This easy low-sugar spiced kumquat marmalade is made with honey, maple syrup, or agave, and of course fresh kumquats. Kumquat marmalade is a delightful addition to toast, yogurt bowls, or cheese platters, and makes a beautiful homemade gift. 


Beautiful orange kumquat marmalade in a Weck jar with a jam spoon and fresh kumquats.

One of my favorite things about our new home is all the fruit trees. The kumquat trees are bursting with little orange fruits right now. I nibble one nearly every time I walk past the tree, but wanted to make something special with them as well.

We made kumquat jam, or marmalade, this time, but I’ll be sharing more ideas for kumquats soon. Kumquat jam is bright and fresh, a little tart and sweet. The flavor reminds me a little of apricot jam. I haven’t used this recipe for canning, and I can’t recommend it, as it’s not designed for that. You can use it as “freezer jam” and store in the refrigerator to enjoy all week, however.

A California kumquat tree with little orange kumquats ready to be picked for kumquat marmalade.

Where to Buy Kumquats

Because we eat the skin of kumquats, it is important to use pesticide-free kumquats and wash them before using. I realize most people don’t have a kumquat tree in their backyard. If you live in California or Florida, scope our your friends’ backyards. And if that fails, you can often find them in grocery stores, smaller produce markets, and farmers markets when they are in season.

Picking fresh kumquats for kumquat marmalade.

How to Make Low-Sugar Kumquat Marmalade

Jam and marmalade are traditionally is made with refined white sugar. And a lot of it. Sugar is part of what gives jam its thick consistency.

To make jam without cups and cups of white sugar, we can use pectin to help thicken the jam. The first time I made this marmalade, I use Pamona’s pectin, which is great. The thing is, kumquats naturally contain pectin, so adding it in really isn’t necessary. The second time I tested this kumquat marmalade recipe I didn’t use any commercial pectin. And it still thickened up beautifully! In fact, I though the flavor was even more intense and wonderful without the pectin.

Kumquats are tart on the inside and their sweetness comes from the skin, which remains in this marmalade. Unlike oranges or lemons, we don’t need to remove the white pith, as there isn’t any! We do want to remove the seeds as they are very bitter. To sweeten this kumquat jam, you can use your favorite sweetener. I have tried this recipe with agave and honey.

A kumquat is cut in half to prepare for kumquat marmalade. A kumquat seed is shown inside the fruit.

To make kumquat marmalade, cut the kumquats in half. You’ll see a seed or two. Remove those, as they are bitter. Or, you can bundle them in cheesecloth and simmer in with the marmalade to infuse some of their pectin.

Kumquats are chopped for making kumquat marmalade.

Roughly chop the kumquats, discarding the seeds as you go. You can also discard the white membrane inside, but I don’t worry about it. When I try to remove the membrane, I also end up losing a lot of kumquat juice in the process, and I’ve never notice the membrane in the marmalade anyway.

Kumquat marmalade simmers in a saucepan with honey and a cinnamon stick in this easy kumquat marmalade recipe.

Simmer the chopped kumquats, lemon juice to help break them down, the sweetener, and any spices you’d like in a saucepan with the lid on. Check occasionally to ensure it isn’t burning. You can add a little water to help it along.

Kumquat Marmalade Additions

I love the flavor of this kumquat marmalade so much that I almost hesitate to offer any additions. However, spiced kumquat marmalade is wonderful too! A cinnamon stick or star anise adds beautiful warmth. The seeds from a vanilla bean would be tasty too. Are there any other flavors you can think of? How about simmering with a splash of champagne for an extra fancy kumquat marmalade?

English muffins with homemade kumquat marmalade and coffee make a beautiful breakfast. This easy spiced kumquat marmalade is refined sugar free and easy to make. It's a nice homemade holiday hostess gift too!

How to Use Kumquat Marmalade

I’ve been enjoying my homemade kumquat jam simply on English muffins. Here are a few other ideas:

Homemade kumquat marmalade on yogurt bowls with pepitas and fresh kumquats.

Easy kumquat marmalade recipe that's refined sugar free and lightly sweetened with honey or agave and spiced with cinnamon. Homemade kumquat marmalade is delicious with breakfast, a great way to use fresh kumquats, and a nice DIY holiday gift.

Yield: about 1 cup

Kumquat Marmalade

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

An easy fresh kumquat marmalade recipe that's refined sugar free, sweetened with honey or agave, and spiced with cinnamon. This beautiful marmalade is delicious with breakfast or as a homemade holiday gift.

Kumquat Marmalade


  • 2 cups fresh kumquats
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8-1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. Cut the kumquats in half lengthwise and remove any seeds. Cut in half again lengthwise and then chop crosswise.
  2. Place kumquats in a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Stir to combine and place over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Add 1/8 cup of sweetener and water, and cinnamon stick if using.
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is very soft and broken down. Carefully remove the cinnamon stick with tongs. Simmer uncovered until the marmalade has reached the desired thickness. You may want to add more sweetener, depending on how sour your kumquats were to begin with.
  4. Let cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


This recipe wasn't designed for canning, so please store it in the refrigerator. It makes a small batch meant for one family, but feel free to double the recipe. Nutrition information is approximate and calculated by a third party, so I cannot guarantee accuracy. Please calculate again if your health depends on nutrition information.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g