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
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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!

Quick Bread Guide

Visit our quick bread guide for a variety of breads with tips and tricks for success, alternatives and more!

Sweet Orange Bread 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.
The unbaked bread topped with orange slices.

How To Make Sweet Orange Bread

  1. Prep – Preheat the oven and grease your baking dishes. Read my complete guide to loaf pan sizes here.
  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 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.
  • Add Chocolate Chips – Chocolate orange is one of my favorite flavor combinations!
  • Make Cranberry Orange Bread – Add 1 cup of cranberries to the mixture.
The baked bread in a white dish ready to serve

Love this orange bread? Try Orange Pound Cake!

Tips

  • 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.

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
Quick and easy orange bread recipe
4.95 from 35 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
Pin Rate Print

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.

Tips

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.
  • 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.
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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43 Comments

  1. This was a hit at our Christmas brunch.
    Baked minis in aluminum pans well-greased and placed on cookie sheet for 25 minutes.
    Baked full-sized pans 1/2 filled 45-50 minutes. Placed orange slices on top and batter rose over them for a delightful surprise of fresh orange mid-level. Will add a full layer of orange slices next time. Also I sprinkled about three tablespoons of sugar over top of batter, resulting in a beautiful crunchy crust.

    Excellent fresh recipe with a moist cake texture. No change needed for high altitude.