This Orange Marmalade recipe is made with ordinary oranges and lemons, and it’s as unfussy as it is delicious. It follows the “old fashioned” technique of sitting in a pot overnight, and every spoonful will make your morning toast sparkle.

This recipe makes about 3 quarts total, or 12 (8 ounce jars). It freezes beautifully or you can process it in a water bath for canning.

3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Orange Marmalade Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for orange marmalade.

Ingredient notes

  • Oranges: This recipe is made with regular seedless oranges. You can definitely substitute Seville oranges if you can find them. They are only in season from the end of January to mid-February, but they have an intense flavor that is ideal for marmalade.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Cut oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. Discard any seeds. In a large stainless steel pot, add the sliced oranges, lemons, and any accumulated juices.
Oranges and lemons sliced into half moons for orange marmalade.
  1. Add water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
A pot full or orange and lemon slices for orange marmalade.
  1. The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees (you must hit this temperature for the natural pectin to gel with the sugar).
Scraping the foam off a pot of orange marmalade that is cooking.
  1. To test if the marmalade is ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm (neither runny nor hard), it’s ready. It will be a golden orange color. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it; if it’s hard, add a bit more water.
The orange marmalade "cold plate test" to see if it's finished.
  1. Pour the marmalade into clean hot mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Chill in the refrigerator. It may take 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up properly.
A pot full of finished orange marmalade.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 3 quarts (96 ounces) of marmalade.
    • If using 1/2-pint (8 ounce) jars, you’ll need 12.
    • If using 1 pint (16 ounce) jars, you’ll need 6.
    • If using the tiny jelly jars (4 ounce), you’ll need 24.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Cold-plate test: To test if your marmalade is ready, spoon some hot marmalade on to a plate and put it in the freezer to chill, or spoon some over an icy cold plate fresh from the freezer. If the mixture wrinkles slightly when you draw a spoon or finger across it, it has reached the setting point. Your marmalade is ready to go! If not, keep boiling and make sure the temperature reaches 220 degrees.
  • Set-up time: Orange marmalade takes 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up completely. If your marmalade is still a little runny looking when it cools, check again in a day or two.
  • Pectin: While many jam and jelly recipes require added pectin, you don’t need to add any to this marmalade. Pectin is naturally concentrated in the pith of the orange (the bitter white part under the peel). This recipe coaxes out that natural pectin by letting the citrus soak overnight and then boiling it rapidly until enough water has evaporated that the mixture can reach 220 degrees.
  • Agave nectar: Agave cannot penetrate and sweeten the peel as well as sugar can. When I tested it, the consistency was fine, but the rind tasted like raw rind. I don’t recommend this substitution.
  • Low sugar: I haven’t tested low-sugar/alternative sweeteners in this recipe other than agave as listed above. I recommend seeking out recipes from experts in that area.
  • Canning: If putting up for storage, use a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids according to canning instructions. Otherwise, refrigerate and use within the month. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Slow cooker marmalade: While it is technically possible to make marmalade in your slow cooker, it really depends on the power of your appliance. I no longer recommend that method because it isn’t reliable enough.
  • Instant pot marmalade: Even with an overnight soak, the IP doesn’t break down the rind sufficiently. I don’t recommend this method.
Orange marmalade on toast.

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3 jars of homemade orange marmalade.

Orange Marmalade

This Orange Marmalade recipe is made with ordinary oranges and lemons, and it’s as unfussy as it is delicious. It follows the "old fashioned" technique of sitting in a pot overnight, and every spoonful will make your morning toast sparkle.
4.97 from 359 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Overnight soak 8 hrs
Total Time 11 hrs 10 mins
Servings 96 servings (2 tbsp each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine British
Calories 68

Ingredients 

  • 4 large seedless oranges scrubbed clean (about 3 pounds or 8 cups slices, see note 1)
  • 2 lemons (about ½ pound or 1 cup slices)
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 cups granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Cut oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. Discard any seeds. In a large stainless steel pot, add the sliced oranges, lemons, and any accumulated juices.
  • Add water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  • The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Turn heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes.
  • Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees (you must hit this temperature for the natural pectin to gel with the sugar).
  • To test if the marmalade is ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it's cool but not cold. If it's firm (neither runny nor hard), it's ready. It will be a golden orange color. If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it; if it's hard, add a bit more water.
  • Pour the marmalade into clean hot mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Chill in the refrigerator. It may take 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up properly.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Oranges: This recipe is made with regular seedless oranges. You can definitely substitute Seville oranges if you can find them. They are only in season from the end of January to mid-February, but they have an intense flavor that is ideal for marmalade.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes about 3 quarts (96 ounces) of marmalade.
    • If using 1/2-pint (8 ounce) jars, you’ll need 12.
    • If using 1 pint (16 ounce) jars, you’ll need 6.
    • If using the tiny jelly jars (4 ounce), you’ll need 24.
  3. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  4. Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Cold-plate test: To test if your marmalade is ready, spoon some hot marmalade on to a plate and put it in the freezer to chill, or spoon some over an icy cold plate fresh from the freezer. If the mixture wrinkles slightly when you draw a spoon or finger across it, it has reached the setting point. Your marmalade is ready to go! If not, keep boiling and make sure the temperature reaches 220 degrees.
  6. Set-up time: Orange marmalade takes 24-48 hours for the natural pectin to set up completely. If your marmalade is still a little runny looking when it cools, check again in a day or two.
  7. Pectin: While many jam and jelly recipes require added pectin, you don’t need to add any to this marmalade. Pectin is naturally concentrated in the pith of the orange (the bitter white part under the peel). This recipe coaxes out that natural pectin by letting the citrus soak overnight and then boiling it rapidly until enough water has evaporated that the mixture can reach 220 degrees.
  8. Agave nectar: Agave cannot penetrate and sweeten the peel as well as sugar can. When I tested it, the consistency was fine, but the rind tasted like raw rind. I don’t recommend this substitution.
  9. Low sugar: I haven’t tested low-sugar/alternative sweeteners in this recipe other than agave as listed above. I recommend seeking out recipes from experts in that area.
  10. Canning: If putting up for storage, use a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids according to canning instructions. Otherwise, refrigerate and use within the month. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
  11. Slow cooker marmalade: While it is technically possible to make marmalade in your slow cooker, it really depends on the power of your appliance. I no longer recommend that method because it isn’t reliable enough.
  12. Instant pot marmalade: Even with an overnight soak, the IP doesn’t break down the rind sufficiently. I don’t recommend this method.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 68kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 13mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

  1. This orange marmalade is a winner! Fabulous! The best I’ve made! I cut the oranges into smaller pieces to make it easier to spread. Will try more of her recipes now.

  2. My son and his wife came up from Florida for Christmas and brought us a bunch of oranges that he had picked from her mother’s orange trees. I made two batches of the marmalade from this recipe. It jelled perfectly, looks beautiful and is delicious. I measured 8 cups of sliced oranges and lemons instead of going by using 4 or 5 oranges.

  3. I have just made your orange marmalade, easy to follow instructions. I added some additional flavors, I divided the marmalade and added ginger to 1/2 as well as chocolate to a couple of jars. Delicious!! It made eleven 1/2 pints. Thank you.5 stars

  4. Hello,
    I’m actually in the process of making the marmalade right now and it’s going great except that you do not have a processing time listed for canning. I see that you say to follow the standard that the canner states, but my canner says to follow the recipes process time. As I understand all jams and jellies have different processing times. I am concerned about botulism and I’m wondering what your time and a water bath is.

    Thanks

  5. I made this with Calamansi and the taste is very good, but there’s hardly any rind. It looks more like a jelly. Should I have added more of the fruit?4 stars

    1. Hi Q, I’m not familiar with Calamansi, but it is likely there wasn’t enough pectin in the fruit. Adding more or another fruit, like lemons, would be one way to thicken it up next time. – Meggan

  6. Delicious, thank you! This was my first time making a jelly/jam/preserve. So just to be clear – we don’t need to do the whole steaming/canning thing UNLESS we need to store it to be shelf stable? We can just pour into a jar and refrigerate it, eating within a month?

    If we did do the proper steaming/canning, we would still need to refrigerate upon opening it, correct?

    Thank you so much! Just want to make sure we’re being safe.5 stars

    1. Hi Priya, yes! This can be stored in the refrigerator up to one month, or be canned and refrigerated when opened. Enjoy! – Meggan

  7. Hi dear Meggan,
    I use your description of how to make orange marmelade, with much pleasure.
    It is straightforward and clear.
    As I have grown up with the metric system (meter, kilogram, degree Celsius and so on), I struggled a little about cups and 220 degrees heating. Anyway this was not a great point, because 220 degrees could be Fahrenheit whisch should be equivalent to 100-102 degree Celsius. The cups also were not a real problem, because all ingredients were in cups, so one should simple work with X ??? oranges, X ??? sugar and so on.
    Neverteless I would like to know how much is a cup in grams (g) or milliliter (ml) in your coutry. You seem to be from an english spoken country, but there is the USA, the UK and more. I found out that a UK cup is not the same as an USA cup.
    So if I don’t bother you, could you give me the ingredients list in grams (g) and milliliters (ml) ?
    Finally, the orange marmelade I made with your help, is very much appreciated by everyone whom I give a can with it when it is X-Mas.
    Kind regards,
    Harry

    1. Hi Harry, thank you for the questions! Cups can be different measurements depending on if it is liquid or dry.
      1.36 kilograms oranges
      2 lemons
      1.89 liters water
      1.6 kilograms granulated sugar
      Hope this is helpful! Enjoy! – Meggan

  8. At sea level (Air pressure 14.7 pounds per square inch) water boils at 100°C (212°F).
    However, as an example, a solution with 80% sugar and only 20% water boils at 112°C (233°F).
    Since I reduced the amount of sugar, like much of your feed back, I cannot achieve the 220°F temperature necessary to release the pectin to gel with the sugar.
    The other way to achieve the 220°F would be to heat the mixture in a pressure cooker which can increase the pressure by an additional 15 psi to almost 30 psi. At that pressure water boils at 250°F.4 stars

  9. I plan on using Mandarin Oranges and then canning my batch. My tree is loaded. Do you have any suggestions to add to your instructions for me? I just can’t wait to get started!!

    1. Hi Stephen, that’s great! I recommend using a hot water or steam canner to properly seal lids according to your canner instructions. – Meggan

  10. I cut my oranges and lemons and small as I could. They look the width of your picture. However, the rinds are very chewy. The temperature was 220 degrees and the pectin did set. What is the problem?

    1. Hi Sylvia, did you boil the slices, add the sugar and let sit overnight? If not, that is why they may be tough. – Meggan

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