Loaf cakes are one of our very favorite things to bake because they come together easily – once you get the gist of it down, you can easily whip up countless different versions – and they’re the perfect snack regardless of the time of day. A slice of this “bread” for breakfast? You betcha. A little afternoon snack? Yep. Midnight dessert? Sure, why not?! The best part about these is, as we already mentioned, they’re so ridiculously easy to customize.
You know we love cream cheese around here, since it adds richness, keeps our loaves moist and just has great overall flavor, so then it was just a matter of figuring out what other flavors we wanted to throw in there…. This wasn’t a difficult decision, seeing as citrus fruits are in season right now, so we decided to go with some juicy oranges. With fresh juice and zest, along with a little boost from orange extract (totally optional!), we got to work and whipped up this delicious dessert. Trust us, this is the perfect balance of sweet and tart, aided by the easy glaze we pour on top, replete with plenty of orange zest for even more flavor.
Obviously lemons are the citrus that get the most attention, so using oranges here is a lovely departure from the norm, although you could always swap in grapefruit or blood oranges if either of those tickle your fancy. This light and zesty dessert is the perfect way to brighten up your day, so don’t wait – try it out and see how much you love it!
Cream Cheese Orange Loaf
1 hour 30 minutes to prepare serves 8
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon orange extract, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-5 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350º F and generously grease a 9x5-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray. (Could use 2 loaf dishes if desired.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, orange zest, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese and sugar for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth, then mix in eggs, orange juice, vanilla and orange extract.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined, then transfer mixture to greased baking dish.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- While loaf is baking, whisk together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest together to make glaze, adding more orange juice for a thinner glaze and less for a thicker glaze.
- Remove loaf from oven and let cool 15 minutes before running a knife around the edge of pan to loosen the loaf.
- Invert loaf onto serving platter and pour glaze on top. Let glaze harden and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Hidden Ponies