Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam

Bowl of Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam

This homemade preservative free Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam is the ideal use for a glut of kumquats at the beginning of Spring when the citrus season is nearly at an end.

If you have no idea how to prepare kumquat marmalade then you have come to the right place. This old fashioned Kumquat Jam recipe is so easy to make, even for a novice jam maker.

In the past it was customary for the women of the family, and many times even men, to prepare their own home made marmalade, fruit jams and preserves. Many families had fruit trees in their back gardens and others had access to supplies of fruits.

Our easy old fashioned Kumquat Marmalade recipe started with one of our monthly family visits to Citrusdal, my ancestral home. My aunt had been telling me for a while that she had received some fig jam as a gift from one of her friends on the farm, and she had never tasted such delicious jam before and so she wanted to give this a try herself, but with kumquats.

Toast with Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam

Althought I was born and raised in the City of Cape Town, my entire family is originally from a little rural farming town on the N7, outside of Cape Town called Citrusdal. It is a very small and remote town and not many people are even aware it exists. By the name you can probably guess what is farmed in this area. Citrusdal is well-known for farming of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartjies (clementines) and kumquats. It is also the center of Rooibos tea production.

Because my entire family lives there, we always receive an abundance of oranges, lemons and naartjies during the picking season in the Cape Winter. Even though kumquats are similar to citrus fruits, it is no longer widely farmed in Citrusdal and it is actually quite limited and hard to obtain. After we arrived on the farm on our recent visit my aunt immediately informed her son that she wanted a few kumquats before we left.

We were already planning to make our small batch Kumquat Marmalade Jam as soon as we were back home in Cape Town. We were very fortunate to be well associated with the farm owners who kindly allowed a few of the farm workers to gather a whole bag of the fruits for us.

Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam

Her son and a few other farm workers entered the groves and gathered up a big bag of the kumquats the morning before we departed. After they had gathered the kumquats, they informed us that we had to fetch it at the farmer’s house, so off we went. We arrived at the farm owner’s home and he just happened to be there when we arrived. My aunt and I kindly thanked him, he asked what we were planning to do with the kumquats. We told him that we planned to use the kumquats in a marmalade recipe, and he requested that we bring him a jar on our next visit.

After receiving our big bag of kumquats, we took the long journey home. The following day my aunt and I went about preparing the kumquat marmalade recipe. Not being experts in making marmalade or jams , we were a bit sceptical. Nevertheless, we continued as we love trying new recipes, and in no time our jam from this easy marmalade recipe was complete.

Personally, I am not a fan of any type of jams and rarely indulge. However, being part of the process I had to taste the end result and let me tell you, I am hooked!

The Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade jam was just the right consistency and colour. I immediately thought it would be perfect to share with friends and family. We are yet to take the farm owner some of the jam however, I am confident that he will enjoy it just as myself and the others that have tasted the jam.

I sure do hope you enjoy it and Good luck!

Tips for making Spiced Kumquat Marmalade

  • Always sanitise the fruits by soaking in a bicarbonate of soda water bath to remove mould and any residues.
  • Use fine granulated white sugar.
  • If you don’t know how to make jam without pectin added, this marmalade recipe is for you.
  • For home use make smaller quantities of jam and keep to between 500 grams – 1kg of fruit.
  • Use a low sided wide bottomed pan for quick cooking.
  • Sterilise the glass jars and lids before spooning in the jam to ensure it doesn’t get mouldy or ferment.

If marmalade or jam are not your thing, why not check out one of our other recipes below:

Spices and kumquats on tabletop

Bowl of Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade Jam

Easy Spiced Kumquat Marmalade jam recipe

Simone Fortuin
This Spiced Easy Kumquat Marmalade jam recipe is quick to make and deliciously tangy on toast for breakfast, or with cheese and crackers for an appetizer.
4.74 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Soaking time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Jams and Preserves
Cuisine South African
Servings 18
Calories 106 kcal



  • 500 grams kumquats
  • 750 ml water approximately 3 cups
  • 7.5 ml bicarbonate of soda a.k.a baking soda approximately 1.5 tsp

Kumquat Marmalade Jam

  • 400 grams fine granulated sugar approximately 500 ml or 2 cups
  • 500 ml water
  • 4 pieces cinnamon sticks
  • 4 pods cardamom



  • Place the whole uncut kumquats in a medium glass, plastic or other non-reactive bowl and cover with the water.
  • Sprinkle over the bicarbonate of soda and allow to soak for 10 minutes. This will remove any impurities or invisible mould.
  • After soaking, rinse the kumquats under clean running water and dry with paper towels before proceeding.

Making the jam

  • Cut each kumquat lengthwise in half then cut each half into 4 sections and remove the seeds. 
  • Bring the sugar, water and spices to the boil in a medium sized pot.
  • Add the kumquats after 15-20 minutes or when the syrup has thickened and has consistent small bubbles.
  • Allow the jam to cook on medium heat for another 25-30 minutes until the excess liquid has evaporated and the kumquat peels are soft. 
  • The jam is ready when it wrinkles as you pull your fingertip through a half a teaspoons worth of jam cooled on an ice cold plate. 


Place a small glass saucer into the freezer before you start the jam making process. This will ensure that you can do a successful wrinkle test near the end of cooking time.


Calories: 106kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 0gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 120mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 80IUVitamin C: 12.2mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 0.3mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information for the recipe is an approximation and varies according to the ingredients and products used.

Keyword citrus, gluten free, preservative free
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  • Reply
    Jennifer Prince
    October 17, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a kumquat. They are adorable, and I love the color of the jam. What a fun thing to make at home!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Wow this looks so good! Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to make this marmalade at home!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2018 at 4:38 am

    I love marmalade! It always reminds me of Paddington the bear but I’ve never tried to make it myself

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Marmalade has also become one of my favourites. Personally, maramalade reminds me of the countryside. The best jams are sold along the countryside in South Africa. You should definitely give it a try. You will not be disappointed. Good luck and enjoy!

      • Reply
        March 25, 2020 at 7:17 pm

        How many kumquats do you use for this recipe??
        I dont know how many 500 mg are…

        • Reply
          Razena Schroeder
          March 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

          We have never counted the kumquats as they usually differ in size so we do it by weight. I ordered kumquats today to check how many make up 500 grams, but it appears to be out of stock with the lock down we have in the city.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2018 at 2:12 am

    This looks delicious. I wish i could make jam – might aim to do it one day.

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks so much!I am sure if you follow the recipe step by step you will have no problem preparing the jam. This was also my first time preparing the jam so I am confident you will receive the desired results as well. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Melissa Bradbury
    October 11, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    This recipe looks amazing. I love jam on my toast so may give this one a try.

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      I hope you receive the best results. Feel free to add additional ingredients if you wish to do so. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Reply
    Asher Kabeer
    October 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Yummm it looks so delicious! I really love this jam and would love to share with the friends who know how to cook.

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks so much! I love sharing recipes with friends and family, especially those who love to cook and bake. Each individual has their own preferrences and methods of cooking and baking therefore its interesting to see the different outcomes. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I’d love to make the marmalade jam. It does sound like a good way to start the day (we love jam in the morning).

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      I also enjoy having jam on my toast as a breakfast treat. I’m confident that you will get excellent results. Good luck and enjoy!!!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Wow, that’s looking pretty delicious…. <3

  • Reply
    blair villanueva
    October 11, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Jam making is a good idea to use excessive stocks of fruits. Thanks for sharing this hack and recipe. Delicious!

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      I think preparing any dish from scratch always has a better taste and outcome as you have the freedom to include ingredients according to your own preferrence. I hope you try it out and receive the very best results. I fully enjoyed making the jam. Good luck and enjoy!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2018 at 12:54 am

    I love the sound of this Marmalade Jam recipe. I will be trying it. My kids love jam.

  • Reply
    Azlin Bloor
    October 10, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    A very delicious post! I used to love kumquats as a kid growing up in Singapore, but they are not as common here, although I can find them in the summer months. I love the flavour you’re adding to them in this jam. Must be so good to eat and bake with!

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      I found that the cinnamon along with the other spices combined excellent with the marmalade. Kumquats are quite hard to find in Cape Town as well but luckily we managed to find some. I sure do hope you try this out and thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Aiai Damigo
    October 9, 2018 at 11:12 am

    It looks delicious i will try this recipe someday. I love marmalade on my toast so will definitely try this one!

  • Reply
    Karen Monica
    October 9, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I am definitely going to try this out. The marmalade jam looks so yummylicious

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      It tastes lovely. All of the spices compliment the marmalade very well. It tastes great with rye bread as well. Thanks a bunch and Good luck!

  • Reply
    Nina Nichols
    October 8, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    I’m addicted to anything with marmalade on it! I especially love it on my toast! The spiced kumquat marmalade looks delish!

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      I actually enjoyed the marmalade more than I expected. I enjoy having it on toast for breakfast along with a cup of Rooibos tea especially. Thank you so much and Good luck!

  • Reply
    Monidipa Dutta
    October 8, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    The jam looks delicious. And the recipe looks all interesting. I will try it out.

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you! It took lots of effort and creativity but nevertheless, I am satisfied with the results. Good luck!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Oh I got a kumquat tree as a present once and didn’t know what to do with all these little lemons. But now I know!

    • Reply
      Simone Claudia Fortuin
      October 10, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      How lucky! I am thinking about planting a few fruit trees myself. I’m glad I could assist. Enjoy the maramalade and Good luck!

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