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Frangipane cream before baking
Main ingredientsAlmonds or almond flavouring, butter, sugar, eggs
French galette des rois (kings' cake)

Frangipane (/ˈfrænɪpæn, -pn/ FRAN-jih-pa(y)n, Italian: [ˌfrandʒiˈpaːne]) is a sweet almond-flavored custard used in a variety of ways including cakes and such pastries as the Bakewell tart, conversation tart, Jésuite and pithivier.[1] A French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners' dictionary.[2] Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods.

Today it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds.

In some anecdotes it was the kind of sweet that the noblewoman Jacopa da Settesoli brought to St. Francis of Assisi in 1226, when he was dying.[citation needed]

On Epiphany, the French cut the king cake, a round cake made of frangipane layers into slices to be distributed by a child known as le petit roi (the little king) who is usually hiding under the dining table.[3] The cake is decorated with stars, a crown, flowers and a special bean hidden inside the cake.[4] Whoever gets the piece of the frangipane cake with the bean is crowned "king" or "queen" for the following year.


The word comes ultimately from Italian, named after Marquis Muzio Frangipani. The word first denoted the frangipani plant, from which was produced the perfume originally said to flavor frangipane.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ayto, John (2013). The Diner's Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Davidson, Alan (2013). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Frangipane at BBC Good Food Retrieved 24 May 2013
  4. ^ Mary Berry's Christmas recipes: Mincemeat Frangipane Tart at Telegraph UK Food and Drink Retrieved 14 May 2013
  5. ^ "frangipane | Definition of frangipane in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2019-03-21.


  • "Frangipane." Oxford Companion to Food (1999), 316.