It sure seems like everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day.


Irish or not, every March 17 a whole lot of us wear green (or punish those who don't), we greet each other with "top o' the mornin' to ya," and — like leprechauns drawn to pots of gold — we're irresistibly compelled to seek out Irish food and drink. (The Irish drink bit is the subject of a whole different article.)

If you'd like to add a homemade taste of Ireland to your day, one of the easiest foods you can make is Irish soda bread. This easy quick bread gets its lift from buttermilk and baking soda instead of yeast — and that's why it's called "quick bread."

We'll share a recipe created by MasterChef alum, Elise Mayfield — aka Smart Cookie — along with her top tips to make Irish soda bread in two variations: one sweet and one savory. Let's get baking!

Get the recipe: Irish Soda Bread with Buttermilk

slices of irish soda bread on a cutting board
Credit: Smart Cookie

"There's no excuse not to whip up a crusty loaf of Irish soda bread this St. Patrick's Day, especially when it's part whole wheat and packed with oats! One of the best quick breads out there, soda bread is so easy that the hardest part is waiting for it to cool before serving it with salted Irish butter." —Smart Cookie

Smart Cookie's Top Tips:

  1. Smart Cookie adds whole wheat flour pastry to the dough to lighten up the dough, and rolled oats for texture.
  2. Your dough will be sticky, so flour your kneading surface generously.
  3. Be sure to cut an X in the top of the bread before baking. (You'll find out why when you watch the video.)
  4. Let the bread cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Cook's tip. If you don't have buttermilk, you can easily make your own buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup whole milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then proceed with your recipe. (Her recipe calls for 2 cups buttermilk, so you would add 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups whole milk.

More: See our entire collection of Irish soda bread recipes.