Easy Irish Soda Bread

2 loaves
1 hr 10 min

Moist and full of raisins, this easy and non traditional Irish Soda Bread is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Slather a piece with butter and enjoy throughout March!

What’s Irish Soda Bread?

Full disclosure, my family is in no way, shape, or form Irish. This is probably not a traditional Irish Soda Bread, but it’s one by Italian grandma has been making for years and years and it is a family favorite and always has. Irish Soda Bread is different than yeasted breads because it uses baking soda to get the bread to rise. It is usually full of some sort of dried fruit, traditionally that is raisins.

Ingredients to Note

Baking Soda- Baking soda is what gives the Irish “Soda” Bread it’s name. Instead of yeast and letting the dough proof and rise, the baking soda does all of that for you in the oven.

Sour Cream- Because we are using baking soda to get the bread to rise, you need an acid to activate the baking soda. The sour cream acts as that acid to activate the baking soda. Traditionally, Irish Soda Bread has buttermilk, but I think the sour cream gives the bread a moister, denser crumb making it perfect to toast and melt butter over.

Raisins- Growing up, I always used to pick the raisins out of the bread and throw them away, but now, I realize they give this bread a delicious, sugary pop in every bite. Use regular raisins or golden raisins in this recipe, both would be equally as good. Caraway seeds are often added to Irish Soda Bread, but for this recipe we are not adding any.

How to Make This Bread

This bread is very heavy and thick, so if you have a stand mixe r I would suggest using it. I remember when my mom made this when I was a kid, my dad would grab his wooden spoon and mix this with all this might because it gets really heavy and dense.

In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all the ingredients to the bowl. Mix on low until everything is combined and the dough is cohesive. When combined, the dough is very sticky, so don’t be alarmed if it seems wetter than it should be.

Grease and flour two loaf pans. Make sure to grease and flour two loaf pans really well because this bread can and will easily stick to the sides.

Evenly divide the dough between the two loaf pans and mark a slit in the top of the dough if you can. The dough is very wet so it might be difficult to do so, but try to get as many slits in the loaf as you can. Bake the bread at 375 degrees for at least 1 hour, or until a knife is inserted into the middle and it comes out clean. Turn the loaves onto a wire rack and allow them to cool before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use loaf pans?

You can use a loaf pan or I used a cast iron skillet for these pictures. Just be use to butter and flour whatever vessel you are using. Because the dough is so wet, I wouldn’t suggest baking it directly on a baking sheet in the oven. It would not be able to hold it’s shape.

Is this a traditional Irish Soda Bread?

It’s not. This bread uses baking powder as well as baking soda and does not have caraway seeds. It also uses sour cream instead of buttermilk. This recipe was given to my grandmother from one of her friends wayyy back in the day when she was working as a seamstress. It’s become a family favorite and I wanted to share with everyone this delicious bread.

How do I store this bread?

Once the bread is cooled, it will last for about a week on the counter in a Ziploc bag. If you want so freeze it, once again wait until it cools and then put it in a Ziploc bag. It will freeze well for about three months. Let it thaw on the counter and then serve.

Other Recipes to Try!

Did you give this recipe a try? I’d love to hear from you! Give me a shout on Instagram or Facebook and let me know (@Lynnswayoflife) !

  • Sourdough Bagels
  • Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread
  • Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn small commission from qualifying purchases.

Recipe details
  • 2  loaves
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 10 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 16 oz Full Fat Sour Cream
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 375°.
Grease and flour two loaf pans or one large cast iron skillet. Make sure to grease and flour them well so the bread does not stick.
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes until the dough comes together. The dough will be very wet and sticky.
Pour the dough into the two prepared loaf pans or cast iron skillet. Bake for one hour or until a knife is inserted into the middle and comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack before cutting. Bread will last in a Ziploc bag for about a week, or frozen in a Ziploc bag for up to three months.
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Judith Judith on Mar 13, 2021

    Love soda bread but this recipe is different than the one I have. Excited to try it!

  • Pat AN Harness Pat AN Harness on Mar 13, 2021

    Is that parchment paper in the skillet?

    • Lynnswayoflife Lynnswayoflife on Mar 13, 2021

      Yes, it’s not 100% necessary as long as you grease and flour the pan enough, but it will ensure the bread doesn’t stick.