Homemade Orange Marmalade

Homemade Orange Marmalade, on toast

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Yields: 3 pints
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
60 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 60
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 39mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Marmalade is similar to jam or jelly, but typically includes fruit peel, which gives the condiment an aromatic bitterness. The most popular versions are made with citrus fruit like orange, kumquat, and grapefruit. Homemade orange marmalade is a wonderful combination of sweet and bitter. It fills your kitchen with an addictive aroma and results in jars full of orange deliciousness that will keep for weeks. Slather it on your toast, biscuits, or muffins, or use it to fill layers of a cake.

Many traditional marmalade recipes have you remove all the peel, boil it a time or two, and then separate the zest from the pith. That method can be messier, more complicated, and less flavorful than simply taking a bit of time to carefully zest the fruit, remove the pith, and then cut out sections of oranges. This recipe takes a little time, but it's relatively foolproof and will yield delicious results.


Click Play to See This Homemade Orange Marmalade Recipe Come Together


  • 5 pounds ripe oranges

  • 6 cups sugar

  • 4 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Orange Marmalade ingredients, orange, sugar, water

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Wash and dry the oranges. Using a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the brightly colored zest—and only the brightly colored zest—from the oranges. Be sure to leave behind any and all of the white pith directly underneath as it is very bitter.

    use a peeler to take all of the orange zest of of the oranges, on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Chop the zest. Bigger pieces for chunkier marmalade, ribbon-like strips for a more spreadable result. Set the zest aside.

    orange zest chopped into ribbon-like strips, on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Cut the ends off the zested oranges and then, working with one orange at a time, cut off the thick white pith from around each orange.

     Cut the ends off the zested orange

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, hold a fully peeled orange and use a sharp knife to cut out each segment from the membrane holding the sections together.

    cutting out orange segments with a knife, into a glass bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Squeeze any juice out of the membranes once you've cut out all the fruit. Set the membrane aside, along with any seeds—the pectin in these will help "set" the marmalade later. Discard the ends and white pith.

    glass bowl with orange segments and orange juice

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Combine the zest, fruit, juice, sugar, and water in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil. Stir just until the sugar dissolves and stop stirring.

    orange juice, orange segments and orange zest in a metal bowl with sugar and water

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Meanwhile, lay a double layer of cheesecloth in a medium bowl and put the membranes and seeds on top. Lift up the corners and tie the cheesecloth into a bag to hold the membranes and seeds.

    orange membrane on top of white cheesecloth

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Add this "pectin bag" to the pot. Bring the mixture tso a boil, and place a couple of small plates in the freezer to chill them.

    cheesecloth with orange membrane in a metal bowl of orange juice, segments, and zest

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Meanwhile, bring the marmalade to 220 F and hold it there for 5 minutes. Be patient, this can take quite a while. Do not stir.

    orange mixture brought to a boil

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  11. Put a dollop of the mixture on a chilled plate. Swirl the plate to spread the mixture a bit and drag a spoon through the mixture. If your marmalade is set, your spoon will leave a trail, and you'll still be able to see the plate where you dragged the spoon.

    orange mixture on a plate

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  12. Remove the pectin bag, squeezing any marmalade out and back into the pot, and discard the bag. Take the marmalade off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Set up 3 clean pint jars with sealable lids (if canning, they should be hot and sterilized) next to the pot.

    orange marmalade in a metal bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  13. Stir the marmalade to distribute the zest evenly in the mixture. Use a ladle to transfer the marmalade into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Put the lids on the jars, and refrigerate. Marmalade will last for up to 4 weeks. Or, you can proceed with canning, as directed below.

    orange marmalade in a glass jar, metal ladle

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Canning the Marmalade

  • If you are canning the marmalade you can place a canning kettle full of water on to boil at the same time as you wait for the marmalade to reach a boil. When the canning kettle water reaches a simmer, use it to simmer the jars and lids for 5 minutes to sterilize them. Turn it up to a boil and follow the sterilization process. Then fill jars as instructed in recipe, place lids on the jars. Use a jar rack, if you have one, to lower the filled jars into the boiling water in the canning kettle. Make sure there is at least an inch of water over the jars. Boil for 10 minutes, lift the jars out of the water, and let cool.

Storage Tips

  • If you did not sterilize and process the jars in a canner, the marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.
  • If the jars are processed in a water bath canner, they will be shelf-stable and will keep for up to a year, unopened.

What is the difference between jam and marmalade?

Jam and preserves tend to be made with fruit, either whole or in pieces, along with sugar. Marmalade typically includes the peel, adding a jellied texture and a pleasing bitterness. It is often made with citrus fruit or quince.

Is Marmalade Healthier Than Jam?

There is a huge difference between marmalade and jam health-wise, but marmalade does tend to contain a greater amount of sugar. If you are watching your sugar intake, you may want to stick with low-sugar jams and jellies.