This rosemary orange loaf cake is incredibly moist with a bright citrus flavor and hint of rosemary.
It’s citrus season! The groceries stores are filled with grapefruits, blood oranges, clementines, and more! Bright citrus flavor is just what we need to pull through these dull January days.
This rosemary orange loaf cake might be a little unassuming in looks, but one bite of its bright citrus flavor and you’ll see that it is very worthy of a brunch, afternoon snack, or straight for breakfast. It stays super moist thanks to Greek yogurt and oil in the batter. The other secret is a reduction of orange juice infused with rosemary that we pour on top soon after it comes out of the oven. The sweet juice soaks in the bread and it stays fresh for days.
Steps to the perfect loaf cake
There’s a couple key ingredients and steps here to ensure a beautifully baked loaf cake. We use both baking powder and baking soda in this recipe. I experimented with a few different amounts and combinations, and ultimately decided the addition of the baking soda was necessary to help create the beautiful golden brown top and level out the loaf. Also, oil is used as opposed to butter to maintain a moist crumb while letting the orange flavor shine through. Greek yogurt also lends to the dense crumb and adds a bit of tang that compliments the citrus.
I used cara cara oranges here, which seem to be readily available in most grocery stores right now. Blood oranges will also work, though they are a bit tangier than the sweet cara cara variety. The color of blood orange is also more intensely red as the name implies. The secret moist maker, reduced orange juice, is infused with fresh rosemary for a beautiful flavor and poured on after baking while the loaf is still warm.
Most importantly, do not overmix when adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Overmixing quick breads or cakes for that matter will cause the gluten in the flour to overdevelop, causing tunneling of air pockets and a denser texture. Add the dry ingredients in three batches and gently incorporate after each addition. You will have some lumps in your batter and that is okay.
Then it’s just a quick 40 minutes in the oven and you have a bright and refreshing loaf to remind you of sunnier, more tropical days ahead.
Definitely put this on your baking schedule this weekend and let me know how it turns out!
Rosemary Orange Loaf Cake
This unassuming loaf cake is bursting with refreshing citrus flavor. Lightly sweetened, it's perfect for both brunch and dessert!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extra
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup oil vegetable, canola, or coconut
- 1/2 cup fresh cara cara orange juice from 2 oranges, divided
- 1 tbsp orange zest from one orange
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 tbsp dried
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan well with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and greek yogurt together until well combined. Add 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, beaten eggs, vanilla extra, zest, and oil and whisk well to combine. It will take a little while for the oil and eggs to mix in, make sure the batter is well combined!
In 3 batches, gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Be careful not to over mix and use gentle folds to incorporate. The batter will have small lumps and that is okay. Add to the greased loaf pan.
Tap the loaf pan on the counter a few times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean with a few crumbs. If your top is browning too much, tent it with aluminum foil.
While the cake is baking, in a small saucepan heat the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice with the rosemary over low heat for 10-15 minutes until fragrant and reduced by half. Pour over the slightly cooled loaf and allow to soak in.
Slice up the loaf and enjoy!
- If using coconut oil, be sure it is melted and cooled slightly before adding to the wet ingredients.
- You can poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick to help the juice soak in, but I found it wasn't totally necessary.
- This would freeze great too!