Are you ready for the BEST gluten-free Blood Orange Loaf? This recipe produces the most delicious, moist citrus bread you’ve ever had!
From banana bread to a lemon pound cake, there are countless loaf recipes. And trust me when I say that I’ve made a majority of them. But none compare to this gluten-free Blood Orange Loaf! This loaf cake is the perfect baked good to serve for a Sunday brunch, breakfast treat, after school snack, or post-dinner dessert! With its moist inside and sweet blood orange glaze, it’s the ultimate sweet treat.
Prior to this recipe, I had only had blood orange juice but had never enjoyed a blood orange loaf cake. Blood oranges are known for their crimson interior and berry-like flavor. Although they’re in the orange family, they have a much sweeter taste, making them perfect for baked goods- or cocktails! Blood oranges are typically grown in California or Florida and are in season December-April. While they can be a little harder to find than regular oranges in grocery stores, they’re essential to this recipe, and regular oranges won’t do it justice.
Let’s Make This Loaf!
One of the many great things about this recipe is how easy it is! Start by spraying your loaf pan with non-stick spray or lightly coat with olive oil to ensure that the loaf easily comes out after baking. Next, lightly sprinkle a handful of gluten-free flour in the loaf pan. This helps the bread separate from the pan after baking and come out smoothly. You can also line your bread pan with parchment paper if you would like.
In a medium bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. For this recipe, I used King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. I love this flour because it’s accessible for converting non-gluten-free recipes into gluten-free recipes. Using this flour allows you to skip the xanthin gum and still gives you that perfect texture.
Set the dry ingredients to the side, and combine the unsalted butter and sugar in a large bowl. You want the butter to be softened but not melted. One way to ensure this is to place a warm glass over the butter for a few minutes. The glass will soften the butter without compromising its texture. You don’t want melted butter here because melted butter loses its ability to cream correctly. You need to cream together the butter and sugar on a low speed with a handheld or stand mixer for a little less than 5 minutes. This will ensure the two are thoroughly combined.
Next, add the eggs, vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest, Greek yogurt, and honey. Make sure to use room temperature eggs as the yolk breaks more efficiently, ensuring the eggs mix more evenly with the other ingredients. And while many recipes call for sour cream, I love using plain Greek yogurt as a healthy alternative. Plus, the two accomplish the same goal by providing the loaf with a moist texture. Finally, make sure the orange juice and orange zest are coming from ripe blood oranges. Regular squeezed orange juice will not do as it’s flavor isn’t as sweet.
After the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined, slowly add the flour mixture. Then, pour the batter into the prepared pan. Altogether, the prep should take less than 20 minutes. You’re going to bake the loaf for about 40 minutes, then check the center to see how it’s looking. It may need up to 10 more minutes to finish baking thoroughly.
Once baked, allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing, preferably longer. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges, then flip over to remove from the pan and set on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
What would a delicious blood orange cake be without the glaze? This simple glaze only needs four ingredients, and one of them is entirely optional! Start by sifting 1 cup of powdered sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Then, add the orange juice and vanilla extract. The optional ingredient is to add a bit of food coloring to create that signature pink color. I only used one drop of red food coloring as I don’t like to add to use food coloring in my baking, but that’s a personal choice! Feel free to use 1-3 drops, depending on how dark you want the color.
How to Serve
Once the glaze is ready, and the loaf has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the whole loaf. You can use a spoon to smooth the loaf’s top to evenly spread the glaze or just allow it to drip down the sides. Once the glaze is on the loaf, top with fresh orange zest and serve!
While this loaf is delectable on it’s own and doesn’t need any toppings, you can always add a few if you would like! Some of my favorite toppings include sliced blood oranges or a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. If you’re looking to make this sweet treat even sweeter, top with raspberries and whipped cream!
How to Store
This Blood Orange Loaf didn’t last three hours in my house, but maybe you have more self-control than I do! If that’s the case, wrap the loaf in aluminum foil, then place it in an airtight container. The loaf will last up to three days, but I doubt you will be able to resist it for that long!
Blood Orange LoafCourse: Loaf
- For the Loaf
1 1/2 cups gluten-free baking flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup white cane sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons blood orange zest
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh juice from 2-3 blood oranges
1 tablespoon honey
- For the Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 drops of red food coloring
- For the Loaf
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a non stick bread pan with oil and lightly coat with gluten-free flour
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt
- Next, add the softened butter and sugar to a large bowl
- Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until combined
- Then, add the eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, Greek yogurt, orange juice and honey
- Mix until smooth, then slowly add in the dry ingredients
- Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the bread pan
- Bake for 45-50 minutes
- Finally, let the bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife, remove, and let cool completely on wire rack before adding the glaze
- For the Glaze
- In a small bowl, sift the powdered sugar
- Then, add the orange juice, vanilla extract, and food coloring
- Once the bread is cool, pour the glaze over the loaf and garnish with orange zest