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Super Easy Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Quick and Easy Irish Soda Bread with raisins recipe is a tasty quick bread that can be baked in any kitchen. It is the perfect bread with a bowl of stew or when you want homemade bread in a jiffy! It isn’t only for the Irish!

This delicious recipe was first published on 9/30/15 and has been updated to improve the reader experience.

Top-down angled view of a loaf of soda bread dotted with raisins sitting on a wooden cutting bread. Two slices are cut from the front showing the inside of the loaf. a Butter knife sits beside the loaf.

John’s mother is Irish (him half), and he said he doesn’t like Irish soda bread with raisins.

When I decided to give this bread a try, I thought I was going to have to give the whole loaf to John’s parents. Why would I do something like that?

I was so sure that John wouldn’t eat it so I filled this baby full of raisins. His parents, (and I) love raisins in baking. Are you feeling sorry for me yet?

What is Quick Bread?

Quick bread, means that no yeast is used. Soda Bread relies on chemical reactions between baking soda and the acid in buttermilk (sour milk) to make it rise instead.

The History of Soda Bread

Soda bread wasn’t invented by Irish bakers. In fact, food historians give credit of first using soda to leaven bread to the Native Americans, who used pearl ash to help their bread rise. Regardless, it’s a very popular bread in Ireland today.

Irish Soda Bread Variations

  • Traditional recipes use all-purpose flour.
  • Irish Brown uses a mix of wheat flour and sometimes wheat germ giving it that brown color.
  • Sweet Irish that is sweetened with dried fruit and sometimes molasses.

I guess this recipe should be called Irish Sweet Brown Soda Bread? No, I haven’t been drinking any green beer!

I pressed my fingers into the top of the bread leaving shallow “divots” similar to what you do to focaccia bread and scored a “cross” in the top of my loaf which is traditional for this bread as well. You can use a sharp or serrated knife or a “lame”.

Top-down angled view of a loaf of soda bread dotted with raisins sitting on a wooden cutting bread. Two slices are cut from the front showing the inside of the loaf. a Butter knife sits beside the loaf.

Why does Irish Soda Bread have a cross scored on the top?

It’s due to superstitious reasons. Families believed if they cut a cross on the top of the bread that it would ward off evil and protect the household.

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We LOVE baking bread! You can find all of our bread recipes here!

What we used

  • Parchment paper – I use this parchment paper all the time. It withstands a 450°F. Parchment paper can start on fire in your oven if it’s not rated for the temperature you’re baking at!
  • Baking Sheet – These sheet pans are durable and I have four of them so I can get all of my cookies baked in a jiffy!

Easy Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This Super Easy Irish Soda Bread recipe is a tasty quick bread that can be baked in any kitchen. It’s soft and tender and the perfect homemade bread to serve with soup or stew.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 20 servings
Author Hostess At Heart


  • 2-1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all of the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and raisins. Mix with a wooden spoon until flour is incorporated. Knead a few times by hand if necessary.
  • Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and form a 2″ thick round loaf. Cut a 1-inch cross through the top of the bread with a sharp or serrated knife.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F for an additional 10 minutes. The bread is done when browned and sounds hollow when tapped or reaches an internal temperature of 210°F with an instant-read thermometer.  Cover with foil if bread browns too quickly.
  • Allow the loaf of bread to cool on a wire rack approximately 30 minutes. 
  • Store in air-tight container or bag. This bread is best eaten the day it’s made.  Freeze any portion that can’t be eaten in 2 days. 


My oven bakes hot so I baked it at 425°F and then lowered the temperature to 400°F as indicated in the recipe. Recipe adapted from The Poco Loco Olsons
This bread makes amazing French Toast too!


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!

If you think that soda bread is dry and boring, just like what John used to think, this recipe will change your mind. I kept half of the loaf, and even with the raisins, John found himself liking it. It also makes the most amazing toast to go with my morning coffee too.

Recipe Rating

Super Easy Potato Roll Recipe | Hostess At Heart

Tuesday 14th of March 2017

[…] Farm‘s post.  She chose a very appropriate theme, Irish Bread recipes.  Last year I made Soda Bread that is also super easy!  This year I wanted to give potato bread a […]

Take Two Tapas

Friday 9th of October 2015

I'm crap at making homemade bread but I am always willing to give it a try! I love Soda Bread because of the tang of it and that crust is making me drool! Thanks for sharing with Saucy Saturdays!

Julie Menghini

Friday 9th of October 2015

Thank you!

Divine Spice Box

Wednesday 7th of October 2015

I am yet to try a soda bread and this one is fantastic Julie. I am so glad i stumbled on this recipe. Love it !! <3 I am so trying this out soon :)

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 7th of October 2015

Thank you! I've heard from several people that had the same opinion of a dry and tasteless bread. This recipe changed my mind. It's easy, and you can load it up sweet or savory. I appreciate you visiting!

Tornadough Alli

Wednesday 7th of October 2015

This looks so good! I'm a bread addict! I have seen recipes for soda bread but haven't tried it yet, this recipe looks so great and I will need to give it a go! Thanks for sharing with us at #ThrowbackThursday and hope to see you this week!

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 7th of October 2015

Thank you! Your Thursday group is a great bunch!

Sarah James @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed

Monday 5th of October 2015

Your soda bread looks delicious Julie. I love the addition of raisins, I could just eat a piece. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Menghini

Monday 5th of October 2015

Thank you Sarah! I was really happy with the way it came out!