Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake // Not Without Salt Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake // Not Without Salt

The marmalade’s original intention was for cocktail experimenting. When that went terribly wrong the jar sat lonely in the fridge until I found the perfect recipe that would accomplish three things: 1. Satisfy my craving for something sweet with my coffee. 2. Give something new for you to look at while I’m gone, which brings me to point 3. Get us even more excited about our trip to London. We leave today. I’m procrastinating packing as we speak.

This cake was more than just dessert (or breakfast) it allowed me to follow (and adjust quite a bit) someone else’s recipe. I creamed butter and sugar together without the looming pressure that it had to be perfect. I paid attention to the way the oil in the orange zest sprayed the parchment as I zested its vibrant skin because I wasn’t needing to pay attention to anything else. I just wanted to bake.

With three weeks left until my manuscript is due I’ve been working very intensely to get all the details right on the recipes you’ll meet in 2015. And while I’ve loved nearly every minute of this process, I’m tired. My generally right brain mind has been wandering into the left side more than it’s comfortable with. Wait, is it the other way around? Oh I don’t know, all that to say, I’m tired. Which makes this little jaunt to London pretty darn perfect. I’m excited to be inspired by other people’s food. To learn new tastes, new traditions and new recipes. There will also be visits to museums in between the restaurants to remind myself of my passion outside of food. And there will be moments of no plans, just wandering the street with my husband until we find a cozy pub to duck in to.

If you have any recommendations for us I’d love to hear them. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as I’ll be posting about our trip. Follow the hashtag #travelbrillianty. Thursday through Saturday I’ll be working with Marriott Hotels as they develop an idea for a healthy vending machine.

Until then, pour yourself some tea and make this lightly sweetened, currant studded and citrusy cake.

Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake // Not Without Salt Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake // Not Without Salt

Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake

adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe 

1 1/2 sticks / 175 g butter, soft

3/4 cup / 175 g sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups / 170 g all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cups / 90 g dried currants

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons Cointreau

1/4 cup / 75 g marmalade

zest from 1 orange



powdered sugar

orange juice


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment.

In a small bowl or saucepan add the currants, orange juice and Cointreau (or other orange liquor). Warm this mixture then stir in the orange zest and marmalade. Set aside to cool while you mix the cake.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until very light, about 5 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl then turn the mixer on medium low and add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and then scrape down the bowl again.

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine and aerate the dry ingredients. This helps keep the final cake light in texture.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low until just combined. Slowly beat in the currant mixture. Take the bowl off of the mixer and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the cake springs back when gently pressed.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting and cooling on a rack.

If you’d like to ice the cake combine about 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar with enough orange juice (for me this was the juice from half an orange) to make a pourable icing. I also added a pinch of salt. Pour the icing all over the cake while it is just warm

The flavor of the cake is more pronounced and set the next day.

51 Responses to “Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake”

  1. Kathryn

    You’re coming to London?! Hurrah! Drop me an email or catch me on twitter if you need any help/advice while you’re here. I hope you have a smashing time! Meanwhile, I’m just going to sit here drooling over this cake…

  2. Daytona @ Outside Oslo

    Have a lovely trip to London. It’s one of the top destinations on my travel list and I can’t wait for the chance to visit. I’ve been enjoying a lot of marmalade lately (which my husband brought back when he traveled there earlier this year), and I’ve been considering trying to make my own. If you ever have any tips for that, I’d love to hear them. In the meantime, I’ll have to give this cake a try–it sounds delicious.

  3. Skye

    A healthy vending machine is an utterly inspired idea. Hope that you have a great time in London – the weather is not all too lovely at the moment, but very authentic…
    And thank you for the marmalade cake – I shall enjoy that with a cup of tea…

  4. Hannah

    Hi Ashley,

    So excited to hear that you are hopping over to this side of the pond. I absolutely love your blog and your writing (have even started my own little side project and your style has been a great influence on me). I work at a restaurant called PipsDish and we opened last month in Covent Garden. I’d absolutely love to see you if you fancy a warming, homely lunch or dinner while you’re in London. Drop me a line if you want more info!

  5. kelly burton

    if you coat the currants in a light dusting of flour they won’t sink to the bottom of your bread/cake. or they shouldn’t

  6. thelittleloaf

    How exciting that you’re coming to London! As a Londoner, I can’t recommend it highly enough 🙂 So many delicious places to try for every possible imaginable cuisine and the cakes and pastries? Out of this world. If you ever need any tips do tweet me @thelittleloaf x

  7. fariha

    London sounds fab! You probably don’t need to be urged, but DO make a trip to one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants! I’m still dreaming about the perfect candlelit dinner I had there a couple weeks ago…

  8. Rachel @ La Pêche Fraîche

    Lovely little teacake! This with a hot cup of black tea would be my ideal snack. London is such a great place to get inspired by cuisine– if you can squeeze a reservation for NoPi (Ottolenghi’s newest resto), it is an absolute MUST! All of his food is a delight. Have a great trip!

  9. Paige

    Take the train to Bath for the day, we had a blast. Very comfortable and scenic train ride both ways. Bath itself was pretty fascinating, there are also tons of little pubs and shops to visit too. London is my favorite city I have ever visited, have so much fun!

  10. mehrunnisa

    a warm welcome to you from london! i am sure you will have a wonderful time. if you want any recommendations give me a shout on @comeconella. in the meantime, i’d recommend popping into books for cooks and the cake shop at the london review bookshop. it’s a lovely little spot for lunch. fly safe, x

  11. Brenda

    Enjoy your time in London! I’ll be thinking of all the wonderful things you’ll be tasting. Safe journey.

  12. Brittany

    Oooh, this cake looks dangerously good. I’d love to get cozy under a blanket with a piece of this and some coffee on a lazy morning!

    Hope you have a blast in London!

  13. Annalisa

    Yeah, coming our way!;) Well the weather here today is lovely to greet you-crisp and sunny! My list of must-tries are Caravan at the Exmouth Market, Prufrock Coffee is good, St. John’s Bread and Wine (get the madeleines), Ottolenghi places, the Wolseley, Pizza East, and Albion. And haven’t been there yet, but of course the River Cafe. And don’t miss the Liberty Store on Regent–such a visual experience! Enjoy!

  14. AG

    The new blog looks great! I was absent for a little while when there was an initial lull. One comment: someone should check out the blog format on an iPhone. Nothing fits on the screen and even when you minimize t to fit, the text hovers on the very left side where it basically looks like it was cutoff on the left (that was a terrible description–apologies). Also when trying to leave a comment, the top bar, which is otherwise brilliant, gets in the way of the name, etc fields.

  15. Jessica @FoodLuvBites

    What a lovely recipe. I really think that with so much inspiration on breads, etc its making me want to go buy just about everything in the grocery store. Gee I love this site 😀

  16. Andreanne Pelletier

    While in London: Caravan, Honey & co, Lantana, St John’s, Salvation Jane, Moro, Granger & co and the River Café are all AMAZING restaurants. Lived there for three years and truly fell in love with those places. I’m a chef, I love eating, hence the large number of restaurants listed here. Really can’t decide on a favourite!
    Have fun!

  17. sue obryan

    My husband’s favorite flavor things are tart little berries (cranberries, currants) and citrus peel — he likes them added to drinks, breads, dairy. The flavors really work well in this little cake and it goes really well with coffee and tea. Delicious and delicate!

  18. Lorraine

    Having seen this recipe a few weeks ago I couldn’t get it out of my head – so after a very stormy night in Surrey (we lost our poor plum tree that was growing at the bottom of our garden – thankfully it fell the right way if a tree can ever fall the right way! No damage done) than what better way to spend a Saturday but cooking up a storm (excuse the pun!) The currant and orange marmalade cake is cooling as I type! The house is full of wonderful aromas (reminds me of Christmas) – It will not be touched until tomorrow morning when we will have it for breakfast – but oh so tempting… maybe a sneaky midnight snack once everyone is tucked up in bed! Congratulations on such an inspiring blog.

  19. isavoyage

    DELICIOUS! Thanks for this amazing recipe, the cake is full of flavor, moist but not spongy, in short, it’s perfect.
    (note: I put 150gr sugar and it’s enough for us)

  20. sue-chan

    Did you make it to Borough Market, by London Bridge station? It’s foodie heaven.

  21. Corine

    I made this and it was so fabulous! The flavors… so heavenly. You do amazing work!

  22. Karen Ramrakha

    This is a beautiful cake, and I have made it twice now, but it always sinks in the middle -:(


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