Marmalade Cake

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Prior to my moving over here to the UK, I only ever considered icing on cakes to be of the butter cream variety, or fluffy icing . . .  sometimes seven-minute boiled frosting.  

I would never have thought of an icing simply composed of icing sugar and lemon juice, or a glaze icing.

It just was not something I had ever come across with the exception of glazed donuts and the like.  

More often than not, here in the UK, the icing you will find on a cake will be of the glazed variety, and I have to say, I quite like it.  Especially on simple cakes such as this one I am sharing today.

I have adapted this recipe from one I found in this book, "Cakes" by Liz Herbert, based on recipes favored by the well-known Women's Institute. 

You just know if it has their approval it has to be good.

And this is indeed one very good cake! 

It is a simple cake, rather than a celebratory cake, rather plain to look at, but that doesn't mean that is is a plain cake!

It is a fabulous cake  . . .  with a soft crumb . . .  and little hidden bits of orange marmalade strewn throughout . . . 

The marmalade adds just a hint of bittersweet in contrast to the normal sugar which is used.  Not at all unpleasant.

In addition, there are the finely grated zests of one orange and one lemon to add flavour.

She used half butter and half margarine in her cake.  I used all butter.  

It worked beautifully.  I never have margarine in my house.  Just butter.

It whips up quickly and bakes in not much more than half an hour.  It also smells rather lovely while it is baking!

I love the smell of a cake baking, don't  you?

But then again, what cake doesn't smell good when its baking!!!  

The icing is simple as I say  . . .

A glaze composed of icing sugar (or confectioner's as it is also known) and fresh lemon juice.  

Perfect. Sweet with just a bit of tang  . . . 

This get spooned over the cooled cake and then allowed to set. 

In the book she gives the option of candying your own orange zest to decorate the top of the cake when completely done . . .

I had used all of my orange zest in the cake itself, but I did have some candied orange peel that I chopped and then used to decorate it which not only looked great but also tasted fabulous!

Some other cake recipes which you might enjoy:

RASPBERRY YOGURT CAKE - I love cakes which are made with sour cream and yogurt.  Adding sour cream or yogurt add moisture and makes for a lovely tender crumb.  This is a beautiful cake, with a lovely moist crumb.  Its light in texture and filled with pockets of sweet tart raspberries. 

FRENCH ALMOND, PEAR & CARDAMOM CAKE - This is a lovely cake, gluten free . . . loaded with beautiful ripe pears . . . ground almonds . . . and I added a touch of ground cardamom as pears and cardamom are such a quintessentially beautiful partnership and marriage of flavors.

It is delicious served warm, cut into squares with either lashings of pouring cream or softly whipped cream on top.

Yield: 12

Marmalade Cake

A moist teatime cake  with a zingy lemon icing and the tang of marmalade.


  • 175g softened butter (3/4 cup)
  • 175g golden caster sugar (3/4 cup + 2 1/2 TBS) (you can use regular granulated sugar if that is all you have)
  • the finely grated zest of each one lemon and one orange
  • 4 TBS orange marmalade (I like Bonne Maman)
  • 2 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 225g self raising flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 TBS orange juice
For the lemon icing:
  • 225g icing sugar, sifted (1 3/4 cup)
  • the juice of one lemon
  • chopped glace orange peel to decorate (optional)


How to cook Marmalade Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a 9-inch square baking tin, and then line with baking paper. (I like it to come a bit up the sides so that I can lift it out easily at the end.)
  2. Cream together the butter, both zests and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the marmalade. Beat in the eggs one at a time. If it starts to curdle, add a bit of the flour.  Fold in the flour to combine thoroughly.  Add the orange juice to give you a batter with a soft dropping consistency.  Spoon into the prepared tin, smoothing over the top.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes, until risen and the top springs back when lightly touched.  A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.  Let sit in the tin for 10 minutes prior to lifting out to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. Whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice  until smooth.  Spoon over the completely cooled cake to cover.  Decorate with the chopped orange peel if using.  Leave to set completely prior to cutting into squares to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

This is a wonderful teatime cake.  Perfect for mid-morning break, tea parties and just because . . . I think you will really love it.

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  1. TY..I have a lot of marmalade..this ssounds very good!

    1. This is a great way to use some of it up Monique! xoxo

  2. I really want to make this. Guess what, I have a lemon tree and it has tiny lemons on it. Wish me luck! When life gives you a lemon tree, pray for lemons! 😊

    1. Oh how wonderful Kay! Wish I had a lemon tree! xoxo

  3. This looks totally to die for. I have some grapefruit marmelade and also some lemon. It would be good with either of those, too. That's how I always make my lemon frosted glaze. It's the best.

    1. You are in for a real treat Jeanie! This is a fabulous cake. Isn't this icing just wonderful! I now prefer it over others! xoxo

  4. Marie our friendLuc is here redoing our screened in porch..I decided to make this for he and J today.Oh my..🙏🏻🙏🏻🌟I even had some so moist out of the oven with the icing..I did let it cool but it was still lukewarmish cool👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    1. How wonderful Monique. It always pleases me to no end when you make one of the recipes I have shared and enjoy it! yay! xoxo

  5. Replies
    1. So pleased you think so Monique! xoxo That makes me happy!

  6. Hi, should I lower the temperature for a fan-assisted oven? My cake was a bit dark and crisp round the edges and also was a bit delicate when taking out of tin onto wire rack, split at the edges. I'm relatively new to baking, and wonder what I'm doing wrong. It tasted nice and would like to try again.

    1. You need to lower it by at least 20*C Trebor! A fan assisted oven runs quite a bit hotter than a regular one!

  7. This is one of my favourite cake recipe books, in fact it's the go-to book when I find myself thinking "I wonder if I have a recipe for ....."! So far I have never made the marmalade cake. It's time to put that right!


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