Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake from the Mitford Series

Donna Mann


I read all of the Mitford books and loved them. I found out later that there was also a cookbook. So, of course, I bought it. Can't wait to try this recipe. BTW, Donna B. said it was very good!!

Just an FYI: my husband read the whole recipe to me after I typed it in. By the end, he had a couple of choice words for the cake. He was kidding, of course.


★★★★☆ 6 votes

1 Hr
40 Min



  • 1 c
    unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 3 1/4 c
    cake flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 1 Tbsp
    baking powder
  • 1 tsp
  • 2 2/3 c
    granulated sugar
  • 5 large
    eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 large
    egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2/3 c
    vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 1 c
    buttermilk, at room temp

  • 1 c
    freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 c
    granulated sugar

  • 1
    12 oz. jar orange marmalade

  • 1 c
    heavy cream, chilled
  • 4 Tbsp
    granulated sugar
  • 1 c
    sour cream, chilled

How to Make Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake from the Mitford Series


  1. THE CAKE:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter three 9-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, then lightly butter and flour the paper, shaking out any excess.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light in color, about 4 minutes. Add the 2 2/3 cups sugar in a steady stream with the mixer running. Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to stop, at least once, to scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl. After all of the eggs have been added, continue to beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
  5. With the mixture on low speed, add the oil and beat for 1 minute.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, fold in half of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half of the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients, scrape down the sides, and add the remaining buttermilk.
  8. Pour the batter among the three prepared pans, smooth the surface, rap each pan on a counter to expel any air pockets or bubbles, then place in oven.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 20 minutes.
  11. In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice and 1/4 cup sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. While the cakes are still in the cake pans, use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes at 1/2 inch intervals in the cake layers.
  12. Spoon the syrup over each layer, allowing the syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remainder. Let the layers cool completely in pans.
  14. Heat the marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat until just melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  16. In a chilled mixing bowl using a wire whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the 4 Tbs. of sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk until the mixture is a spreadable consistency.
  18. Invert one of the cake layers on a cake plate and carefully peel off the parchment. Spread one-third of the marmalade over the top, smoothing it into an even layer. Invert the second layer on top of the first, peel off the parchment and spoon another third of the marmalade on top. Place the third layer on top , remove the parchment and spoon the remaining marmalade onto the center of it, leaving a 1 1/4-inch border around the edge.
  19. Frost the sides and top border with the frosting, leaving the marmalade on top of the cake exposed. Or, if you prefer, frost the entire cake first, adding the marmalade as a garnish on top.
  20. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  21. ENJOY!!!

Printable Recipe Card

About Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake from the Mitford Series

Course/Dish: Cakes Fruit Desserts

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