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Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread With Raisin

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Slice into this delicious Irish soda bread for a breakfast treat, snack, or dessert after dinner. This Irish soda bread is made with raisins, buttermilk, and a few other pantry staple ingredients. A quick bread recipe that requires no yeast at all. This soda bread is a classic recipe out of a grandma’s cookbook.

Wooden board with partially sliced Irish soda bread.

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If you want simple and easy, this traditional Irish soda bread recipe will be a hit for you. A dense and flavorful bread that is perfect for slabbing on some butter or even jam. Serve with a cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream to sip on as you eat your bread.

Why You Will Enjoy This Recipe

  • Pantry Staple Ingredients
  • Easy Quick Bread Recipe
  • Minimal Prep Work
  • Bakes Quickly
  • Delicious
  • Buttermilk Soda Bread – Nice tangy flavor

Ingredients Needed

Here is all you need to make this soda bread recipe.

Ingredients for Irish Soda Bread sitting on a white countertop.
  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Raisins
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Egg


For this recipe, you will want to use all the ingredients but you can exchange the raisins for another item. To do more of a savory swap with caraway seeds or other herbs. Or you can leave the raisins out for more of a classic plain bread.

I love spreading butter on top of the bread to help add flavor. If I do plain then I use a jam or jelly to spread on top for flavor.

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

Collage of mixing ingredients for Irish soda bread with raisins.

Step One: Preheat the oven as directed and grease your baking sheet or skillet and set it aside.

Step Two: First in a bowl, you will add your dry ingredients and mix to combine. Just mix to incorporate all the ingredients. (Photo 1)

Step Three: With a pastry cutter you will begin incorporating the cold butter to the dry ingredients. You can also use a fork to break up the butter. (Photo 2)

Step Four: Stir in the raisins and set the dry mixture aside. (Photo 3)

Step Five: In a small bowl add egg and buttermilk together. Whisk to combine. (Photo 4)

Collage of cookie Irish soda bread dough.

Step Six: Pour the wet to the dry and work the dough to create a cohesive ball. (Photos 5 & 6)

Step Seven: Place on the baking sheet or skillet. Then place an x shape on top of the dough, and bake as directed. (Photos 7 & 8)

Soda bread sitting on a wooden board.

Helpful Tips For Making Soda Bread

  • Make sure to not overmix the dough, or it will become heavy and very dense.
  • Make sure to put an “x” on top of the bread so air can escape as it bakes.
  • This Irish soda bread is best served warm fresh out of the oven.
  • It is important to place the bread in a preheated oven.


Any bread you don’t eat right away can be stored at room temperature on the counter. I find that it is best served fresh and warm. This soda bread can become dry once it cools down.

You can freeze the bread as well, place in a freezer bag or airtight container. Freeze for 2-3 months, then thaw in microwave or on the counter at room temperature.

Sliced soda bread on a wooden cutting board.

Irish Soda Bread FAQs

What does Irish soda bread taste like?

Irish soda bread is very mild in flavor. You will find it needs butter or jam to help add flavor to the bread. Depending on the recipe it can be sweetened with raisins or savory with herbs.

Why is Irish soda bread so dry?

If you add too much flour or baking powder it can cause your bread to become dry and crumbly. It is important to measure your ingredients properly.

How do you make buttermilk?

If you do not have buttermilk on hand simply add 1 cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir and then measure out how much milk you need for the recipe.

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Partially sliced loaf of Soda Bread With Raisins.
5 from 1 vote

Irish Soda Bread

Author: Kim Schob
Course: Breakfast & Brunch, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Irish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Kneading dough 2 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Irish soda bread recipe made with raisins and buttermilk. This is a simple no yeast quick bread recipe that is studded with perfectly sweet raisins in each bite.



  • 4 ½ cups (562 ½ g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (2 Tablespoons) White Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons (4 Tablespoons) Butter cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 Cup (145 g) Raisins
  • 1 ¾ Cup (420 g) Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg


  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Grease a skillet or baking sheet and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, white sugar, salt, and baking powder until well combined.
  • Use a pastry cutter or large fork to incorporate the cold butter into the flour mixture until well-distributed and dry ingredients resemble clumpy sand.
  • Stir in the raisins and set aside.
  • In a small bowl or large measuring cup, beat together the buttermilk and egg until well-combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk-egg mixture.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you're unable to stir anymore, then use your hands to continue kneading the dough, at least 2 minutes until no longer sticky and the dough forms a cohesive ball.
  • Place the ball of dough onto the prepared skillet or cookie sheet.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut a large X-shape in the center of the dough to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted toothpick, comes out clean.


Avoid the desire to add more flour to the dough for at least a minute – it will be sticky at first but should become less sticky with kneading.
Yields: 14-16 Slices (1 Loaf) 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2Slices Calories: 3297kcal (165%) Carbohydrates: 589g (196%) Protein: 81g (162%) Fat: 70g (108%) Saturated Fat: 39g (244%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Monounsaturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 330mg (110%) Sodium: 3705mg (161%) Potassium: 2441mg (70%) Fiber: 25g (104%) Sugar: 46g (51%) Vitamin A: 2330IU (47%) Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) Calcium: 883mg (88%) Iron: 31mg (172%)

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