Mandelhörnchen {Marzipan Almond Crescents}


Classic German Desserts

We are already in the third week of the Vegan Month of Food and yes, I skipped the first two days of this week. I guess I needed a little cake sabbatical. Plus, sometimes life just gets in your way and a day is much too short when you have to divide it between work, spending time with your family, and other things. But enough with the lame excuses already, today I am back, armed with flour, sugar, fat, and more sugar. I hope you will enjoy the following treats as today’s recipe and the next ones are all childhood favourites of mine. And they are all coworker tested, too.

Mandelhoernchen - a German childhood favourite

All of these childhood favourites were and are still available at the bakery right next to my parents house in Northern Germany. On Sunday afternoons my father would often go there and buy cakes or pastries so we could eat them for coffee, as that sweet afternoon snack was called.  One of my favourite pastries were these Mandelhörnchen (almond crescends). They are made from marzipan, topped with sliced almonds, and dipped in dark chocolate. If you bite into them they are chewy, but then the marzipan melts in your mouth right away. And then you taste the crispy roasted almonds and the bittersweet chocolate. I love all those contrasts in one baked good. The recipe is from a cookbook called Koch- und Backhits der 60er. I adapted and veganised it.

Note to those who are gluten-free: This recipe calls for 50 g of regular flour. It’s used for binding, but this might work without it. I haven’t tried, but maybe adding more starch or something like glutinous rice flour might give you the same results as regular wheat flour.

Mandelhörnchen (yields 17)

200 g (7 oz) marzipan
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
75 ml (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) soy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
50 g (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon) flour
100 g (3.5 oz) sliced almonds

150 g (5.3 oz) chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the marzipan into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add sugar and soy milk. Mash with a spoon until the mixture is smooth. (You can also use a hand held mixer or blender for this step.) Add starch, baking powder, and flour. Use a hand held mixer to beat into a smooth paste. Fill into a a pastry bag with a large, whide mouthed tip attached. Pipe on a baking sheet in the form of crescents. Your crescents will look like bent sausages at this point, but they should spread and flatten out while baking. So make sure not to place them to close together! Sprinkle with almonds and carefully press some of the almonds into the crescents. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for about ten minutes. Transfer to a cookie rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate and dip the crescents into the marzipan. Place on a sheet of parchment paper to dry.


50 thoughts on “Mandelhörnchen {Marzipan Almond Crescents}

  1. So I bookmarked this recipe about a year ago and finally made them tonight with much anticipation. Completely failed. The cookies all ran together to form a flat layer of crunchy brittle. Actually, the brittle is pretty tasty on it’s own ha, but they are definitely not cookies. Followed the recipe to a T, so not sure what happened. Will try to add more flour next time like some of the reviewers have said. Bummed these didn’t turn out though :/

    1. Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you! What kind of marzipan did you use? Do you know how much sugar it had?

  2. Hi, thank you so much for writing back! Forgive me, but I tried a different recipe first and only came upon yours after I googled “the right way to make almond horns”. The first recipe I used was 1 7oz. Tube almond paste, 2 egg whites and a cup of sugar, and, two cups of almonds to roll it in. 375 degrees for 18 mins. The texture and taste are wonderful, but they spread and flatten too much. Can I substitute almond paste for marzipan?

    1. I am sorry, but I am not sure if I understand your question. If you haven’t made my recipe yet, I would not recommend to use almond paste instead of marzipan. Someone already made these with almond paste and they spread terribly. (There’s a link somewhere in the comments.)

    1. Hi Robyn! It would be great if you gave me a little more detail about how exactly you baked them, if you made any substitutions, ect. Otherwise it is hard to say. Also, these are supposed to spread quite a bit. And that is because of the low flour and high sugar content of these cookies. The sugar lets them spread. You could always try adding more flour.

  3. Hi Mihl,
    I would like to make these one or two days before I serve them. Is it possible? What is the best way to store them?

    Thanks :)

  4. Oh, you are a star! I have made those twice already and they are great! I live in the UK, but am German, and everybody loves those little German almond horns :-) Thank you so much for this recipe!!! :-)

  5. Hello!! I have just discovered your blog looking for german gulasch that would taste like the one my Oma made. Half my family is German and I used to go there a lot when I was a child. Thanks for veganizing all these recipes!And now I see this!!! Wow!! I’m in love! I would jump into the kitchen right now to do it but no one sells marzipan here. Do you have any special recipe to make marzipan? =D

    Thank you so much, you have brought many memories back!

  6. Mihl!! I made these for our big vegan cookie swap last weekend and they were: Perfect, Beautiful, Easy, and Delicious!!! I was so overwhelmed with your German Desserts MoFo theme, I bookmarked pretty much every recipe. The flavors, the combos… they’re all right up my alley. These cookies were so great and so pretty. Thank you for a great recipe!

  7. so many delicious German desserts – and so many with almond and chocolate – I need to visit your country again just to stand in a bakery and drool. these crescents look delicious

  8. I love these cookies so much, they’re so nostalgic for me since my nan used to always make them every Christmas. She doesn’t bake much anymore and so I haven’t had them in years! Thanks for posting this, I’m definitely tucking it away so that I can make them come December.

  9. Wow! Dein Vegan MoFo Thema ist echt klasse. Alles sieht super lecker aus. Sicher wird davon etwas nachgebacken. Bin schwer begeistert.

    Vielen Dank für die schönen Ideen, Rezepte und Bilder!

  10. So, wann kommt endlich dein Backbuch raus? Die Rezepte sind so verdammt toll. Und ich bin auch beeindruckt, dass du keine Margarine verwendest, sondern Alternativen findest .

  11. Oh wow. I love marzipan to begin with, so you can’t imagine what looking at these heavenly crescents is doing to me!

    We don’t get marzipan here commercially, so I’m going to make some at home with almonds and then turn them into these cookies. YUM!

    1. Little almond horns would have been the correct translation. But is that used in English at all? I always thought crescents was the correct equivalent for this shape.

      1. Ooo, I know my family does use the word “horn” for shapes like that, but that might just be my family. They are totally, absolutely also called crescents in English, you are correct!

        Side note: my biological parents both learned German as a second/third language but..the extent of my German is that I can sing a song about a teddy bear.

  12. Excellent looking dessert — so delicate and pretty. I’ve had very good luck subbing Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour mix in recipes, and it might work here, too. Some people add xanthan gum and some use ground chia seeds.

  13. So fancy and pretty! I love that the main ingredient is marzipan. I want to make absolutely everything you’ve shared during this Vegan MoFo. Everything!

    You’ve been spoiling us with delicious treats every day, so you totally deserved a cake sabbatical :)

  14. I think you’re entitled to a little break! Especially when you come back with these treats for us :) To be honest, it’s probably a good thing for me that you missed a couple of days, since, at the rate I’m saving your recipes I’m never going to be able to make them all.
    These might just be my fave of yours yet!

  15. My goodness, I completely forgot these existed! I worked at a German bakery in high school and used to stash these in my bags for treats at school. This lovely post makes me wish I wasn’t allergic to almonds these days. Super post!

  16. Oh, I just LOVE the idea of having coffee (as my afternoon snack time). I’m not really a hot tea fan, so afternoon tea just doesn’t do it for me. But coffee and dessert? Yes, please. These cookies look fantastic.

  17. Ohmygod! My absolute favorite things to bring home from the bakery are Schwartzbrot (Schleswig-Holstein-style, still warm from the oven) and Mandelhörnchen. I am definitely going to try this irresistible recipe!

  18. himmel alarm – das darf doch wahr sein :-( es laesst sich schon erahnen, dass ich auchauf dieses rezept sofort anspringe, ne?! ich liiieeebe marzipan und gerade noch am wochenende habe ich mir einen ast gefreut, weil ich bei einem biobaecker vegane mandelhoernchen entdeckt habe. und was war mein gedanke? koenntest du ja locker auch mal selber welche backen :-D

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