blood orange quick bread
Sorry again for the lack of posts in February. The shortest month somehow zoomed by rather quickly; I’m still finishing up on my book, and my children have been taking turns each week being sick. The common cold, the flu, and now strep throat has knocked down our door. But we are surviving, one day at a time.

‘A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.’ -John Steinbeck

Here’s hoping March has such an ending.
chickpea flour


blood orange quick bread with cream cheese icing


blood orange quick bread with cream cheese icing
This quick bread is another baking recipe for the Pulse Pledge. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.


4.8 from 4 reviews
blood orange bread with cream cheese icing: the year of the pulse
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living. Regular oranges can be used in place of the blood oranges. Chickpea flour is flavorful, so I feel less is more in this application. It has a slight grassy flavor, and I found toasting the flour helped tame the earthy taste. Chickpea flour does not taste great raw, so the raw batter will not be one to taste test. However, the baked bread have a unique, delicious flavor.
  • For the bread
  • 1/2 cup (50g) chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
  • 1/4 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil (olive oil will work, too)
  • for the icing
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (171g) powdered sugar
  1. For the bread
  2. Place the chickpea flour in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, until the flour turns light golden brown and begins to smell ‘toasty’, 3-5 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350, and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, or a 9 x 4 x 4 inch Pullman pan (without the lid, which is what I used).
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  5. Combine the sugar and zest together in a large bowl. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together well. Add the juice and buttermilk, and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and oil, and whisk again to combine.
  6. Add the flour mixture to buttermilk mixture, and whisk until smooth. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the loaf out on the rack, and let cool completely before applying the cream cheese icing.
  7. For the icing
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, and add the orange juice, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Beat again until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the icing on the cooled bread.
blood orange quick bread with cream cheese icing

The copper cooling rack is from Williams-Sonoma, and the stainless steel fry pan is from Le Creuset.

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17 Responses to blood orange bread with cream cheese icing: the year of the pulse

  1. i love quick breads, but when they’re around i just keep eating them because there’s little to no protein and before i know it, half of the loaf is gone. love that you added chickpea flour to heft it up, and hopefully it’s a more satisfying afternoon snack now!

  2. jennie guthrie-stevens says:

    Amazed you had the energy to cook, well done it looks good.

  3. Oh this looks lovely! I’ve never used chickpea flour, so thanks for the toasting tip! xoxo

  4. Katrina says:

    I love the flavour of this bread! It sounds awesome! A great Saturday baking project 🙂

  5. Naomi says:

    I can’t wait to try this. I have yet to bake with chickpea flour.

  6. I’m going to try this but with almond flour instead of regular flour to get the carbs down a bit as my family is trying to reduce carb intake. Do you know if the chick pea flour has carbs in them?

    • Robyn says:

      Although many people think of legumes like chickpeas as protein, they are classified as carbohydrates by just as many other people. The way I understand it is that they have a high enough protein content to be considered a source of protein for vegetarians and vegans, but they are actually very high in carbohydrate. For example, a 1-cup serving of chickpeas contains 14.5 grams of protein, 4.3 grams of fat and 45 grams of carbohydrates.

  7. Linda Mueller says:

    I love your generous experimentations, especially adding a protein flour. Making this one soon!

  8. I love, love, love chickpea flour. What a cool flavor! This bread looks wonderful. Cheers!

  9. Abby says:

    So beautiful, Sarah. I hope your family is well. xoxo

  10. Vicki says:

    This sounds intriguing! I’ve never used chickpea flour so thanks for the tips.
    Hope your family is on the mend!

  11. I hope the sickness leaves your house ASAP! But at least there’s this delicious bread to make up for all the sniffles!

  12. Jen says:

    This came out amazing. Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. Erica says:

    This is so wonderfully unique, and that cream cheese frosting is beautiful. I’m a huge fan of your blog and I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out! You are a huge inspiration for me.

  14. Krysten says:

    OMG! I’m pretty sure that you may share my love of blood orange. I’m definitely making this on Sunday. Thank you so much for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it out!

  15. naveen says:

    recipe is very interesting lot of ingredients and lot of varieties i dont know how it taste hoping it will be good.
    good to know you are healthy ,
    be strong and cook well

  16. Felicia says:

    We are so excited about this year and all the pulse recipes we’ll be seeing. So far this is the most creative and delicious pulse recipe we’ve seen! I think you’d really enjoy our recent piece on pulses Using chickpea flour was brilliant, we’ll keep that in mind as we explore pulses further this year.

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