Looking for a special something to take to a friend today, I found this Brown Butter Orange Loaf from the new Joy of Cooking. Actually, the original is called Lemon Brown Butter Loaf, but I went to the refrigerator and realized I only had oranges. That’s OK. I’m the master of substituting and swapping out ingredients and still end up with a successful recipe.
First of all, brown butter takes any recipe over the top. That nutty, buttery flavor just permeates and leaves your guests wondering what that nice rich flavor is. Be patient – an extra 10 minutes is worth the incredible result. (Take a look at my Peachy Brown Butter Bars!)
I substituted orange zest and juice for the lemon called for and added a little zest to the glaze, too. When you make baked goods with fresh lemons or oranges, the flavor really comes more from the zest than the juice. Just be sure and zest the absolute outside of the citrus fruit and don’t include any of that bitter white pith.
You don’t want too much zest either or it will also make the baked good bitter. It’s best to go by the recommendation amount in recipe the first time you make it, then experiment from there.
This recipe makes a fairly short loaf in a 9×5″ loaf pan, so if you want a taller loaf just make it in an 8″ loaf pan and cook it a bit longer. Don’t over bake this – 48 minutes tops and turn it once while baking.
The texture of Brown Butter Orange Loaf is almost pound cakey, but with a little lighter and looser-textured crumb. It has a fantastic orange flavor, deepened by that wonderful browned butter. The glaze on top is a perfect finish and is needed because the loaf is only lightly sweet.
Make this before citrus season is over. The only reason I can deal with citrus season coming to a close is that those Spring berries will be coming soon!
- 2 sticks (16 tbsp) butter
- 1 C sugar
- orange zest from 1 orange
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 C buttermilk
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5" loaf pan and line bottom with parchment paper (will work OK without the parchment paper, but comes out a little more easily).
- Brown the butter: Put the butter in a large skillet and cook on medium-low. Stir occasionally, making sure the butter doesn't burn. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until butter foams up and turns a golden brown. There'll be brown bits in it - that's OK. Remove from the stove and pour into a medium bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Put the sugar and orange zest into another medium mixing bowl and stir until the orange zest is distributed through the sugar (or pulse in a food processor).
- Add the brown butter, eggs, buttermilk, orange juice, and vanilla to the sugar/orange mixture and stir until combined completely.
- Put the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, using the back of the spoon to mash any flour lumps.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-48 minutes, turning once during baking. An inserted toothpick should come back with a few crumbs. Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the loaf to loosen. Turn out the loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
- For the Glaze: Mix together the glaze ingredients (will be a little thick, but will stir easily - add a little more orange juice if you want it thinner). Place the loaf and rack over waxed paper and pour the glaze over the loaf. Leave to set before serving. Store leftover loaf in either a cake carrier or plastic wrap.
Tips and Stuff:
Next time I'll make this in an 8" loaf pan so it will be a little bit taller.
You can switch out the orange for lemon (use the zest from 2 lemons vs. 1 orange).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 6g
Nutrition Values are Approximate