The buttery cookie crust and a sweet orange filling make these Blood Orange Bars a pretty and delicious treat to enjoy for dessert.
Have you ever had a blood orange? They are kind of freaky when you first cut into them. Even though I know they are going to be red inside, it still makes me do a double take every time I slice into one.
I really enjoy the sweet flavor of these bright red oranges. It's definitely orange, but there is a slight hint of raspberry in them.
We picked up a few blood oranges at the grocery store the other day because I really wanted to make these Best Lemon Bars with the red orange juice. It's not the first time I have given that recipe a fun twist. It's so easy to change out the juice for whatever fruit you are craving.
A few years ago I made these Key Lime Bars, and I loved the bright green color, so I knew the burgundy red of the blood oranges would be so pretty in these sweet bars.
Ingredients for Orange Bars
These sweet orange bars come together quickly with ingredients from your pantry. Just pick up a few oranges from the store and get started.
For the Crust
- Flour - Provides structure.
- Powdered Sugar - Sweetens the crust.
- Butter - Unsalted and softened.
For the Filling
- Blood Orange Juice and Zest - You will use the juice from 2 oranges and the zest from 1 orange.
- Granulated Sugar - Sweetens the filling.
- Flour - Adds structure and thickens it.
- Salt - Balances out the sweetness.
- Eggs - Gives the filling a custard like texture.
- Food Coloring - this is optional, but it will give your orange bars a great color.
These Blood Orange Bars were just as good as the original recipe. The bright pink filling on top was silky smooth with that sweet orange flavor.
Adding some orange zest to the filling really amps up that orange flavor. And that shortbread cookie crust is so sweet and buttery. A buttery crust and the sweet orange filling really are the perfect pair.
How to make Blood Orange Bars
- Mix together the flour, powdered sugar, and butter until it is crumbly. Spray a foil lined pan with nonstick spray before pressing the crust in the bottom. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, zest a few oranges to get 2 full Tablespoons of orange zest. This will really amp up the orange flavor in the filling.
- Slice the zested oranges in half and press until you get ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice.
- Add the granulated sugar, flour, salt, orange zest and juice, and eggs into a blender. Pulse until light and frothy.
- Add a little bit of burgundy gel food coloring to the mixture to make the finished bars look like blood oranges. This is optional, BUT if you do not use food coloring your bars will not be bright and colorful. Just an FYI.
- Pour the filling on the hot crust as soon as it finishes baking, and place the pan back in the oven for another 25 minutes.
- Remove and cool completely before serving with a healthy dose of powdered sugar on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these orange bars ahead of time?
- Yes, these bars will keep for a few days in your refrigerator. Make sure to cool the bars to room temperature before covering and placing in the refrigerator.
- Bring them to room temperature and blot the top of the bars before topping with powdered sugar.
Should orange or lemon bars be refrigerated?
- These citrus bars have a custard filling, so they should be refrigerated if you are not serving them the same day.
- However, they will be fine to keep out at room temperature for a few hours if you are serving them at a party or event. Serve the bars cold from the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Can you freeze orange and lemon bars?
- Let the bars cool to room temperature, then slice them into squares. Place the bars on a baking sheet and freeze all the way through.
- Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. The bars will keep this way for up to 2 months.
- Unwrap and let thaw before adding powdered sugar.
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More Orange Desserts
- Orange Cream Cheesecake
- Raspberry Slush
- Orange Creamsicle Fudge
- Orange Glazed Bundt Cake
- Pineapple Punch
- Orange Blueberry Cake
- Orange Fluff Salad
- Cranberry Orange Scones
- Orange Creamsicle Cake
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These were DEEElicious! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. We used up a bag of blood oranges that were starting to go bad. Everything was written perfectly.
I am so glad you enjoyed the bars! Thank you for coming back and leaving a great comment! 🙂
1) I used the exact amounts of the ingredients but the orange filling part of bar was so thin. I triple checked the amount of juice and eggs but it’s clearly not a nice tall layer. In fact, it barely covered my 8x8 crust. How did you get a thick layer??
2) Also it said that the filling should be blended till light and frothy. That resulted in a very bubbly filling and when baked, it was just full of small holes. I even sieved it cos It had a thick layer of foam (so the zest got sieved out too). How do you prevent this?
All in all, a disappointment so far.
The filling does thicken up as it bakes and then cools. I usually pulse the filling ingredients while the crust is baking, then it sits for a bit while the crust finishes. The bubbles tend to pop during that time. Then before pouring it on I just give it a quick whirl to mix it again. It's not a super thick filling. My guess is too many bubbles in the filling is what caused the small holes in the finished bars. It's ok though because once you top them with powdered sugar you won't even see them. Have you chilled them and tested them yet? I'm curious what you think once they are cold...
Please add a note next to the powdered sugar that it’s for sprinkling on top.
I added it in with the filling mixture and only realised I had made a mistake after reading through the comments....
Thank you for letting me know. I can see how I had it written would be misleading if you didn't read the recipe all the way through. I will add a note now.
What's the best way to tell if these are done? Is it ok if it jiggles or should i add a couple minutes more?
They will be a little jiggly when you take them out, but they set up and firm up as they cool. I hope you enjoyed them!
Can you use brown sugar instead of white?
Do you mean in the filling or in the crust? I wouldn't change out the powdered sugar in the crust, but I think the filling would be fine. I haven't tried it that way, so I can't say for sure though.
Does the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar go in the filling as well? Or should that be reserved for the top?
The powdered sugar is just for sprinkling on top after they are chilled. I hope you enjoy the bars.
This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!
Made these yesterday and they are a big hit! Going to try the key lime ones next.
I fell in love at first bite! They are so delicious!
Wow! These are gorgeous and look delicious. Pinning!
I love all things blood orange and these were amazing! Thanks for the recipe!
These look incredible! I love using Blood Oranges in baking!