Orange Bars

I am a huge fan of citrus, I bring a grapefruit every day for lunch, and although I’ve taken out a few eyes with the juice, that tangy fruit is always worth the labor to me. So when my brother’s school was selling Florida oranges and grapefruits as a fundraiser, I was all over it. I received 2 big crates, and was so amazed at just how orange the oranges were! I’m not sure of the specific variety, but when I squeezed a few for fresh orange juice, it was so delicious, sweet, and pretty in color — I knew I had to bake with it. So instead of the traditional lemon bars, today I bring you orange bars. I think it’s the perfect dessert for this weird limbo time between winter and the supposed warm weather that’s coming (helllooooo, we’re waitinggg…) — citrus is best enjoyed during the winter months, but the taste and look of this dessert just makes me think of sunshine.

I realize that the color of the bars is still pretty yellow, rather than the vibrant orange color of the juice, and I’m pretty sure that’s because of the egg in the filling. But either way, there’s no mistaking these are orange bars once you bite into one, they’re slightly less tart than lemon bars and have a sweeter finish. If you want to maintain some of that tartness from standard lemon bars, just substitute some of the orange juice for lemon juice. And if you really want to convince your guests that these are orange bars, just add a drop or 2 of orange food coloring to the filling (that’s what I did for my lemon-lime squares and loved how they came out!).

I actually just got back from Florida last night after a quick trip to Orlando with Ryan and Scott (similar to our trip last year, with an emphasis on Universal this time instead of Disney), so it’s quite fitting that I’m sharing a Florida orange recipe with you today. It was great to spend a few days basking in the sun and getting our share of vitamin D, but it was mostly a big tease and now I’m dying for true spring weather to reach Connecticut. Unfortunately for us, temperatures above 50 degrees are not in the forseeable future, so I’ll just have to savor these summery treats instead and enjoy my tan (aka sunburn) while it lasts.

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to throw these together, so grab some oranges while they’re still cheap and help usher in warm weather with these delicious bars! Stay tuned for another Florida-themed treat next week, can’t wait to share them with you :)

Orange Bars

For the crust:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

For the orange filling:

Zest of 1 medium-sized orange
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ pan thoroughly.
– In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
– In another bowl, whisk together flour and salt
– Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the flour and salt. Mix until well combined.
– Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
– While the dough is baking, prepare the filling by simply mixing all of the ingredients together until well combined.
– Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the filling are slightly golden brown. Let bars cool to room temperature, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares to serve.

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23 Responses to “Orange Bars”

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    1
    Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks — March 31, 2011 @ 3:24 am

    I just made some lemon bars…but now I need to try orange bars! Thanks for the recipe!

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    Dadá flavors — March 31, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    ¡Ummm, deliciosas barritas!

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    Jenn — April 3, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

    I have never had orange bars before, but I can imagine how delicious they are!

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    deenster — April 9, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    Thanks so much for the recipe!! I made these today……and YUMM-O!!! The orange flavor was really nice and bright!!

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    Cantrell — April 13, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    I think you left out the eggs in the filling recipe over on PW’s Tasty Kitchen site.

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    Amanda — May 4, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Do you think these would freeze well? I am stocking my freezer for our upcoming babies arrival and I would LOVE to have these in there!

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    Anonymous — November 3, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    can you please let me know to bake at what temperature??

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    Erica — November 3, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    Anonymous, as the first line of the recipe states, preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) to make these bars. Enjoy

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    Anonymous — February 25, 2012 @ 6:27 am

    I’m making these tomorrow! Yum

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    Nora — December 21, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    I made these last night and discovered they taste a lot like those candy orange slices!

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    Albatross — December 24, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    Hi – I tried to make these squares and totally failed at it :( The filling turned into a thin layer of brown, baked meringue, with the filling, still liquid, about a centimetre underneath. I think the problem was the recipe for the filling – I was always taught that when a recipe just says ‘sugar’ it means white granulated sugar… did you mean icing sugar? I feel like it wouldn’t have done that if I’d used icing sugar, so I figured I’d ask. =/

    • Erica — December 26th, 2012 @ 1:50 am

      I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t turn out well for you! No, I definitely meant granulated sugar, not icing sugar. Have you been having any trouble with your oven? I’m not sure what went wrong, sorry!

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    Tory — May 26, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    Hello, I wish for to subscribe for this website to take hottest updates, therefore where can i do it
    please help.

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    taylor — June 1, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

    i was wondering if regular orange juice would work instead of freshly squeezed?

    • Erica — June 3rd, 2013 @ 2:32 am

      Yes – the flavor isn’t as vibrant but it will definitely still work

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    Adrian — June 26, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

    Hubby just made these for me last night- followed the recipe as written and they came out great! Thanks for a recipe for this awesome treat!

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    Erin — August 24, 2013 @ 1:18 am

    My 10yo son loves lemon squares and has been bugging me to “invent” an orange version. I told him there isn’t a box mix for orange squares because *gasp* that’s how I’ve made the lemon squares. ;) But I was confident some brilliant baker had already “invented” them and I’m happy to have found you. I can’t wait to surprise him, even though this is more effort than I usually expend for treats. :) But I’m a sucker for making my boys happy. Thanks again! (I’ll let you know how well I did!)

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    Laurie — March 2, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

    I tried this with an 8×8 pan and they didn’t cook thru .Had a appliance guy come over to check my oven and it tested fine. Then I made them in an 11×7 pan and they came out perfect.

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    Anonymous — March 12, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

    I made the orange bars and they taste great but I had to make some changes to your recipe. The crust I made didn’t turn out well so I had to add more butter and the filling was fine but I added more flour and orange juice to it because all I could taste was sugar. Besides those things the recipe is tasty.

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    Faith — May 28, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    Doesn’t say anything about how long to cool them before cutting or about a glaze or topping. I just made this and it’s sitting here looking very scary, like overdone at the edges and possibly soupy in the middle. I’ll let you know!

    • Erica — May 29th, 2014 @ 2:03 am

      Sorry about that! I just added some instructions for the final steps of the recipe. I apologize for overlooking that. Hopefully it sets up a bit more as it cools – that’s what usually happens. Best of luck :)

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    Faith — June 1, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

    Not a success for me, I’m afraid. Way too sweet and very difficult to get out of the pan. Not sure quite what I did or didn’t do. It did set up as it cooled, but maybe I let it cool too long in the pan. Thanks for responding!

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    Anonymous — November 1, 2014 @ 3:31 am

    I substituted the eggs for applesauce. It turned out AMAZING. Everybody loved it. Now I make this like every other month. Thanks!

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