Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the traditional way with this recipe for gluten free Irish soda bread. It tastes just like you remember it did before you went gluten free!

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

There’s a great recipe for gluten free Irish Soda Bread in my first cookbook and in GFOAS Bakes Bread and that’s what I have always made when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. If you have that book (thank you!) and make that recipe, don’t let me stop you!

But since a couple readers have been asking for a recipe for the holiday, I thought I’d just go ahead and post the book recipe right here on the blog. Since my first book doesn’t have too many photos (ah, the joys of being a first-time author and having no juice at the publisher!) and in the photo shoot for Bakes Bread we just didn’t have the time to shoot the recipe (ah the joys of paying a photographer thousands a day!), it’s fun to be able to show, and not just tell.

And then I started adapting it a bit here and there, scaling it up, baking it in a round cake pan. It’s that gluten free Irish Soda Bread recipe I’m sharing here.

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread—Step by Step

What sort of Irish soda bread is this?

Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread, not a yeast bread (although frankly I think it would make a fabulous yeast bread), but it’s not your typical quick bread. First off, it isn’t baked in a loaf pan like most quick breads.

So there’s that. But the way I go about things, it’s also made more like a pastry. That means cold ingredients, chunks of butter and a light touch when handling.

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

All that leads to a light, tender and almost flaky pastry-like bread. But it slices perfectly, either in wedges or more traditional slices.

Sometimes I make it with fewer raisins, sometimes with more. I honestly can’t decide which I like better. I do know that it’s just not the start of spring without some Irish Soda Bread.

Since I published this recipe, I’ve also published a recipe for savory gluten free Irish soda bread that’s probably more of a traditional bread. It doesn’t even have a single raisin!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf


4 cups (560 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used my Better Than Cup4Cup, but any of my recommended all purpose blends will do), plus more for sprinkling

2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled

1 1/2 to 2 cups (225 g to 300 g) raisins (Thompson seedless raisins are my favorite)

2 eggs (120 g, weighed out of shell)

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups (12 to 14 fluid ounces) buttermilk, chilled


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan and set it aside.

  • Make the dough. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients. Between your well-floured thumb and forefinger, flatten each chunk of butter and return it to the dry ingredients. Add the raisins (more or less, to taste), and toss to coat the raisins in the dry ingredients. Add the eggs to 1 1/2 cups of the chilled buttermilk and beat to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and egg mixture and mix gently to combine. The dough should come together. With clean hands, knead the dough gently. If there are any spots that are dry and crumbly, add more buttermilk by the tablespoon as necessary to bring the dough together.

  • Shape the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle lightly with more flour. Pat the dough into a round that is approximately 9-inches in diameter, piling it higher toward the center and sprinkling lightly with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place the dough in the prepared baking pan and, with a very sharp knife, slice a large “X” on the top about 1-inch deep (each slash should be about 6-inches long). If the dough seems to have warmed during handling, place the pan in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes or until the butter is once again firm.

  • Bake the bread. Place the baking pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the bread is firm to the touch (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool further. Slice and serve warm, with butter. It is also excellent the next day, toasted.

  • Adapted from the Irish Soda Bread in my first book, Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap.


Remember to pre-order Gluten Free Classic Snacks (it should ship for Amazon preorders in less than a week!!), and enter the Giveaway!!

Comments are closed.

  • Noelp13
    March 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    This was absolutely delicious and baked so nicely. My husband even enjoyed it and he is not a fan of gf baked goods. Thanks so much!

  • Tasneem
    March 17, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Delicious! Dough was more batter like and I was worried, but baked beautifully! I used a combo of other GF flours as I didn’t have any “shoestring approved” blends and it still worked. Luck ‘o the Irish? Nah! A great recipe!

  • GabbyCT
    March 17, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    I made this and it came out great. My husband and neighbor liked it. I thought it could have used tad more sugar but regular Irish soda bread isn’t really sweet either. I am trying to be dairy free. I know that buttermilk is thick so I didn’t know what to replace it with almond and rice milks are watery. So, I grade a carton of trader joes coconut creamer out of my frig because I know it was a thick liquid. Well the buttermilk might be better and make it taste better. Using coconut creamer isn’t a horrible idea. Thanks for your great ideas and recipes sometimes we all have to adjust them to our dietery needs but it helps a lot when someone has already done a great Job of creating the gluten free recipe.

  • Courtney
    March 15, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    I made this recipe and it was very yummy. Mine turned out a little gummy/ gooey in the middle. Would you think that was an indication that it needed to bake longer or needed more flour? (It was a wet dough for me)

    • March 15, 2015 at 7:22 PM

      Courtney, I would measure by weight, not by volume, and be sure you are using one of my recommended flour blends, and that your oven temperature is accurate according to an oven thermometer. Beyond that, the baking time is always approximate, yes, which is why I always include doneness criteria.

      • Courtney
        March 19, 2015 at 7:27 AM

        I did use different all-purpose flour. I started by measuring the weight that the package nutrition information indicated would equal 4 cups . the dough was too wet when it came together, so I added enough volume to equal 4 cups and it was closer to what I thought was appropriate. my thermometer did read the correct temperature and the bread seemed to be done according to the toothpick and I let it cool for several hours before I cut it. based on your response and what I have read more recently about the variety of gluten free flours ( and they are moisture requirements) it is definitely because I used different flour than you. thanks for your response and I am sure I will get it right next time

        • Courtney
          March 19, 2015 at 7:28 AM

          I have read on another website that bread needs to reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees to be fully baked. Do you think that is the case with your sweet breads? I have always used it on my gluten-free sandwich bread

    • Tina
      March 17, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      I found it was gummy as well, so cooked it longer…I did use Better Batter Flour Blend.

  • Gary Rith
    March 15, 2015 at 4:56 AM

    Made the soda bread yesterday. Your original was super good, this is even yummier and prettier, and I like how it is a BIGGER loaf! One baking effort, a lot of great slices to freeze and enjoy :)

    • March 15, 2015 at 7:21 PM

      Excellent, Gary!

  • Isabelli
    March 14, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Hi, so excited to try your recipes for my son, but unfortunately he can’t tolerate rice. Please let me know what I can use to replace white and brown rice flour. Thanks a lot!

  • Guest
    March 14, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    Hi, so excited to try your recipes for my son, but unfortunately he can’t tolerate rice. Please let me know what I can use to replace white and brown rice flour. Thanks s lot!

    • March 15, 2015 at 7:20 PM

      I’m afraid you can’t make this recipe, or any of my recipes that call for an all purpose gluten free flour, without a rice flour blend. Sorry!

    • Tasneem
      March 16, 2015 at 9:32 PM

      Try the Gluten Free Goddess’s website. She bakes using nut flours and sorghum rather than rice flours.

      • Isabelli
        March 20, 2015 at 9:47 AM

        Thanks Tasneem!

  • Lisa Scully
    March 14, 2015 at 12:24 AM

    I just made this after seeing the post because I had ALL the ingredients. It is amazing! Thank you so much……thinking of making with chocolate chips for Easter :)

    • March 15, 2015 at 7:20 PM

      Great idea, Lisa! So glad you loved it. :)

  • Carole
    March 13, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    Wow, 4 cups of flour sounds like a lot for a nine inch pan. Will make this the day before St. Pat’s Day. Ordered Classic Snacks this morning and would like it to arrive tomorrow. I hope you keep us informed of things like equipment here also as some of us don’t have the time for all the other sites. Just enjoy reading your blog and keeping my husband healthy and happy.

  • Tina
    March 13, 2015 at 11:43 AM

    I have been hoping for GF Irish soda Bread! I have the book, and didnt notice it! I am definitely making 2 this weekend.

  • Mare Masterson
    March 13, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Oh, you know I am making this this weekend! My endocrinologist told me yesterday that it appears if I look at a carb my sugar spikes. I have to go very low carb now. I am not at all happy about this! I decided that am going to make 1 day a week my treat day. I am going to prepare and freeze GF breads and bagels to eat on my treat day each week. It will mean that I will have to slowly make the recipes from Classic Snacks. I will use your paleo recipes to help get me through the rest of the week. There are other bloggers out there that can help me get through this too.

    Speaking of Classic Snacks, will there be a post of things to buy (i.e., special pans) ahead of time for us to be prepared (if we don’t win the giveaway – which I hope I win, of course!)?

    • March 13, 2015 at 11:29 AM

      Oh no, Mare! That’s such a shame! The Paleo recipes should definitely help—especially the recipes I have on the blog for basics like Paleo rolls and Paleo tortillas.

      I’ve thought of doing a “getting ready” post, but instead thought perhaps I’d create a separate page on the blog with links to where I have purchased the equipment I use in the book. I’ll announce the page on Facebook when it comes out, and make sure it’s accessible from the navigation bar. Of course, there’s a full list of equipment and resources in the book, too. :)

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