Learn how to make Irish Soda Bread without buttermilk! This easy soda bread recipe is the perfect side dish for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Irish soda bread is a staple in Irish cuisine and has been enjoyed for centuries! This delicious bread is known for its simple ingredients and ease of preparation. It’s light, delicious and slightly sweet. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!

Why is it called soda bread? Because it uses baking soda as the leavening agent!

sliced soda bread with butter on it

Traditionally, the classic recipe for Irish soda bread is a rustic, round loaf that is baked on a hearth or griddle with a deep crosscut into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.

Instead, this homemade bread recipe offers a modern twist on the traditional bread. It’s a quick bread, meaning you don’t have to let the bread rise before baking it!

a photo of a loaf of soda bread

Recipe Substitutions:

Full disclosure, I have not tried substituting oat milk, soy milk or almond milk for the regular dairy milk.

Instead of the vinegar, you can use lemon juice.

a photo of a bowl filled with soda bread batter

Other Recipe Tips:

If you prefer a less sweet bread, you can cut back on the sugar to ¼ cup. But, doing this may make the dough hard to mix.

Over-beating the batter will make the bread dense and tough, so it’s best to mix it as little as possible.

a photo of soda bread dough in a loaf pan

Irish Soda Bread Recipe Additions:

To make this bread extra festive on St. Patrick’s Day, add a few drops of green food coloring.

Add in 1 cup of raisins, currants or chopped dried fruit right before baking.

For a savory twist, add 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds on the top of the unbaked dough.

A photo of sliced irish bread on a plate

Serving Suggestions:

This easy Irish bread recipe pairs well with soup, stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Buttered Carrots, Instant Pot Cabbage or Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage. For a festive beverage, I recommend this Irish Mule recipe!

If you need more ideas, check out my complete list of 10+ Amazing Irish Side Dishes!

an overhead photo of a loaf of bread

Storing Leftover Bread:

Wrap leftover bread in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days, or frozen for 2-3 months.

If frozen, allow it to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

a photo of sliced soda bread with butter on it

Easy Irish Soda Bread

Yield: 1 standard loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Learn how to make Irish Soda Bread without buttermilk! This easy soda bread recipe is the perfect side dish for Saint Patrick's Day.


  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 and ⅘ cups of milk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. Make the buttermilk substitute. In a small bowl, add vinegar and milk and whisk briskly to combine. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk substitute until well combined.
  5. Add the wet ingredients into the large bowl containing the flour mixture. Add melted butter and mix just until combined. Do not overmix, or the dough will become tough.
  6. Pour into the greased bread pan.
  7. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the crust is golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
  9. Top with your favorite butter, honey, jam, or jelly!


You can also use real buttermilk for this recipe, if you have it. Just omit the vinegar and regular milk, and substitute 2 cups of buttermilk.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 293Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 40mgSodium 407mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 1gSugar 14gProtein 7g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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