Oranges are typically thought of as a summer fruit, enjoyed as a cold glass of juice or as sorbet and creamsicles. But oranges actually reach their peak ripeness in the winter, so they actually pair quite well with this season’s foods and flavors. What’s more, there are many types of oranges to explore for their unique flavor and characteristics.
This list covers our best orange desserts, including recipes that span many skill levels, time requirements, and taste preferences.
How to Pick Out Oranges
Oranges ripen in the wintertime, so while many grocery stores make them available all year long, you'll get the highest quality oranges during this season. Choose oranges that are heavy for their size, firm (but not hard), and fragrant. These guideliness apply no matter what the variety of orange.
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Old Fashioned Blood Orange Sheet Cake
This Old Fashioned blood orange sheet cake looks pretty and effortless, all at once. It’s a boozy iteration on the upside-down cake, using bourbon, orange bitters, and orange zest. You can replace the bourbon for a barrel-aged rum or even brandy if you’d prefer.
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Sorbet is a lighter alternative to ice cream and makes for a great summer treat. This orange sorbet recipe is meant for those on a low-to-no sugar diet, but you can easily replace the sugar-free drink with freshly squeezed orange juice.
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Orange Meringue Pie
If you’re familiar with the lemon meringue pie, you may want to try this orange meringue pie for something different. Apart from the pie crusts suggested in the recipe, a graham cracker crust would be delicious, too.
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Moroccan Meskouta Orange Cake
At its most basic, Moroccan Meskouta is a cake recipe that skips the butter in favor of oil. In Morocco, it’s frequently served alongside mint tea or coffee after a meal, but Meskouta is equally delicious for breakfast.Continue to 5 of 18 below.
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Cranberry Orange Pudding
This cranberry orange bread pudding is a classic iteration of the dessert but if you prefer another dried fruit to cranberries, you can easily swap in apricots, dates, or golden raisins. It's a very accessible, fuss-free recipe.
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No matter our age, gummies continue to be a delicious treat. These gummy worms use raspberry and orange juice for a tangy flavor, and while the recipe calls for corn syrup, there are many corn syrup substitutes you can use, instead.
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Orange Creamsicle Patties
Orange creamsicle patties are a fun, bite-sized dessert that's a great recipe to include the kids on. Top with candied orange peels as the recipe calls for, or another fun ingredient like a gumdrop.
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Southern Mandarin Orange Cake
Also referred to as pig pickin’ cake, Southern mandarin cake gets its peculiar name from the Southern tradition of serving a full roasted pig at large gatherings. After the barbecue, this cake is often enjoyed for dessert.Continue to 9 of 18 below.
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Quick and Easy Blood Orange Panna Cotta
This blood orange panna cotta reimagines the original recipe, adding a juiced and zested blood orange for color, flavor, and fragrance. If you want to make your panna cotta dairy-free, many recipes readily replace the cream with coconut cream.
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Orange Shortbread Cookies
Orange shortbread cookies prove that sometimes, the simpler the better. If you’re not practiced at baking shortbread cookies, be sure the sugar and butter are thoroughly creamed and that you chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
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Greek Semolina Cake With Orange Syrup (Revani)
Revani cake is a Greek dessert made with semolina flour, which gives the finished cake more texture and density. This recipe blends citrus varieties, using both lemon and orange, but you can readily substitute the lemon zest for orange for a more intense flavor.
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Stuffed, rolled, and frosted, orange rolls have a lot in common with the classic cinnamon roll. This recipe uses a cream cheese frosting, but if you’d like to get creative, feel free to browse different types of frosting for the one you prefer.Continue to 13 of 18 below.
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Easy Orange Liqueur Cake
Orange cake with liqueur requires just a boxed cake mix and a few extra ingredients to set it apart. It’s the perfect dessert to bring to a holiday occasion because not only is it a snap to prepare, but because oranges in season during the winter.
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Once baked, Florentine cookies keep pretty well so they’re a great cookie for gifting or for around the holidays. This recipe incorporates candied orange peel, which not only complements the almonds and chocolate but gives the cookie a satisfying chew.
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Orange Creamsicle Pie
This orange creamsicle pie earns extra credit for being a no-bake pie, which means you’ll enjoy minimal fuss and clean-up. You can serve it either semi-frozen or chilled, making it a lovely dessert for after a cookout or summertime meal.
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White Chocolate Citrus Truffles
Although many truffle recipes call for pure chocolate, you’re better off using the chips for these white chocolate citrus truffles, as they contain less cocoa butter and will set more easily. If you feel inspired, serve them or gift them as a part of a variety of truffle recipes.Continue to 17 of 18 below.
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Orange Cake With Frosting
If you’re craving a basic, dependably tasty orange dessert recipe, look no further. You can whip-up this orange cake with orange frosting and bring it with you to just about any special occasion. If you’d like to switch up the flavors a bit, try swapping the orange frosting for a chocolate ganache or cream cheese frosting.
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Orange Cookies With Glaze
These orange cookies with glaze still have a classic chew to them, but their flavor sets them apart from more traditional cookie recipes. What’s more, this recipe fits right in with both summer and wintertime meal spreads.