If you are a fan of lemon bars, this recipe for Fresh Orange Bars is going to rock your world! Flavors of orange zest with a sweet buttery bar, all topped with an orange citrus glaze. These decadent orange squares are sure to bring a smile to your face.
The first time I made these orange bars was back in 2014, I had been obsessed with making my Lemon Brownie recipe, (seriously, the best lemon bars, hands down.) I wanted to make a batch for a friend of mine when I saw some beautiful oranges in my fruit basket and thought – let’s make them orange instead of lemon!
I bet this would be an excellent orange dessert version of the lemon brownies! Turns out I was right! My hubby thinks they are even better than the lemon, which is good, because better on his hips than mine, right?
When I went to type the recipe though, I got to thinking, they needed a different name than “brownies.” Want to cause a stir on social media, call a lemon bar a lemon brownie. Some people just can’t wrap their brains around a brownie that isn’t brown. So, I decided to call these Fresh Orange Bars, instead. Even though, it’s virtually the same recipe.
Ingredients Needed To Make This Orange Bar Recipe
You will find the complete recipe and instructions at the bottom of this post on the printable recipe card.
For the Bars:
Butter – I prefer to bake with unsalted butter. Best to take this out of the fridge before you start so it has time to soften.
Sugar – I use white granulated sugar for this orange bars recipe
Flour – I use all-purpose flour.
Salt – I used a touch of salt to enhance the flavor.
Eggs – Any kind of eggs will work in these good bars.
Orange Zest – You will need two to three large oranges for this recipe. Any kind of orange is good; blood oranges or fresh mandarin oranges.
Orange Juice – fresh squeeze the ones you zest for the freshes flavor!
For the glaze:
Orange juice – I used 4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice.
Orange zest – I used 8 tablespoons of orange zest for a really strong orange flavor.
Powdered sugar – I used 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar. Also known as confectioner’s sugar.
How To Make Orange Squares
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 baking dish or spray it with cooking spray.
Zest and juice your oranges and set aside.
For the bars: In a large bowl whisk together, eggs, zest, and juice and set aside.
In your mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and salt, mixing until it’s combined. Add in the egg mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Ovens vary, do not over bake or the bars will be dry.
For the glaze: Combine powdered sugar, orange zest, and juice and whisk until smooth.
Pour the glaze over the bars and place them in the refrigerator to set before cutting and serving.
Store in the refrigerator.
I have to say, I love how well this orange bars recipe turned out. If you are craving traditional lemon bars and don’t have any lemon juice on hand and aren’t up for a trip to the grocery store, consider making these orange dream bars instead.
LOVE IT? PIN IT!!
You are going to be sad if you can’t remember where you found this recipe for orange squares when you are looking for it! Make sure you pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!
FAQs About Making Fresh Orange Bars
- What are orange bars? Orange bars are one of the many orange desserts. Instead of lemon bars, I have used oranges in their place and created orange bars.
- How do you zest oranges? You can zest orange the same way you’d zest lemons. I like to use a long zesting plane but you can also use a handheld cheese grater.
- Can you freeze orange bars? Yes, orange bars freeze well. Make sure to place them in an airtight container so they don’t get dry and eat them within 3 months. Alternatively, you can cut them into squares and wrap them in plastic wrap so you can easily grab these orange brownies one at a time.
Change up the fruit and make citrus bars, try grapefruit, pomelos, or tangerines instead of fresh oranges.
Add vanilla to the glaze for a sweeter topping or just make a vanilla glaze instead of an orange-flavored glaze.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure your butter is at room temperature so it blends easily.
For easy removal of the bars from the baking dish, line the dish with parchment paper.
To add even more orange flavor consider adding orange extract.
More Dessert Bar Recipes to Love
Cookies, cakes, and pies make wonderful desserts – but bars are so quick and easy! Here are some more delicious dessert bar recipes to love:
- Lemon Brownies (pictured above)
- Raisin Spice Bars
- Pumpkin Bars with Shortbread Crust
- Lemon Blueberry Crumb Bars
- Sweet & Salty Brownies
- S’Mores Cookie Bars
- Butterscotch Pecan Bars
- FOR THE BARS:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons orange Zest
- 2 Tablespoons orange Juice
- FOR THE GLAZE:
- 4 Tablespoons orange juice
- 8 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking dish lined with parchment paper with butter.
- Zest and juice your oranges and set them aside.
- FOR THE BARS: Whisk together, eggs, zest, and orange juice and set aside.
- In your mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add flour and salt, mixing until it's combined.
- Add in the egg mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Ovens vary, do not over bake or the bars will be dry.
- FOR THE GLAZE: Combine powdered sugar, orange zest, and juice and whisk until smooth.
- Pour over the bars and place in the refrigerator to set.
- Cut to serve.
- Store in the refrigerator.
You will need to zest and juice 2 - 3 large oranges for this recipe.
If you don't have an 8x8 baking dish, you can use a 9x9 but will need to adjust your baking time a bit, as the bars will be thinner.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 3g
Nutrition isn't always accurate.