Orange Gingerbread Swirl Loaf | Ambitious Kitchen


My love of all things orange combined with the Christmas gingerbread flavor swirled together in a bread is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited for you to experience it yourself.

I first mentioned to Abra that I wanted to do yet another swirl bread for the holiday season because quite frankly, they’ve become my favorite to make. Can’t say she was too surprised when I told her there was going to be an orange swirl batter involved. #orangeloverforlife

orange gingerbread loaf with orange icing

Glorious, isn’t she? Now you wouldn’t think that gingerbread and orange would go well together, but somehow the two batters are swirled together to form the most delectable loaf that’s absolutely perfect for serving during the holiday season.

It’s sweet, it’s full of spicy ginger flavor, and SO tender you won’t know what deliciousness just hit you. Especially if you want to slather it up with a little butter + sea salt on top. DROOL.

one gingerbread batter in a bowl and one orange batter in a bowl

How to Make Orange Gingerbread Swirl Bread

A swirl bread might seem intimidating at first, but let me assure you I’ve made it as easy as possible.

  1. Essentially you’ll make two different batters: one orange batter and one gingerbread batter.
  2. Next you’ll layer the batters one after another in a loaf pan.
  3. Take a butter knife and swirl the batters together back and forth just a few times in an S-shape. There’s even a video below for reference!
  4. Bake your bread, allow it to cool and then top with the sweet and simple orange glaze.
  5. Slice and serve!

knife swirling marble bread together

Tips for making the best swirl bread

Here are some tips to making swirl or marbled bread look beautiful:

  1. Alternate the batters. Make sure you alternative the batter on top of each other. I like to add half of each batter, then repeat.
  2. Only swirl a little bit. Once you have all of the batter in the pan, use a butter knife or wooden skewer and swirl just 3-4 total times in an S-shape or in a figure-8 pattern. Try not to over-swirl or the batter will start to blend together and become one color.

orange glaze on top of an orange gingerbread swirl loaf

Gingerbread + orange = match made in heaven

A few reasons you’ll love this orange gingerbread swirl loaf:

  • It’s FUN to bake! Baking this bread with a friend or someone you love is highly suggested; you can both be responsible for one of the batters.
  • This bread is made with whole wheat pastry flour making it a wonderful whole grain option.
  • This bread is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup (although honey would also work well!)
  • The cozy cinnamon, ginger and allspice make the gingerbread swirl truly irresistible and reminiscent of Christmas. The orange adds a nice sweet bright citrus flavor.
  • This bread freezes well! Simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to enjoy. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on the go treat.
  • The orange glaze is truly perfect. Drizzle it on and enjoy.

orange gingerbread swirl loaf with slices cut out

I hope you love making this easy holiday gingerbread loaf. Check out my other gingerbread and orange inspired creations here:

Healthy Gingerbread Loaf

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins

Paleo Orange-Kissed Loaf with Dark Chocolate

Pistachio PoppySeed Orange Yogurt Bread

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

orange gingerbread swirl loaf on a plate

See how to make the gingerbread orange swirl loaf:

I hope you love this fun take on gingerbread! If you make the recipe, I’d love to hear from you — please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. xo!

Orange Gingerbread Swirl Loaf

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Gorgeous orange gingerbread loaf swirled with perfectly spiced gingerbread batter and delicious, sweet orange batter. This homemade gingerbread loaf has hints of molasses and orange zest, and is topped with a simple orange glaze for an incredible brunch treat or seasonal snack!

  • For the gingerbread layer:
  • Wet
  • 1
    egg
  • 3
    tablespoons
    pure maple syrup
  • 3
    tablespoons
    blackstrap molasses
  • 1/3
    cup
    unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    butter, melted (or sub melted and cooled coconut oil or vegan butter)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • Dry
  • 1
    cup
    whole wheat pastry flour*
  • ½
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • 3/4
    teaspoon
    cinnamon
  • ¾
    teaspoon
    ground ginger
  • 1/4
    teaspoon
    ground allspice

  • teaspoon
    salt
  • For the orange layer:
  • Wet
  • 1
    egg
  • ½
    cup
    fresh orange juice
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1/4
    cup
    pure maple syrup (or sub honey)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    butter, melted (or sub melted and cooled coconut oil)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    almond extract
  • Dry
  • 1
    cup
    whole wheat pastry flour*
  • ½
    teaspoon
    baking soda

  • teaspoon
    salt
  • For the glaze:
  • ½
    cup
    powdered sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon
    fresh orange juice, plus a little more if necessary to thin the glaze
  • 1
    teaspoon
    orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 ½ x 4 ½ loaf pan with parchment paper and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. First make the gingerbread batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, pure maple syrup, molasses, almond milk, melted butter and vanilla extract until well combined. Add in your dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix until just combined. Set aside while you make the orange batter.

  3. Make the orange batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, orange juice, orange zest, pure maple syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract until smooth and well combined. Add in your dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined.

  4. Spoon half of the gingerbread batter into prepared loaf pan, then top with half of the orange batter. Repeat with remaining gingerbread batter and orange batter. Swirl the batters together with a butter knife just a few times (do not overdo this or the batters will start to come together and look crazy). Bake for 45-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Once done baking, remove from pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

  5. For the glaze: Mix together powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest until smooth. You may need to add in more orange juice to thin out the glaze, but remember we want it to be a thicker glaze, like an icing. Pour or drizzle over the top of the loaf and spread towards the sides, if necessary.

*Instead of whole wheat pastry flour, you can use all purpose flour, but I would suggest reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons in each batter.
To make into muffins: divide batter between 12 greased muffin liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
To make dairy-free: use coconut oil or vegan butter instead of regular butter.
*If you are looking for gluten free recipe, I would suggest my paleo orange loaf.

Nutrition

Servings: 12 slices

Serving size: 1 slice

Calories: 197kcal

Fat: 6.2g

Saturated fat: 3.4g

Carbohydrates: 32.8g

Fiber: 2.8g

Sugar: 13.9g

Protein: 3.2g



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