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

Frangipane (/ˈfrænɪˌpæn, -ˌpn/) is a sweet filling made from or flavored with almonds. Frangipane Italian pronunciation: [ˌfrandʒiˈpaːne] is derived from frangere il pane (Italian for "that breaks the bread").[citation needed] This filling can be used in a variety of ways[1] including cakes and such pastries as the Bakewell tart, Conversation tart, Jesuite and Pithivier. A French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners' dictionary. 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. Frangipane is one of France's many traditional foods associated with Christmas celebration.[2]

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.

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.


Frangipane/frangipani derived from frangere il pane from which the noble Frangipani family of Rome derived its name in the 11th century. A certain Frangipane was perfumier to Louis XIII of France, hence the common name of the flowering tropical trees that are actually in the genus Plumeria. Other people believe it's derived from St. Francis; pane is Italian for bread and Frangi would have been the cognomen of St. Francis.

See also[edit]



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