marmalade cake

































Marmalade Cake

The British love for marmalade stems from a barrel of oranges that were washed up off Scotland in the late 1700s and preserved by Mrs Janet Keiller in Dundee.

I tried out many recipes and variations on the Marmalade Cake theme, to arrive at this deep fragrant citrusy loaf. It makes the house smell like a Renaissance apothecary’s workshop, and my kitchen counter looks like one while I’m making it: orange flower water bottles wafting into the kitchen-osphere and vanilla canisters spilling their beans.

I make the cake in a loaf tin, as I’m lazy about lining round cake tins, and tend to make a pair.


175g butter
175g golden, unrefined caster sugar
a large orange
3 large eggs
75g orange marmalade
1 vanilla pod
2 teaspoons ornage flower water
150g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
for the frosting:
100g icing sugar
2 tbsps orange juice
serves 8

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Line a loaf tin about 25 x 11 x 7cm deep.

Beat together the the butter and sugar in a bowl or mixer until pale and fluffy. Finely grate the orange, but don’t clean the grater! Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. With the machine at moderate speed, pour in the beaten egg, a little at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition. Beat in the marmalade, grated orange zest, vanilla and orange flower water.

Fold in the flour and ground almonds, until there is no sign of any flour. Spoon into the lined cake tin, lightly smoothing the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Sieve the icing sugar and mix it to a smooth, slightly runny consistency with the juice of an orange juice. Drizzle the icing over the cake, then bash out the zest remnants from the grater by hovering over the cake and wacking the grater with a wooden spoon. Leave to set.