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Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Learn how to make delicious Irish soda bread with raisins with a bit of orange zest! This traditional soda bread makes a wonderful breakfast treat simply toasted with butter that pairs so well with a cup of tea or coffee and is perfect for St. Patrick's Day. 

Easy Irish Soda Bread

Easy Irish soda bread with raisins

St. Patty's Day is a holiday where everyone claims to have a little “green” in their blood.

Whether having true ancestry from the Emerald Isle or just through osmosis by wearing green garb from head to toe, it's all in fun, and either way, I raise my pint to you.

All are welcome to enjoy the traditional Irish soda bread recipe. And we have a delicious take on this favorite loaf of bread.

Tools to make classic Irish soda bread recipe

You will be so happy that this homemade bread is so easy and quick! These are the tools I use when making this type of quick bread.

  • Baking sheet pan- I like to bake this on a prepared sheet pan – meaning lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup and even baking.
  • Parchment paper– The best baking item. I always use parchment paper.
  • Zester– Our soda bread recipe has a secret ingredient and this is needed to get the job done.
  • Mixing bowls– Something every kitchen should have.
  • Sharp knife– This is used to make the big cross cut into the top of the dough before baking.
  • Serrated knife makes cutting the baked bread so much easier.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread with raisins

Traditional Irish soda bread ingredients

The secret ingredient to our recipe for Irish soda bread is the addition of orange zest. When the bread is baking, it smells so wonderful!

The extra secret is to combine currants and raisins, which give a nice texture to the bread. If you don't have currants on hand it is totally fine to use all raisins! Of course, if you don't like raisins, you can leave them out altogether.

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Cold butter, diced
  • Buttermilk
  • Egg, slightly beaten
  • Orange zest
  • Raisins
  • Currants

Related recipes: Buttermilk Biscuits, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Brioche French Toast, Turkey Reuben, Homemade Mashed Potatoes, Crispy Shredded Sweet Potatoes, Potato Pancakes, Crockpot Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Sweet Irish soda bread with raisins instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a standing mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, & salt. Add diced cold butter to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the butter is just incorporated.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk, and orange zest.

Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients.

Add raisins and currants and mix on low until all ingredients form a dough ball.

Dump the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4-5 times until the dough can be shaped into a mound.

Place the dough mound on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow ‘X' across the entire top of the loaf.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean.

Soda bread will have a hollow sound when tapped.

Why put a cross on Irish soda bread

There are two tales of the tradition of why you cut a cross on top of the bread.

  1. To Keep the Devil out. Cutting a cross either kept the Devil at bay or baked him out of the bread.
  2. As a sign of a blessing and giving thanks.

You can decide which meaning fits best for your traditional Irish bread.

Easy Irish Soda Bread

Best way to eat Irish soda bread

I like to simply slice and toast and smother with a big pat of butter. It's so good, especially with the orange zest which gives it almost a tea cake flavor!

But there are other ways you can enjoy this popular recipe:

  • Butter- Salted or unsalted butter tastes great when fresh out of the toaster!
  • Cheese- spread a bit of cream cheese or Boursin herb cheese. Hard cheese like cheddar or gouda would be tasty.
  • Dipped in soups stews- a good shepherd's pie or hearty soup like our Beef Barley Soup.
  • Made into a French Toast casserole would be amazing.
  • Slice and serve as sandwich bread- it tastes so good with turkey
  • Do you like scones? Then these Irish Soda Bread scones are a MUST try!!

How to store fresh soda bread

This easy Irish soda bread recipe is best enjoyed fresh. If you won't be able to eat the entire loaf in a day or two, I would freeze it.

Prepare for the freezer by slicing bread into slices and placing it into a Freezer Ziplock bag. Bread should keep for up to 3 months.

May the Luck of the Irish shine on you! 

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Irish Soda Bread with Raisins
Yield: 1 loaf

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

Traditional Irish Soda Bread with raisins

Irish Soda Bread with raisins bakes to a delicious traditional loaf to serve with tea or for breakfast. Filled with orange zest for added flavor, this is a treat you will want to make every St. Patrick's Day!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp. cold butter, diced
  • 1 ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup currants


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking soda & salt. Add diced butter and mix on low until butter is incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg, buttermilk and orange zest and mix together. Pour into flour mixture. Add raisins and currants. Mix until all come together in a dough ball.
  4. Dump dough onto floured surface and knead 4-5 times until dough comes together and can be shaped into a mound. Place dough onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Cut a shallow ‘X’ on top of dough with a knife.
  5. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick tests clean. Bread will sound hollow when tapped.
  6. Cool on rack.
  7. Serve warm with butter or jam or both!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 502mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g

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Updates to post content: 2/25/23

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