Breakfast Martini Cake

It’s orange season! And I love it. My local greengrocer is selling HUGE navel oranges 4 for £1, blood oranges (my favourite) are back, and jars of marmalade are appearing in my vicinity with startling regularity.

Sadly, I’m not a marmalade fan. Something about the combination of sugar and bitterness just doesn’t work for me, which is weird, because I love other bitter flavours. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t love orange and marmalade in stuff, including cocktails.

A classic Breakfast Martini involves marmalade, dry gin, triple sec and lemon juice. Someone once tried to make me one with just vodka and marmalade stirred in a glass, which I won’t recommend. But this cake combines tangy orange, sweet marmalade, buttery sponge and yes, some generous slugs of gin and Cointreau.

Breakfast Martini Cake


  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 25ml milk (or milk alternative)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • Segments of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp marmalade (preferably thick cut)

For the martini topping:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau (you could replace with orange juice if you like)
  • 2 tbsp marmalade
  • Lemon zest, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a 20cm, 9 inch deep cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, along with tablespoon of the flour with each to stop the mixture from splitting.
  4. Gently fold in the remaining flour until it is just incorporated and no streaks are showing.
  5. Stir in the milk and the orange zest.
  6. Sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the bottom of the prepared tin.
  7. Spread the marmalade over the top, then layer the orange segments in a pattern, whatever you feel like.
  8. Dollop the batter over the top, smooth over and bake for around 30-35 minutes, or until it’s golden and risen, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before flipping onto a plate and peeling off the paper.

The syrup:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir together.
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 10 minutes or so over a medium heat, until the consistency thickens.
  3. Whilst the cake is still warm, prick holes all over the surface with a skewer and spoon over the sticky, boozy syrup so that it soaks in.
  4. Decorate lemon zest, make yourself a real breakfast martini to drink with it.

This recipe was first featured on Domestic Sluttery.

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