This is probably the best loaf I have ever had. Period.
I don’t make loaves very often, besides a zucchini loaf I absolutely love. I find I can never get through them before they dry out, since Carl has some kind of aversion to anything called a “loaf”. Put the same ingredients in muffin or scone form and he’s all over it, but a slice of loaf? No, thank you.
Until this loaf, at least.
This is perfect for spring, and, because it’s made with oranges which are available year round, it would be a beautiful way to warm up a dreary winter day. In fact, it was a perfect way to warm up a dreary spring day today after a morning of watching my daughter play soccer in the rain while trying to keep the baby reasonably dry, making bathroom trips with my newly toilet-trained 2-year-old, and rescuing said 2-year-old from fancy face plants in the sopping wet grass. Needless to say, we all needed some dry clothes and happy food when we got home.
I love oranges because in my mind they’re the much less aggressive citrus sibling. As much as my husband and daughter love lemon everything, I love the slightly more subtle flavour of orange – fresh, but not overpowering; bright, but not glaring. Soft, moist, cake-like, and full of orange and vanilla flavour, this sunshine-y loaf is sure to please any citrus lover, no matter how aggressive. And the glaze, obviously, takes it over the top and is an absolute must in my books! I love grapefruit as much as I love orange and I think this would make a lovely grapefruit loaf if you wanted to substitute. (Yes, I say lovely. Call me a Grandma if you want.)
You don’t need a mixer or anything fancy for this – just an arm, a spoon, and a couple of bowls. You might even have all the ingredients on hand already. My kind of simple weekend baking!
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup light (5%) sour cream (NOT fat free)
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 3-4 tsp orange juice
- ½ tsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a 9x5" baking pan and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Whisk in oil and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in egg mixture, alternating with sour cream, making two additions of each and stirring after each addition. Stir in orange juice thoroughly.
- Spread in prepared pan and bake for 42-47 minutes, until a tester comes out clean from the center.
- Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife, remove, and let cool completely on wire rack.
- When cool, combine glaze ingredients until desired drizzling consistency and pour over the loaf, spreading to cover the top and letting it run down the sides.
- Garnish with additional orange zest, if desired.