This is my favorite easy and beautiful sweet Orange Bread recipe, a fun twist on my famous Sweet Bread Recipe. It takes just 5 minutes hands on time and a few staple ingredients.

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!

It’s 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 also perfect for gifting for Easter, Mother’s Day and across the holidays.

A loaf of quick orange bread in a white ceramic baking dish, placed on a light blue cloth. The sweet bread is topped with orange slices.
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This bread 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.

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!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • No yeast or fancy bread machine necessary
  • Moist and fluffy
  • Makes a wonderful holiday gift
A rectangular loaf of quick orange bread topped with lemon slices in a white baking dish on a light gray cloth.

Ingredients

  • Sugar – White granulated sugar sweetens while adding texture.
  • 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 all the other flavors.
  • Eggs – Eggs bind the batter.
  • Milk – You can use whatever milk you have on hand from skim to Vitamin D, even almond milk to make it dairy-free.
  • Vegetable Oil – Vegetable oil makes the bread incredibly moist. You can substitute canola oil or melted butter.
  • Orange Zest – Zest adds vibrant orange flavor. You can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon extract or 2 teaspoons grated candied peel. Fresh zest yields the best results, but you can 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.
A small rectangular white dish contains a creamy dessert topped with four thin slices of orange, reminiscent of the zest in quick orange bread.

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.
  • Add a Glaze – This bread is amazing on its own, but you can also cover sweet bread with Glaze (or drizzle if you show any restraint).  Cream Cheese Glaze, Orange Glaze or Lemon Glaze to take it over the top! 
  • Add Nuts – Almonds, pecans or candied walnuts work well.
  • Make Cranberry Orange Bread – Add 1 cup of cranberries to the mixture.

Love this orange bread? Try Orange Pound Cake!

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Tips from My Test Kitchen

  • Maximize 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.
  • Use the Toothpick Test – When a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, the bread is done.
A rectangular loaf of quick orange bread, topped with three orange slices, rests in a white ceramic dish on a folded light blue cloth.
A quick orange bread in the form of a rectangular loaf cake topped with mandarin orange slices, baked in a white ceramic dish, placed on a light gray cloth.
4.95 from 36 votes

Sweet Orange Bread

Easy and beautiful sweet Orange Bread recipe that takes just 5 minutes hands on time and a few staple ingredients.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 48 servings
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Ingredients  

Garnish

  • 1 orange or clementine rind removed and sliced
  • sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat eggs, milk and oil until just combined.
  • 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 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Julie’s Tips

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.

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 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.
  • Add a Glaze – This bread is amazing on its 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 Nuts – Pecans or candied walnuts work well!

Storage Notes

Let the baked bread cool and then place it in an airtight container and it will keep for around 4 days. You can extend the life of the bread by storing it in the fridge for around a week.
To 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.
Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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45 Comments

    1. Sure! I’d love to see photos…it will be beautiful! Brush the sides with non stick-cooking spray, allow it to cool a bit and release. Enjoy!

  1. Hi Julie, I have problem getting this cooked in 40 minutes, not sure why as its still wet inside, I believe the ingredients here c means cups? I would really love to make this bread as I love the citrus taste a lot.

  2. Hello Julie-Yesterday I made both your peppermint cookies and the sweet orange bread. Oh my gosh, they are both delicious and I’ve passed them onto my 4 sister!
    Love your blog and your ideas!

    1. Thanks for making my day, Sandy! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and share! I wish I didn’t enjoy those so much…there’s always January for dieting, right? Happy Holidays!