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Easy Orange Marmalade

4.70 from 60 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.

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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. If you find any seeds, set them over to the side. 
  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 20 minutes to 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!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Easy Orange Marmalade Recipe

4.70 from 60 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!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 4 Cups
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Restest for 1 d
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!
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. If you find any seeds, set them over to the side. 
  • 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 20 minutes to 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 it 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
Eileen Wainwright
1 year ago

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

Mila
Mila
1 year ago

This is similar to the one I make, I soak the sliced oranges over night, then cook it the next day. also i add a cup of grated carrot in it, (no one ever notices the carrot! ). Grandmas recipe 😊

Gina
Gina
1 year 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!

Jan
Jan
1 year ago

I’ve never made marmalade before and was very happy with this recipe! I used 2 oranges plus the rind of a third and 2 limes in place of the lemon. This marmalade packs as punch! Very citrusy, full of fruit, slightly bitter … definitely not an orange ‘jam’, this one is for real marmalade lovers.

Helen Erturk
Helen Erturk
11 months ago

Absolutely brilliant recipe. Followed instructions exactly as given although I did slice the oranges a little bigger as I like chunky marmalade. Not overpoweringly sweet and loads of flavour

anne
anne
7 months ago

Love your recipes and tips, thankyou. Instead of waterbathing ,I boil my jars and lids to sterilize, then place them (carefully ) into a hot oven to dry ( not the lids if there is a rubber seal inside of it) while the marmalade is cooking, when it is ready to jar I put hot marmalade into hot jars and screw lids down tight (careful not to burn yourself)… I set jars on the bench on a teatowel. As the jars cool , the lids will make a popping sound.( I like to use old salsa jars as they are… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
9 months ago

This worked like a charm! I’m going to save lots of $ not buying those expensive British and French jars of thick cut marmalade!

Kathy
Kathy
11 months ago

I have made jam recipes that say not to double because they will not set up. Can this one be doubled, or tripled for gifts? I love the brown bread idea, as well as your cookbook! I was a pre-order when it came out. Absolutely stunning and beautiful book!

Anikó
Anikó
1 year ago

Hi Gemma how small the oranges need to be chopped, I am ready to make this one, but a bit ensecure thank you

Marie
Marie
7 months ago

When you purchase fruit for this recipe, get the thinnest skinned fruit possible, (Learned it the hard way)

Brenda Yandeau
Brenda Yandeau
7 months ago

Can I use coconut palm sugar?

This Recipe Made By Bold Bakers

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook