marmalade cake

marmalade cake for dessert

I’m OBSESSED with this marmalade cake. So much so that I made it to serve at my birthday dinner a couple of weeks ago and then made it again last week when friends came to stay. Everyone I’ve served it to has asked for the recipe. Always the biggest complement.

As well as pretty basic store cupboard ingredients and a super-easy technique, it uses the amazing citrus that is in season right now – February as I type. We all need some brightness (and an easy, cosy pud) at this time of year.

marmalade cake ingredients

Here are the reasons that I want you to make this marmalade cake asap too…

  1. You can make it a couple of days ahead and tuck it away and even freeze it – so no matter how many wines you have at dinner you can serve it without any mess, skill or fuss.

2. It’s a cake even non bakers can make with confidence. It is made in a food processor, all chucked in together. If you don’t have a food processor you can make it with an electric whisk. A great one to make with kids.

3. The mixture can be made individually in muffin tins or as a big sharing dessert in a cake tin or baking dish. It is super versatile. Have it plain with a coffee, with custard after Sunday lunch or fancy it up with whipped citrus creme fraiche and dainty blood orange segments. Think all of the comfort of a steamed sponge but much lighter and easier.

4. It looks way more impressive than it should given the effort required. Which is a rule I cook by.

5. It is inspired by a marmalade pudding in one of Nigella’s books. I’ve tinkered with it (because I can’t help myself). I’m sure she’d approve.


marmalade cake food processor

Marmalade cake ingredients – makes 9-10 individual cakes

US conversions and names are in () below

  • 250g (2 sticks) soft salted butter – if it isn’t soft it won’t combine properly so slice it and microwave for 10 seconds if its straight from the fridge
  • 75g caster sugar (third of a cup of superfine)
  • 75g light brown sugar (third of a cup)
  • 225g (two thirds of a cup) orange marmalade – any type (150g for the cake and 75g for the glaze)
  • 225g plain flour (one and a half cups all purpose)
  • half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • half a teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large oranges (one for the cake, one for the syrup)
  • Serve with – creme fraiche, whipped cream, orange segments, ice cream or custard.


You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe via these links or through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools. I receive a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy via my link. The products don’t cost you any more. These small fees help me keep creating all the free content I share.

To make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C regular) 325°F convection (350°F regular).
  2. This is the most faffy part of the recipe but if you don’t do this they are a b*gger to get out…Use the butter wrapper to thoroughly grease the inside of the muffin tin or pudding tins. Fold a piece of baking parchment into a concertina so that it the pieces are the same width as the bottom of the tins. Draw around the bottom of the tin and then cut out – this way you get more than one at a time. Pop the cut-outs in the bottom of the tins.
  3. Put the very soft butter, sugars, 150g of the marmalade, flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, baking powder and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Add the juice and zest of one orange.
  4. Blend together for around a minute, stopping once half way to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Once combined, if it looks curdled/grainy, add a further 2 teaspoons of flour and blend again for 20 seconds.
  5. Use two dessert spoons to scoop the mixture into the tins. Use one spoon to dollop and the other to scrape the mixture off. Start with a big scoop in each tin and then go back and top up equally until the mixture is finished.
  6. Put the tins in the oven, if using individual mini pudding tins, put them on a tray first. Set a timer on your phone to check them in 15 minutes. Lick the bowl.
  7. After 15 minutes, use a skewer or small sharp knife and pop it right in the middle of one or the cakes. Pull it out and if the skewer has any wet cake mixture on, pop the cakes quickly back into the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Once the cakes are cooked, leave them to cool in their tins for 15 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge of the tins. Leave to cool completely, or until you serve them before tipping them out.
  9. To serve – Put the cakes in to a hot oven for 3-4 more minutes to reheat. While they heat, put the remaining marmalade in a small saucepan with the juice and zest of the orange. Cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes until the marmalade has melted. Pop one of the cakes on a plate and spoon the marmalade syrup over each cake. Serve with a spoon of creme fraiche or whipped cream alongside and add a little extra zest on top of the cream if you have it.

I worked with @clairebingham_photo to take the photos of me making this a few weeks ago and love how she’s captured them. Let me know what you think and share pictures of what you make, tagging me @cookwithgem

marmalade cake in tins

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