijani: nuqa; Persian: نوقا‎) is a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are common), whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates.


A confection made from a paste of almonds, sugar and egg white as a binder.


A confection made from a sugar or honey paste into which nuts are mixed.


A similar confection made using another nut, such as peanut or hazelnut.


(uncountable) A mixture consisting of egg white and a sweetener, variously mixed with almonds or hazelnuts or used without nuts as a filler in candy bars.


(countable) A piece of such a confection.


(countable) A piece of this mixture, typically eaten as a confection.


(transitive) To cover with marzipan.
A marzipanned cake


A cake, sweetmeat, or confection made with almonds or other nuts.


A confection made of almonds and sugar mixed into a paste and molded into shapes. Same as marchpane.


Nuts or fruit pieces in a sugar paste


Almond paste and egg whites


Used for decorative purposes in baking.
She sculpted flowers out of marzipan.

Common Curiosities

What is marzipan made of?

Marzipan is made from ground almonds and sugar.

Can marzipan be eaten alone?

Yes, marzipan can be eaten alone as a sweet.

What is marzipan used for in baking?

Marzipan is used for covering cakes and decorative purposes.

What are the main ingredients in nougat?

Nougat is made from sugar, nuts, and egg whites.

Are there different types of nougat?

Yes, there are various types like Italian torrone and French nougat.

Is marzipan a European confection?

Yes, marzipan is popular in European confectionery.

Is nougat always chewy?

Nougat is typically chewy, though textures can vary.

Can nougat contain chocolate?

Yes, nougat can be flavored with chocolate.

Does nougat vary regionally?

Yes, nougat has different regional variations in texture and ingredients.

How is marzipan colored?

Marzipan can be colored using food dyes.

What makes nougat firm?

The whipped egg whites and sugar give nougat its firmness.

Does marzipan have a nutty flavor?

Yes, marzipan has a sweet almond (nutty) flavor.

Can you mold nougat into shapes?

Nougat is less moldable than marzipan due to its texture.

Is nougat used in candy bars?

Yes, nougat is a common ingredient in many candy bars.

What's the origin of marzipan?

Marzipan has a debated origin but is deeply rooted in European traditions.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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