Sweet Orange Bread

LAST UPDATED: May 18, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Apr 09, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

An easy and beautiful sweet Orange Bread recipe that takes just 5 minutes hands on time and a few staple ingredients. Perfect to serve for breakfast, brunch or dessert, or enjoy it as a mid afternoon treat with a cup of coffee. This quick bread is perfect for gifting for Easter, Mother’s Day and across the holidays.

Sweet orange bread in a white baking dish with text overlay

Orange Bread is one of our favorite easy recipes. It can be made in a large standard loaf pan or six miniature loaf pans (as shown) for easy, beautiful, housewarming gift, hostess gift and last minute Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends.

Through the years, I’ve shared several variations of my popular sweet bread recipe.  This simple and sweet Orange Bread was inspired by one of my favorite sugar scrub recipes. I love the soft, citrus flavor and scent, especially during the holidays.

Quick orange bread is made primarily with staple ingredients and it comes together so quickly and easily. I love the aroma that fills my kitchen as it’s being baked!

This quick orange bread doesn’t require any rising time because it does doesn’t contain any yeast. This means that you don’t have to plan too far in advance when you want to make it. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like bread in a hurry!

I am a bit of a quick bread devotee, or a connoisseur if you will. I’ve shared countless quick bread recipes, including a classic sweet bread, apple cinnamon bread and brown sugar bread that have been baked over a million times. I’ve got a quick bread guide that will walk you through each and every recipe in my line-up, along with tips and tricks to enhance your baking experience!

Sweet Orange Bread Ingredients

  • Sugar – Use basic white sugar in this sweet bread recipe.
  • Flour – All purpose flour, no need to sift.
  • Baking Powder – Baking powder helps the bread to rise as it is baking and eliminates the need for yeast and rising time.
  • Salt – A little salt really helps to bring out the sweetness of the bread.
  • Eggs – Binds the batter.
  • Milk – You can use whatever milk you have on hand. Readers have even shared positive experiences with almond milk.
  • Vegetable Oil – Vegetable Oil makes the bread incredibly moist. You can substitute canola oil or melted butter in a pinch.
  • Orange Zest – For a vibrant orange flavor, the zest is added into the dough and the bread is finished with the citrus slices. You can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon extract or 2 teaspoons grated candied peel. Use fresh zest for the best results, but you can use use dehydrated orange zest. It’s not a 1-1 substitution because it is more concentrated, so start with 1/3 of the amount and add to taste.

Variations

The unbaked bread topped with orange slices.

How To Make Sweet Orange Bread

  1. Prep – Preheat the oven and grease your baking dishes.
  2. Combine – In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients, in another mix the wet. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet until just moist and fold in the orange zest.
  3. Bake – Pour the dough into the baking dishes, garnish with orange slices and bake.

Variations

  • Large Loaves – Don’t want 6 miniature loaves? You can also make this Sweet Bread recipe in 2 – 1 pound loaf pans or cut the recipe in half for just 1 loaf pan and bake 50 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  • Make Muffins – If you prefer to make them into muffins, just grease miniature muffin tins and fill each to 2/3 full. Bake 12 minutes.
  • Make it Ornate – Alternatively, you can also bake it in an ornate loaf pan with the same minimal effort!
  • Add a Glaze – This bread is amazing on it’s own, but you can also cover sweet bread with Glaze (or drizzle if you show any restraint).  Cream Cheese Glaze, Orange Glaze Recipe or Lemon Glaze are some of our favorites! 
  • Add Fruits – Make it a Cranberry Orange Bread by folding in fresh or dried cranberries.
  • Add Nuts – Pecans or candied walnuts work well!
  • Add Chocolate Chips – Chocolate orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations!
The baked bread in a white dish ready to serve

Tips

How To Get A Strong Orange Flavor

Zesting the outer, colorful skin of unwaxed oranges (clementines or mandarins also work) adds a lot of flavor and aroma. Simply use a zester to zest the orange. If your oranges are waxed, run them under warm running water and use a vegetable brush to scrub it off.

Reserve the orange to slice and garnish the top of your bread. It looks so pretty as well as enhancing those citrus flavors.

When Do You Know The Bread Is Baked?

Baking times will vary depending on your oven, altitude and the size and material of your baking dish. Insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. When it comes out clean, it is done.

How To Store

  • Room Temperature – Let the baked bread cool and then place it in an airtight container and it will keep for around 4 days.
  • Refrigerate – You can extend the life of the bread by storing it in the fridge. It will keep well for around a week.
  • Freeze – Wrap the cooled bread in foil and place in a freezer bag and it will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw it at air temperature.
Orange slices on top of the risen baked bread

Gifting this Quick Orange Bread for the Holidays?

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If you try this recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

Quick and easy orange bread recipe

Sweet Orange Bread

Julie Blanner
Easy and beautiful sweet Orange Bread recipe that takes just 5 minutes hands on time and a few staple ingredients.
4.95 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48 servings
Calories 104 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 orange or clementine rind removed and sliced
  • sugar for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat eggs, milk and oil.
  • Gradually add dry mixture to wet until just moist. Fold in the orange zest.
  • Grease 6 miniature baking dishes and pour mixture an inch below to the top to compensate for rise. Garnish with orange slices and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.

Notes

Substitutions

  • Milk – You can use whatever milk you have on hand. Readers have even shared positive experiences with almond milk.
  • Vegetable Oil – Vegetable Oil makes the bread incredibly moist. You can substitute canola oil or melted butter in a pinch.
  • Orange Zest – For a vibrant orange flavor, the zest is added into the dough and the bread is finished with the citrus slices. You can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon extract or 2 teaspoons grated candied peel. Use fresh zest for the best results, but you can use use dehydrated orange zest. It’s not a 1-1 substitution because it is more concentrated, so start with 1/3 of the amount and add to taste.

Variations

  • Large Loaves – Don’t want 6 miniature loaves? You can also make this Sweet Bread recipe in 2 – 1 pound loaf pans or cut the recipe in half for just 1 loaf pan and bake 50 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  • Make Muffins – If you prefer to make them into muffins, just grease miniature muffin tins and fill each to 2/3 full. Bake 12 minutes.
  • Make it Ornate – Alternatively, you can also bake it in an ornate loaf pan with the same minimal effort!
  • Add a Glaze – This bread is amazing on it’s own, but you can also cover sweet bread with Glaze (or drizzle if you show any restraint).  Cream Cheese Glaze, Orange Glaze Recipe or Lemon Glaze are some of our favorites! 
  • Add Fruits – Make it a Cranberry Orange Bread by folding in fresh or dried cranberries.
  • Add Nuts – Pecans or candied walnuts work well!
  • Add Chocolate Chips

How To Get A Strong Orange Flavor

Zesting the outer, colorful skin of unwaxed oranges (clementines or mandarins also work) adds a lot of flavor and aroma. Simply use a zester to zest the orange. If your oranges are waxed, run them under warm running water and use a vegetable brush to scrub it off.
Reserve the orange to slice and garnish the top of your bread. It looks so pretty as well as enhancing those citrus flavors.

When Do You Know The Bread Is Baked?

Cooking times will vary depending on your oven, but it will take about 40 minutes to bake the bread. Check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer/toothpick in the middle of the loaf, it should come out clean.

How To Store

  • Room Temperature – Let the baked bread cool and then place it in an airtight container and it will keep for around 4 days.
  • Refrigerate – You can extend the life of the bread by storing it in the fridge. It will keep well for around a week.
  • Freeze – Wrap the cooled bread in foil and place in a freezer bag and it will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw it at air temperature.

Nutrition

Calories:104kcalCarbohydrates:17gProtein:2gFat:3gSaturated Fat:3gCholesterol:7mgSodium:56mgPotassium:79mgFiber:1gSugar:9gVitamin A:29IUVitamin C:1mgCalcium:37mgIron:1mg
Keywords cranberry orange bread recipe, orange bread
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