Orange Glazed Zucchini Bread




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slices of orange glazed zucchini bread, stacked

Orange Glazed Zucchini Bread ~ a soft, moist zucchini packed bread with a surprise sweet glaze made with fresh squeezed orange juice.  Make room at the front of your recipe file for this one, it’s a year round favorite!

Orange glazed zucchini bread, sliced

Glaze on a quick bread is a non-negotiable for me.  It gives me the opportunity to add an extra layer of flavor and sweetness to a simple recipe.  (The bites with the most glaze are always the most coveted.)  The fresh orange glaze on this zucchini bread punctuates an already delicious quick bread with a burst of sweet citrus.

I’m all about small creative tweaks that can take a regular recipe and make it extra special.  Zucchini bread?  Yum.  Orange Glazed Zucchini bread?  Double yum :)

glazing an orange glazed zucchini bread

How to get the perfect glaze consistency ~

  • First be aware that there is no perfect consistency for glaze.  Each recipe will require something slightly different, depending on whether you want it to soak in, drizzle, drip, or pool on the top.  Sometimes you want a glaze to be translucent, and other times you’ll want a thick opaque finish.
  • Start with sifted powdered sugar.
  • Add your liquid just a little at a time, stirring thoroughly before you add more.  It takes a minute to incorporate the liquid into the sugar and the tendency is to add too much liquid too quickly.
  • Don’t beat air into your glaze or you’ll have lots of air bubbles. 
  • Water and clear liquids make a more translucent glaze, heavy cream will be more opaque.  That said, a thinner glaze will always be more translucent than a thick one.  
  • If you notice lumps, let the glaze sit for a while, and stir again; the lumps will usually melt away on their own.
  • If you’re looking for a thin consistency the glaze should disappear immediately when drizzled back into itself with a spoon.  If you want a thicker consistency the glaze should leave a trail that won’t disappear instantly.  
  • I like to test my glaze on a cake or bread before committing: drizzle or spread a little on to see how it behaves.  You can quickly wipe it off if it isn’t what you’re looking for.  
  • To make the glaze thinner add more liquid, and to make it thicker add more sifted sugar, in small amounts.  
  • Don’t make your glaze too far in advance, it will start to dry quickly.  If yours does, try vigorously stirring to smooth it out.

Topping a zucchini bread with an orange glaze

orange glazed zucchini bread, sliced and up close

Tips for perfect orange glazed zucchini bread ~

Quick breads are classic, they’re super fast and easy, but they’re prone to a few issues like not rising properly, sinking in the middle, and over cooking.  Here are some great tips to keep in mind next time you bake a quick bread…

 

  • Buy and use an inexpensive oven thermometer.  I keep mine hanging from one of the oven racks so I always know at a glance exactly how hot my oven is.  This is critical for good baking.  Even a small difference in temperature can have a big impact on the outcome of your quick bread.
  • Use the correct loaf pan.  Unless a recipe states otherwise, use a standard 9×5 loaf pan.  Even a small difference in pan size makes a big difference in how your bread will cook.
  • There’s no need for electric beaters when making quick breads… you don’t want to incorporate air into zucchini bread.  Too much air can result in a cake that sinks in the middle.  Too much beating can also make quick breads tough.
  • Use smaller rather than larger zucchini, they’re more tender and flavorful.  
  • Don’t peel your zucchini, the peel adds color, flavor, and nutrients. 
  • I don’t squeeze moisture from my grated zucchini, I like to have the moisture go into the bread for a moist result.
  • Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees for glass pans.
  • I like to spray my pans and then line with a sheet of parchment.  This gives the bread something to cling on to when rising, and allows me to easily lift it out of the pan for cooling and slicing.  
  • Don’t fear the crack!  A crack down the center is not a flaw, it’s part of the quick bread experience, embrace, it. If you’re glazing like I am today, the crack just provides a nice spot for the glaze to pool…always a good thing :)

a stack of orange glazed zucchini bread

If you ask me zucchini bread is only as good as its texture, and a dry zucchini bread is a waste of oven space.  This one is light a soft, with a nice color and a hint of cinnamon.  The orange glaze provides a pop of extra sweetness in every bite.

stacked slices of orange glazed zucchini bread

This zucchini bread is based on my Classic Zucchini Bread recipe.   If you happen to be a choc-o-holic, try my Death by Chocolate Zucchini Bread!  And if you prefer your zucchini in cake form, try my Old Fashioned Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

But whatever you do, bake with zucchini this summer!

slices of orange glazed zucchini bread, stacked
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3.56 from 18 votes

Orange Glazed Zucchini Bread

Orange Glazed Zucchini Bread ~ a soft, moist zucchini packed bread with a surprise sweet glaze made with fresh squeezed orange juice.  Make room at the front of your recipe file for this one, it's a year round favorite!
Course brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • about 1 and 2/3 cups freshly grated zucchini lightly packed. This was 8 ounces, or 228 grams, weighed after grating
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

glaze

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • fresh squeezed orange juice 3-4 Tbsp

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray and line a 9x5 loaf pan with a sheet of parchment.
  • Whisk the sugar and oil together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs, extract, and cinnamon.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and then add to the liquid ingredients, folding into mix thoroughly.
  • When the flour is almost completely mixed in, fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Mix just until everything is combined.
  • Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, just until risen, golden, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. (Moist crumbs are fine.)
  • Cool the bread on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and continue cooling on the rack until completely cool before glazing. To speed up the cooling process you can put the bread in the refrigerator.
  • To make the glaze do not add all the orange juice to the sugar at once, add a tablespoon at a time, stirring between each addition until you get a thick glaze. It should be thick enough that most of it stays on the top of the cake when you spread it on. Some dripping is fine.

Make this orange glazed zucchini bread your own ~

  • Use fresh lemon juice for a lemon glaze.
  • If you don’t have cake flour, substitute regular flour or make your own cake flour: Measure out 2 cups of flour and remove 4 tablespoons.  Add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch and whisk together well.

 

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10 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
    June 7, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    This makes me want to run to the market and buy zucchini! What a gorgeous loaf and the perfect combination with the orange icing. Pinned :)

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    June 7, 2019 at 10:43 am

    This sounds delicious and I think I will be making zucchini bread this weekend! Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Reply
    Diana
    June 7, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Hi, Sue,
    My zucchini are almost ready to pick, and I’ll try your recipe for sure ! The orange glaze sounds too good to pass up.
    Thanks so much for adding the weight of the grated zucchini, as measuring it is so “iffy”.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 7, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      I’m trying to remember to weigh things as I go, and you’re right, with grated zucchini it could vary wildly in cup measurements.

  • Reply
    Cookilicious
    June 7, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Just the recipe I was looking for to make this weekend! Thank you so much!.

  • Reply
    Amy | The Cook Report
    June 7, 2019 at 9:09 am

    That glaze looks incredible, what a delicious treat!

  • Reply
    wendy
    June 7, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Just spotted this today. I never make a glaze on breads but this zucchini bread may be an exception. I love lemon and will make the substitute for the orange . Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Reply
    Tayler Ross
    June 7, 2019 at 8:43 am

    This recipe is exactly what I need to use up the zucchini from my garden! Looks so good!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    June 7, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Love the walnuts and the orange glaze! Love this recipe especially with garden fresh zucchinis

  • Reply
    Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    June 7, 2019 at 8:29 am

    I am always partial to zucchini bread, and that glaze looks so so good! Look forward to giving this a go in the next few weeks!