The Best Seville Orange Marmalade Cake

The search for a neighbourhood Seville orange tree began back in May. I’d just made a few batches of lime marmalade and had passed a jar on to a friend in our village. This inevitably led to a conversation via Messenger, ( aren’t all good conversations held this way during the pandemic? ) about the need to find some elusive Seville oranges to make the epitome of all marmalade, Seville Marmalade. I went as far as inquiring about Sevilles on our local community Facebook site. A respondent replied, an artist from the next village, who paints beautiful studio studies of seasonal fruit. In her walks, she had noticed some productive Seville orange trees and sent me monthly updates on the state of ripeness. Not only that, she picked 5 kilos, carried them to my daughter’s house, who then delivered them to my place. This season’s Seville Marmalade is now happily in jars, though plenty are walking out the front door.

The point of this simple little tale of two villages is that throughout this pandemic and months of lockdown, community consciousness has developed and now includes the sharing of major shopping trips, the cost of delivery services, spare garden produce, tools, and knowledge. Much of this is done through social media, which can be a tool for social change when used well. If there’s an up- side to the pandemic, it is this.

Seville Marmalade Cake

• 100 gr coarse-cut orange Seville marmalade ( approx 1/3 cup)
• 175 gr butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pan
• 175 gr sugar
• 2 teaspoons grated lime zest ( optional) 
• 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
• 3 large eggs at room temperature
• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
• 190 gr all-purpose flour
• 7 gr baking powder
• pinch fine sea salt


  • 30 gr icing sugar
  • 100 gr Seville marmalade ( approx 1/3 cup)
  • knob of butter

1. Heat oven to 175º c. Grease a 23 cm by 13 cm loaf pan. Line with baking paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together softened butter, sugar, lime zest and orange zest for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the marmalade and orange juice. ( Tip: if the mixture looks like curdling when you beat in the eggs, add a little flour as you go) 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.
4. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until surface of cake is golden brown , about 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a
wire rack. Cool for  10 minutes before glazing.  then turn cake out of pan and place on rack right-side up. 
Glaze/icing. Heat the marmalade in a small pot over low heat until melted; whisk in icing sugar and butter until smooth. There are two approaches to adding the topping. EITHER  invert cake onto a tray, turn right way up then add the jammy topping which will run down the sides OR add the glaze to cake in the pan, which will concentrate the flavour to the top, though some will sink through and down the sides. When completely cool, lift from pan right way up. 

Keeps well for about 5 days


Use any orange marmalade if you don’t have Seville, though that sweet bitter taste will be missing. Omit lime zest if you don’t have limes on hand and add a little more orange zest. I’ve left the ancient non-measurement, knob, because I love the sound of it. A knob could be anything you wish it to be: it’s also a crude  term of abuse in Australia- Don’t be a knob! A knob only applies to butter and is similar to that wonderful Italian cooking measurement qb or quanto basta, which means ‘as much as is enough’, or ‘to taste’ or as much as is needed to achieve the desired result.

Last few slices. The cake didn’t last long.

For a look at Kylie’s beautiful fruit painting, see @kyliesirett on Instagram or

20 thoughts on “The Best Seville Orange Marmalade Cake”

  1. Looks very nice. I made 3 loaves of bread yesterday. I gave one away to a friend who gives us pickles and jams. Today I have made hommous. I’m think apple crumble next. This cooking bubble will burst soon. That cake looks adorable. I will give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to share stuff around. This is the best way life functions in a village. The cake is good and keeps well, and bright yellow inside from the orange juice. Goes well with a cuppa or a dram of whiskey on a rainy day.


  2. Perfect Francesca! I’m always in need of recipes to use up marmalade! I’m actually thinking of planting a hedge of Sevilles, as they apparently work the best for hedging of any citrus. Have you ever seen them used like this in Spain or Italy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A hedge of Seville, yes what a brilliant idea. We did stay in a huge citrus orchard in central Italy, an agriturismo back in 2000, but haven’t seen Seville hedges in my travels. That agriturismo served a wonderful mandarincello after dinner. Memories. Can’t wait for my citrus book to arrive…..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your oranges are incredibly beautiful — the oranges in the canvas bag look as if they come from one of those luminous Renaissance still-life paintings. I’ve never to my knowledge had anything with Seville oranges, though I’m very curious.

    be well… mae at

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Mae. Seville oranges aren’t grown commercially as they are not so sweet and have less juice than navels and Valencia oranges. They are prized for their bitter taste on the skin, making the best marmalade. We used to have a massive old tree at our place which burnt in the bushfires of 2009. We didn’t plant one here as I only use them for marmalade. We did, however, plant 3 other oranges which are now mature.


  4. A wonderful village tale. I love that social media facilitates positive connection… many of our villagers also connect via social media, which bemuses the G.O. who is old school and prefers to wander off for a person-to-person chat and then wonders where the morning went… Local social media is so handy for quick communications and sharing…. especially in these Covid times.
    Since your first mention of Seville marmalade I’ve been craving it, and now the cake. We have a ancient orange tree, I don’t know but don’t believe its a Seville. The skin is thinnish, sometimes the fruit is very sweet but atm they are bitter, evidenced by the fact that the rainbow lorries haven’t decimated them as is their want.
    I’m putting marmalade on my kitchen list, and then cake. I’m so looking forward to it.


  5. Too many Seville orange trees in our garden. The fruit is just beginning to form, small and green. Come January and February, we are inundated with oranges. That said, I have jars and jar of marmalade left from last year’s haul. Great to have a good marmalade cake recipe to hand. Hope you are staying safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Debi. Nice to hear from you. Qe are safe, though have been in isolation for 5 months with a short semi break in the middle. My first winter at home for 10 years. I’m assuming you’ve still in Athens. Your garden sounds fabulous.


  6. I’m plucking up the courage to try marmalade again. Not sure why when we use about 3 jars of jam a year, 2 of which are tossed because mould had grown on them. I have a few limes in need of a purpose so maybe just a very small batch. Do you have any ideas for pink grapefruit? I have an excessive abundance and apart from using the in cordial have no other ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

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