Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread is beyond easy to whip up, made with very basic ingredients, and is perfect smeared with butter or jam. Serve alongside some hearty soup for dipping or in place of dinner rolls!

soda bread smeared with butter

You know how some dinners just NEED bread to go alongside them.

Soup, stew, salad, roast…the list goes on and on because let’s be real – bread makes every meal better. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Well, sometimes you just don’t have any packaged dinner rolls laying around and you don’t have any tubes of dough in the fridge and you don’t have time for yeast to rise. This is when Irish soda bread comes in handy.


Although, let me be perfectly honest with you: Irish soda bread is not only for when you’re short on time or as a ‘last resort.’ Irish soda bread should often be your first choice because it is DELICIOUS. And EASY. And did I mention DELICIOUS? 

We’re obsessed in this house. 

How to make soda bread: 

This traditional Irish soda bread recipe uses basic (and cheap!) ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, buttermilk, butter, and egg.

There’s really not much to this recipe. You just toss everything in a bowl, all at once, and you mix. 

If you’re using a stand mixer, the dough hook is perfect here. If you’re doing this by hand, get in there and knead the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball and pop it on a baking sheet.

Irish soda bread brushed with butter and buttermilk before baking

Brush the outside with a mix of melted butter and buttermilk. 

Kind of looks like a head of cauliflower at this point, but just stick with me. 

I brush this mixture on the outside every 15 minutes during cooking. 

The bread takes about 1 hour in the oven. 

We serve this warm with loads of butter smeared on top. 

Traditional Irish Soda Bread! We make this all year long and slather with butter or jam! #irish #sodabread #easybreadrecipe #recipe

How to make Irish soda bread without buttermilk: 

Buttermilk plays an important role in Irish soda bread. The baking soda reacts with the acidity of the buttermilk to cause the bread to rise. 

If you don’t have buttermilk, you may substitute fresh milk with 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar added to sour the milk. Just add the vinegar to the milk and let set for 5 minutes before adding to your flour. 

Is Irish soda bread really Irish? 

Yes, it really is!

This is an old recipe using the most basic of ingredients because they’re cheap and easily found.

sliced Irish soda bread with butter

How do you eat Irish soda bread? 

You can slice the loaf into traditional slices or you can cut it into wedges.

Serve warm with plenty of butter or marmalade.

This bread is also great for dunking in soup. It’s a dense, hearty bread that holds up well.

It’s perfect at breakfast with a cup of hot tea.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread! We make this all year long and slather with butter or jam! #irish #sodabread #easybreadrecipe #recipe

What to serve with Irish soda bread: 

Pork Tenderloin: Topped with garlic butter!

Corned Beef: The obvious choice here!

Cabbage Roll Soup: All the flavor of a cabbage roll in soup form.

Crock Pot Pork Chops: Smothered pork chops in the slow cooker!

Crock Pot Beef Stew: Use the bread to sop up this goodness!

Traditional Irish Soda Bread! We make this all year long and slather with butter or jam! #irish #sodabread #easybreadrecipe #recipe

Traditional Irish Soda Bread! We make this all year long and slather with butter or jam! #irish #sodabread #easybreadrecipe #recipe
5 from 5 votes

Irish Soda Bread

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: quick bread recipe
Calories: 291 kcal

Irish Soda Bread is a classic, simple bread recipe that requires no rise time so it's ready in about an hour! 


For the bread
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ยผ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
For basting
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the buttermilk, softened butter, and egg to the mixture and mix well using an electric mixer until a soft dough forms.
  4. Use your hands to knead the dough lightly. Shape into a large ball and flatten slightly.
  5. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and use a sharp knife to cut an โ€˜Xโ€™ into the top of the loaf.
  6. Stir together the melted butter and buttermilk and brush over the outside of the loaf.
  7. Bake in a hot oven for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Brush the loaf with the buttermilk mixture every 15 minutes during baking.

Recipe Notes

This bread is rather dense and very filling - not light and fluffy like a sandwich bread.

Best served warm with butter or jam.

Nutrition Facts
Irish Soda Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 291 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 46mg15%
Sodium 322mg14%
Potassium 184mg5%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 415IU8%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.