Cara Cara Oranges Cake With Kumquat Thyme Marmalade

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Indulge in a burst of citrusy delight with this exquisite recipe for Cara Cara Oranges Cake paired with a luscious Kumquat Thyme Marmalade. This dessert epitomizes the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, showcasing the vibrant hues and distinct tastes of Cara Cara oranges and kumquats. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe promises to elevate your culinary repertoire with its aromatic blend of citrus and herbaceous notes. Join me on a journey through the origins, serving suggestions, variations, storage tips, health benefits, and frequently asked questions related to this delectable creation. Let’s embark on a delightful culinary adventure together!

Origins And History Of Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Cara Cara Oranges: Cara Cara oranges, also known as red-fleshed navel oranges, are a natural mutation of the Washington navel orange discovered in Venezuela in the 1970s. They are distinguished by their pinkish-red flesh, which is sweeter and less acidic than traditional oranges, offering a unique flavor profile that blends hints of cherry, rose, and blackberry.

Kumquats: Kumquats are small citrus fruits that originated in China and have been cultivated for centuries in Southeast Asia. They are typically eaten whole, including the sweet peel and tangy flesh, making them a favorite for preserves and marmalades. Kumquats lend a delightful balance of sweetness and tartness, complemented by a distinctive citrus aroma.

Historical Significance: Both Cara Cara oranges and kumquats have a rich historical significance in culinary traditions worldwide. Cara Cara oranges gained popularity in the United States for their exceptional flavor and nutritional benefits, while kumquats have been cherished in Asian cuisine for their versatility in both sweet and savory dishes. Over time, these fruits have become beloved ingredients in modern baking and cooking, adding brightness and complexity to a wide array of recipes.

Understanding the origins and history of these ingredients enhances the appreciation for their role in creating a delectable Cara Cara Oranges Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade, celebrating the legacy and flavors they bring to the table.

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Serving Suggestions For Cara Cara Oranges Cake

1. Presentation:
Serve slices of Cara Cara Oranges Cake drizzled generously with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade on elegant dessert plates to showcase the vibrant colors and enticing aroma of the citrus fruits.

2. Accompaniments:
Pair the cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to balance the tangy sweetness of the marmalade and add a creamy texture to each bite.

3. Beverage Pairings:
Enjoy this dessert with a cup of freshly brewed herbal tea, such as chamomile or Earl Grey, to complement the citrusy notes. Alternatively, pair it with a dessert wine like Moscato or Riesling for a delightful after-dinner treat.

4. Garnish:
Sprinkle freshly grated orange zest or a few thyme leaves on top of each serving for an added burst of citrus aroma and visual appeal.

5. Occasions:
Ideal for special occasions such as brunch gatherings, afternoon tea parties, or as a standout dessert for holiday celebrations due to its festive flavors and impressive presentation.

By following these serving suggestions, you can enhance the dining experience and fully appreciate the exquisite combination of flavors in the Cara Cara Orange Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade, making every bite a memorable culinary delight.

Variations Of Cara Cara Oranges Cake

1. Gluten-Free Option:
For a gluten-free version of the Cara Cara Orange Cake, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure the baking powder and other ingredients are also gluten-free certified.

2. Vegan Adaptation:
To make the cake vegan-friendly, replace the eggs with a suitable egg replacer or use a combination of unsweetened applesauce and baking powder. Substitute dairy butter with vegan butter or coconut oil, and use non-dairy milk (such as almond milk or soy milk).

3. Nutty Twist:
Add chopped nuts such as almonds or pecans into the cake batter for a crunchy texture and added flavor. Sprinkle some toasted nuts on top before serving for extra crunch.

4. Citrus Variation:
Experiment with different citrus fruits such as blood oranges or Meyer lemons in place of Cara Cara oranges to create unique flavor profiles. Adjust sugar levels accordingly to balance the acidity of different citrus fruits.

5. Spiced Marmalade:
Enhance the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade by infusing it with warm spices such as cinnamon or ginger. Simply add the spices during the cooking process to impart a cozy, aromatic twist to the marmalade.

6. Layered Dessert:
Turn the cake into a layered dessert by slicing it horizontally and spreading a thin layer of the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade between each layer. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar or a citrus glaze on top.

7. Individual Servings:
Instead of baking a whole cake, prepare individual servings by baking the batter in muffin tins or small ramekins. Serve each portion with a spoonful of Kumquat Thyme Marmalade and a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt.

8. Savory Option:
Explore a savory twist by reducing the sugar in the cake batter and serving it alongside savory dishes such as roasted meats or grilled vegetables. The Kumquat Thyme Marmalade can still add a tangy contrast as a condiment.

These variations offer flexibility to tailor the Cara Cara Orange Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade to different dietary preferences, seasonal availability of ingredients, and personal tastes, ensuring everyone can enjoy this delightful dessert in their own unique way.

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Storage and Shelf Life For Cara Cara Oranges Cake

1. Cake Storage:

  • Room Temperature: Store the Cara Cara Orange Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Ensure the container is tightly sealed to maintain freshness.
  • Refrigeration: For longer storage, refrigerate the cake. It can stay fresh for up to 5-7 days when stored in the refrigerator. Before serving, bring the cake to room temperature to enhance its flavors.

2. Marmalade Storage:

  • Refrigeration: Store the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade in a sterilized jar or airtight container in the refrigerator. It will typically keep well for 2-3 weeks. Ensure the marmalade is completely cooled before transferring to the jar to prevent condensation.

3. Freezing:

  • Cake: If you want to extend the shelf life further, the cake can be frozen. Wrap individual slices or the whole cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Label and date the package before placing it in the freezer. Frozen cake can be kept for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Marmalade: Marmalade can also be frozen in airtight containers or freezer-safe bags for longer storage, up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

4. Tips for Storage:

  • Keep the cake and marmalade away from direct sunlight and heat sources to prevent them from drying out or spoiling prematurely.
  • Ensure containers for both the cake and marmalade are clean and dry before storing to maintain freshness.
  • Label containers with the date of preparation to track shelf life accurately.

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy the Cara Cara Orange Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade over an extended period, ensuring each slice or serving maintains its delicious flavors and textures.

Health Benefits Of Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Cara Cara Oranges:

  • Rich in Vitamin C: Cara Cara oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for immune function, skin health, and collagen production.
  • Antioxidants: They contain antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids, which help neutralize free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Fiber: These oranges are a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar levels.


  • Vitamin C and Antioxidants: Like Cara Cara oranges, kumquats are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which support immune health and protect cells from damage.
  • Essential Oils: They contain essential oils like limonene and pinene, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  • Low in Calories: Kumquats are low in calories but high in fiber, making them a nutritious choice for weight management and digestive health.

Thyme (used in Marmalade):

  • Antimicrobial Properties: Thyme contains compounds like thymol that have antimicrobial properties, which may help fight bacterial infections.
  • Antioxidants: It is rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Digestive Health: Thyme may aid digestion and relieve bloating or gas discomfort.

Overall Health Benefits of the Recipe:

  • Nutrient-Rich: The combination of Cara Cara oranges, kumquats, and thyme provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants beneficial for overall health.
  • Immune Support: High levels of vitamin C in both fruits contribute to immune system support, helping the body fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Digestive Support: Fiber from the oranges and kumquats, along with digestive benefits from thyme, promote gastrointestinal health and regularity.

Enjoying the Cara Cara Orange Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade not only satisfies the taste buds but also provides a nutritious boost, contributing to overall well-being and vitality.

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

FAQ Related To Cara Cara Oranges Cake

1. Can I use regular navel oranges instead of Cara Cara oranges?

  • Yes, you can substitute regular navel oranges for Cara Cara oranges in this recipe. However, keep in mind that Cara Cara oranges have a unique flavor profile that is slightly sweeter and less acidic compared to traditional navel oranges.

2. How can I adjust the sweetness of the cake?

  • To adjust the sweetness of the cake, you can either increase or decrease the amount of sugar in the cake batter. Taste the batter before baking and adjust according to your preference.

3. Can I make the marmalade ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can make the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade ahead of time. Store it in a sterilized jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. Make sure to cool the marmalade completely before storing.

4. How do I know when the cake is done baking?

  • Use the toothpick test: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the cake is done. Avoid over-baking to maintain a moist texture.

5. Can I freeze the leftover cake?

  • Yes, you can freeze the Cara Cara Orange Cake for up to 2-3 months. Wrap individual slices or the whole cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Cara Cara Oranges Cake

Rachid Yousfi
The recipe for Cara Cara Oranges Cake with Kumquat Thyme Marmalade combines the sweet, floral notes of Cara Cara oranges with the tangy zest of kumquats infused with aromatic thyme. This dessert offers a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, making it a delightful treat for any occasion.
The cake itself is moist and citrusy, complemented by the complex flavors of the homemade marmalade. It's a recipe that celebrates the freshness and versatility of citrus fruits, providing both a visual and flavorful feast that appeals to both casual bakers and culinary enthusiasts alike.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine International
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 287 kcal


  • Mixing Bowls Use various sizes of mixing bowls for combining dry ingredients, creaming butter and sugar, and preparing the cake batter.
  • Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer: A hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer with paddle and whisk attachments will help to cream butter and sugar efficiently and incorporate ingredients smoothly.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons Accurate measurement is crucial in baking. Have a set of measuring cups (both dry and liquid) and spoons for precise ingredient quantities.
  • Zester or Microplane: To zest the Cara Cara oranges for both the cake batter and garnish, you'll need a zester or a microplane grater.
  • Juicer: A citrus juicer or reamer will help extract the juice from the Cara Cara oranges for the cake batter.
  • Cake Pans Use round cake pans (typically 8 or 9 inches in diameter) for baking the cake layers. Ensure they are properly greased and lined with parchment paper for easy removal.
  • Saucepan: You'll need a medium-sized saucepan to prepare the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade by simmering the kumquats with sugar, water, and thyme.
  • Wooden Spoon or Silicone Spatula: Use these tools for stirring and folding ingredients, both in the cake batter and while preparing the marmalade.
  • Cooling Rack After baking, allow the cake layers to cool completely on a wire cooling rack to prevent condensation and ensure even cooling.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For slicing the Cara Cara oranges for juicing and zesting, and for preparing other ingredients.
  • Parchment Paper Line the cake pans with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the pans.
  • Timer Use a kitchen timer or your smartphone timer to monitor baking times accurately.


Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 Oranges: Use for zest and juice. Wash thoroughly before zesting and juicing.
  • Cups All-Purpose Flour: Measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off with a knife for accuracy.
  • Teaspoon Baking Powder: Ensure the baking powder is fresh for optimal leavening.
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt: Enhances flavor; adjust quantity based on personal preference.
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter: Use at room temperature for easier creaming with sugar.
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar: Cream with butter until light and fluffy for a tender crumb.
  • 2 Large Eggs: Use at room temperature; add one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor; use pure vanilla extract for best results.

Kumquat Thyme Marmalade Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Kumquats: Wash and slice thinly; remove seeds if desired.
  • ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar: Adjust sweetness based on preference and kumquat tartness.
  • ½ Cup Water: Use for cooking down the kumquats into a syrupy marmalade consistency.
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme: Use fresh thyme leaves for a subtle herbal flavor.


For the Cake:

  • Preheat Oven and Prepare Pans:
    Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Prepare Cara Cara Oranges:
    Wash the oranges thoroughly. Zest both oranges using a zester or fine grater, and then juice them to yield approximately ½ cup of juice. Set aside.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar:
    In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Incorporate Eggs and Vanilla:
    Add the eggs one at a time to the butter-sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Add Dry and Wet Ingredients Alternately:
    Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients, alternating with the freshly squeezed orange juice, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined after each addition, being careful not to overmix.
  • Fold in Orange Zest:
    Gently fold in the freshly grated orange zest until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Bake the Cake:
    Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Cool and Remove from Pans:
    Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them onto wire racks to cool completely. Remove parchment paper from the bottoms if necessary.

For the Kumquat Thyme Marmalade:

  • Prepare Kumquats:
    Wash the kumquats thoroughly, slice them thinly crosswise, and remove any seeds.
  • Cook Kumquats with Sugar and Water:
    In a medium saucepan, combine the sliced kumquats, granulated sugar, water, and fresh thyme leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Simmer Until Thickened:
    Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture, stirring frequently, until the kumquats are softened and the syrup has thickened to a marmalade consistency, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool and Store:
    Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the marmalade to cool completely. Discard the thyme sprigs if desired. Transfer to sterilized jars or airtight containers and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Cake Preparation:

  1. Room Temperature Ingredients:
    • Ensure the butter and eggs are at room temperature before starting. This helps them blend together smoothly and evenly.
  2. Creaming Butter and Sugar:
    • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, which usually takes about 3-4 minutes on medium-high speed with a stand mixer. This step incorporates air into the batter, resulting in a lighter texture.
  3. Adding Eggs:
    • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. This prevents the batter from curdling and ensures the eggs are fully incorporated.
  4. Alternating Dry and Wet Ingredients:
    • When adding the dry ingredients (flour mixture) and wet ingredients (orange juice), do so in batches. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined after each addition to avoid overmixing, which can result in a tough cake.
  5. Incorporating Orange Zest:
    • Gently fold in the freshly grated orange zest at the end of mixing. This ensures the zest is evenly distributed without being overworked into the batter.

Kumquat Thyme Marmalade:

  1. Preparation:
    • Slice the kumquats thinly and evenly to ensure they cook uniformly in the marmalade.
  2. Cooking Process:
    • Stir the kumquats, sugar, water, and thyme constantly at the beginning until the sugar dissolves. This prevents the sugar from caramelizing too quickly.
  3. Simmering:
    • Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer gently. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  4. Thickening:
    • Simmer the marmalade until it reaches a thick, syrupy consistency that coats the back of a spoon. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Keyword Cara Cara Oranges

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