Orange Poppy Seed Bread with Orange Glaze

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This tender orange scented bread is studded with poppy seeds and topped off with a sweet orange glaze. 

A plate with 3 slices of orange bread and an orange behind the plate.

I am famous for making quick breads that should really be called loaf cakes.   This is one of those recipes.   While it is indeed baked in a loaf pan, the shape of this recipe is really the only bread like thing about it.

I had plenty of oranges in the house and knew I wanted to make an easy recipe with them.  No multi-layered cakes or filled cupcakes; I wanted to try something that I could mix, bake, and be done with.

Orange Poppy Seed Bread was an easy choice to make.  It has a bit of orange juice and orange zest in the bread then more orange juice in the glaze on top to give it a bright burst of citrus flavor.


  • egg
  • butter (I prefer salted but unsalted works too)
  • granulated sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking powder
  • milk (I use low fat but you can use full fat or plant based)
  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract
  • oranges (any type though I really like Cara Cara Oranges in this recipe)
  • poppy seeds

This bread is easy to make.   The thing that took the longest was probably zesting and juicing my orange for the recipe.  When I juice a citrus fruit I like to squeeze it over top of a fine mesh sieve so that the sieve catches any seeds and the juice runs into my measuring cup.

A platter with a loaf of orange bread on it.

After getting all of the ingredients ready it’s time to make the actual bread.  The ingredients are combined in a bowl and mixed together.   I found that I needed a bit more flour than the recipe called for because my batter seemed a little runny.

How do I zest an orange?

When zesting an orange make sure you are only getting the orange part of the peel and not the white pith as it is very bitter.  Since oranges are fairly large this is usually easy to do.

The best way to zest an orange is to use a microplane.  Rub the orange back and forth over the microplane, turning the orange as the zest comes off.  Do this until all the zest is off the fruit.

What are poppy seeds?

Poppy seeds are tiny black seeds that come from the opium poppy plant.  They are used in many baked goods and even some savory dishes.  Poppy seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are used as much as a decorative topping or filling as they are for their flavor. 

What type of orange should I use?

I prefer to use a Cara Cara orange which is a cross between two type of naval oranges.  They are pinkish red and are sweeter than a typical orange and the flavor pairs well in this orange poppy seed cake.  You can also use a regular naval orange. 

I wouldn’t use a blood orange only because it will turn your bread a pink color and the glaze will be a deep pink color.  

Can I freeze this bread?

You can freeze this bread.   Once it has cooled do not put the glaze on top of it.  Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag.   Get all the air out of the bag.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to enjoy take the bread out of the freezer, remove from bag, remove the plastic, and let it thaw at room temperature.

Pin Image:  A platter with a loaf of orange bread on it, text title, the ingredients for making orange bread.

Once everything is combined pour the batter into a loaf pan.   Bake it until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Cool the bread completely before making the glaze.

To make the glaze simply whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.  Add more juice if it’s too thick or more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.  Pour the glaze over top of the orange cake and let it harden before cutting.

More Orange Recipes:

The consistency of this bread is light and crumbly.   This makes it a little hard to cut the bread.  I found that if I placed the bread in the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to cutting it that it was much easier to do.

Also, I thought that using a serrated knife would be the best but it actually made the bread crumble even more.  So I ended up using a straight edge knife to cut the bread.

I finally got to take a bite. The result was a soft, delicate, orange scented cake topped with a sweet orange glaze.  It’s perfect when served with coffee or tea.

A close up view of a plate of slices of orange bread.

If you’ve tried my Orange Poppy Seed Bread with Orange Glaze or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:


A plate with slices of orange bread.

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

Yield: serves 12-16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Orange poppy seed bread with a sweet orange glaze.


For the bread:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ c. butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 ½ c. flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ c. low fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

For the glaze:

  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 c. powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the egg, butter, and sugar.   Mix well.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Pour half of the dry ingredients into the oil mixture and mix to combine.  Stir in ½ cup of the milk and mix until incorporated.  Pour in the remaining flour and mix well.  Add in the remaining milk and mix to combine.
  6. Stir in the almond extract, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, and poppy seeds and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared load pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  9. While the bread is cooling combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.  If the mixture is too thin add more powdered sugar.  Pour the glaze over the cooled bread.  Let the glaze harden for 15 minutes then slice and enjoy.


Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

A plate with slices of orange bread.

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  1. I love lemon and poppy seeds together but never tried the bread with oranges. That shall be corrected soon.

  2. I love my microplate for zesting! This bread sounds delicious and orange is such a nice “twist.”

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