Pistachio Poppy Seed Orange Yogurt Bread

Most of you know that my 84-year-old Grandma Gloria loves to bake. She’s inspired several recipes on the blog including these buttermilk waffles, sunflower honey oatmeal bread, green chicken & rice, healthy bran muffins and this fabulous butternut squash green chili chicken stew.

A few weeks I was in New Mexico visiting my mom and grandma and noticed about 30 oranges sitting on her counter (no joke!).

Most of you know I’m obsessed with all things orange so I decided to bake some healthy orange muffins and then eventually went home and tweaked the recipe into this healthy orange yogurt bread made with protein-packed yogurt, naturally sweetened with honey and full of crunchy poppy seeds and pistachios.

GUYS, this could be my favorite bread EVER!

sliced healthy orange bread on a cutting board

Everything you’ll need to make this orange yogurt bread

This easy and delicious orange yogurt bread uses simple ingredients but is perfectly moist and filled with orange flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour: I love using whole wheat pastry flour in baking because it’s a little more nutritious than regular flour. This is the brand I use.
  • Baking powder & baking soda: you need to use both in this recipe to make it nice and fluffy!
  • Butter: I prefer to use butter in this recipe for both flavor and texture, but melted coconut oil would also work well.
  • Yogurt: the most amazing part of this bread is the texture thanks to the yogurt. I recommend using whole milk plain greek yogurt because it adds additional moisture to the bread. It’s delicious!
  • Honey: I love using honey in baking; it’s a great all natural unrefined sweetener.
  • Eggs: two eggs are used in this recipe for a cake like texture. I haven’t tried flax eggs but I think it might work.
  • Extracts: use both vanilla extract and almond extract for a hint of unique flavor!
  • Orange: make sure you use freshly squeezed orange juice and zest for amazing orange flavor.
  • Poppy seeds: there’s just something to love about the flavor poppy seeds bring to breads and muffins.
  • Pistachios: I wanted to do something different so I decided to use pistachios in this bread. Please know that you can sub them out for toasted walnuts or pecans, or you can omit them completely.

healthy orange bread ingredients on a board

Let’s talk toppings

This healthy orange bread is delicious on its own but even BETTER with that gorgeous orange glaze. The orange glaze on this bread is so ridiculously good that I want to put it on everything. It’s full of sweet, fresh orange flavor and incredibly easy to make. It’s butter free too; all you need is powdered sugar, fresh orange juice and orange zest! YUM.

I love topping the bread with a few extra crushed roasted pistachios on top for added crunch.

Can I make is gluten free?

If you want to make this bread gluten free, I suggest this 1:1 gluten free baking flour or you could try and sub chickpea flour, but the flavor may slightly change. Alternatively, you can try my Paleo Orange-Kissed Loaf with Dark Chocolate Glaze instead!

orange yogurt bread on a cutting board

More ways to customize this orange bread

Because this is a baking recipe, I highly recommend sticking with the original recipe so that the bread turns out the way it’s supposed to. There are a few ways to customize it that I can recommend:

  • To make it dairy free: instead of yogurt, feel free to use a dairy free coconut, soy or almond yogurt. Make sure to use coconut oil instead of butter too!
  • To make it sweeter: feel free to use 1/2 cup honey instead of 1/3, especially if you aren’t topping the bread with the orange glaze. You could also use your favorite vanilla yogurt for extra flavor!
  • For the whole wheat pastry flour: you can also use a mix of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.

photo of orange bread on a cutting board with glaze on top

How to make this healthy orange bread

  1. Mix the wet ingredients. Start by whisking together the melted butter, honey & orange zest. Then mix in the orange juice and greek yogurt, and finally whisk in the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds.
  3. Combine the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in the pistachios.
  4. Bake & cool. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
  5. Make & drizzle the glaze. While the bread is cooling, mix together the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest. Spread it over the top of the cooled loaf, garnish with pistachios and enjoy!

sliced orange bread with pistachios on a cutting board

Try it as muffins

Yes, this healthy orange bread can be made into muffins! Simply make the batter as directed, then divide it between 12 greased muffin liners. Bake for 18-24 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: this orange yogurt bread should be kept well-covered in foil or plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days, then I recommend transferring it to the fridge or freezer.
  • To freeze: 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 eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on-the-go treat! I recommend freezing the bread without the glaze.

overhead photo of sliced orange yogurt bread on a cutting board

Recommended tools

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More delicious bread recipes

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I hope you love this orange bread recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it helps encourage others to make the recipe too!

Pistachio Poppy Seed Orange Yogurt Bread

Gorgeous pistachio poppy seed orange yogurt bread naturally sweetened with honey and topped with a lovely orange glaze. This incredible orange loaf is filled with fresh orange juice and zest, and is the perfect bread for spring!

  • Wet ingredients:
  • 1/3
    butter, melted (or sub melted and cooled coconut oil)
  • 1/3
    honey (use 1/2 cup if you like a sweeter bread)
  • zest from 1 large orange
  • 1/2
    freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2
    plain or vanilla greek yogurt (i like to use whole milk yogurt but a dairy free yogurt will also work)
  • 2
    large eggs
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • 1/2
    almond extract
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 2
    whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 1
    baking powder
  • ½
    baking soda
  • ¼
  • 1
    poppy seeds
  • Mix-ins:
  • 1/2
    chopped roasted pistachios
  • For the glaze:
  • ½
    powdered sugar
  • 1
    fresh squeezed orange juice, plus a little more if necessary to thin the glaze
  • 1
    orange zest
  • To garnish:
  • 2
    chopped roasted pistachios

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8 x 4 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey and orange zest until smooth. Next, whisk in orange juice and greek yogurt. Finally, whisk in the two eggs, vanilla and almond extracts.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda and poppy seeds. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or until just combined. Gently fold in chopped pistachios.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

  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. Spread over the top of the loaf. Garnish with chopped pistachios. Cut into 12 slices.

To make into muffins: Divide batter between 12 greased muffin liners. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

If you want the bread to be just slightly sweeter: I suggest using ½ cup honey instead of ⅓ cup, this is especially necessary if you aren’t using the glaze. You can also use a vanilla yogurt.

*Instead of whole wheat pastry flour, you can use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour, or 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.

To make dairy free: use a dairy free yogurt such as soy, coconut or almond instead.

If you are looking for a gluten free recipe, I would suggest my paleo orange loaf.


Servings: 12 slices

Serving size: 1 slice (with glaze)

Calories: 228kcal

Fat: 9.6g

Saturated fat: 4g

Carbohydrates: 31.5g

Fiber: 3.4g

Sugar: 13.8g

Protein: 5.4g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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