Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seeds

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This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite. It has a crunchy exterior while the inside is soft and buttery. It’s flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. And there’s a slight sweetness.

Front view of Irish soda bread on a wire rack.

Irish Soda Bread

It’s a good thing this bread is super simple to make because your family will be requesting it all the time after the first bite!

Irish soda bread is a very simple bread made without yeast. The baking soda and buttermilk work together to create leavening, resulting in a soft fluffy interior.

Using a light hand while kneading the dough together is also important for a delicate interior. You don’t want a smooth dough, aim for shaggy dough that is slightly sticky.

Caraway seeds and raisins provide an exquisite flavor profile. This is definitely one of the fancier versions of soda bread I’ve seen.

If you prefer sweets, give my Irish potato candy and green velvet cupcakes a try instead.

Overhead view of Irish soda bread on a wire rack.

After attempting my first soda bread, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! It’s seriously the easiest bread I’ve ever made. You only need one bowl and a wooden spoon to make this recipe but a stand mixer makes the process even easier.

I tested this recipe a few different ways: without egg, with less butter, with more raisins… The final result that I’m sharing with you today is the one my family loves! It’s tender and buttery on the inside and the crunchy crust adds a lovely texture contrast.

This Irish soda bread is full of raisins and caraway seeds. I adore the fragrant kick the caraway seeds add. It’s by far my favorite part of the bread. However, if you are not a fan of caraway seeds, feel free to reduce the amount or omit them altogether.

Irish soda bread dough in a glass mixing bowl.
Irish soda bread dough shaped in a ball on a baking sheet.

The bread is baked in a cast-iron pan or on a baking sheet. I’ve found that when using a cast iron, the exterior of the bread will brown quicker than when baking on a regular baking sheet. Because of this, you may need to tent aluminum foil over the bread halfway through baking. This will keep the bread from turning too brown.

Enjoy your soda bread the day it is made! It’s best when eaten fresh and will begin to dry out after a couple of days.

How do you eat Irish Soda Bread?

This version of Irish soda bread is best eaten warm with a spread of butter. You can either slice it or simply tear off small chunks of bread. Slather room temperature butter over the warm slice and it will melt into the bread.

Irish soda bread on a wire rack with two slices taken out.

If you’re looking for more delicious bread recipes, try this cheddar jalapeno buttermilk bread.

Irish Soda Bread

4.57 from 60 votes
Front view of Irish soda bread on a wire rack.
This Irish Soda Bread is a family favorite. It has a crunchy exterior while the inside is soft and buttery. It’s flavored with fragrant caraway seeds and plump dark raisins. And there’s a slight sweetness.
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Serving Size 10


  • 4 cups (520 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ⅔ cups (400 ml) buttermilk, cold
  • ¾ cup (108 g) raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a cast-iron skillet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, salt, and baking soda. 
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  • In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the egg and buttermilk together. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Add the raisins and mix until combined. The dough will be very wet and sticky.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. With well-floured hands, knead the dough a few times and shape it into a ball.
  • Place the dough on the prepared skillet or baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to lightly cut an X in the top of the bread. 
  • Bake for 45 to 55 mins, until golden brown. If the top begins to get too brown during baking, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. If using a cast-iron skillet, begin checking the bread at 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, fork, or two knives. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the egg/buttermilk mixture and raisins.
  • A cast iron skillet will cook the bread quicker and may only need 25-35 minutes in the oven.
  • Irish Soda Bread is best on the day it’s made. It will begin to dry out after a day or two.
Adapted from Ina Garten.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American


  1. Lynne Falcigno says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing- my family devoured it! I did not knead the dough after mixing, I just turned it into a 9”greased round pan.The dough was sticky but I just used a rubber scraper to pour into pan. I forgot to take a picture, but this is going straight to my recipe box!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I’m so, so happy you enjoyed the soda bread, Lynne! Thank you for trusting my recipes!

  2. Any suggestions for substituting sugar for a natural sweetener? Would it work with honey?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I don’t recommend using honey as its consistency is completely different than sugar. This will change the entire structure of the recipe. Monkfruit Sweeteners are common substitutes but I can’t tell you how much to use since I’ve never used them myself.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soda bread about a dozen times. It always turns out great! I’ve also tried it in bread pudding and it was delicious. Easy to halve the recipe (I just use the whole egg) for those who like to have fresh bread around, but who don’t eat a lot of it at one time.

  4. 5 stars
    Quick and easy – just what we were looking for in our St Patrick’s Day dinner

  5. 5 stars
    Wonderful buttery taste and a good crumb. I follow this recipe to the letter and it turns out every time!

  6. Chelsea Moore says:

    Love this bread! Didn’t have raisins so I used craisins and I added a teaspoon of cinnamon, it was delicious! Made me think of the holidays ?

  7. Can I use my LaCloche to make this bread?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can but don’t use the lid. And the bread may only need 25-35 minutes in the oven.

      1. Thank you Jen, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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