Orange Bread

Quick and easy orange bread with fresh grated orange zest, golden raisins, and an optional orange lemon glaze.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one loaf


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest (or more for more intense orange flavor)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped

Optional Glaze

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice*
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)

*If you happen to have Seville oranges, or sour oranges, use this juice instead of the lemon juice.


1 Preheat oven and prepare loaf pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan. To make it easier to remove the loaf from the pan, you may want to lay down a wide strip of parchment paper, along the length of the bottom of the loaf pan, and up the narrow sides. Butter this as well.

2 Beat butter, sugar, eggs, zest: Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes on high in an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until completely incorporated after each addition. Beat in the orange zest.

3 Whisk together dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

4 Add yogurt and dry ingredients to butter sugar mixture: Add the yogurt and dry ingredients by thirds, starting with the yogurt, alternating the additions. Beat only until just incorporated. Mix in the golden raisins.

5 Pour batter into loaf pans and bake: Immediately pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place in middle rack of 350°F oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes*, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

6 Cool: Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and cool for another 10 to 15 minutes.

7 Prepare glaze: While loaf is cooling, prepare optional glaze if using. Whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, and powdered sugar until smooth and there are no lumps. Place loaf on a serving plate. Use a toothpick or skinny skewer to poke holes in the top of the loaf and drizzle the glaze over the loaf.

*If you are using a 5x9 loaf pan, the loaf will be done earlier. Check at 40 minutes. You can use this recipe for muffins, in which case the cooking time should be 20-25 minutes.

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  • Fiona

    Hi Elise,
    Just made this. Love the texture. For next time how do I infuse a more orangey flavor? Some juice or orange extract?

    • Elise

      Hi Fiona, if you would like more orange flavor add more orange zest to the batter and add orange zest to the glaze.

  • samaneh

    i wana omit the yogurt, but how much i have to add milk or orange juice?

  • samaneh

    Thanks a million. This recipe was amazing.we all enjoyed it and idefenitly will make it again and again!

  • Jen

    This is a terrific recipe! I should note this freezes exceptionally well. I made this two months ago, wrapped it in foil, and then placed it in a freezer bag. When my family consumed this today, it tasted wonderful. I deviated just a bit from the recipe in terms of using the only yogurt I had on hand, which just happened to be an orange creme-y type yogurt. I omitted the raisins since I had none, but I did prepare this with the glaze. I agree with another reviewer who mentioned that poking holes with toothpicks looks a bit unusual, so I just wish there was a more attractive way to apply the glaze. I’m so glad I found this recipe; thank you.

  • Paul

    Having recently found some lovely Meyer lemons at TJ’s, I made this into Meyer Lemon Bread. The recipe is unchanged except for using Meyer lemon zest (I like a lot, like 2 Tbs.) and pure Meyer lemon juice for the glaze. Excellent! Do give it a try.

  • Tanya

    I made this Sunday and it did not make it to Monday. This was really good, especially warm out of the oven. A great recipe.

  • Susana

    I made this today. It was fantastic. I’ve actually been making a few recipes from your site thanks to my daughter who found it.

  • Jeremy

    I’m debating subbing out the raisins for 1/4 coconut and adding a shot of Disaronno for additional flavor

  • Mae Abigail

    I have tried the banana bread and lemon glazed bread and so far, this is the best bread I’ve made. My husband went nuts after the first bite :D

  • nadinucca

    I just finished baking it! MMMMMM! It’s DE-LI-CIOUS! It took me a while to mix in all the ingredients, but it’s a simple recipe – and the outcome is wonderful.

  • Susan

    Made this bread.. that actually has a texture of a pound cake yesterday and it was delicious with our coffee. Thank you for the recipe!!

  • gemkay

    This recipe is the best! To me, it’s more like a
    pound cake. Definitely bakes like one. It’s moist & delicious. I added the glaze which really
    compliments the ‘cake’. Can’t wait to make another!

  • yw

    Rainy day here in Malaysia and I decided to make this irresistible-looking orange bread. Wonderful recipe, Elise! I made some substitutions (sorry, can’t help the urge to tweak recipes!)

    I soaked the raisins and some chopped prunes in rum; reduced the milk to 1/2 cup and added a scant 1/2 cup of orange juice plus a squeeze of lemon; zested a full lemon; used 1/2 cup of vanilla-scented sugar; added 1/4 tsp cardamom. It was half gone within 15 minutes of coming out of the oven!

  • lillie

    Hi Elise, i wanted to make this tonight as muffins…i don’t have any yogurt can i use ricotta cheese instead or should i make it another day when I have the yogurt?

    Hi Lillie, I don’t think substituting ricotta for the yogurt will work very well with this recipe. I would wait until you have some yogurt. ~Elise

  • Johanne

    I just made the orange bread and it tastes great. Just sweet enough, have some while it’s still warm! :)

  • Latha

    Dear Elise,

    I simply substituted the yogurt with buttermilk. The quick bread was so much like a pound cake with only 1/3 cup butter. This is an excellent recipe.

  • Latha


    Can I substitute the yogurt with buttermilk? Since the latter is thinner than yogurt how much should I be using in this recipe? I have some buttermilk waiting to be used up.

    Probably, but I’ve not done it myself, so don’t know what to tell you about the exact proportions. ~Elise

  • Linda

    Hi, Elise. This was such a fast and easy recipe! I added the extra orange zest like you suggested but did not not chop the raisins. The bread was excellent, especially warm. I made one with the glaze and one without. We ended up putting the glaze onto the second loaf later as it really “makes” the bread. I found that dividing the batter between two glass loaf pans (approx. 4 1/2 by 7 1/2), the bread came out perfectly after 40 minutes. Even with dividing between the two pans, we got good sized loaves. I’m putting five stars next to the recipe. Thank you for sharing, as always.

  • Polina L

    Hello! I made this bread using your recipe not too long ago (last week), but had a little fiasco. I followed the recipe exactly, and when it was time for the bread to come out I poked it with a toothpick, which came out clean. However, when I started surving it, the inside of the bread turned out to be raw (not sure why the toothpick came out clean.) Do you think I just din’t hold it in the oven long enough (50 mins) or maybe yogurt is the issue?

    Every oven is a little different. Sounds like you just needed to keep it in there longer. If you used a toothpick, it may have not been long enough to reach the center. And sometimes it’s just really hard to tell. ~Elise

  • alicia

    Made these today. Doubled the amount of orange zest. The golden raisins were delicioius in the bread. My boyfriend loved it. He said the taste reminded him of orange marmalade. Thank you!

  • Maria

    I made this recipe in muffin-form this morning for breakfast, and I just loved the results! I wasn’t sure my husband would go for it, since he doesn’t crave citrusy baked goods like I do, but he loved it as well. I omitted the raisins, used low fat yogurt, and added a little extra orange zest. I was hoping that it would taste similar to a fantastic orange muffin that a local bakery sells, but I think this was even *better* — theirs is delicious, but admittedly greasy and an unnatural shade of orange, come to think of it. My muffins, on the other hand, were moist and au naturale. Thanks, I’ll be making these often. :)

  • Sarah B

    Making this right now! (It’s about to come out of the oven.) We live in Southern California, and just bought a house with a lemon tree, grapefruit tree, and orange tree. So much citrus we don’t know what to do with it! This is a perfect use of oranges! Thanks!

  • LBarr

    I made this the other day and it was delicious…not too sweet. Didn’t have quite enough yogurt, so I substituted sour cream…and added sliced almonds.

    Another great recipe Elise!

  • Rachelle

    I made this the other night and it is AMAZING! I wasn’t too sure about an ‘orange’ bread but it really was wonderful. I have been snacking on it non-stop. The only thing I would do differently was if I was making this as a gift, I would not poke holes on the top, or I would at least use something smaller than a toothpick. The holes were very obvious and made it not look as pretty. But besides that, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for sharing!

  • Christina

    I made this yesterday and followed the directions to the letter. It was GREAT! I make lots of zucchini and banana bread, and the orange was something different for my family. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reema

    I made this last night in a 4.5 x 8.5 glass pyrex, the only problem I had was getting the very center of it to bake, you know where the bread rises and it cracks at the top? like right in the center of that damn crack would not bake, and I was worried about it burning, so i turned off the oven and just left it in there for another 20 minutes and it finally finished. It turned out awesome!

  • Alex

    I just made this recipe as muffins. I used non-fat yogurt, brown sugar, and a half a cup of whole wheat flower. I’m sorry, I can’t help but tinker with recipes. They turned out wonderful! They are light, fluffy, orange-y, and just the right amount of sweet. Thanks for a great orange recipe. I absolutely love citrus desserts. And really a muffin is just an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. :)

  • Barbara

    A fab-looking recipe that I plan to adapt for tangerines. We’re juicing the balance of our excess tangerine harvest now and converting it to a frozen concentrate for later use. Through this process, I discovered that substituting juice concentrate for the liquid in citrus-flavored cakes and breads is another great way to intensify their citrusy flavor.

  • AR

    I am making this right now with chocolate chips instead of raisins…forgot to get them at the store..but had some milk chocolate chips leftover. I will let you know how it comes out :)

  • Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    Elise, I did make this bread today with 1/2 cup sugar and the soaked raisins … fantastic! Perfect amount of sweetness for me. I did also swap the cinnamon for cardamom, 1/2 tsp, and throw in a splash of vanilla. Really good, easy recipe! Thanks again.

  • Kelley

    It is a cold, windy day in West Virginia with 2 feet of snow on the ground!! This bread has brought a little sunshine into our day. It is delicious. I can’t keep my husband out of it. It will be a favorite in our house. It is easy to make with ingredients I keep in the pantry. Love it, love it, love it!!!!

  • Michelle V.

    Saw it, made it, ate it. Awesome!
    Raining and partly cloudy in Central California today. When I saw the recipe, I decided it was a perfect day to stay inside and bake. Had all the ingredients on hand, however, I replaced the golden raisins with Craisins. I will definitely pass this recipes on to others and will make this again.

  • Dean E.

    I made this last night and it turned out beautifully. I used Clover brand organic plain yogurt which is very good, but is relatively mild on the zing-o-meter. I might try again using buttermilk. Thanks very much for sharing the recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice with this morning’s coffee.

  • lesterk

    I haven’t made this yet (later today), but wanted to respond that I always use the non-fat yogurt in these types of recipes (try the blueberry muffins on this site! fantastic!). It works out great.

  • Janet

    I didn’t realize that you live in Sacramento. I lived most of my life there but moved to Maine a few years ago. We had the most wonderful navel orange tree in our backyard in Sac. I bought the house from a very elderly man who had planted it originally. He was moving to a retirement home and said that the one thing he would miss most about having to move would be not having the fresh oranges every season. The tree was massive. It was taller than the house. When it bloomed, it heavily perfumed the air and the buzz from all the bees in it was incredible. I used to make an incredible tart with them. We can’t even get Meyer lemons in Maine and I really miss them. My mother grew up in LA years and years ago and she had 2 massive avocado trees (as large as full grown walnut trees) in her yard along with Meyer lemon trees. Just heavenly.
    So enjoy your citrus…it’s snowing lightly here (but it’s not cold) and it’s absolutely beautiful.

  • Linda

    When I lived in Novato Cal it snowed which was pretty but didnt last long. About the bread machines, I can choose to make quick breads like your recipe in my bread machine but I don’t because it’s easier to clean a loaf pan than a bread machine bread. I use my bread machines for pizza doughs and yeast breads.

  • xta

    Delicious. I added a half cup of rolled oats, subbed one cup of flour with WW flour and added a quarter cup of ground flax seed and a handful of walnuts. So good. Would be great as muffins, too. Thanks elise!

  • phuong

    What about adding any nuts? If so, do I need any other modifications to the recipe?

    Sure, pecans might be a nice addition. I would chop them and mix them in at the end with the raisins. Maybe 1/2 cup to a cup. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Buck

    Prepared the Orange bread for the G’Kids after they returned from Eldora, our neighbor ski mountain today. We all loved it. Almost but not quite as much as we love our champagne powder in the winter.


  • Arcey

    Do you think substituting lemons, Meyer or otherwise, would work here? Would anything else have to be changed in the recipe? I have a couple of lemon trees in the backyard – one Meyer one regular. I know there’s already a lemon bread recipe on Simply Recipes, but I might like this recipe better. Thanks.

    Sure, sub with lemon zest and now you have lemon bread. Easy peasy. ~Elise

  • Darby "The Dessert Diva"

    I miss the orange tree that grew in my parents yard back in Orangevale. Is it possible to expand this recipe to make this in a bundt pan?

    Great idea! ~Elise

  • Marj

    I only have wholewheat flour and I’ve been reading Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Tradition, she recommends soaking whole grains before baking,to remove the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors etc. She says to soak in yogurt or buttermilk, which works great with this recipe. I’ve got my dough soaking now, so we’ll see tomorrow how it turns out. Thanks!!

  • Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    Oh yum, yum, yum! Quick breads are my favorite thing to bake…. I am one of the New Jersey-ites blanketed by snow at the moment – hey, at least they closed work on account of it – and whenever I can get out to the store to buy some oranges I will bake a loaf of this. I literally just ate my last orange – that I could have zested and juiced, drat!

    Is it very sweet? I’m wondering if I can cut down the sugar to 1/2 cup, especially if I use some of the sweeter oranges in the market right now for a little added juice. And what do you think of soaking the chopped raisins in a bit of orange juice?? Thanks, Elise!!

    Yes you can cut down the sugar to 1/2 a cup. Sugar does help keep the bread moist though, so expect the result to be a little bit drier. Good idea to soak the raisins in some orange juice. ~Elise

  • georgia

    This looks and sounds wonderful and I will be making it. Our small town store never has plain yogurt and I’m wondering if I can substitute sour cream. My trips to a large super market are monthly, so sometimes I have to wait for certain things. This looks so good I don’t want to wait if sour cream will do.

    If I were to use sour cream, I would use 3/4 cup sour cream thinned with 1/4 cup of orange juice or water. ~Elise

  • Andrea

    This sounds amazing! For the yogurt, does fat content matter? I would be interested in using fat-free greek-style.

    I’m guessing that as long as you do not reduce the butter amount, you should be fine with a fat-free yogurt. Might be a little drier than it would be otherwise. ~Elise

  • Fred

    Looks great. Wish we had smell emails.
    How could use this in bread machine?

    I thought bread machines were for yeast doughs, aren’t they? This is a quick bread that you do not want to knead, just mix enough to combine. ~Elise

  • Rayna

    Ok, as I read your description of sunny, citrusy Sacramento, my initial impulse was to type, “you make me sick, Elise!” But I realized that would not sound very nice. See, I am here in the Mid Atlantic part of the country, where we are getting hammered by snowstorm after blessed snowstorm. But I will certainly give this absolutely amazing looking bread a try this weekend; sliced warm with butter and a drizzle of honey and I’d think it would suddenly not be quite so cold outside!

    Sorry! You know the funny thing was that growing up, all I wanted was to have snowy winters. Got my wish one year in the 70s when it actually snowed an inch in Sacramento. Killed our avocado trees. I and my siblings gathered up all of the snow on our lawn and the surrounding lawns and built a snowman 2 feet tall (photo). The good news about winter is that it’s a great time to bake! Unlike in the middle of summer when the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on. ~Elise

  • joan

    Hi, Elise – Hmmm….you’re picking oranges off trees – and we’re using snowblowers to get rid of 12-18″ of snow in NY City. We never get that much in Manhattan. Lol. This orange bread looks incredible. I’m really into baking right now – but have a few questions. Will it change the bread’s consistency if I substitute 4 egg whites for 2 eggs and use canola oil or applesauce instead of the butter? And, yes, I know the ingredients – just as you have listed them – will produce the best results. What do you think?

    No idea Joan. I don’t make substitutions like that. If you do, please let us know how it goes. ~Elise

  • Judy B.

    This looks amazing! Luckily, a friend from California just presented us with a big box of Navel oranges, and this would be a great way to use some of them. What a nice change from the ordinary coffee cakes and breads we’re accustomed to baking. Thanks so much for this recipe….I will likely make it this weekend. I imagine it can be frozen if I want to make a couple extra loaves?

    Sure, it can be frozen. ~Elise