Irish Soda Bread With Buttermilk and Fruit

Irish Soda Bread With Buttermilk and Fruit

By March Twisdale

We invite you to join us in co-creating a thematic series of recipes! Tucked away in family cookbooks are recipes reflecting a life few of us remember. Family favorites handed down through the generations. Creative tricks shared, invented, and treasured during the Great Depression. Heritage and cultural memories, embedded into braided breads, spiced meats, fermented foods, and special deserts, to name but a few. We at The Loop invite you to share your family’s time-honored recipes with fellow Islanders. Send your favorites to:

Ingredients (one rounded loaf, feeds six)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (choose your ratio of white to whole wheat, pastry to artisan; white holds together like a desert bakery bread, while whole wheat results in a more likely to crumble loaf)
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar (or 2 tbsp granulated and 1 tbsp brown sugar is an option)
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (with a good quality, thick buttermilk, you’ll want a bit extra)
  • ⅓ cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, dried apricots, papaya, mango, cherries, have fun!)


  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Sift/whisk together flour, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt
  • Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse pea-sized crumbs (add more if too dry – different flours need more or less fat)
  • Add buttermilk and mix just until combined (use your hands near the end) – you want a soft dough to form, but avoid over-kneading
  • Note: I find this recipe easier to mix by hand in a bowl, especially at this stage
  • Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, sprinkle fruit over the top, knead to incorporate
  • Pat dough into 6-7-inch round loaf, cut an X into the dough ½ inch deep, transfer to sheet
  • Bake 35 to 45 minutes (check at 30 minutes and every 5 minutes after) until loaf is a beautiful golden brown
  • Cool completely before slicing (I slice while still warm enough to melt butter)

May 8, 2023

About Author

march March Twisdale has called Vashon Island home for nearly twenty years. A lifelong advocate of independent thought, March believes there are as many right choices as there are people in the world. She looks forward to bringing inspiring content to Vashon Loop readers, as she's done for eight years with her radio show - Prose, Poetry & Purpose. Find her on by searching "Our Thoughts Matter."