Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread


Irish soda bread made with buttermilk and basic ingredients. The buttermilk gives this crusty loaf a good flavor. It's the best Irish soda bread around!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
1 (1 1/2-pound) loaf

This classic Irish soda bread is perfect for St. Patrick's Day, but you'll want to make it all year long.

What Is Irish Soda Bread?

Irish soda bread is a type of quick bread that relies on baking soda, not yeast, to rise. The bread contains buttermilk, which contains lactic acid. The acid reacts with the baking soda to create air bubbles, resulting in a perfectly risen dough.

Soda bread became incredibly common during the Irish Potato Famine, as you can make it with only four ingredients: flour, salt, an acid, and baking soda.

Irish Soda Bread Ingredients

These are the basic, easy-to-find ingredients you'll need to make this top-rated Irish soda bread recipe:

路 Flour: This classic Irish soda bread starts with all-purpose flour.
路 Margarine: Margarine has a higher water content than butter, so the results are often softer. If you want, you can substitute Irish butter.
路 Sugar: Four tablespoons of sugar add the perfect amount of sweetness.
路 Leaveners: Baking soda and baking powder act as leaveners, which means they help the bread rise.
路 Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor of the Irish soda bread.
路 Buttermilk: A cup of buttermilk adds flavor and helps the loaf rise even higher.
路 Egg: An egg lends richness and flavor. Plus, it helps bind the dough together.
路 Butter: Brush the unbaked loaf with a mixture of buttermilk and butter before you bake it for extra flavor and shine.

How to Make Irish Soda Bread

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below 鈥 but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make homemade Irish soda bread:

1. Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk and egg.
2. Turn the dough out and knead. Form the dough into a round loaf.
3. Brush with butter and buttermilk, then cut an X in the top.
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How to Store Irish Soda Bread

Wrap the cooled Irish soda bread tightly in storage wrap or place it in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to four days.

Can You Freeze Irish Soda Bread?

Wrap the cooled loaf tightly in a layer of storage wrap, then follow it up with a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This was phenomenal," according to Joi Wolf. "I added raisins and the whole family gobbled it up."

"This bread turned out AMAZING," raves luvz2cook. "I have never made Irish soda bread before and this recipe was so easy. My kids are going to LOVE having this with corned beef and cabbage tonight."

"I have made this bread every single year for years," says Queen_Wagner. "It always turns out perfect! But to make it extra special, add caraway seeds, currants, and fresh orange peel... OH MY GOD. You will get raves."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • cup margarine, softened

  • 4 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 egg

  • cup butter, melted

  • cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

  2. Mix flour, softened margarine, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk in a small bowl; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

    closeup of a round loaf of soda bread on a wire rack
    Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

172 Calories
8g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 172
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 56mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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