Slices of Irish Soda Bread

Super Simple Gluten-Free Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Your family and friends will never know that this simple sweet Irish soda bread is gluten-free. It’s great for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s also delicious all year long. Jump to Recipe

Irish soda bread with raisins
Sweet Irish Soda Bread

My dad makes the best Irish Soda Bread and every year my parents host friends and family and make a ridiculous amount of corned beef and cabbage and serve lots of good beer and this Irish Soda Bread. I have not kept up the tradition of hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party since moving to the south but I think I might need to start our own tradition so my kids can get a little dose of their Irish culture.

Slices of Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread – perfect plain or with butter

Prior to being diagnosed with celiac, I ate my fair share of dry, crumbly Irish Soda Bread – I was definitely concerned that my attempt might meet a similar fate. My dad’s bread, however, was always perfect – moist, tasty, lots of flavor. The trick – buttermilk.

Buttermilk Is Amazing

But really, isn’t buttermilk the answer to just about everything? And if it is local, antibiotic-free buttermilk from happy cows, all the better… We are so lucky to have A LOT of options for local milk here in NC. I get mine delivered every Tuesday morning. Don’t be afraid to buy buttermilk – it’s great for baking and then you can use it in your pancakes this weekend!

Irish Soda Bread With Raisins
Sweet Irish Soda Bread With Raisins
What If You Don’t Have Buttermilk? 

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to a small bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of milk. Whisk together and let it sit while you get the other ingredients together.

Sweet Irish Soda Bread … So Easy! 

Irish soda bread is easy to make. Total prep time was about 10 minutes. I split my batter between two medium sized loaf pans – actually I used snowflake cake or bread tins. No lie. Use whatever you’ve got.  So get on it … Find your favorite flour – we used Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour – and get your hands on some buttermilk. You don’t need much else – not even good luck.

Super Simple Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Super simple, super moist Irish soda bread! Delicious.
Course Bread
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Author Erin Brighton


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cup flour (I used Jules' GF flour)
  • 1 cup sugar , plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9×5 loaf pans or 1 8x8 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a pastry blender or fork. Add the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with the blender or fork.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together egg and buttermilk.
  4. Make a well in the flour-butter mixture. Pour in the egg mixture. Mix gently but thoroughly. Stir in raisins. (My dad mentioned that this was so hard to stir that he used the dough hook on the stand mixer for this part.)
  5. Transfer the dough to the pans, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Cool the loaves in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out of the pans and leave to cool completely.
Some other Irish favorites … 

Ireland With Kids – Food and Views

Homemade Baileys (For Coffee or Sipping!)

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Sweet Irish Soda Bread
Sweet Irish Soda Bread

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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