Irish Soda Bread is a traditional bread served on St. Patrick’s Day, it has a hint of orange and is full of dried cranberries. And unlike a yeast bread, this Irish Soda Bread is heavy and dense, but delicious! 

This is what the Society of Preservation of Soda Bread has to say about Irish Soda Bread “Just like the bagpipes weren’t invented by the Scots, Soda Bread wasn’t invented by the Irish.  The earliest reference to using soda ash in baking bread seems to be credited to American Indians using it to leaven their bread.  Pearl Ash was used prior to 1800 to make cakes by combining it with an acidic ingredient in the dough.  However, as the Scots have made the bagpipe their instrument, the Irish have made Soda Bread theirs.  Not by choice, but by a state of poverty that made it the easiest bread to put on the table.”

Irish Soda Bread | Recipe on

I’ve seen many variations of Irish Soda Bread, but I love it with dried cranberries and orange zest. There is something about the combination of cranberries and orange that is so refreshing.

Irish Soda Bread | Recipe on

While most breads have yeast to make them light, Irish Soda Bread does not contain yeast, so it is a heavy, dense bread, but very good! The ingredients are simple; flour, sugar, soda, salt, eggs, buttermilk, butter and the additional of orange zest and dried cranberries make it a delicious bread.

Irish Soda Bread | Recipe on

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Irish Soda Bread Recipe

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  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small loaves 1x


A traditional bread to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, good enough for any day. Recipe from


  • 4 cups flour, all-purpose, plus a little extra for dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl – flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, cut in cold butter
  2. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, egg and orange zest, beat lightly with a fork. {Note: to make buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to measuring cup and fill to amount needed with milk, let set a couple minutes} Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients.
  3. Place dried cranberries in a bowl and add about 1 tablespoon flour, coat cranberries {this will help them from settling on the bottom}
  4. Fold cranberries into mixture
  5. On a heavily floured surface, knead dough. Work with about half of the dough, it’s easier that way. You want to add enough flour so it’s not sticky, but not too much flour
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into balls, and place on greased cookie sheet. Using a sharp knife, make a cross in the top of the bread. Bake for about 35 minutes depending on the size of your loaf.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Here are a few more St. Patrick’s Day Side Dishes and Salads you may like…

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Head on over and grab even more St. Patrick’s Day Recipes including Appetizers, Main Dishes, Drinks and more

Linking to…Gooseberry Patch

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