Blonde Orange Brownies
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These Orange Brownies are dense and moist like fudgy brownies, without any chocolate. Orange zest and juice flavor both the bars and cream cheese frosting for a sweet citrus dessert.
Citrus Lover’s Dessert
Reader Cathy noticed that I am a fan of citrus. I guess it’s not really a secret. I practically shout it from the top of my lungs in every recipe that includes lemons or limes!
So Cathy thought I would like to try this “orange brownies recipe” that she makes often and loves. I have had it on the back-burner for a little while, but I have finally gotten around to making it. And I must say, it’s a wonderful treat!
Orange Brownies Recipe
I googled “Orange Brownies” to see if Cathy got the recipe somewhere online, so that I could link the recipe to the proper source, and it looks like it is an altered version from Paula Deen. After reading several reviews of Paula Deen’s recipe, it was a common frustration that the brownies were more cake-like.
I altered the recipe just a tad and got these moist, dense Blonde Orange Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a fabulous springtime dessert. And is even nice enough for Easter. (I have actually made these into lemon brownies as well. They are great both ways!)
AKA Orange Blondies
The title “orange brownies” is a little deceiving when there is no chocolate in them. They are more like orange blondies, yet they don’t have any brown sugar/molasses or cookie-like texture. Hence, my own made up name, “Blonde Orange Brownies.”
They are more sweet than other citrus desserts, but that’s because oranges are more sweet than tangy lemons or limes, and that’s ok. If you’re a fan of orange desserts, then you’re going to love these orange blondies.
How to make Orange Brownies
First make the orange brownie batter.
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
- Add the eggs and mix well. Scrape bowl.
- Add the orange zest and juice. Mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. The top and edges will be lightly browned.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
While the orange brownies are baking, make the orange cream cheese frosting. The consistency is thinner than frosting that can be piped. So it’s more like an icing, but not as thin as a glaze.
- In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add the orange zest, 1 Tbsp of orange juice, and the powdered sugar.
- Mix until incorporated. Add up to 1 Tbsp more orange juice if needed, depending on desired taste/consistency.
Frosting the Orange Brownies
- Pierce the entire sheet of brownies with a fork while still warm. (*Honestly, this part is optional. Since the frosting is thicker than a glaze, it doesn’t soak into the bars that much.)
- Spread the orange cream cheese frosting over the top. Refrigerate until cool. Then cut and serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- You will need 2-3 fresh oranges for this recipe to have enough zest and juice.
- Use a microplane to zest the orange peel into a glass bowl. Then measure as needed with stainless steel measuring spoons. (Do NOT use plastic utensils/bowls for zest as the oils in the skin may stain and/or eat away the plastic.)
- Make sure to use just the outer orange skin for the zest and not any of the white pith, as it is bitter.
- Use room temperature butter and eggs so everything creams together properly. Cold ingredients do not combine well.
- Eat these orange brownies at room temperature or cold from the fridge. Decide which way you like them better. Enjoy!
More Orange Desserts
If you liked this recipe, you might also like these orange desserts:
- Orange Rolls
- Orange Fluff
- Creamsicle Cake
- Orange Julius Recipe
- Upside Down French Toast
- Best Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe
If You Make This Recipe, Please Rate and Review it in the Comments Below. THANKS!
Blonde Orange Brownie:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (stir, spoon & level)
- 1 tsp salt
Orange Cream Frosting:
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp orange zest
- 1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- For the Brownies: Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix well. Scrape bowl. Add the orange zest and juice. Mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. The top and edges will be lightly browned.
- Make the Frosting: In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the orange zest, 1 Tbsp of orange juice, and the powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated. Add up to 1 Tbsp more orange juice if needed, depending on desired taste/consistency.
- Pierce the entire sheet of brownies with a fork while still warm. Spread frosting over the top. Refrigerate until cool. Then cut and serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
- This recipe needs 2-3 fresh oranges for juice and zest.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 183mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 0gSugar: 35gProtein: 2g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.
Recipe altered from Paula Deen
*Originally published 5/19/13. Post updated February 2023.