Glazed Orange Poppy Seed Bars

A cross between a blondie and cake, these simple glazed orange poppy seed bars are packed with white chocolate, vanilla, and fresh orange flavor.

glazed orange poppy seed bars

It’s spring and it finally feels like spring. Or actually summer. Apparently, spring is a thing of the past here in Philly. But hey. I’m not complaining because the neon pink flip-flops are in full swing step.

I made today’s bars after falling in love with my glazed orange pound cake situation. I picked my brain and archives for inspiration on a variation of said pound cake and came up with today’s bars. Or blondies. Or cake bars. Snack bars? Snack bar Sally? What? They’re a cross between cake and a dense blondie. A blake. Or a clondie. Seriously, what am I saying.

Let me put down my Sunday night wine.

stack of glazed orange poppy seed bars on a blue plate

Whatever we call them, today’s glazed orange poppy seed bars are good. Really, really good. I brought them to my friend Sarah last week when we met downtown for happy hour and dinner. I carry dessert in my purse, don’t you? She loved ’em!

To throw you completely off, this recipe doesn’t begin like a blondie or cake recipe. Rather, it starts like a brownie recipe. Butter is melted down with pure white chocolate to create one rich, flavorful base. This is the same way I begin my favorite chewy, fudgy brownies, only using white chocolate instead of semi-sweet. Since we’re using melted butter, there is no need to pull out that mixer. Everything is mixed by hand.

White chocolate is already quite sweet, so I don’t use quite as much sugar as I do with brownies, blondies, or cakes. Two eggs create a wonderfully moist, dense bite while the baking powder lifts everything up to create a cakey blondie texture. I like to compare their texture to these snickerdoodle blondies. So if you’ve had the pleasure of those, you know what to expect here.

For supreme taste, make sure you’re using pure white chocolate. ↓ ↓

chopped white chocolate and half and orange on a wood board

For a little texture and crunch, I add poppy seeds. Not too many, but just enough to keep my texture loving tastebuds satisfied. Vanilla extract adds a layer of goodness and and and let’s not forget all that orange flavor! I make the bars with Sunkist navel oranges. Fresh and flavorful, these oranges always fit the bill when I’m looking for high quality taste. Especially when it comes to my baked goods. Fresh orange juice goes right into the batter, along with a hefty amount of orange zest.

The combination of vanilla, white chocolate, and orange is insane. It’s like a creamsicle meets a white chocolate bar. And yes! You can absolutely use lemon instead of orange today. Even grapefruit for an interesting twist. Yay, citrus.

As if all this wasn’t good enough, I add a unique glaze on top. The same glaze I like to use for donuts. It’s the kind of glaze that “sets” after a few minutes and slightly cracks when you take every bite. In other words, the BEST GLAZE IN THE WORLD. You know the kind. To achieve this texture, you simply have to warm the glaze ingredients on the stovetop and pour over the cooled orange poppy seed bars. Or you can dip each bar individually.

glazed orange poppy seed bars on a blue plate

The glaze is also flavored with fresh orange juice.

🙂

The glaze is something I want to eat with a spoon.

glazed orange poppy seed bar on a blue plate with a fork

These wonderfully zesty, sweet, buttery, glazed, truly incredible and unique dessert bars that taste much more fancy than they actually are to make. And one bite will leave everyone begging for the recipe.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥

PS: These can count as a breakfast food, right? You have the orange juice and the donut glaze, soooo…. (not judging).

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glazed orange poppy seed bars on a blue plate

Glazed Orange Poppy Seed Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A cross between a blondie and cake, these simple glazed orange poppy seed bars are packed with white chocolate, vanilla, and fresh orange flavor.


Ingredients

Orange Bars

  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (226g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • juice and zest from 1 orange*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Glaze

  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) whole milk*
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) fresh orange juice*
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional garnish: orange slices

Instructions

  1. Make the bars: Melt the butter and white chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan* with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the granulated sugar into the cooled butter mixture. Whisk in the orange juice and zest, then the eggs. Whisk until the batter is completely smooth, then whisk in the vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds together. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the bars are lightly browned around the sides and on top. If you find they are browning too quickly on top, loosely cover the bars with aluminum foil. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bars should come out with very few moist crumbs when the bars are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished. Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.
  5. Make the glaze: Combine the glaze ingredients, except for the fresh orange slices, in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and either (1) pour glaze over the cooled pan of orange bars, then cut the bars into squares or (2) keep the saucepan of glaze over low heat, cut the orange bars into squares, and dip each individually into the glaze. Garnish each square with orange. The glaze will set after about 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: These bars can be made 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. I suggest glazing and garnishing with an orange right before serving. Glazed or unglazed bars freeze well, up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  2. Oranges: 1 medium orange will lend around 1/4 cup fresh orange juice. So if you buy a large orange, just use 1/4 cup juice total in the bars. The zest amount can vary, but you can never go wrong with lots of fresh orange zest. For the glaze, you’ll need the juice from half of a medium orange. Bottled orange juice can work for both the bars and the glaze.
  3. Milk: For creamiest texture, use whole milk. A lower milk fat would be fine; do not use skim.
  4. Pan: You can use an 11×7 inch baking pan instead – the bake time is about the same.

Keywords: orange poppy seed bars, glazed orange bars

Right this way for more brownies/bar recipes.

2 images of glazed orange poppy seed bars

84 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says:

    What a great idea! I love the orange glaze. Citrus makes everything taste so fresh!

  2. This sounds so delicious! I love how this starts as a brownie base, but with white chocolate. So unique!! Perfect dessert for summer

  3. YUM…definitely trying these

  4. Heather - Butter & Burlap says:

    I love these clones! lol. But seriously, you are the baking queen! These bars have the perfect texture and flavor, I want to dive into one RIGHT NOW! Great recipe, it looks absolutely fabulous!

  5. Sally, I’m back!!! Gosh, I’ve missed reading your blog…and look at this perfect recipe you posted for my return, haha 😉 These look absolutely heavenly…I too would eat that glaze with a spoon! I still can’t use my arms much (I’m almost two weeks post-surgery, but I have to limit my upper-body movement a lot), but I’ll get someone to make these for me 😀 I hope you are doing well…it’s so nice to read your energetic post and see your beautiful photographs on this rainy day in Colorado 🙂

    1. I wish I could hand deliver these bars to you Caley. They have your name written ALL over them! Sending you lots of hugs, love, and prayers for a speedy recover!

  6. Erica @ The Crumby Cupcake says:

    Yum yum YUM! I adore all things citrus, and lemon poppy is one of my favorite flavors. I bet those little black seeds are just as delightful studded in orange! Cake bars for breakfast…I can roll with that!

  7. Sally I have made your snickerdoodle blondies tons of times so I known exactly what you are talking about

  8. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says:

    I’ve never seen blondies start off the same way as brownies, but that sounds FABULOUS. Also, the citrus! Love it – what a great idea!

  9. Hello Sally – now I don’t typically comment, but the moment I saw these bars, I knew I just had to. A HUGE THANK YOU ! ! ! I’ve been craving something poppyseed lately but have found no poppyseed BAR recipe. These bars exactly what I’ve been looking (and craving!) for lately! Again, THANK YOU ! ! ! 🙂

    Your fellow baker and fan,
    Brooke

  10. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says:

    Ok, I’ve changed my mind. Maybe being neighbors wouldn’t be such a good thing. I mean, how overweight would I be????? We would have to be gym buddies as well.

    I LUUVVVV citris.

    1. I’m always looking for (1) taste testers and (2) GYM BUDDIES! Balance, of course.

  11. Marzia [Little Spice Jar] says:

    Love the idea of these dense, chewy bars. I love how we can always count on you, Sally, to make something totally spring/summery and get a dose of chocolate too!

  12. Cristina @ I Say Nomato says:

    White Chocolate AND orange? I’m in!!! Where do I sign up?

  13. Eve @ Baking the Day says:

    Snack bar Sally strikes again! Oh my Lanta these bars look good, I have never thought to pair white chocolate and orange but you have made it look amazing. The cross between a cake and a blondie in the bars is perfect, pinned!

  14. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    Weither a cake or a blondie, it looks delicious!

  15. I love lemon desserts but this year I’ve been adding more orange flavor into my recipes and I am loving it! This bar/cake/blondie looks amazing!

    1. Lemon will always be a favorite, but I’m loving playing around with orange in my baking too!

  16. Nicole - Coking for Keeps says:

    That glaze! Whoa!!! And the cake looks insanely moist and delicious. Thanks for revving up my afternoon appetite!

  17. These bars look like the perfect treat to celebrate the last week of school! Let’s herald in summer time 🙂

  18. These look simply divine! Love orange and poppy seed flavors together!

  19. Carrie @ The Cake Blog says:

    Baking, blogging, dessert eating – everything’s better with a glass of Sunday night wine. Whatever you call them, count me in!

  20. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    They’re so you! A classic Sally dessert! I love the drippy glaze, the fact that you used oranges in them (I know lemon is a classic poppyseed combo) but I love the orange idea! Pinned of course!

  21. Lena | la fille lumineuse says:

    I’d totally vote for calling them ‘clondies’, haha! Also, I basically like everything that has got white chocolate in it … especially in combination with oranges, yuuumm 🙂

  22. Lynn @ Fresh April Flours says:

    Girrrrrl, you are speaking my love language (orange). Love this.

  23. Jay DeMay says:

    Melted white chocolate in the cake? Yum!! I need to try these ASAP! I’m thinking that grapefruit you mentioned would be fantastic. Okay- both would be fantastic!

  24. Oh my goodness! These look incredible. White chocolate and orange?!! What a fun combination. You are right – that is definately the best glaze. I can’t wait to try these! like tomorrow! I have made so many of your recipes and they have all been fabulous.
    Katey
    www.twopeasinablog.com

  25. Ashley | The Recipe Rebel says:

    Okay, this is just a genius combination. OBSESSED with citrus, and with that perfect, crusting glaze?! Un. Real. I need these in my life!

  26. I always get made fun of because I have lollipops and food in my purse! But they will be sorry when we get stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the woods, and the stuff in my purse will be our survival source. THEN WHO WILL BE LAUGHING?!

    (I’m weird.)

    I might make these tomorrow!

    1. fact: tootsie pops are one of my favorite candies. please tell me you have those on hand at all times!

      1. YES!!! I have the banana or watermelon flavors (the newest ones) at all times. AND/OR those big gourmet lollipops in either cotton candy or banana!

  27. Shiran @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet. says:

    These photos scream spring, Sally! They are so beautiful, as always. My mom gave me a recipe that’s very similar to this one (with white chocolate) and told me that I must try it, so I bet it’s good!

  28. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Sally – I’m always carrying treats in my purse. You can never be too prepared. I brought no bake peanut butter bars to the Avengers movie! No shame. These poppy seed bars look gorgeous. I haven’t had a poppy seed dessert in years.

    1. Seriously can’t think of a better movie snack.

  29. I adore anything with orange flavor in it and these will certainly give me my fix! They look super delicious. And beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing. Carlos

  30. These look delicious! And, not that it really matters, its just been bugging me, but I’m so glad someone finally changed up the typical lemon poppy seed combo! I’m bookmarking this.

    1. Kimberly– you’d love these muffins then. Orange (and lemon) poppy seed muffins: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/04/04/orange-lemon-poppy-seed-muffins/

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