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How to Make Tudor Sweets

Although it’s difficult to imagine, the Tudors had to make it through their daily lives without access to Jelly Babies, Skittles and Sherbet Dib Dabs! Instead, only the very wealthy amongst them had their own sweets made using marchpane – an old-fashioned version of today’s marzipan. These Tudor sweets were moulded into shapes and given as gifts, or served at feasts to impress important guests.


  • Pack of Marzipan
  • Icing Sugar
  • Food Colouring
  • Edible Cake Decorations, Dried Fruit or Nuts


  • Rolling Pin
  • Small Biscuit Cutters
  • Paintbrush
  • Toothpick
  • Small Confectionary Paper Cases

METHOD: Marvellous Marzipan Tudor Sweets

  1. Sprinkle some icing sugar out over your work surface to prevent the marzipan from sticking. Next, take your marzipan and break it up into even sized pieces. You can roll each of these pieces into balls, or mould them into cubes or any other shape of your choice (so long as they will fit inside the confectionary paper cases).
  2. Roll your remaining marzipan out evenly (remember to sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with icing sugar to prevent sticking once again) so that you have a flat sheet of marzipan to work with.
  3. Take your small shaped cutters and use them to cut a selection of small shapes from your flat sheet of marzipan.
  4. Next, you can use your food colouring to add eye-catching colour to your pieces of marzipan. Paint the larger balls of marzipan and the flat cut-outs in contrasting colours, so that when you piece them together you produce a multi-coloured creation! Apply the food colouring using a paintbrush, then leave the marzipan to dry.
  5. Now it’s time to add the flat marzipan decorations to the top of the marzipan sweets. Use a toothpick to slightly texturise the surfaces that you intend to stick together, then apply a small amount of water or egg white before adding the flat decorations to the top of your sweets, to hold them in place.
  6. If you wish, you can finish off your sweets by sprinkling some chopped nuts or dried fruit on top, and voila! Your Tudor confection selection is ready to serve up… or ready to tuck into!

Top Tip: Marzipan is very much like play dough in its texture, which means you can mould it into any shapes you like! If you want to get creative, try modelling it into a variety of shapes using your fingertips – you could produce miniature fruits, chess pieces, miniature animals, and more. It’s rumoured that Queen Elizabeth I was once presented with a marchpane model of St Paul’s Cathedral – so anything is possible!

How To