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 1/2 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.
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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For the Crust
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
For the Filling
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange zest (1 orange)
- 1/2 cup blood orange juice (2 oranges)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- burgundy gel food coloring, optional
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- Mix together the flour, powdered sugar, and butter until a soft dough forms. Press evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, add the zest, juice, granulated sugar, flour, salt, and eggs to a food processor or blender. Pulse until light and frothy.
- If you want your bars to be bright and vibrant, stir in a little bit of burgundy gel food coloring until the color is the same as the inside of a blood orange. This is an optional step.
- Once the crust is finished baking, pulse the mixture again and pour the filling on top of the hot crust. Bake again for 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely to room temperature.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving.
- If you are not serving the bars the same day, cool and then refrigerate the bars. Blot the top of the bars the next day before adding the powdered sugar.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and are not guaranteed to be accurate. If you need special diet advice, please see a registered dietician.