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Irish Soda Bread

This post was written by Jan O'Brien, one of our board members and Right Relief Boston coordinator! Thanks for contributing this yummy recipe!

St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is quickly approaching, and whether you’re Irish or not, a traditional item to make is Irish Soda Bread. Since my last name is O’Brien, I’ve made plenty of soda bread in the almost 30 years I’ve been married. Friends and family have kindly shared recipes and I’ve tried them all. An internet search yielded my current favorite recipe from the ‘allrecipes’ website, and I’m happy to share it with you!

This recipe is easy and relatively quick to make. And every ingredient is easy to find. It yields a substantial and hearty bread that can be eaten at room temperature, warm or toasted–plain, or with butter or jam on top. Any way you slice it, the bread will be sure to provide a hug to the belly!

I’ll close with an Irish Blessing: For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way: Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.

Recipe Summary

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 45 mins

Additional: 10 mins

Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 12

Yield: 1 9-inch round loaf


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature

  • 1 ½ cups raisins

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch cake pan.

  • Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter gently into the flour mixture until well combined, and stir in the raisins. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together; lightly beat the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Place the dough into the prepared cake pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the bread has risen and the top is golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. A knife inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing.

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