How to Make Mandarin Orange Marmalade [Small Batch]

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Are you wondering how to make mandarin orange marmalade? I have always made our own jams and jellies.  If you’ve never tasted homemade jam, jelly, preserves or marmalade, you don’t know what you’re missing.  There is just no comparison to the type you buy at the store. 

How to Make Mandarin Orange Marmalade [Small Batch]

How to Make Mandarin Orange Marmalade

I’ve made a number of different types of jams and jellies throughout the years.  Many times, I put up raspberry and rhubarb jams.  We have them growing in our yard so there are lots available each year.   Since my parents have grapes and apples in their yard, these are popular choices as well. When we go strawberry and blueberry picking, I use them for jam. 

There are a few types of jams and jellies that I see as a special treat. Orange marmalade is one of them.  In the past, I have made orange marmalade several times but I have never tried making mandarin orange marmalade. The mandarin orange is smaller than a traditional orange and a bit sweeter.  I find mandarin oranges much easier to peel so this is the variety I usually pick up for snacking.  Since I enjoy snacking on them so much, I decided it was time to learn how to make mandarin orange marmalade.

A bag of Halos on a cutting board

Mandarin vs orange

Mandarin orange marmalade has a milder taste than traditional orange marmalade.  This recipe makes a small batch of marmalade which works perfectly for us. I generally only put marmalade on toast so I don’t need as many jars as I normally make for a jam that the kids put on peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

orange zest in a pot

Just in case you’re wondering what the heck the difference is between jam, jelly, preserves, and marmalade, I should probably explain:

  • Jelly – Jellies are clear and contain no “pieces” of fruit. Typically, a jelly is made from the strained juice of the fruit.
  • Jam – Jams are thicker than jelly and contain the pulp and seeds of the fruit but not generally larger pieces of fruit.
  • Preserves – Preserves are thicker than jam and contain the pulp of the fruit, seeds and larger pieces of fruit.
  • Marmalade – Marmalade is a fruit preserve that is made from citrus fruit and also has the peel of the fruit added.

A great gift idea

Mandarin orange marmalade is such a pretty gift to give and looks very festive with the red from the cranberries along with the orange and yellow from the citrus.   Put a jar of mandarin orange marmalade in a gift basket along with a loaf of homemade bread and some cloth napkins and you are all set for a pretty handmade gift.

How to Make Mandarin Orange Marmalade [Small Batch]

How do you know when marmalade is done?

If you let the marmalade sit for a moment and push back the edge with a wooden spoon, it should hold its shape slightly before filling the space again. I’ve never had a problem following the steps for this mandarin orange marmalade.

Making Mandarin orange marmalade

How do you thicken homemade marmalade?

If you follow the simple directions below, it should thicken up just fine. But, if you’re having problems, you can add a bit of pectin to a small amount of warm water and mix. Then slowly add the pectin and water mixture to the marmalade and stir until it thickens. Do not add the pectin directly to the mandarin orange marmalade as it may lump up. 

Here are some tips in this post from Kitchnn for helping your jam set up. If you still cannot get your jam or marmalade to thicken, don’t worry. You can still enjoy it on top of ice cream as an ice cream topping. It tastes just as good.

a row of jams on a shelf

If you like homemade jams and jellies like this easy orange marmalade, you may also like these. Remember that homemade jams, jellies, and marmalades make wonderful gift ideas over the holidays. You can add a loaf of freshly baked bread and a kitchen towel along with the jam to a basket. It makes a wonderful homemade gift.

Mandarin orange chicken in a bowl

So, if you want a few mandarin orange recipes, why not try one of these:

Yield: 2

Mandarin Orange Marmalade

Mandarin Orange Marmalade

You will love this easy Mandarin orange marmalade recipe that makes a small batch.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 3 Halo mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar


  1. Peel the Halo Mandarin oranges and Meyer lemons.
  2. Remove as much of the white pith from the peel as possible.
  3. Slice the peels very thinly in small strips with a sharp knife.
  4. Place the peels in a small pan with the water and bring it to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  6. Chop the Halo Mandarin oranges and Meyer lemon very finely. Make sure to remove any seeds if there are any in the Meyer lemon.
  7. Add it to the pan with the sugar and bring it back to a boil.
  8. Boil rapidly, uncovered until it gels which usually takes me about 10 minutes.
  9. A few minutes before it gels, add the chopped dried cranberries.
  10. Remove it from the heat.
  11. Ladle it into hot crystal jelly jars and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.


If you are having problems getting the marmalade to thicken, you can add a bit of pectin to warm water and stir. Then add the mixture to the marmalade.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 2mg Carbohydrates: 33g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 31g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 0g

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  1. Ashley McLure says
    OOh. I'll have to try that recipe. My dad loves orange marmalade, so I'll have to make him some. How many jars does your recipe make?
  2. We eat a ton of mandarin oranges in my house but I have never tried making homemade marmalade. Looks delicious!
  3. alicia k (Petite Pilates Pixie) says
    this sounds good! pinning!
  4. Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama says
    Thanks for the jam/jelly/marmalade breakdown - that had gotten by me all these years. I agree, there's nothing like homemade.  We get ours from the farmers market. 
  5. I dont like orange marmalde so I will share it. This does make a great gift idea.
  6. I like marmalade and did not know that it was this easy to make. I like this recipe and it looks so delicious. I will have to try to make this!
  7. Oh, it really IS pretty in the jar and on the bread. Wonderful gift idea and treat to eat!
  8. Amy @ Marvelous Mommy says
    Wow that Mandarin Orange Marmalade looks amazing! My girls saw it and now they want to make some! 
  9. I have never had any flavor of marmalade. I do love mandarin oranges though, so I am interested in trying this!
  10. This looks so tasty! I love orange marmalade!
  11. Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? says
    Yum! This sounds great for toast...and even in recipes. I've got a bunch of mandarin oranges around here.
  12. YUM! This looks so good. We love Halos and always have some around so I may try and make this. My husband and I would love it for sure. 
  13. I've never made the marmalade before. However, we do love to eat a ton of mandarin oranges in our household, so I bet I'd like it.
  14. I've never tried making something like this before but it looks really good! And I love Halos!
  15. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville says
    I've never made my own marmalade before, but this looks too good not to try!  Seriously, I'm drooling thinking about a thick slice of sourdough with this spread on top!
  16. This looks awesome! Of course, I want to make it today but have no Meyer lemons & it's snowing out…could I substitute a regular lemon?
    • Ellen Christian says
      I'm sure you could. I would use less of the peel since a regular lemon is larger than a Meyer and make absolutely sure that all the white pith is removed so it doesn't taste bitter.
  17. Janeane Davis says
    I really like orange marmalade. I have never made my own, but I would like to try.
  18. I've never made my own jam. When I taste other people's, I always think that I should try it! Thanks for the easy halo jam recipe!
  19. Mippy/Sabrina says
    Wowww this looks soooo good! Thank you! :)
  20. What is the difference between removing as much of the white off the peel and using just the zest? If it is different, how do you most effectively remove the white stuff?
    • Ellen Christian says
      The zest is only the very top of the skin. You want some of the white but only a very little bit. I use a very sharp knife.
  21. amit dasgupta says
    will try; have 3 dozen mandarin oranges to work with!! guess i will have to increase the water and the sugar proportionately. sorry but i simply could not find, in your recipe, at what stage the sugar is to be added or whether the sugar needs to be first dissolved in the water before the peels are added. 
  22. I can't believe I don't make jam - this recipe is sooo wonderful I must try it. I just used mandarin oranges in a stir fry. I hadn't had mandarin orange in a long time, and I was newly aware of how delish they are, jam would be perfect. And since I like to make use of the peels, this is got me thinking must do this  soon!  
  23. Yum!  I made it today.  Didn't have dried cranberries, so I left them out.  Didn't have Meyer lemons (or any lemons at all) so I used a lime.  It's a little thin, I don't think I let it boil long enough, but it is delicious!  Thanks for the recipe.
  24. The recipe looks great!  Would it be possible for you to provide more detail on the last instruction item (#11)?
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi Heather - Sure. Basically you put the cans in a water bath canner and boil for 10 minutes until the jars seal. Does that help?
  25. How much does this recipe actually make?  The 2 servings doesn't really tell me much.  Also, how easy is it to increase this recipe?  I was thinking this would be a nice one to make for gifts?  Do the ingredients increase exponentially, the same percentage of increase for each doubling, etc?  Sometimes when recipes are doubled, etc. not everything in the recipe should also be doubled.   thanks 
    • Ellen Christian says
      Hi, Pamela - It made 2 jelly jars for me. I've never tried making any more than 2 jars at a time, but I would think that doubling at least should be OK.


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