Orange Marmalade Cookies with Orange Zest Icing

Rarely does a new cookie recipe make it into our abode’s “must make” repertoire. With our household favorites being so loved (like the chocolate chunk, snickerdoodle w/ Viet cinnamon, and oatmeal rum raisin recipes), a new find has to be pretty damn good to pass up baking an old favorite. These orange marmalade cookies with orange zest icing are pretty damn good.

The showstopping goodness of these cookies come from the icing.  The cookie itself, despite being quite luscious, is merely a vehicle in which to consume the slightly tangy, citrusy sweet orange icing.   Of course it helps that we have slug-the-one-next-to-you-OMFG-these-are-amazing oranges growing in our garden with which to make the orange icing.

fresh orange zest makes the icing fragrant and fabulous

For this recipe we highly recommending finding the best oranges you can. One incredible orange and one prime lemon for the icing will transform this cookie from “delectable” to “seductively irresistible”.

We’ve played around with different orange marmalades for the cookie recipe.  A simple orange marmalade is very nice and gives the cookies a typical cake sweetness, but to add a little creative contrast, consider seeking out a Seville orange marmalade. Seville oranges are a type of bitter orange which have a particularly strong orange taste combined with their bitter or tart bite. They are a marmalade classic and give the cookies’ taste an additional dimension.

be generous with the fresh orange zest

For the icing, how fine you grate the zest will determine the final mouthfeel.  For the photos we zested some larger strips because it is such an highlight of the cookie, plus it looks kinda sexy.  But for the zest in the frosting, we used the microplane to get super fine zestlings (doubt that’s a real word but it sounds good.) Some people like the thicker zest strips while others not so much.

Unfortunately this one of those cookie doughs which gets adversely affected by freezing.  Nearly all of our favorites we can make a batch, roll them into logs, freeze them, then bake just what we need. However this dough tends to bake heavier and drier if used from frozen dough rather than a fresh batch.  Too bad, but a least the icing keeps well over a week or so.  Make a little extra and add to your favorite muffins, scones, or quick breads!


Orange Marmalade Cookies with fresh Orange Icing

Yield: 36 cookies

Total Time: 2 hours 30 Minutes

Adapted from Neiman Marcus Taste.


    Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 c (115g) unsalted Butter, room temp.
  • 1 c (200g) Sugar
  • 2 lrg Eggs
  • 1 c (300g) Seville Orange Marmalade (regular Orange Marmalade will work too-Seville Oranges will give a slight bitterness to cookie to offset icing sweetness)
  • 3 c (375g) all-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 t (2g) Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t (2g) Sea Salt
  • Orange Icing

  • finely grated zest from 1 Orange
  • finely grated zest from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1/4 c (60ml) fresh squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 t (5ml) fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 T (45g) unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/8 t (1 g) Sea Salt
  • 3 c (375g) Confectioners' Sugar


  1. Combine butter and sugar in a mixer bowl and beat with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Break eggs in a small bowl, whisk to break up, then incorporate into the butter/sugar mix. Mix in orange marmalade.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and sea salt.  Gently incorporate into wet mix until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (@ 1-2 hrs.)
  3. While dough chills, make orange icing. Combine citrus zests, juices, melted butter and sea salt in a bowl.  Whisk in confectioners' sugar until well combined and smooth.  Cover and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 300° F. Line sheet pans with baking paper or silpats.

  5. Using 2 teaspoons, drop walnut sized cookie dough balls onto prepared sheet pans, spaced about 3" apart.  Bake for about 20 min. or until cookies are light brown.  Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  6. After cookies are completely cool, ice them with a small spatula or butter knife.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Lizzie

    Very helpful. Thank you!

  2. Lizzie

    Right, I think the dough was pretty chilled after being refrigerated. But does this mean it’s ok to skip the refrigeration step? Or do I need to chill and then let them warm up before baking?

    PS. I just had some more and they are just so good and I love that they’re a little unusual.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Good question. I think both ways will help with it spreading. Usually chilling the dough is to help keep the cookies from spreading too much, but in your case they weren’t spreading enough. I would try both ways and see if there is a texture difference. There may be another reason to chilling the dough, but I don’t know for sure. If I get the chance, I’ll experiment with both ways and let you know. If you try, I’d love to hear your results.

      Good luck.


  3. Lizzie

    Hi! I made these and they were lovely. I’ll add them to my recipe repertoire! Quick question- is the oven really supposed to just be at 300 degrees F? Mine tasted good but they never spread out like yours did- just wanted to double check the temp. Thanks!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Lizzie,
      It is supposed to be 300. I know that is not as hot as usual for cookies, but it works for this recipe. The lower temp helps them spread a bit more before setting. If yours didn’t spread, maybe the dough was a bit too cool. I should have added to have the butter for the dough to be soft at room temp. A warmer dough should spread more than a colder one. See if that helps. If not let us know & we can brainstorm to help figure it out. Good luck.


  4. Nicole

    I made these last night with homemade Seville Orange Marmalade and absolutely loved them. I actually ran the Marmalade through the food processor first as mine was super chunky. I couldn’t help but think they would be over the top amazing with a chocolate glaze, Orangette cookies. I’m thinking I will give it a try the next time I make them (tomorrow). Thanks for the great recipe.

  5. Miranda Merten

    These look great. I don’t use orange marmalade in many things outside of sweet and sour sauce…I guess I should branch out! I actually have all of the ingredients in my pantry to make these, so maybe I will give it a try this afternoon! My mouth is watering already….yum yum.

  6. Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro

    Hey Todd,

    Thanks for the post! We don’t have an orange tree (yet), but we do have two mandarins. They’re full with little fruits right now, so I’m gonna bookmark this recipe to try (subbing mandarins) in November when they’re ready for the taking. Hope they turn out as nice as the oranges did!


    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Kim,
      I think this would be even better with the mandarins. We have some still on the tree which we are saving for cocktails, otherwise we were going to make this recipe with the Algerian tangerines instead. Plus we figured it would be easier for most people to get oranges this time of year, vs. getting tangerines.

  7. Nancy

    Love this recipe and will make it this weekend. As I was reading your description out loud to my husband he got almost giddy hearing “oatmeal rum raisin”!! Will this recipe be posted soon??
    Thanks so much!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      It wasn’t until I was writing this post that it dawned on me we have never written up our oatmeal rum raisin cookies. Looks like we will have to write about it soon!

  8. Nina

    I made these last night and again this afternoon. Really liked them the first time, but wasn’t crazy about the icing–too “powdered sugary” for me. So today I added a bit of almond extract to the icing–a different flavor, but very good!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      I think we were lucky to have such flavorful oranges to zest from. The almond extract sounds like a great addition!

  9. DessertForTwo

    These are absolutely delicious! I halved the recipe because we can’t eat 36 cookies in a few days, and they were a big hit! Thanks 🙂

    1. White on Rice Couple

      dessert for two- glad you like them!

  10. marilou

    I love orange and I love cookies so I will definitely make this recipe. Thank you!

  11. deana (lostpastremembered)

    Orange is just not a flavor I associate with cookies… great idea that I can’t wait to try!!! Gorgeous photos,as always!!

  12. Angela@spinachtiger

    I’m with you. I rarely add a new cookie recipe, but this is one I think I’ve looking for all my life. I may even have to drizzle a bit of dark chocolate over it for a real stunner. Every week I say “this is the last dessert that I’m making until Christmas.” haha

  13. chika

    hi there,

    i must admit i’m not an icing person (yes, there are such people in this world) and tend to skip icing on most things. but these little delectables look so pretty and sound pretty damn good! good oranges are hard to come by over here, but i’d still be keen to try these… maybe even with yuzu when they show up later in the year? thanks for sharing!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      I was just wishing our yuzu had put out fruit this year for that exact reason. Would make an incredible icing. If you do it make sure you let us know how it came out. Will keep an eye on the Japanese markets here to see when they get their yuzus in!

  14. oneshotbeyond

    these look delicate and beautiful!

  15. Dianna

    OMG these sound outta this world good! I love oranges and lemons so I definitely will have to experiment. I wonder if you could make a lemon version easily with lemon curd….YUM!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Lemon sounds fantastic. Curious how it will work with lemon curd. We sold a cookie with lemon icing which was to die for where I used to manage. Lemon makes some of the best icing!

  16. bunkycooks

    These are sexy cookies (although I didn’t know cookies could be so sexy!). I think I could just sit around and eat the icing, but after making homemade marmalade for a Daring Bakers Challenge, I can just imagine the cookies made with that. OMG! You are sooo lucky to have your amazing citrus trees and garden. It doesn’t get any fresher or better than picking them in your own backyard!

  17. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Oooh…. I am definitely going to have to make these – have a jar of Seville marmalade in the fridge and oranges on my tree so I am good to go. I love the Seville marmalade ( it’s a bit of an acquired taste I think) – but I grew up eating it. Hmmm… this recipe is giving me some ideas…. good thing I have teenagers to eat all my experiments! LOL!!!

  18. Elizabeth

    That does sound absolutely delicious. Right now at 35 degrees in the evenings, desserts need to be summery and refreshing and this fits the bill to a “T”. Beautiful!

  19. marla {family fresh cooking}

    Love your “damn good” citrusy cookies. The marmalade/buttery cookies do sound like a great vehicle for the orange zest icing. xo

  20. Charr

    Just like anything home grown – agree on the oranges- here in the PNW
    I don’t have those” slug-the-one-next-to-you-OMFG-these-are-amazing oranges”.
    But I have tasted some in Florida once. Beautiful fabulous sounding cookies!

  21. Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style

    I would say this is a brilliant way to start a Monday! Love the orange zest…

  22. Maria

    These are going to be dangerous, but in a good way:) Love the frosting!

  23. Jenny Flake

    I officially have died and gone to heaven looking at these cookies! YUM, no double YUM! Have a great Monday!

  24. Tokyo Terrace

    I am in love with these photos. The lighting and the warm colors make me think of (gasp!) autumn, which just makes me crave cookies like this. Can you send me some please?

  25. Katie @ goodLife {eats}

    Orange Marmalade is one of my favorites. I can imagine how good it tastes as a cookie! My kids are always up for cookies, especially the kind with frosting so we’ll have to give these a try soon.

  26. Paula

    I collect iced cookie recipes in all flavors so this caught my eye. Now I want to try the Seville Orange Marmalade–new to me.

  27. Jessica @ How Sweet

    So beautiful! My grandma made orange cookies as I was growing up so this just takes me back to my childhood.

  28. Gastronomer

    Hellz yeah! This cookie looks crazy-good! All cookies should be iced 😉

  29. The Duo Dishes

    Neiman Marcus also has that infamous $250 chocolate chip cookie recipe, which is so awesome. They must know how to do cookies and do them well. Love the photos.

  30. Half Assed Kitchen

    I could tell at first glance that these cookies were all about the icing. I’d love to try it on a cake, too. Yum!

  31. Cookin' Canuck

    The phrase “seductively irresistible” has convinced me to set off on a quest to find the best oranges to try these cookies. My in-laws are coming to visit from S. California in a couple of weeks and I think a couple of oranges from their tree would do the trick.

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