How to Make Sugar-Free Marmalade

Learn how to make sugar-free marmalade by following this recipe – you only need 4 ingredients! Spread it on homemade sour cream biscuits or serve next to your plum jam!

How to make sugar free marmalade with only four ingredients.
How to make sugar free marmalade with only four ingredients.

Ingredients for Sugar-Free Marmalade

  • Oranges: Oranges are the main ingredient in this recipe. You’ll be using the juice and skins to make the marmalade.
  • Lemon: Adding a sour note of lemon will brighten the sauce.
  • Splenda: This fake sweetener will make the marmalade sweet, without the extra carbs or calories!
  • Pectin: Use liquid or powdered pectin for this recipe.

How to Make Sugar-Free Marmalade

When making this recipe, you will first want to separate the peels from the pith. Wash the skin of the orange well with soap and water by using the rough side of a sponge. Since oranges are generally covered in a thin coating of wax when you buy from the grocery store, it’s important to get this layer off.

Next, use a vegetable peeler and peel thick pieces of the peel away from the pith (the white part) of the orange. You can also cut away the pith so the oranges are easier to juice.

Clean and peel the orange peel for the marmalade.
Clean and peel the orange peel for the marmalade.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add in the orange peels and boil for about 10 minutes, then remove with a large slotted spoon and lay out on a cutting board.

Boiling the oranges will help remove that bitterness in the peels. Try a bite of one of the peels after boiling. They should be soft. If they are still bitter, try boiling again for 10 minutes.

Boil the orange peels for about 10 minutes.
Boil the orange peels for about 10 minutes.

Once the peels are boiled and slightly cooled, lay them out on a cutting board. Slice them thinly, no bigger than 1/8th of an inch thick.

Once sliced, add in 1 cups of water to a saucepan and the juice of the oranges. Allow the water to come to a boil and then add in the sliced peels.

If using powdered pectin, add it in after adding then peels. If using liquid pectin, add it after adding the Splenda.

After adding the powdered pectin (if using) give the content a good stir and squeeze in the lemon juice. Then stir in the pectin.

After boiling for about 10 more minutes, check for pectin. See how to check for pectin below. If there is enough pectin, leave as is and allow the marmalade to cool for a few minutes before canning. If there is not enough pectin, stir in more of the ingredient one tablespoon at a time.

How to Use Pectin for Marmalade

Pectin is a naturally occurring substance in all fruit, found in the skins, seeds and juice of fruit. Even though pectin is naturally found in fruit, you will likely need to help your marmalade setting by adding pectin to the marmalade.

Both liquid and powdered pectin will achieve the same result – it will set and thicken your jam or jelly!

How to Use Liquid Pectin

Liquid pectin is added to the mixture after the sweetener is added. After blanching the peels, slicing them and then bringing the sliced peels back to a boil, add in the Splenda and give it a good stir. Then add in the pectin. Allow the sugar-free marmalade to boil for about 10 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon.

How to Use Powdered Pectin

When using a powdered pectin, add the powder to the orange peels before adding the sugar.

After blanching the peels slicing them and then bringing the peels back to a boil, add in the powdered pectin. Give your marmalade and allow it to boil for about 3 minutes, then add in the Splenda sweetener.

Reminders When Making Jam

The marmalade will not be thick right away after cooking, but the marmalade should coat the back of a spoon when it is hot. Allow the marmalade to sit at room temperature and cool. As it cools, the marmalade will gel and thicken.

If you notice that your marmalade is still runny or not as thick as you would like it to be, add in a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. This will help thicken the marmalade if it isn’t thick enough.

How to Remove Bitterness from the Marmalade

The best way to remove all bitterness from the marmalade is to boil the peels a couple of times. Boiling the peels will leech out the bitter flavor from the oranges.

Boil the oranges in water for about 10 minutes before straining out the peels. Taste the peels. If they are still bitter, blanch again.

Where is Pectin Stored in Fruit?

Pectin is a naturally occurring substance found in all fruit. Pectin is found in peels, cores and seeds. While pectin is a naturally occurring substance that helps jams and jellies “gel”, it can also be purchased in liquid and powder form.

Citrus and harder fruits, such as apples and pears, have the most naturally occurring pectin in them.

What Kind of Oranges Should I Use for Marmalade?

The best oranges to use for making a homemade sugar-free marmalade is your standard Navel orange. Traditionally, the Spanish Seville orange is used to make marmalade, since it is prized for its high pectin content and bitter taste. The bitterness in these oranges often makes its way into the Marmalade, which many folks don’t have a taste for. Instead of using the Seville orange, use a Navel orange instead.

How to Make Marmalade without Pectin

Another option is to try avoiding using pectin altogether. Since citrus are fruits with the most naturally-occurring pectin in them, you might be able to make a sugar-free marmalade without using any pectin at all!

Make the marmalade as usually, boil the peels, then boil the chopped peels with sugar. Take the mixture off of the heat and test for pectin.

Add about a teaspoon of the marmalade to a cup or jar and then add in 80% Isopropyl alcohol and give it a good swirl. If there is enough pectin in the marmalade, the alcohol will gel the mixture. If there is some pectin but not though, it will look stringy, and if there is little to no pectin, the marmalade will not react with the alcohol at all.

Based on what reaction you get to the alcohol, add a bit of pectin to your marmalade. If you have some pectin, add in about a tablespoon of liquid pectin and if there is little to no naturally occurring pectin, add in three tablespoons.

More Easy Recipes

How to Make Sugar Free Marmalade

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah
Course: SideCuisine: EnglishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 5 oranges

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 1/4 cup splenda

  • 3 tbsn liquid or powdered pectin


  • Wash the oranges with soap and water, scrubbing away dirt with the rough side of a sponge.
  • Boil a large pot of water. Use a vegetable peeler and peel the orange peel off in large strips. Add the strips to the water and blanch for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the peels with a slotted spoon and arrange them on a cutting board for easy cutting. Turn the peels into thin strips – strips should be no bigger than 1/8th an inch thick.
  • Add 1 cup of water to a clean saucepan and squeeze the oranges and lemon into the pan. This will be your base for the marmalade. Bring to a boil and then add the orange slices.
  • Add the powdered pectin before the Splenda or the liquid pectin after the Splenda. Stir well and let the marmalade boil for about 10 minutes.
  • Once reduced, allow the marmalade to cool. Once cooled, can as you would any other jam or jelly.

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