Orange Marmalade Spice Cookies

These cookies have a generous dose of orange marmalade mixed right into the batter. Cinnamon and clove give them spicy holiday flavor, and a topping of zesty citrus buttercream makes them irresistible!

Drop cookie recipes are especially wonderful for busy holiday bakers, because there's no dough to be rolled out, no stamping out shapes with cutters, and no tedious decorating. There's a certain beauty in their simplicity and they are usually delicious, which is the most important thing a cookie should be!

Orange and clove are scents that call forth my happiest Christmas memories. My mother always made orange and clove pomanders for the holidays, and I've continued that tradition throughout the years. These cookies have that same aroma, and they are full of delicious Sicilian orange marmalade. You can use most any prepared marmalade you wish, but if you have the opportunity to use Sicilian marmalade, (this brand right here) by all means, do!

The marmalade gives a slight chewiness to the cookies, and it's nice to find a little piece of sweet orange peel in every other bite.

A dollop of citrusy buttercream on top of each cookie is the final garnish - unless you crave a little holiday sparkle. In that case you may find  these tiny gold star sprinkles are just the thing.

Spiced Orange Marmalade Cookies
Yields 30-34 cookies
Inspired by a recipe from the Neiman Marcus Taste Cookbook

Cookie ingredients
3 cups (430g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup (350g) orange marmalade

Icing ingredients
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (120ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (300g) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line at least two cookie sheets with baking parchment.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon into a bowl and set aside. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on low speed for one minute. Add sugar and vanilla extract, and beat two minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the marmalade. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour and spice mixture. Beat on medium low speed, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl so that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer.

Drop cookie dough from a spoon in walnut sized dollops onto prepared baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cookies are light brown in color. Remove from the oven and cool on sheets for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Let cool completely before icing.

For the icing, combine orange and lemon zests and juices in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter on low speed. Add one cup (100 grams) of the powdered sugar and blend thoroughly. Gradually add the remaining sugar, salt and citrus juice mixture and mix until smooth. Ice cookies evenly with a teaspoon or butter knife and allow icing to set for an hour before serving. You can layer cookies between waxed paper in an air-tight container if you are packaging for gifting.

link Orange Marmalade Spice Cookies By Published: Orange Marmalade Spice Cookies Recipe


  1. I am SO trying these out!!!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. I've been looking for another Christmas cookie and I believe we have a winner. Hubby loves marmalade and I love drop cookies. Think I will opt for dark chocolate instead of the buttercream but only because I have a cupboard full of dark chocolate. Thanks Heather, your site is one of my absolute favourites :)

  3. Looks so delicious and perfect for Christmas!

  4. I just made these tonight and it looks like the icing split, any reason why that would happen? Any tips to prevent that in the future?

    1. Hi! Did it split in the bowl while whipping or did it split after you frosted the cookies? If the cookies were frosted warm, that could be a reason.

      It could also be the acid from the citrus juices not wanting to play nicely with the butter. Perhaps next time you could beat it for a full five minutes (with a timer set) in the mixer so it is very well combined. Orange and lemon extracts could be used in place of the citrus juices (1/2 teaspoon each). They always incorporate smoothly into buttercream. You may not have to use all of the powdered sugar with this method. I hope this helps! Thank you for trying the recipe!

  5. Hm. Baked for far less than the suggested 20 minutes, as little as seven to ten, these were already dry, cakey little pods. Like dry, miniature scones, without the delicacy of crumb. The amount of flour to fat seems very high, did I misread 3 cups of flour to 1/2 cup of butter? I use Kerrygold butter, which is lower in water, and vanilla is hard to get in Germany so I used vanilla sugar, but I added an extra tablespoon of water to compensate. ??

    1. Hi Suzanne! That's puzzling! 3 cups flour is correct. The butter amount is correct, and the marmalade should offer some moisture too. Dry and cakey seems like the oven may have been running hot? We're making another batch tomorrow so we'll have a good chance to investigate for you and report back. Thanks for trying the cookies! I'm sorry they didn't turn out exactly right.

  6. Busy making these now, batch number three in the oven. Tastes divine and that nice aftertaste of marmalade is just perfect. Not sure how to respond to Suzanne but I did originally write down the oven temperature incorrectly - I had it as 180 deg C when it should be 150 deg C. The cookie has a nice cake like texture and I think finishing it off with some dark chocolate is going to make it perfect.

  7. I want to give these as gifts in paper cookie box. How long will they last before spoiling?

    1. Hi! Sorry for my late reply. If stored properly these last about 7 days before they begin getting tough.

  8. We love these year round! Just made a batch without the cloves for summer picnic.

  9. I made these for a party the other day. I added 1tsp of ginger to the cookies. The frosting split on me as well. I added another cup of sugar, and it turned out fine.


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