Irish Soda Bread

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread, dotted with raisins.  Slightly sweet, crunchy on the outside and dense and soft on the inside.  Makes a terrific accompaniment to your favorite soups, stews, and St. Patrick’s Day meals!
Irish Soda Bread with raisins
Irish Soda Bread is a simple to make bread that requires no rise time at all.  It’s a somewhat sweet white bread with a crusty exterior, many times studded with raisins or even caraway seeds.  It’s made with easy to find ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder and buttermilk.
Soda bread gets its name from the fact that baking soda, or “bread soda” as it’s called in Irland,  is used as the leavening ingredient, or what makes it rise.  
Creamy Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup
It is a terrific accompaniment to the traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage meal, of course.  But I  really like it served up warm next to a bowl of creamy soup, like this Creamy Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup you see here.
I am on the Food Committee at our church.  We belong to St. Patrick’s Parish, so every year St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal.
Every year, they host a dinner at church, and this year they were looking for people to make Irish Soda bread.
When this post was originally written, I hadn’t really baked much bread, other than Banana Bread. But I thought I would give it a whirl.  I like that this recipe has a bit of sweetness to it, from the small amount of sugar, as well as the raisins.  I love raisins! 
Over the years of making this soda bread, I have used both regular raisins, as well as golden raisins.  Whatever you have on hand. 
Irish Soda Bread - An Affair from the Heart

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Before you go, pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board to make it easier to find when you feel like baking!


Preparing Irish Soda Bread


Irish Soda Bread baked

As I mentioned, this Irish Soda Bread recipe is super easy to make.  You don’t have to be a bread baker to make it.  


Irish Soda Bread Prep Collage

Make sure to sift your dry ingredients into the bowl to start, then make a “well” in the middle of the dry ingredients.

Add in the raisins, then the buttermilk and mix to combine.  The dough is sticky.


Irish Soda Bread Prep Collage 2


Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, and knead about 10 times.  Don’t over knead. 

Form into a circle and place it in a parchment-lined cake pan.   Score an “X” in the top with a knife, and bake.


Irish Soda Bread sliced with butter

Crunchy on the outside and dense and soft in the middle.  Slather it with butter, add jam or honey if you desire.  It’s amazing toasted, too!


Simple Buttermilk Substitute


This soda bread recipe calls for buttermilk.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep it on hand. 

I use it in a handful of recipes, but not enough to warrant me buying a quart of it.  So, I make my own Buttermilk Substitute





Cake Flour Substitute

My Irish Soda Bread recipe also calls for cake flour.  Again, if you don’t find yourself using lots of cake flour, it may go bad before you actually get to use it.  So make your own!

In the notes of the printable recipe card below, I have added the substitution ratios of all-purpose flour to corn starch to make your own cake flour, if you don’t have any on hand.


Irish Soda Bread Sliced


I have oodles of St. Patrick’s Day Recipes as well as Bread Recipes here on my blog, stay a while and give them a browse, won’t you?


Irish Soda Bread HERO

Let’s get to this quick and simple Irish Soda Bread with Raisins recipe! You’ll be noshing on warm bread in just over an hour!  M.

Irish Soda Bread Sliced
5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe

Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread, dotted with raisins.  Slightly sweet, crunchy on the outside and dense and soft on the inside.  Makes a terrific accompaniment to your favorite soups, stews, and St. Patrick's Day meals!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: how to make Irish Soda Bread, Irish Soda Bread, Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
Servings: 1 loaf bread
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 3 cups sifted cake flour *
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins regular or golden are fine
  • 1 1/3 cup of buttermilk **


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Sift all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Form a "well" in the center of the flour mixture.
  • Add raisins and buttermilk, and combine. The dough is STICKY.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead about 10 times. Don’t over knead.
  • Form dough into a circle, and place in prepared pan. Score an “X” in the top with a knife.
  • Bake 60-65 minutes.
  • Cool slightly before slicing.


* If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour by removing 6 Tablespoons of flour from the 3 cups, and adding in 6 Tablespoons of corn starch for this recipe.
** If you don't have buttermilk on hand, make your own using whole milk and either lemon juice or vinegar. Buttermilk Substitute Recipe.
Bread WILL NOT KEEP for long. Consume bread within 1-2 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 303mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g


This post was originally published in March of 2013 and was updated in March of 2020 to upgrade user experience.  Recipe from Green Eggs and Spam.

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    1. Laurie, I am not a “bread person” either when it comes to making it. (eating it yes!! ) This was really EASY trust me. My 10 year old made one by herself!!

  1. I absolutely love bread that is crunchy/hard on the outside and oh so soft on the inside! Would love to try this recipe. Oh….and that corned beef recipe is also looking mighty good!

  2. How funny, I too have never made bread other than banana bread but I do LOVE soda bread and this recipe looks easy enough to try!

  3. Such a delicious bread! I had never tried it and you made it really easy to follow your directions! Thanks for a great recipe!

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