14 Apr 2008


Is there still orange marmalade left in the jar after making Jamie Oliver's Hot Cross Pudding? Perhaps now would be a good time to use some of it up, that is, unless you have already had the rest of it on toast.

This cake comes about from Nigel Slater's love of marmalade and to quote him 'I use more of this amber jelly in my kitchen than ever touches a piece of toast'.

This is a very homely and comforting cake, with a wonderful light texture. If you leave it for a couple of days before icing then the cake becomes really sticky.

Nigel says after cooking, the cake will sink slightly, mine didn't though, perhaps he used too much marmalade!!

I made a couple of these and cooked them in small loaf tins, then I iced one of the cakes and popped the other in the freezer.

In the past I have made marmalade cake but have never been very impressed with the results and if you too have found this to be the case, here is the recipe that we have been waiting for.


Serves: 8 people

You will need: a loaf tin 10 x 25.5cm, 7.5cm deep or 2 smaller loaf tins, lined with baking parchment.

175g soft butter, 75g light muscovado sugar, 100g golden caster sugar, 3 large eggs, finely grated zest of 1 large orange, 100g orange marmalade, 175g self-raising flour.

For the frosting:

100g unrefined icing sugar, 1 teaspoon orange flower water, 1 tablespoon orange juice.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/170°C fan/Gas 4.
2. Put the butter and sugars into the bowl of a food mixer and beat until pale and fluffy. The mixture should be the colour of milky coffee.
3. Beat the eggs lightly with a whisk and add to the butter and sugar mixture, just a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula. If the mixture shows any sign of curdling add a tablespoon of the flour to bring it back together.
4. With the machine turning at moderate speed, add the grated orange zest and the marmalade. Stop as soon as they are incorporated. Remove the bowl from the machine, then fold in the flour with a large metal spoon. Do this firmly but carefully, until there is no sign of any flour.
5. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin or tins, lightly smoothing the top. Bake for 40 minutes if making one large cake, or 35 minutes if making two smaller ones. Check the cake is cooked with a metal skewer. (It should come out clean if the cake is ready). Leave to cool in the tin or tins - it will naturally sink slightly - then remove and cool on a wire rack.

To make the frosting:

1. Sieve the icing sugar and mix it to a smooth, slightly runny consistency with the orange flower water and as much of the orange juice as it takes, probably the whole tablespoon. Drizzle the frosting over the cake, letting it run down the sides, and leave to set.

I used the full quantity of frosting to ice one small loaf.