Marzipan Foliage

Marzipan Foliage

Realistic, edible fruits, leaves, berries, and flowers made from Vegan Marzipan and natural food coloring. Dairy-free and gluten-free. Low-FODMAP in small portions.


How to make Vegan Marzipan into natural-looking foliage for gorgeous, edible decorations. Unless you are working on a pristine flower such as lily or white rose, I suggest using unbalanced almonds to make marzipan. The brown flecks in natural almond meal create a much more realistic color and texture to marzipan fruits, leaves, berries, and petals.


  • Vegan Marzipan (preferably made with natural almonds, not blanched)
  • Natural food coloring made from fresh spinach leaves, fresh strawberries, fresh beets (plus 2 Tbsp filtered water), ground turmeric
  • Dried whole cloves


    For Coloring Marzipan
  1. Working in small batches, take a few tablespoons of marzipan, place into small bowl, and add natural food coloring to bowl. With hands, knead food coloring into marzipan until desired color is reached.
  2. For Natural Food Coloring
  3. Green Food Coloring Powder: Heat oven to 250 degrees.Wash and dry spinach leaves completely. Place leaves in single layer atop sheet pan. Place pan in oven and allow leaves to dry (not cook or brown) for approximately 40 minutes. Leaves will be very brittle when completely dehydrated. Remove pan from oven and turn off oven. Place dried leaves into mortar and pestle (or food processor) and grind until a fine green powder is created.
  4. Rusty Red Food Coloring Powder: Heat oven to 250 degrees.Wash and dry strawberries completely. Slice strawberries into thin slices, removing stems. Follow steps above and dry for 1.5 - 2 hours. Slices will be dry with a slight bend when dehydrated. 
  5. Deep Red Food Coloring Dye: Thoroughly wash one beet and slice. Add slices to small saucepan with 2 Tbsp water; place lid on pan. Place saucepan on stove top at medium-high heat. Cook beets for 15 - 30 minutes or until tender. Remove pan from heat and turn off stove. Strain beets from juice using fine mesh strainer over bowl. Reserve red liquid and discard beets (or eat them for lunch).
  6. Blue Food Coloring Dye: Using Deep Red Food Coloring Dye, add a pinch of baking soda until desired blue color is achieved.
  7. Purple Food Coloring Dye: Combine Deep Red and Blue.
  8. Yellow Food Coloring: Use ground turmeric as-is.
  9. Orange Food Coloring: Combine either Rusty Red or Deep Red and Yellow.
  10. For Realistic Finishing
  11. Shaped Leaves: Go online and print out an image of the leaf you wish to create. Practice drawing the leaf shape with a pencil directly on the print out. Take your marzipan, place onto rolling surface dusted with powdered sugar, and roll marzipan to desired thickness. Using a small knife, cut the practiced leaf shape into marzipan with short cuts (not shortcuts). Take knife and gently press (do not cut) seam down the middle of leaf to resemble the vein leading to the stem. Using a pastry dough scraper, gently remove leaf shape from rolling surface and set aside.
  12. Curved Leaves: Take the cardboard tube from a used paper towel roll; wrap completely in plastic wrap. This will be your marzipan wand. Set wand between two upside-down coffee mugs, one mug at each end of the wand. The mugs will keep the wand from wobbling. Add shaped leaves atop marzipan wand to lend a curved effect to the shape. Allow leaves to dry 8 hours on wand.
  13. Shaped Fruit: Using fresh fruit as a live, nude model (you should laugh here), roll marzipan into ball and then shape into fruit shape. Remember the general outline of fruit is what is most important to capturing the likeness: pears are curved at bottom and narrow at top; apples are plump all around with varying degrees of flatness to their tops and pointedness to their bottoms; bananas are shaped like a smile with a little tip at the top.
  14. Stem: Take a dried whole clove and place it where a stem would be on your foliage. I recommend removing the stem before eating, as it is quite dry and has a strong flavor.
  15. Accents: Paint accents with new, clean paintbrush and food coloring mixed with a drop of water. Use anything and everything to create the desired skin texture and characteristics such as a toothpick for orange skin dimples.


  • Store dried marzipan foliage in airtight container or plastic ziplock baggie at room temperature for several days.
  • Store Food Coloring Powder in lidded glass jars at room temperature for several months.
  • Store Food Coloring Dye in ziplock plastic bag in freezer for several months.
  • Instructions for leaves will work for petals, too.
  • Now's the time to start saving used paper towel rolls. Set them aside for your next marzipan wand!
  • Migraine Warning: Nuts (marzipan).