a cake for the weekend :: marmalade cake


Seville orange season is, for me, easily the best thing about January. Making marmalade is a January ritual in my kitchen, and there is nothing better to cheer up a cold, dull day than a bowl piled high with bright oranges. As a result of this, one of February’s rituals is a marmalade cake. Each year, after I have made a fresh batch of marmalade, I rediscover my love of marmalade cake.



I have tried a few recipes over the years. The best by far, however, is Nigel Slater’s marmalade loaf: sheer buttery perfection. Of course it’s particularly delicious made with homemade marmalade, but a shop-bought jar will still make for a scrumptious cake. Just right with a cup of tea on a winter weekend.

Marmalade Cake

175g soft butter
175g caster sugar
a large orange (or blood orange)
75g marmalade
175g self-raising flour
3 eggs

250g icing sugar
the juice of half an orange (or use a blood orange for pink icing)

Heat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4
Line a loaf tin 25x11x7cm

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Zest the orange and juice half of it.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and break them up with a fork. Add them to the butter and sugar a little at a time, beating well. Beat in the marmalade and the orange zest.
Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, slowly and firmly.
Finally, stir in the juice of half the orange.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top.
Bake for forty five minutes, checking it after thirty five. You may find that you need to cover the top of the cake with some tin foil towards the end of the cooking time if it browns too quickly.
Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Drizzle the icing sugar and stir in enough orange juice to make a fairly thick icing.

Spread the icing over the cooled cake.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

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  • Thanks for sharing this recipe, I need to make a cake for my crochet workshop on Monday, and this should fit the bill! I make a similar marmalade cake, but I have tried it with other jams and jellies too (check out ‘Monday Cake’ over on my blog, there’s a reason I named it that…). Now time to go get the cake tin out…Chrissie x

  • Hello and warmest greetings from France! This is my first visit here and I delighted to have found you. I love marmalade cake so very, very much but the most exciting thing is, may I join in you book party please? In February?

    I’d be very, very glad to.

    Happy weekend to you.

  • Nigel Slater’s marmalade cake is one of our favourites too. I still seem to have an alarming number of jars of marmalade left from last year which means I must have made an awful lot! Still tempted to make more though.

  • My marmalade is currently bubbling away on the hob – and this cake will definitely be made this week. It looks delicious (I have yet to see a cake you’ve made that doesn’t look good though!) x

    • Ah, thanks Helen! Yes, the cake is definitely worth making with some fresh marmalade. This one disappeared in a flash so i think I may have to bake another!

  • That cake looks so nice – think it could be my next bake 🙂
    I have all the Nigel Slater books and seem to remember this one but have never given it a go… my grandma used to bake marmalade buns when I was very little and I can still recall eating them. Happy memories!
    Sarah x

  • What a great cake. Have just made one of sorts. Didn’t have an orange so added extra marmalade that my mother in law made and as it was still warm omitted the icing on the top. This isn’t going to last long