by Maxine Troxell

Irish soda bread may be most popular around St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s usually served with corned beef and cabbage. I remember that Shamrock Restaurant served a delicious soda bread with their corned beef and cabbage meals.

This version bakes into a lightly sweetened round loaf, resembling a giant scone, with a burnished crust and tender, fluffy crumb. Plump raisins add pops of concentrated sweetness, but you could swap them out for any dried fruit—such as currants, sour cherries, or cranberries—or simply leave them out.

Irish Soda Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

3 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into piece

5 tbsp. sugar, divided

½ tsp. kosher salt

2/3 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8” diameter cake pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. 

Whisk 2 cups flour, 4 tbsp. sugar, 1½ tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and  tsp. baking soda in a large bowl to combine. Add 3 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter (cut into pieces) to dry ingredients and rub with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Gradually mix until incorporated and a shaggy dough comes together. Mix in raisins.

Using lightly floured hands, form dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared pan. Gently press dough to flatten slightly (dough will not reach edges of pan).  Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.

Bake bread until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean (40-45 minutes). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack. Serve warm or cool completely.

Share →