Orange Bread

BakingOrangeQuick Bread

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Feeling the winter blues? There’s nothing like brightening up a cold day with a a loaf of citrusy zesty orange bread.

Unlike much of the country, Sacramento isn’t blanketed in snowy white in the dead of winter. We are blessed instead with plenty of green, with flowery shows of red and pink from camellias, and displays of bright orange and yellow from the grapefruit, lemons, kumquats, and oranges decorating the citrus trees that grow everywhere around here.

Citrus season is the winter, and when nothing else seems to want to grow, we have an abundance of fruit.

For this recipe I used a couple navel oranges from our tree, but truly any orange will do. It’s the zest that has the highly flavorful orange oil that you need for this quick bread.

Orange Bread Recipe

  • 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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Orange Bread

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

51 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Joanne

    Flavour is wonderful. We made it today and have a tunnel in the middle running nearly the entire length. After poking holes and pouring the glaze over it, it all settled in that tunnel and made the Center soggy. Still tastes but why the huge air hole.


  • 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?


  • 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.

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