Marmalade Cake

Published by Amy

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Sweet, zesty, full of flavour! Marmalade cake is a delicious teatime treat, perfect for using up that jar of marmalade you’ve not been sure what to do with.

Marmalade Cake recipe from Baking with Granny. Sweet sponge cake with orange zest and marmalade flavours.
Marmalade cake loaf, sliced into individual portions, with a small jar of open marmalade in the background.

I’ve never been one of these people who craves marmalade. In fact, it’s very seldom I would choose to eat marmalade at all. Not because I don’t enjoy it, or because there’s anything wrong with it. I would just usually opt for a jam if I fancied something along those lines.

My Papa (Grandad) though, he loved marmalade! His preference would be to make a batch of it using the tinned prepared oranges, making it kind-of homemade. This meant he could also blend it once cooked, because he wasn’t a fan of thick bits of rind – something that seems to divide opinions in the world of marmalade.

Whatever your preference, marmalade is generally best known as a breakfast accompaniment for toast, or on a sandwich served to Paddington Bear. In fact, it was the latter that led to record sales of marmalade here in the UK in 2022 following the death of the Queen, due to her association with everyone’s favourite bear from Peru. 

My personal favourite way to enjoy some marmalade though is in this deliciously moist and perfectly sticky Marmalade Cake!

Sticky marmalade loaf cake, made to a traditional UK recipe, cut into individual slices.

What is marmalade?

It might be a little over simplified to say marmalade is just an orange jam…but for the sake of ease, that’s a really good way to term it. Marmalade is usually made with oranges – traditionally Seville oranges, although you can get varying kinds now, made with all kinds of citrus fruits.

The oranges are boiled with sugar (usually including the skins) until it reaches a jam-like consistency, then you allow it to set. Most brands of marmalade will now come with the option of having it “shredless” which means it is smooth, without the bits of skin being left in.

It of course has an orange flavour and is sweet like jam – due to the sugar used to make it – but marmalade also has a distinctive zest and bitterness to it too.

What is Marmalade Cake?

Marmalade Cake is the perfect loaf cake for anyone who loves marmalade, or needs a bit of  convincing on how delicious it can be. It’s a moist sponge cake, with a lovely orange flavour, and little bursts of marmalade hidden throughout. And just to add to the delectable marmalade taste, it’s finished with a little bit extra glazed on top.

How to make Marmalade Cake?

Marmalade Cake is super easy to make and can be done using just one bowl. Like any good cake, you start by creaming your sugar and butter/margarine, before adding the eggs, orange zest, a little vanilla & milk, and the marmalade. Next you sift in the flour and mix to create a batter. I like to bake it in a loaf tin but you could opt for a round tin, if you prefer – either way this is a low [temperature] and slow [time] bake. Once baked and golden, you remove from the oven and finish with an extra spoonful of marmalade brushed on the top.

How to serve Marmalade Cake?

I like a slice of marmalade straight up, freshly cut from the loaf and enjoyed with a cuppa. You could also serve it with a scoop of ice cream, to make it a little more indulgent. Or for the ultimate marmalade experience, you could even spread a little more marmalade on your individual slice!

Marmalade Cake made in a loaf tin, served on a vintage plate, with a jar of marmalade to the side.


Butter or Margarine
It’s personal preference which you use. I find margarine to be better & more predictable for cakes, but some people prefer the taste of butter – although in this cake you’ll be hard-pressed to taste any difference over the notes of orange from the zest and marmalade. If using butter, just be sure to remove it from the fridge and allow it to soften before using.

Caster Sugar
The go-to sugar in a most cakes. Finer than granulated sugar, so mixes in like a dream. You could try using a golden caster sugar if you want to dial down the sweetness a little, or prefer a slightly more caramel flavour.

The size of the eggs doesn’t matter too much (I always use medium) but just be sure you’re using free-range eggs. As with all ingredients when baking  cakes, ensure they are at room temperature before starting.

Orange Zest
Although we get some orange flavour from the marmalade, the addition of orange zest takes this cake to the next level. Bonus points if you can co-ordinate your orange zest with the kind of oranges in your marmalade (eg. Seville, Blood orange…).

Vanilla Extract
We only need a little vanilla  – it’s purpose is more about balancing the flavours in this marmalade loaf, as opposed to shining through front and centre. Just be sure to use a vanilla extract as a minimum, or vanilla paste or a fresh vanilla pod if you’re feeling a bit fancy.

Of course, marmalade is needed in a marmalade cake. You’ll need a few spoonful’s for within the cake, as well as a little extra for spreading on top to finish. It’s personal preference whether you use a thick cut marmalade or a shredless marmalade – I have used both with great success.

A little bit of milk is used in the cake batter to add some extra moisture. As this is a slow bake cake, it’s at risk of drying out. The milk will thin out your batter a little but means it can bake without becoming too dry or unpleasant.

Self-raising Flour
Flour is a must in any cake batter and self-raising is used here to allow it to rise. No additional raising agents are required but be sure to sift the flour.

Granny's Top Tips

• This is the perfect recipe to use up the last few spoonful’s in a jar of marmalde.

• Use a fork to break up your marmalade before adding it to your cake batter – this will mean it can distribute a little more evenly, creating wee bursts of marmlade throughout your cake.

• Mix things up and go a bit wild with some lemon, lime or grapefruit marmalade! Just be sure to use the co-oridinating zest too.

Slices of marmalade cake, made to the recipe by Baking with Granny.

Love this? Try this:

Marmalade cake loaf, sliced into individual portions, with a small jar of open marmalade in the background.

Marmalade Cake

A delicious teatime treat, perfect for using up that jar of marmalade you've not been sure what to do with.
5 from 10 votes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British, Scottish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8



  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c for fan assisted ovens, or Gas Mark 4). Line a 2lb loaf tin with a loaf tin liner, or some greaseproof paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the margarine/butter and sugar, until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at time, ensuring each is mixed through before adding the next. Add the orange zest, vanilla, marmalade & milk, mixing to combine.
  • Sift in the flour, before gently folding to create a batter.
  • Transfer the batter to your pre-lined loaf tin and bake in your pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Whilst since warm, spoon a little excess marmalade on top and spread over with a spoon to create a lightly glazed top. Allow to cool completely in the tin, before removing and serving in slices.
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13 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Another winner. Made it this afternoon with thick cut marmalade, followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    Second time in making this cake everyone loves it so had to make another lovely recipe easy to make. Thank you I love trying new things.

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a great recipe! It’s so easy to follow and the cake turned out really well. One of the best cakes that I’ve made :)

  4. 5 stars
    Second double batch I’ve made as I was so pleased with this recipe the first time!
    Quick & easy recipe to follow. Lovely moist cake that kept well.

  5. Hello ladies, I was just wondering when you are going to bring out a baking book with all your lovely recipes in it. I have made many of your recipes and love them all ,just made the fudge tray bake, turned out perfect as usual. If you do bring out a book, I will be first in line, keep up the good work ladies. Pat Blyth.

  6. 5 stars
    I loved this easy recipe and the result was enjoyed by the family . Tho I didn’t have the whole quantity of butter at home, so I had to mix it with some oil but the milk did the trick! Nice and moist it came out to be and these proportions was just enough for it to be finished over one snack-time!

  7. How can i do this in my Aga, top oven just HOT (I do have an Aga sheet to use at top of oven ) and bottom oven for simmering (works well for rich fruit cakes)

  8. 5 stars
    Definitely will be making this again. I didn’t have an orange, so I added sultanas that had been soaked in Cointreau. It was delicious and a fabulous recipe! Many thanks

  9. 5 stars
    Second time making this cake and everybody enjoyed it my son even took some to work for the staff

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Hi! I'm Amy

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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