Bold Baking Basics

Easy Orange Marmalade

4.63 from 16 votes
Let my Easy Orange Marmalade recipe bring you the comfort of the lovely citrus spread you know and adore — just in an incredibly easy way!
Top-down view of easy marmalade in a jar.

Hi Bold Bakers!

This easy orange marmalade might remind you of your grandmother (or great grandmother!) because it uses a time-old technique. You let it sit in a pot overnight. 

No, seriously, that’s key! And honestly, the hardest part about this recipe. It’s so simple to make, makes a wonderful gift, and an even better breakfast! This recipe yields a thick, pleasingly bittersweet orange marmalade made with only natural ingredients: navel oranges, lemon, water, and sugar. 

I love to slather this on some toast in the morning, but if you want to be the hero of tea time (or anytime you have guests over), try using this homemade marmalade in my Buttery Jam Thumbprint Cookies! Thank me later!! 

Orange Marmalade in a jar, with a spoon next to it.

What Is Orange Marmalade?

Jellies, jam, preserves, marmalade — what’s the difference?! Believe it or not, the differences are huge (or maybe that’s just the baker in me…). Jellies are clear. You’ll likely find these at the diner in the little packets they give you with your toast. It’s made with fruit juice that’s been gelled into a solid.

You can tell the difference between a jelly and a jam because jams are made with crushed fruit. They’re less firm, but you get lovely bits of texture from the fruit or berries.

Preserves have whole fruits, or large pieces, inside of a jelly. You’d likely see cherries or strawberries. 

Marmalades are kind of like preserves, except it contains a citrus fruit suspended evenly throughout the jelly. It uses the rinds, the fruit, the pulp—all of it! This recipe is made with oranges and lemon, and letting it sit and cook down allows the bitterness of the skin to balance the fruit’s sweetness and tartness. 

It is also the favorite snack of Paddington the bear.

What You Need To Make Easy Orange Marmalade

How To Make Orange Marmalade

Making marmalade is shockingly easy and the freshness is unbelievable! Here is how you make homemade orange marmalade (get the full recipe here):

  1. First, wash the oranges and lemon well and then finely chop them up. 
  2. Put the fruit in a medium saucepan along with the water and let it come to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for 24 hours. Don’t skimp on the soaking time! It takes time to draw out the pectin from the oranges, soften the rings, and mellow the bitterness.
  4. The next day, put the saucepan over medium heat and return to a simmer. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour until the mixture is reduced by half.
  5. Add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer rapidly for around 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, so your marmalade doesn’t burn, until it is thick. 
  6. Test for doneness by placing a spoonful on a cold plate and put it in the refrigerator for a minute. The marmalade should gel and hold its shape. If it is too runny, continue to cook for a few more minutes and test again until it is set. 
  7. Allow it to cool completely then put it in an airtight container.

A jar of orange marmalade next to some toast.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Easy Orange Marmalade

  • Any variety of oranges will work for this marmalade. Use a kitchen scale to get the correct proportions. 
  • For a nice variation, replace the lemon with 2oz/57g of chopped grapefruit.
  • Do not skimp on that soaking time! It is important to draw out the pectin from the oranges, soften the rind, and mellow the bitterness.
  • Once you add the sugar, the marmalade can burn. Check the heat levels and stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Use this marmalade to make my Steamed Marmalade Pudding

How Do I Store Orange Marmalade

This homemade marmalade can be kept in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to six weeks.

Make Jam Even Easier!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Easy Orange Marmalade

4.63 from 16 votes
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 4 Cups
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Restest for 1 d
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 4 Cups

Ingredients

  • 2 large (about 12oz/340g) navel oranges
  • 1 small (about 2oz/57g) lemon
  • 2 cups (16floz/480ml) water
  • 2 cups (16oz/454g) granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Wash the oranges and lemon well and then finely chop.
  • Place the fruit in a medium saucepan along with the water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Turn off the heat, cover and let the mixture sit for 24 hours (Don’t skimp on the soaking time. It is important for drawing out the pectin from the oranges, softening the rind and mellowing the bitterness)
  • The next day, place the saucepan over medium heat and return to a simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, until the mixture is reduced by half.
  • Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer rapidly for about 15-20 more minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until thick.
  • To test for doneness, place a spoonful on a cold plate and place in the refrigerator for a minute. The marmalade should gel and hold its shape. If it seems runny, continue to cook for a few more minutes and test again until it sets.
  • Let cool completely, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to six weeks.

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Eileen Wainwright
13 days ago

Can we water bath the marmalade so it will have a longer shelf life?

Evelyn Hoe
20 hours ago

This recipe is simply perfect and no tedious stiring over stove top
Even so when naval oranges are not the best here in Malaysia. Much thanks for the recipe ♡

Gina
Gina
5 days ago

I started to make it but ran into a major problem. The two oranges I bought weigh 340 grams each! And the two lemons, 100 grams each! Are you sure of your measurements?

Gina
Gina
6 days ago

I wish you would have done a video, to show how you chop the fruits. By hand? In a food processor? Please make one!

Tamara Oster
Tamara Oster
7 days ago

Hi Gemma, First of all I would like to thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. I enjoy watching your journey both as a culinary artist and as a wife and mom. Your videos and recipes are wonderful, you’ve given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and try my hand at new things. I read through the comments to see if anyone else had asked this question about making this Paddington Bear staple, they have not so here goes. Can this recipe doubled or tripled? I am planning to make this as… Read more »

Geraldine
10 days ago

Oops, I called you Gamma! Sorry about that.

Geraldine
10 days ago

Hello Gamma, I followed your recipe for the marmalade and it tastes delicious, except mine is not marmalade!😂 it’s not rock hard, it’s a bit like taffy. I think I might’ve cooked it down too much or maybe didn’t dissolve the sugar enough. What do you think? My husband loves it, he’s eating it like candy!
Thank you

Pat Liew
Pat Liew
10 days ago

Made this today; turned out well. Thank you Gemma!

Diane
Diane
11 days ago

Hi Gemma I was wondering ifnyou can can this in a water canner yo make it shelf stable .

Peri Ferguson.
Peri Ferguson.
11 days ago

Can the fruit be put in a blender to chop them up?

amandapizzafus
12 days ago

This brings back memories of a book called Paddington where a cute little bear loves marmalade!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!