Irish Soda Bread

Cutting into a loaf of Irish soda bread.

St. Patty’s Day.  How do you celebrate?  Are you a green beer and shamrock necklace reveller?  Or do you prefer a comforting dish of corned beef and cabbage with a pint of Guinness?   Honestly, I’ve done both.  At this stage of the game,  I definitely fall on the side of a good meal over copious amounts of dyed pub ale (you never know what’s going to happen once you’re focusing with beer goggles.)  I’ll leave that to some of my younger, single friends who will undoubtedly share the good time that I missed on Facebook.

flour and leavener in a bowl.
adding butter to flour.

 For our St. Pat’s, I’m going with comfort food.  Specifically, this Irish soda bread.  I’ve tried several iterations and so far, this is my favorite, hands down.  The dough comes together in about 15 minutes and when baking, it fills the house with a wonderful aroma.   One whiff and Emily is grinning from ear to ear.

checking consistency of butter cut into flour.
golden raisins and caraway seeds.

The original recipe for this bread makes more than the three of us can handle, so I halved it, put it in a  smaller pan and shaved off some baking time.  It still makes an impressive loaf and their will be plenty of leftovers for breakfast.  I promise.  Pinky swear.

making Irish Soda Bread.
Irish Soda Bread in a skillet.

Here’s what’s so great about this bread.  It’s firm, but has a beautiful crumb.  It is redolent with raisins (I used the golden variety) and caraway seeds which give it that distinctive bouquet and flavor.  This bread is a little sweet.  Not so much as a cake, but it definitely straddles the line.  Warmed with a little butter and maybe some fruit jam — heaven.  Alongside a bowl of hot soup — absolutely.  With corned beef and cabbage — naturally.

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fresh baked Irish Soda Bread.
Buttering the Irish soda bread and adding jam.

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Irish Soda Bread
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Irish Soda Bread

A delicious and easy quick bread perfect for any meal.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Keyword quick bread
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter cut into cubes half a stick, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup raisins I used golden raisins
  • 1 ½ tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a heavy ovenproof skillet about 8-9 inches in diameter with 2-2 1/2″ inch high sides. (A cast iron skillet would work well).
  • In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  • Add butter and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs –when you squeeze the crumbs, they should clump.
  • Stir in raisins and caraway seeds until evenly distributed.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add to flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir to combine. Dough will be sticky.
  • Transfer dough to prepared skillet and smooth over. Dip a small sharp knife into flour and make an “x” on the top of the dough – about 1-inch deep.
  • Bake about 50 minutes or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in skillet for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Can be made one day ahead. Store at room temperature, wrapped in foil.


Store leftovers wrapped in foil or plastic on the counter for 1-2 days.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2.8mg
This simple recipe for Irish Soda Bread is slightly sweet with caraway and golden raisins. Great for breakfast or with a soup or stew!

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  1. I love Irish soda bread! Haven’t made it in years, but your version sounds wonderful! Happy St. Patty’s Day!

    1. It had been a while for me, too, Mary. But it’s definitely worth revisiting!

  2. I’ve never had soda bread believe it or not but it looks delicious. And yeah St. Patties Day will be low key for me and all about the comfort food πŸ™‚

  3. This soda bread looks absolutely wonderful! Gotta try this soon!

    1. If my calendar is correct — tomorrow is St. Patty’s Day!

  4. Allison Mattina says:

    This looks worlds better than the store bought versions. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. I think tomorrow would be a good day to try, LOL!

  5. This bread looks gorgeous. I love the use of caraway seeds and golden raisins.

    1. I’m glad you approve. It really is a delicious combination.

  6. I have never made this one before but it looks really good! I am going to an Irish pub with my hubby but now I am thinking about making your soda bread later that day! If I will still be able to πŸ™‚

    1. Make it early in the day, then it’s ready to soak up whatever you need it to.

  7. Oh I do love soda bread – although I prefer it plain or using a little wholemeal flour when I make it. Yours looks like a great variation on the basic recipe!

  8. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    I love holidays– so we usually go to an Irish pub. I also make Irish soda bread some years because my British husband loves it. And beer! That’s a great way to celebrate.

    1. Sounds like you’ve got a great plan, Michelle!

  9. huntfortheverybest says:

    looks wonderful!

  10. Thank You for a recipe that uses golden raisins rather than weird candied fruit bits. I will be serving this with my corned beef rather than the store bought one.

  11. Gabrielle Glatt says:

    Hi Lisa, What could I use if I don’t have a cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan?

    1. Any heavy baking dish should do the trick. If you have a good quality cake pan (a sturdy one with high sides) that would work too. Don’t skimp on buttering the pan!