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Irish Soda Bread


I was talking to my brother on the phone the other night.

I told him I was making Irish Soda Bread for the first time.

The first thing out of his mouth was “Does this mean Tim’s gonna make you tamales for Cinco de Mayo?” LOL!!

My brother lives in Minneapolis, I live in DC, but both of us were born and raised in Texas.

Born in a Mexican American family… neither of us had heard of Irish Soda Bread until we got older.

I had never heard of it until I met my husband.

I always thought St. Patty’s day was just a day you wore something green so nobody would pinch you…


Tim and I started dating in January of 1999 (I know… I’m old). I was a senior in college then.

I remember that year St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Tuesday.

He ask me if I wanted to go the local pub and grab a beer with him.

All I was thinking to myself was “Why do we have to grab a beer just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day?”

I was so naive! I knew nothing!!

Tim is from New York… I’m from Texas… he’s Irish… I’m Mexican…

I felt like we grew up in different worlds.

For his family… St. Patty’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year!

For my family… we wore green so we wouldn’t get pinched at school πŸ™‚


This recipe came from my Irish mother-in-law.

She grew up on this bread… her mom grew up on this bread… and Tim grew up on this bread.

So when Tim asked me to make him some Irish Soda Bread… I knew exactly who to go to for the recipe!


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Soak raisins in about 1 cup of water for 10 minutes to moisten.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together… set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. (Make sure melted butter has cooled a little… if its too hot, you’ll scramble the eggs.)

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Stir together with a wooden spoon. Drain the raisins and gently fold into dough.

You can use either a loaf pan of a round 9 inch cake pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spread dough evenly into pan.

Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


27 Responses

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet said on March 9, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I haven’t had soda bread in years, but I remember in elementary school people bringing it in around St Pattys day. Yum!

  2. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said on March 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I remember making that in fifth grade when we had to bring in some food that relates to our heritage. It was either that or spaghetti…Irish soda bread sounded much cooler. I actually like the way it tastes, though some people think it’s dry. By the way… you meant you graduated in 1999, right?

    • Estela - Weekly Bite said on March 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

      Whoops, yes 1999

  3. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday said on March 9, 2010 at 10:42 am

    add some green food colouring to it!

  4. Marisa (Loser for Life) said on March 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I love Irish Soda Bread! So does my husband! We’ll have to make this for sure πŸ™‚

  5. Nicole, RD said on March 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I knew you knew what holiday’s tomorrow πŸ˜‰

    That soda bread looks wonderful! I didn’t realize soda bread had raising in it (and I’m Irish…). I should make some this year. My husband’s family is nearly 100% Irish and my last name (in my email) but it’s VERY Irish! I want you to show how to make tamales. Though, that could be dangerous!!!

  6. Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) said on March 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I HAVE to make this for my red-headed Irish BF!! He would love it!

  7. Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said on March 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Well yum! That looks fantastic!

  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) said on March 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    that’s so funny…i didn’t know what irish soda bread was til recently! i’ve eaten it before, i just never knew what it was…but it’s SOOOOOO good! can’t wait to try this recipe πŸ™‚

  9. Cajun Chef Ryan said on March 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    This brings back memories of when my mother would make a large batch of cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Very similar in the sponge dough method, mixing the wet ingredients with the dry, then into the round pan.

  10. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) said on March 9, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Oh, I love this story! Your bread looks perfect and I am sure it was loved by your husband! I would say you went directly to the right source for the recipe too! It has been so long since I made this…I need to try your recipe soon! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie said on March 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I forgot that St. Pats day is coming up! I think my husband is 1/4 Irish maybe 0.125% lol. In the past years I have happened to wear green on St/ Patties but it just has happened that I wore green and only realized I have the correct color on after it was brought to my attns

  12. Beth @ DiningAndDishing said on March 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    that is a sweet story about you and tim! πŸ™‚

  13. Joe @ Eden Kitchen said on March 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I haven’t heard of Irish Soda Bread before now. I’m thinking I need to make an effort to celebrate St Patty’s day this year so this bread is a good place to start. In our house, we’ve started celebrating many holidays that are not often celebrated in New Zealand mainly as an excuse to try celebration foods from afar. Last year we had our first ever Thanksgiving dinner with our friends – everyone loved it, especially the candied sweet potatoes!

  14. Ameena said on March 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I have never had soda bread before but the name has always intrigued me!

    Trust me, you aren’t old Estela..I started dating Ali in 1998!

  15. Stef said on March 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    i’ve never had irish soda bread, but this pic is making me crave it like mad!

  16. Nicole @ Making Good Choices said on March 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    YUM I love irish soda bread. I made it last year for the first time and LOVED it. I lost my recipe, so I will be using yours πŸ™‚

  17. katie said on March 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    ive never had any type of soda bread!! it looks great tho!! the thought of SODA or BEER in bread kind of creeps me out for some reason!

  18. sophia said on March 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Ah, I’ve been meaning to bake Irish Soda bread, too! They look scrumptious! Have you ever tried the Irish Soda bread at WF? Those are awesome, and it was the first time I tried this bread.

  19. Astra Libris said on March 10, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I just discovered your wonderful blog, and I’m so glad I did! I heartily applaud your food philosophy! I’m also soooo excited about your soda bread recipe – I LOVE Irish soda bread! πŸ™‚

  20. Jess (Fit Chick in the City) said on March 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Can you believe that I’ve never had Irish Soda bread? I have no idea what it even tastes like.

  21. carolyn said on March 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    i’ll have to try this recipe. mine always turns out dry. yours looks so tender!

  22. Nour El-Zibdeh said on March 10, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    never had this bread before. I want to try it since I’m getting into baking lately. I have a son too, and he loves breads and crackers, so I try to make fruit loaded, whole grain breads…
    I found you through Nicole (Prevention RD) but guess what, we’ve met before! I think I’ve met you few years ago at Faye’s NE mini-meeting. Back then I was a dietetic intern, I don’t think you had a baby. Congrats! and happy RD day πŸ™‚

  23. Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES said on March 10, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    ive actually never liked irish soda bread… but i feel like i’d love yours! it looks so different from all of the types ive ever tried!

  24. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said on March 10, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    omg i grew up in Mpls and my parents still live in minnetonka!!! small world!

    and irish soda bread was a fixture in our house as my parents’ closest freinds were irish and she was always baking and giving us bread! so good!

  25. Jessie said on March 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I’m not Irish, but I love me a good piece of soda bread. With lightly salted boiled cabbage (I can skip the corned beef πŸ™‚ ). Your bread looks delicious, especially that wonderfully browned top!

  26. The Candid RD said on March 11, 2010 at 9:45 am

    St. Patrick’s day is SO huge! I mean it’s the one holiday where it doesn’t even matter that you aren’t Irish, you can still celebrate, and celebrate we do! Seriously, around here St. Patrick’s day is celebrated started the week BEFORE, and the weekend BEFORE (so, last weekend). I love your story about the pub and the beer (and not understanding the whole St. Patty’s=BEER!), what a fun memory to have. Have you had any green beer yet? That’s pretty funny. Most places sell green beer around here in March and it makes your mouth completely green.
    Thanks for this recipe, it looks and sounds delicious!