Marmalade cake with sultanas and pecans

I’ve had a series of failed recipes this week, including a cocoa and almond granola which was totally bland and unimpressive, and a nasty rice pudding (and I have a huuuuge thing for rice pudding, so I found this failure highly distressing!) So when my marmalade cake didn’t fail – didn’t even come close to failing – I was over the moon happy to have finally broken free from the failed recipe rut.

As much as I don’t want to knock this cake in any way, if I’m going to be completely honest the marmalade I used, which was a home-made grapefruit one, was a touch too bitter for me. The cake itself was just perfect though, gently sweet, with a very light, loose crumb which was wonderfully soft and tender to eat. The orange soaked sultanas and pecans added interest with their juicy/nutty bursts. But you could always leave them out if you prefer a simpler cake, the sponge is definitely good enough not to need any extra adorning.

If I’d used my favourite marmalade, I imagine this cake would have been completely brilliant. So don’t make my mistake, use a marmalade you love. This cake really should not form part of a disposal strategy for unwanted, unloved marmalade! It deserves far better, trust me. I would recommend a coarse-cut marmalade, though, to give you some lovely little bites of intense marmalade flavour in the finished cake.

Marmalade, sultana and pecan cake

  • 75g sultanas
  • zest and juice of one orange
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 55g light brown soft sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • zest of one lemon
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp coarse-cut marmalade
  • 75g pecans, roughly chopped

For the icing:

  • 3 tbsp coarse-cut marmalade
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas4. Grease a 20cm round, deep cake tin, ideally one with a loose base, and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Combine the sultanas and orange juice in a small bowl and set aside to soak.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric hand whisk for about a minute until creamy. Beat in both the sugars for around five minutes until the mixture is fluffy and a pale creamy colour.
  4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, ensuring each addition is well incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Beat in the lemon and orange zest.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture and fold in gently with a large metal spoon until no streaks of flour remain.
  7. Remove the sultanas from the orange juice and add to the mixture along with 3 tbsp of the juice, the chopped pecans and 3 tbsp of marmalade. Fold in until evenly distributed throughout the mix.
  8. Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and spread to even it off. Bake for about 50 minutes until a dark, golden brown colour and the centre springs back when pressed. (If it looks like the top is catching, cover with a sheet of foil).
  9. Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  10. Warm the remaining marmalade gently in a small saucepan until a little runny, then spread over the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool.
  11. Once the cake is completely cool, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in enough of the water to form a drizzling consistency. Using a metal spoon, drizzle the icing over the cake and allow to set.

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8 thoughts on “Marmalade cake with sultanas and pecans

    • Not entirely! I incorporated several recipes into one…its a bit of a hybrid cake really! But its near enough just standard Victoria sponge ratios, with a bit less sugar (and some soft brown…because I just like soft brown sugar!) and then a few other bits chucked in…with the sultanas pecans and orangeyness…its ever so slighty like carrot cake minus the carrot! Xx

  1. Absolutely delicious – I left off the topping and soaked my fruit in cold tea. I didn’t have any oranges so used a tsp of quality orange essence instead. Another lovely cake to add to my repertoire.

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