Irish Soda Bread Muffins
Traditional Irish Soda Bread Muffins Recipe for Saint Patrick’s Day! Fluffy slightly sweet soda bread recipe with raisins, made in individual portions.
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
I’ve been making Irish Soda Bread for at least 20 years.
Although I like to change up my recipe here and there, making super savory varieties, I always seem to come back to the classic slightly sweetened version of soda bread with plump raisins and caraway seeds.
The dense yet tender texture, hint of sweetness, and juicy raisins hiding in each bite are the perfect complement to rich hearty Irish Stews and Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Irish Soda Bread Muffins
Over the years I’ve started making my traditional Irish Soda Bread Recipe as muffins.
Baking them this way holds in the moisture so they don’t dry out as quickly as a sliced loaf.
Irish soda bread muffins are also individually portioned, super cute, and are great for lunch boxes and quick snacks.
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
- All-purpose flour – Using all-purpose flour as opposed to bread flour creates a more tender texture than the oldest tough soda bread recipes.
- Baking powder and baking soda– Combining both baking powder and baking soda
createsa slightly lighter texture as well. Sometimes a little change is a good thing.
- Salt – All baked goods need a little salt.
- Butter – For a rich underlying flavor.
- Sugar – Although many soda bread recipes are unsweetened, this slightly sweet version adds diversity to an Irish feast of savory dishes.
- Buttermilk – Use full-fat buttermilk for the best possible flavor and texture.
- Egg – Just add one egg to bring the dough together.
- Caraway seeds – The
intregalflavor for traditional soda bread.
- Raisins – I like to use a combination of black
rasinsand golden raisins (sultanas) however you can use one or the other. You can also mix things up with tiny currants instead of raisins.
- Turbinado sugar – For a glistening sweet top!
Irish Soda Bread Q&A
Where does Irish soda bread get its name? Traditional Irish soda bread is made with baking soda as the primary leavening agent. Nowadays, you will find recipes that contain both baking powder and baking soda to create a slightly lighter more pleasing texture.
Never. As in never ever. The baking soda is what provides the lift.
This is sort of a trick question. Many people consider Irish Soda Bread unleavened bread because it does not contain yeast. However, baking soda is technically a leavening agent as well. So it is leavened bread… It’s just not as leavened and yeast bread.
Absolutely! This classic Irish bread recipe was a staple peasant food for generations, because it could be made with inexpensive ingredients, took less time to make than yeast breast, and could be easily adjusted with whatever flavoring you had on hand… Like caraway seeds, nuts, and raisins.
In Ireland it’s traditionally served as a breakfast item with hot tea. Yet I find it makes a great afternoon snack with salty Irish butter, or in sandwiches.
Oh yes! Especially when in muffin form. I like to keep a bag of these Irish Soda Bread Muffins in the freezer, so the kids can pop one in their lunch boxes. By lunch time they are thawed, soft, and ready to eat!
Soda bread tastes great fresh out of the oven, at room temperature, and reheated later.
Irish Soda Bread Muffins can be kept in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week. Or you can freeze them for up to 6 months.
Yes! Use an equal portion of your favorite gluten-free baking flour mix instead of traditional flour. The texture will be slightly more crumbly, but the muffins are still light and delicious!
More Amazing Irish Bread Recipes
- Classic Sweet Soda Bread Loaves
- Irish Soda Bread with Cherries and Granola
- Apple Beer Bread
- See All Our Irish Recipes!
See Our Irish Soda Bread Muffins Recipe Below.
Irish Soda Bread Muffins
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole buttermilk (not low fat)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 1 cup raisins (black and golden)
- ¼ cup Turbinado sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three standard 6-cup muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
- Fill a bowl with hot tap water. Place the raisins in the bowl to soak and plump.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar, beating on high until light and fluffy. Approximately 3-5 minutes. Once the butter mixture is fluffy, beat in the egg and caraway seeds.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Scrape the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Then turn the mixer on low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk until both are well combined.
- Drain the raisins in a colander, tapping to remove all excess water. Scrape the bowl again. Then turn the mixer back on low and mix in the raisins.
- Use a 3 tablespoon scoop to portion the batter into 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with Turbinado sugar.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin, comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then gently dump out the muffins.
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These are amazing! I tried making a batch with oat flour to see of I could make them gluten free for my dad, and it worked! I also swirled a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon through the batter to give them a cinnamon bun flavour. Amazing!
Made these today for a St Patrick’s party. I used cranberries in place of raisins. I also soaked them overnight in the fridge. They were so tender and moist. They loved them. Thank you
Just made these muffins and had to go back for a second one. They are so fluffy and moist. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. Next time I will experiment substituting cranberries in place of the raisins and adding a little orange zest. Definitely my best attempt at Irish Soda Bread.
Made these today, these were absolutely delicious & a convenient handheld way to enjoy soda bread for your whole family!
Forgot to say I made buttermilk with whole milk and lemon juice and made 12 standard muffins using the same time and temperature!
I mixed everything together with a fork and my hands and baked them, they were perfect!
I just made this recipe and they came out delicious! Love will make again . I used skim milk with a tablespoon of vinegar for the buttermilk.
These look great and I am most anxious to make them. However I can only get low fat buttermilk in the supermarkets in my area. How will low fat buttermilk affect the muffins?
Hi Betty Anne,
It will definitely work… They just won’t be quite as tender. You can always make buttermilk by combining whole fat milk and a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using it in a recipe. :)
I made a batch of these last night! The whole family loved them. I am going to make some for my office workers!
First off I just want to say the recipe looks great and I love the muffin variation.
Just for fun, here is some info about traditional Irish Soda bread:
Traditionally it contains only flour, baking soda, salt and soured milk. In earlier and leaner times raisins or dried fruit were luxuries, a fistful of them or maybe even a little sugar or an egg — if either could be spared — would have been put into the white flour version of the bread during the harvest as a treat for the working men.
Over time regional variations to the recipe have developed (for example caraway seeds are often added to the bread in Donegal, though a true basic Irish soda bread has no add ins.
Today, the variations with raisins, caraway, orange zest, and other add-ins are called Spotted Dog (coming from the look of the bread when raisins or currants are added).
These soda bread muffins were SO good! I had to hide the leftovers in the freezer so I wouldn’t eat them all in one sitting!