This incredible nutty, sweet French Almond Cream makes a perfect filling for all types of desserts. It's made with 5 core ingredients in under 10 minutes and I share 3 easy ways to make it. It's a must in every baker's repertoire.
Frangipane, as it's commonly know as, is both versatile and sophisticated. It elevates many well known desserts that you already know and love. I'm so excited to be sharing this amazing cream with you. One to have in your arsenal of recipes!
I've used this frangipane recipe as a filling in my Plum Frangipane Tart and and Tarte Bourdaloue (Pear Tart). In a month or so I'll also be sharing it in Frangipane Mince Pies - perfect for Christmas.
I use almond frangipane a lot in my home baking and can't wait to share just how versatile it is. You'll soon understand why it's so popular in French Dessert Recipes!
❓ What is Frangipane (Almond Cream)?
Where Does It Come From?
There are many versions of the origins of Frangipane. Some say it comes from Italy, whilst others believe it came from a 16th Century Italian nobleman living in Paris, France.
Regardless of its murky origins, Frangipane, "Crème d'Amande" in French, or Almond Cream, is made from only 5 ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds and flour. It's beaten together to create a smooth, creamy almond filling.
What Is its Texture and Taste?
Creme frangipane is a thick but spreadable cream that can be very smooth or made more coarse depending of the almonds you use. Once baked, it puffs up to a golden, set filling that is utterly delicious.
It contains almonds giving it a sweet, nutty, fragrant taste. The almond flavour can be boosted with the addition of almond extract or almond liquor, but this is totally optional.
What Can You Use Almond Cream for?
Almond Cream is predominantly used as a filling in pastries, tarts and desserts. The French also use it to fill pastries such as Almond Croissants, Pithiviers, Jésuite and Galettes Des Rois.
It's added to the bottom of pastry tart shells topped by fruit, like French Fruit Tarts, or with jam, you'll know the famous Bakewell Tart. I often add a layer of Frangipane under fruit in a free-form galette, as it soaks up the fruit juices stopping the pastry from going soggy.
Because its a raw filling and needs baking, you can't use it as a filling in-between layer cakes. But hopefully you get the idea that there's lots of other ways to use this brilliant filling - make sure to check out my variations below!
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. All the ingredients are basic pantry or fridge staples that can easily be found in your local supermarket.
- Versatile recipe. The almond nutty flavour from the frangipane pairs so perfectly well with all fruit and berries but other tastes like chocolate, caramel and coffee. The possibilities are endless!
- Simple to make. Almond Cream can be made by hand, with a stand mixer or in a food processor - nothing's stopping you now!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
- Butter - I prefer unsalted butter so that I can control the level in the filling. It must be at room temperature to be creamed well with the sugar.
- Sugar & Salt- Regular granulated white sugar is used. But you can use golden too and also caster sugar. The salt helps season the cream adding flavour.
- Eggs - I've used large eggs in the frangipane cream. You can add an extra yolk if you want extra creaminess.
- Ground Almonds - Also referred to as almond meal, it's slightly courser in texture than almond flour and provides a lovely coarse texture to the frangipane. You can also use almond flour, but being more finely ground, the overall texture will be smoother. If using whole almonds, you'll need to grind them in the food processor first.
- Flour - Many recipes don't call for flour in the frangipane - I personally like to add just enough to help form a little structure to the cream.
Almond Cream Flavourings
The ingredients above create the most basic form of filling. But there are so many other ways to add different types of flavour to the cream.
- Almond extract: If you want an extra boost of almond flavour, then add a teaspoon of almond extract into the mix. It's strong so don't go over board.
- Vanilla Extract: A teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste can add subtle layer of flavour to the cream.
- Citrus zest: Rub in lemon zest or orange zest into the sugar before using. The citrus and almond pairs exceptionally well with fruit.
- Chocolate: Add in 2 tablespoon worth of cocoa powder into the frangipane mix for a beautiful chocolate frangipane filling. (Add it to your next Pear Tart!)
- Coffee: There's everything right with the combination of coffee and almond. Dissolve 2 teaspoon of ground coffee in 1 tablespoon boiling water before adding it to the frangipane mixture.
- Spices: Add in some ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves to give the cream an autumnal vibe. I'm seeing a Spiced Almond Blackberry Tart in my future!
- Alcohol: Add a grown up taste of almond flavour by adding in an almond liquor, like Amaretto into the filling.
Different Nuts You Can Use
Now we've talked about what flavourings you can add to an almond frangipane, did you know that you can use different nuts, instead of almonds? No? You sure can!!
Some nut alternatives can be found in your regular supermarket, where as some can be bought from a specialist store or online. You can also grind the nuts yourself as a cheaper, at home option. Different nuts that you can use are:
- Hazelnuts: ground hazelnuts are commonly found in large supermarkets.
- Pistachio: ground pistachio can be found in specialist stores or on line
- Walnuts: walnut flour or ground walnuts can be found online.
- Pecan: I haven't found ground pecans anywhere, without costing an arm and a leg (!), so I would be inclined to make my own. I'll show you how below.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Frangipane Almond Cream is one of the easiest fillings to make. It literally comes together in two simple steps.
There are three simple ways that you can make it: in the stand mixer/hand-held beaters, with a food processor or by hand. I'll show you how to make it with all three methods below so that you can make it anywhere, any time and with or without any equipment!
TIP: For all three methods, the butter and eggs must be at room temperature before making the frangipane.
This ensures the butter creams and aerates properly and the eggs emulsify and combine with the other ingredients.
Using a Food Processor
If making your own ground nuts, you'll need to use a food processor to grind them. You can use this method to make ground hazelnut, pistachio, walnut or pecans. I leave the skin on my nuts but you can use blanched almonds or remove the skin from hazelnuts if you prefer.
In my images below, you'll see that I made ground walnuts for a walnut frangipane.
STEP 1. Add the whole nuts and sugar to a food processor and process. Pulse them until they're of a coarse consistency. (Images 1 & 2)
TIP: Process slowly otherwise you'll end up with a nut butter instead!
STEP 2. Add in remaining ingredients and process. Add in the butter, eggs, flour and salt to the ground walnuts and process until smooth (Images 2 & 3). Scrape down the base and sides of the bowl half way through.
RESULT: The result will be a rustic frangipane cream with divine texture and taste. Compared to using store-bought ground nuts, the cream will be a little coarser in texture but it will still be creamy.
Using a Stand Mixer or Electric Hand-Held Beaters
STEP 1: Cream butter and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy with in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat for 3 minutes to ensure the sugar dissolves fully and it's pale a creamy (Image 5).
STEP 2: Add in eggs and then remaining ingredients, then beat. Add in the eggs, one at a time and beat together (Image 6). Then add the ground almonds, flour and salt and beat again until smooth and combined (Images 7 & 8).
RESULT: The Frangipane filling is thick and creamy with a slight texture. If using almond flour, it'll still be thick and hold on a spoon but will be a lot smoother in consistency.
TIP: When beating in the eggs, it may look curdled to start off with but the mixture will come together once the dry ingredients are added.
Making Almond Cream by Hand
STEP 1. Combine sugar, ground almonds, flour and salt. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, ground almonds, flour and salt and whisk together (Images 9 & 10).
STEP 2. Add in butter and eggs and mix together. With a rubber spatular or wooden spoon, beat the mixture vigorously together. It'll take a minute or two until everything is well combined. Smoosh the butter onto the sides of the bowl if you need to as you mix (Images 11 & 12).
RESULT: The mixture may be a little thicker than if making it with a stand mixer as the butter hasn't had any air incorporated into it but will yield a delicious, creamy filling.
TIP: When making the filling by hand, the butter has to be very soft before using. It's also worth briefly whisking the eggs separately before adding them. This helps the emulsion into the mixture.
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- Room temperature wet ingredients. Your butter and eggs have to be at room temperature for the Almond Cream to be mixed properly.
- For a rustic filling make it from scratch with whole almonds in a food processor or with ground almonds with a stand mixer.
- For a smooth, creamy filling, make it with almond flour using any of the three methods.
- Take advantage of its versatility and flavour it up to your hearts content.
You can see in the image below several variations of tarts. I dolloped Nutella in the base of a mini tart and topped it with walnut frangipane (my fav). The other mini tart has cocoa powder in with walnut frangipane (the kids fav!).
The individual tarts are all made with almond frangipane cream, one with almond flakes, another with sliced apples. The last is a traditional Bakewell Tart with a layer of jam. Not shown, but another idea and a summer favourite, is pistachio frangipane with fresh raspberries dotted throughout. How many variations can you make?
📋 Recipe FAQs
Whilst they are both made from almonds and used in desserts, they are quite different. Frangipane is a creamy spreadable filling used in tarts or pastries.
Marzipan, or almond candy dough as it's known in the US, is a denser almond paste that is used to decorate cakes with or to form into shapes such as fruit.
The butter and eggs are too cold and haven't mixed together properly. The addition of the ground almonds and flour will help to bring the mixture back together into a smooth consistency, so don't worry about it.
If baking the almond frangipane in an open tart, the filling will be golden on the top and set around the edges. The centre should have a slight jiggle to it but shouldn't be wet when a toothpick is inserted. It will continue to cook once out of the oven.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: If making ahead, then immediately store the Almond Cream in an airtight container covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze: Almond cream freezes really well. Store in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using.
🥣 More Cream and Sauces Recipes
If you tried this Frangipane Almond Cream Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Almond Cream (Frangipane) Recipe
- 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 100 g ground almonds
- 40 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
Making the Almond Cream using a food processor
- Add the whole almonds and sugar to a food processor and grind. Pulse the nuts until they are a coarse consistency. Don't over process otherwise you'll have nut butter!
- Add in remaining ingredients and process. Add in the butter, eggs, flour and salt to the ground nuts and process until smooth. Scrape down the base and sides of the bowl half way through. Note: (If using ground nuts instead of whole nuts, then add all ingredients to the food processor at once and process until combined).
Making the Almond Cream with a Stand Mixer or Hand-Held Beaters
- Cream the butter and sugar together. In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add the whisked eggs and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the almond meal, flour, salt, and mix until combined.
Making the Almond Cream by Hand
- Combine sugar, ground almonds and flour. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, ground almonds, flour and salt and whisk together.
- Add in butter and eggs and whisk together. Into the dry ingredients add the butter and eggs. With a whisk, whip the ingredients vigorously together. It may take a minute or two of whisking until everything is well combined.
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
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