I tried this orange poppy seed bread recipe because there’s a lack of orange flavored goodies on Cookie Madness, and occasionally I meet people who really like orange. A baker’s gotta be prepared, right? So I made this bread for fun and was blown away by how good it was.
It rose nicely in the center and was as dense and sweet as pound cake. The original recipe from The Junior League Celebration book categorizes it as bread, but trust me — it’s cake and it will satisfy you like cake. It halves nicely, so if you only need one loaf then no problem.
A couple of tips: Grease and flour the bottom only and leave the sides bare so that the bread clings to the sides and rises in the middle. If your pans are nonstick, just line the insides with foil to cover the nonstick coating, then only grease and flour the bottoms. The second tip is to enhance the flavor by adding a bit of good orange oil. The only citrus flavorings I like are by Boyajian, so at one point I bought a little trio of lime, orange and lemon oils. They’ve lasted a couple of years and they always seem to make lime, orange and lemon things taste a little more like what you’d get at a bakery. They’re a good investment.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or White Lily (395 grams)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar (440 grams)
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon orange oil (such as Boyajian) --optional
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Tiny splash of vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 2 8x4 inch loaf pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, orange zest and vanilla.
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Pour into the loaf pans, dividing evenly among the two, and bake for 1 hour at 350 F.
- Let loaves cool. While they are cooling, mix together the ¼ cup orange juice and the powdered sugar. Add a tiny splash of vanilla. Prick the loaves all over the top with a skewer, then slowly pour the glaze over the loaves. Let them cool completely.