Food You Can Eat: Sweet Irish Soda Bread

There are a gazillion variations on soda bread, but they are united in being “quick”, using baking soda and/or baking powder (as opposed to yeast) for rising. There are also regular and sweet versions, the latter being more of a fancy loaf for tea or dessert. This is the cake/fancy version, as per a recipe I caged from a coworker’s wife’s Irish Grandmother about 15 years ago.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan or line it with parchment.

Mix together 3 cups white flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda. Stir in 2 beaten eggs, 1 pint sour cream, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 cup boiled golden raisins, drained. (Just cover the raisins with water, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat – let them stand while you mix and stir in the other ingredients. This keeps the bread moist. Add a few extra raisins, maybe 1/4 cup to reserve for decoration.)

Pour the quite thick batter into your prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets. Use a skewer to check for doneness.

When cool, make a simple glaze of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and liquid, and drizzle over the bread. Glaze is probably 1 cup sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and up to a quarter cup of water/milk/cream/juice. Just add the liquid until the glaze looks like it can be pored over but will cling to bread top. Sprinkle with the extra raisins.

About Elliecoo 493 Articles
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  1. Oh thanks so much for this! I love Irish soda bread and wish it were more commonly available outside the St. Patrick’s Day window. I’ve never made my own though, so this will serve as my prompt.

  2. This is the opposite of the savory, nutty, grainy soda bread (I am still looking for the correct flour for that). But is is easy, tastes just a bit sweet, and makes a nice breakfast treat. Someone used to use this bread as a before-bed peanut butter delivery device…but no more. We are going to eat those Brussels sprouts and be happy about it!

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