This recipe was inspired by a post on Twitter by Jamie Schler, author and food writer. Jamie posted a recipe for isolation baking recipe # 63 for Orange Cointreau Loaf Cake.

I wanted to make this, but didn’t have Cointreau and also wanted a gluten free version to please our shelter in place fam. So here it is, with permission for a rearrangement by the author. Thanks Jamie!

Converting a traditional recipe to gluten free can sometimes produce less than stellar results, but this one turned out beautiful. The loaf is moist, light and delicious!

orange zest gluten free recipe
How can you go wrong with orange zest?

Ingredients for the Loaf

  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (or can be replaced by 1 tablespoon more orange juice)
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract or replace with vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I use Pamela’s)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (secret to moistness)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (or can be replaced with 1 tablespoon more orange juice)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, and either line it with parchment paper or dust with flour, tapping out the excess. (Tip for parchment: I use parchment sheets. If you take a sheet and scrunch it up into a ball and then flatten it out, it will mold easily to the bottom and sides of the pan and is much easier to manage. I prefer this method and when the loaf is done I can simple lift it right out with the sides of the parchment.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the sugar until blended & fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, just to blend. Beat in the orange juice, the Cointreau, the extract, and the orange zest. Stir together the flour, the baking powder, soda and the salt in a small bowl; beat in the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with dry, beating only slightly after each addition. The trick for the best gluten free outcomes is not to over beat.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan & bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the loaf is risen, the top golden brown and the center set; a tester inserted near the center of the bread should come out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Make the glaze while the loaf is baking: Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add the juice and the Cointreau. Stir until you have a very smooth silky glaze. Slide a table knife around the edges of the cake to loosen & spoon & spread the glaze evenly all over the hot cake, allowing some glaze to dribble down the sides. Allow the cake to cool completely before turning out of the pan and serving. (If you can’t wait, let it cool slightly and use a good serated knife to take a slice off!)