Orange Bars — Like brownies, but made with orange, lemon, and white chocolate!! Fast, EASY, dense, chewy, and packed with big, BOLD citrus flavor!!
Easiest Orange Dessert Recipe
If you like lemon bars and citrusy desserts in general, these fast, easy, one-bowl, no-mixer orange bars are just the thing for you. They’re dense and chewy, and if you’re looking for traditional lemon bars or fluffy lemon cake, this recipe isn’t that.
It came to be because I adapted a very popular recipe for Lemon Lemonies and created Orangies, so to speak. So many readers have asked me on the Lemon Lemonies recipe if it can be made with an orange twist and I decided to give that a whirl.
I used orange extract and orange juice in the white chocolate-based batter so the bars are the orange half. The glaze is made with lemon juice, which is obviously more tart and a nice balance to the sweeter orange base.
What’s in Orange Bars?
To make the orange brownies / bars, you’ll need:
- White chocolate chips
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Orange juice
- Orange extract
- All-purpose flour
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Lemon juice and zest
How to Make Orange Bars
Melt the butter and white chocolate together in the microwave, stopping now and then to stir the mixture together. Then, stir in the eggs, OJ, orange extract, and sugar. The flour and salt are added last.
Turn the batter into a foil-lined 8×8-inch baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
While the bars are cooling, whisk together the simple lemon glaze and then spoon it over the bars (it’s okay if they’re still warm!). The orange bars will then need 2 hours to set properly before you can slice them.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Most likely, yes. You’ll need to bake it in a 9×13-inch pan, and the bake time should be roughly the same.
Tips for the Best Orange Bars
For the best flavor, I HIGHLY recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice from actual oranges. You just can’t compare the flavor of freshly squeezed juice to the bottled stuff!
I felt that using orange juice in the glaze could cause these orange bars to read too sweet, but if that’s not a problem for you and you really want bold orange flavor, make the glaze with OJ instead of lemon juice.
You must let the bars cool for 2 to 3 hours before slicing them. I know the wait is hard, but the bars have a much better texture after they’ve cooled down.
Pin This Recipe
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange extract, or to taste
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- about 1/3 cup lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency
- about 1 tablespoon lemon zest, or to taste
Make the bars:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the white chocolate, butter, and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power. Stop to check and stir and then heat in 20-second bursts, stopping to stir after each burst, until mixture can be stirred smooth. White chocolate is very prone to scorching and seizing up, so watch it carefully and don’t overheat.
- Wait momentarily before adding the eggs so you don’t scramble them. Add the eggs, granulated sugar, orange juice, orange extract, and whisk until combined.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
- Bake for about 25 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter; set aside and make the glaze.
Make the Glaze:
- In a medium bowl, add 2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and whisk until smooth. As necessary, add additional lemon juice (or sugar) to reach desired glaze consistency. I used slightly over 1/3 cup lemon juice. Glaze should be fairly thin and easily pourable.
- Evenly pour glaze over bars, smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary, but glaze will likely just slide into place.
- Evenly sprinkle with lemon zest.
- Allow bars to cool in pan uncovered for at least 2 to 3 hours, (or overnight and cover with a sheet of foil) before slicing and serving so glaze can set up.
Storage: Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Adapted from Lemon Lemonies.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 1gSugar: 50gProtein: 5g
More Citrus Dessert Recipes:
Olive Oil Orange Cake — A super soft and moist cake that’s made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that’s unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!
Lemon Lemonies — Like brownies, but made with lemon and white chocolate! Dense, chewy, not cakey and packed with big, bold lemon flavor!
The Best Lemon Bars – Truly the best traditional lemon bars I’ve ever had!
Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze – Bold orange flavor in this easy, 100% scratch, no mixer poke cake! Orange juice, orange extract, and orange zest make this cake the best way ever to get your Vitamin C!!
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, fluffy, moist, very lemony cupcakes from scratch! Easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe for cupcakes that taste like they’re from a bakery!
Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze – An easy little cake with big lemon flavor! Soft, fluffy, and foolproof if you like puckering up!
Orange Crush Poke Cake – Bold Orange Crush flavor in this easy cake that’s super moist and light! The kid in all of us will love this orange tie-dyed cake!
Orange Creamsicle Cookies — There’s loads of white chocolate in every bite, and they remind me of an Orange Creamsicle!