Bourbon Soaked Orange Loaf Cake with Currants; Review of The Flying Brownie

Bourbon Quick Bread with Oranges and Currants

It is The Leftovers Club time! And that is extra exciting, because I received a fantastic new cookbook all about great goodies for long distance shipping to review. Talk about serendipity! My biggest problem now will be not making everything in the book for all future The Leftovers Clubs since I think you guys should go buy the book, not just get all the recipes here….

Oh yeah, you want to know what the book is? It is Shirley Fan’s The Flying Brownie: 100 Terrific Homemade Food Gifts for Friends and Loved Ones Far Away, which the folks at Harvard Common Press were nice enough to send to me for reviewing. And can we take a moment to appreciate the title? I love that title!

Bourbon Quick Bread with Oranges and CurrantsAs for what is on the inside, the book has a great selection of sweet and savory snacks that stand up to traveling as well as storage. For example, in the case of this cake, the booze helps it to stay fresh and moist and quick breads can take a little jostling (we will just call a spade a spade and admit that quick breads are pretty darn close to cakes). The book has fantastic color photographs of many of the recipes; it is one of those books with a ring binder, so it opens and lays flat quite nicely. If you like to send people care packages for any reason, I definitely recommend it.

About this cake: I did not do the best job of measuring the bourbon in the glaze, and so my husband found it a little too boozy. I liked it quite a lot, but I definitely like the taste of alcohol more than John does. If you measure more carefully you will be fine in any case. The bourbon complements the orange perfectly, and I love currants in baked goods, although you can certainly do as the original recipe suggests and use raisins (or cranberries or dried cherries for that matter).

I sent the cake to my partner for this month, Heather over at Sugar Dish Me. Not without a bit of trepidation–have you been over there? Go, look. Come back, I will wait for you….

The lady can bake. And cook. I kind of want to eat everything on her site. So you can imagine my relief when she said she really liked the bread! I know I am going to love whatever she sent me–it is en route as I type!

Bourbon Quick Bread with Oranges and Currants

If you would like to join in next month, please head over to The Leftovers Club where you can learn more about how to join in the fun! Be sure to check out everyone else’s awesome recipes for #TheLeftoversClub below (linky will be added by the end of the day, November 7):

This is for members of The Leftovers Club to display their amazing treats that they sent to other bloggers to sample!

Bourbon Quick Bread with Oranges and Currants

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bourbon Soaked Orange Mini Loaves with Currants
Very closely adapted from Shirley Fan-my major changes were to bake as mini loaves, use currants in place of raisins, and add salt to the glaze
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: quick bread
  • For the bread:
  • 1 cup plus 2 T (18 T total) (142 g) AP flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ¼ t fine sea salt
  • 8 T (1/2 cup, 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ cup bourbon (I used Jim Beam original)
  • 1 T orange zest (I used equivalent in orange oil, about ⅛ t)
  • ½ cup currants or raisins
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 T unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ T bourbon (I used closer to a T)
  • ¼ t vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven 325 F. Grease and flour either an 8X4 loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-large bowl, whisk together butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and whisk together. Beat in the vanilla, bourbon and orange zest (or oil).
  4. Switching to a silicone spatula, gently stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the currants or raisins.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan/s. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45-50 mins for one loaf and around 30 minutes for the mini loaves (keep an eye and nose on them).
  6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  7. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze: mix all of the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk to completely combine.
  8. Place wax paper under the cooling rack. Using a chopstick or the cake tester, poke several holes over the top of the cake/s. Pour the glaze over the cake. Place a clean piece of wax paper under the cooling rack, and remove the one with extra glaze carefully, as you are going to tip and squeeze it out over the cake/s, to drape a second layer of glaze over the cake/s. You can repeat this if you want, but I thought twice was pretty perfect.
  9. Let the glaze set completely, at least 20 minutes.
  10. If you are shipping the quick bread, wrap the cake/s tightly in plastic wrap and then place in a ziplock bag. If you are keeping your hard work at home to enjoy--perfectly understandable!-then just place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.

As always, affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I would have linked to and discussed anyway. I did receive a copy of The Flying Brownie for free, but all opinions about the book are my own.


  1. says

    Ooo that does sound like a great cookbook for all of us Leftovers Club-ers! I am definitely into booze in my baked goods. Love the sound of these quickbreads!

  2. says

    Awww you are so sweet! Thanks so much for writing such nice things! Now the pressure is on — I sure do hope you like your blondies!
    As for these cakes: They were freaking amazing. I loved them! Not too much bourbon at all!
    The name of that cook book is PERFECT and what an awesome thing to use for the Leftovers Club!
    Thanks a million Laura!

  3. says

    That book sounds PERFECT to start the holidays with! I’m always looking for send-able treats to mail to family, I can’t wait to check it out. And lucky Heather with this boozy, yum-looking bread!!

  4. says

    I really do enjoy boozy cakes during the holiday season. I usually do rum however I can see using bourbon now. These little cakes would make great homemade gifts.

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