Orange Marmalade Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A whipped cream topping covers this luscious orange cake. Orange syrup is soaked into the cake layers, and then the layers are spread with orange marmalade. This recipe is adapted from Jan Karon’s Beloved Mitford Series of books.
Recipe type: Dessert | Butter Layer Cake
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
Orange Syrup:
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, orange zest, and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter and orange zest in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter and orange zest about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 45 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes. Loosen and remove the cake from the pans (to prevent the cake from sticking to the pans after the orange syrup has been added,) and then place the cake back in the pans.
Orange Syrup:
  1. In a small bowl, stir the orange juice and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. With a fork, poke holes at ½ inch intervals over the top of the cake layers. Spoon the orange syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to soak in the cake.
  3. Let cake finish cooling completely, then remove the cake from the pans.
Filling and Whipped Cream Topping:
  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the sugar and vanilla, continue beating until thick and stiff.
  2. Place one of the layers on a cake plate, carefully remove the parchment paper, and then spread ⅔ cup marmalade over the top. Place the second layer on top of the first layer, carefully remove the parchment paper. Spoon the remaining marmalade in the center, spread to within 2 inches of the edge.
  3. Using an offset spatula spread the Whipped Cream Topping around the sides of the cake, and over the top edge of the cake, leaving the marmalade on top of the cake exposed. Or if you prefer, frost the entire cake, adding the marmalade as a garnish on top.
  4. Cover cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two 9" Round Layers Pan Prep: Greased, Parchment Paper, and Floured Oven Temp: 325° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

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