Deliciously Easy Irish Raisin Bread Recipe

Hey there, fellow foodies! I’m excited to share with you my latest creation – a mouth-watering Irish Raisin Bread that’s super easy to make, yet has an incredibly unique texture and flavor. You’re probably familiar with Irish Soda Bread, but have you tried it with raisins? Trust me when I say that it takes the classic recipe to a whole new level of deliciousness.

What makes this bread so special is the result of a precise reaction between baking soda and an acidic ingredient like milk or buttermilk. When mixed together, these ingredients create small bubbles of carbon dioxide that give the bread its unique texture. And when combined with sweet and plump raisins, you get a delightful balance of sweet and savory flavors.

But that’s not all! This recipe is also extremely versatile – it can be enjoyed on its own, toasted with a slather of butter, or used as a base for French toast in the morning. And the best part? It only requires a handful of ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get baking and experience the magic of Irish Raisin Bread together.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Raisin Bread
Irish Raisin Bread

Listen up, folks! I’m here to tell you why this Irish Raisin Bread Recipe is going to be your new go-to bread recipe. Are you a fan of soft, pillowy bread with bursts of sweetness from raisins? Do you enjoy the smell of fresh bread wafting through your kitchen? If you answered yes to both of those questions, then this recipe is perfect for you.

What makes this bread so special? It’s the unique texture that results from the reaction between baking soda and buttermilk that creates small bubbles of carbon dioxide. Those bubbles are what help this bread rise without any yeast – making it a quick and easy bread that is perfect for beginners. And let’s not forget about the golden raisins that add a touch of natural sweetness to every slice.

But don’t just take my word for it. This recipe has been passed down for generations and has stood the test of time. It’s a traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe that has been loved by families for centuries. Even Ina Garten, from the Food Network, has her own take on it.

So why settle for store-bought bread when you can have a warm, fresh loaf of Irish Raisin Bread made with love right in your own home? Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to regular bread again.

Ingredient List

 The aroma of freshly baked Irish raisin bread is irresistible!
The aroma of freshly baked Irish raisin bread is irresistible!

Let’s take a look at the ingredient list for this delicious Irish Raisin Bread Recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Note: If you’re looking for a gluten-free version of this recipe, try using gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Now that we have all of our ingredients lined up, let’s get started on making this delicious Irish raisin bread!

The Recipe How-To

 It's a warm, comforting bread that's perfect for a cozy morning in.
It’s a warm, comforting bread that’s perfect for a cozy morning in.

Here’s how to make the Irish Raisin Bread Recipe:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of all-purpose flour, ½ cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Step 3: Add Buttermilk and Butter

Add in 4 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces. Rub it into the flour with your fingertips until evenly distributed. Then add 2 cups of buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Step 4: Fold in the Raisins

Add 4 cups of raisins to the dough and fold them in gently.

Step 5: Shape the Dough

Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough.

Step 6: Cut and Score

With a knife, score a deep cross on top of your dough. This is not just for looks, but helps to cook the bread through properly.

Step 7: Bake

Place on a non-stick baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for approximately 45–50 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top and cooked through. You can check if it’s done by knocking on its bottom – it should sound hollow.

Step 8: Serve

Once done, take out from the oven and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing. Serve with lots of butter!

Enjoy your warm and freshly baked Irish Raisin Bread!

Substitutions and Variations

 A slice of this bread toasted with a slather of butter is heavenly.
A slice of this bread toasted with a slather of butter is heavenly.

As a chef, I know that sometimes you may not have all the ingredients on hand or certain dietary restrictions may limit what you can use. Fear not! Here are some substitution options to consider when making this Irish Raisin Bread recipe.

First off, if you don’t have raisins, currants make a great substitute. You could also use golden raisins to add a unique flavor twist to your bread. If you’re looking to switch up the fruit altogether, dried cranberries or cherries could also work well.

For those who are lactose intolerant, almond or soy milk can replace regular milk without affecting the recipe’s outcome. Additionally, vegans can use flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water per egg) instead of traditional eggs.

If gluten is an issue for you, gluten-free flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour. Keep in mind that the texture may turn out slightly different, but it should still be delicious! Also, consider using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead of buttermilk if you’re unable to consume dairy.

If you’re in the mood for a flavor twist on this classic recipe, try adding cinnamon to your raisin bread batter. It will give your bread a cozy and warm taste that pairs well with butter or jam.

So don’t let lack of ingredients or dietary needs keep you from enjoying this delicious soda bread recipe! Try out some substitutions and variations and find which ones work best for you.

Serving and Pairing

 Can you see those juicy raisins peeking out of the bread? Delicious!
Can you see those juicy raisins peeking out of the bread? Delicious!

Now that you have a freshly baked loaf of Irish raisin bread, it’s time to think about serving and pairing options. As this bread is delightful on its own, you might want to consider having some butter or jam on the side. This can also help balance out the sweetness of the raisins in the bread.

A traditional way to serve Irish raisin bread is with a generous dollop of butter. The butter adds a creamy and savory element that complements the sweet raisins in the bread. For a more indulgent twist, you can also lightly toast the slices of bread and then spread some Nutella on top.

The bread also pairs well with strong tea or coffee, which helps to cut through the richness of the butter or jam. If you’re feeling adventurous, try serving the bread with some cheese, such as a sharp cheddar or goat cheese. The tanginess of the cheese balances out the sweetness of the raisins in the bread.

If you’re looking for a savory option, consider using Irish raisin bread as a base for a delicious sandwich. This works particularly well with ham and cheese, roast beef and mustard, or even smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Overall, Irish raisin bread is extremely versatile and can be served in many different ways. Experiment with different pairings to find what works best for your palate. Whether you’re enjoying it for breakfast or as part of a snack or meal, this hearty loaf is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg gives this bread a lovely, subtle flavor.
A hint of cinnamon and nutmeg gives this bread a lovely, subtle flavor.

One of the best things about this Irish Raisin Bread recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. Simply allow the bread to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also store it in an airtight container.

If you want to reheat the bread, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove the plastic wrap or foil and place the bread on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.

Another option is to slice the bread first and then freeze it. To do this, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag. When you’re ready to enjoy a slice, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours. Alternatively, you can toast frozen slices directly from the freezer for a crispy texture.

This bread also makes a great gift, especially during holidays or special occasions. It can be wrapped beautifully with some ribbon or placed in a gift basket with other treats.

Overall, this Irish Raisin Bread recipe is perfect for busy mornings or as an afternoon snack, and it’s easy to store and reheat so you can enjoy it anytime you want.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Trust me, one slice of this bread won't be enough.
Trust me, one slice of this bread won’t be enough.

Now that you have all the ingredients and you’re ready to start baking your Irish raisin bread, it’s important to keep in mind some tips that can make a great difference in the result. Here are some suggestions for achieving perfect results:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Be sure that all of your ingredients, especially the flour and baking soda, are fresh. If these elements are old or expired, the bread may be flat or have an odd flavor.

2. Measure precisely: Follow the recipe instructions as closely as possible and use accurate measurements, a kitchen scale if available. Mistakes in measuring can cause issues in texture and flavor of your Irish raisin bread.

3. Don’t overmix: Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined; otherwise, overmixing can cause dense bread rather than a more Airy crumb.

4. Allow proper proofing time: Take note of the suggested proofing times in the recipe. This step is essential to allow for gas bubbles to form naturally giving you’re bread with its characteristic texture.

5. Proper handling of raisins: When chopping raisins or adding them to your dough, make sure they are not sticky or clumped together as this can cause uneven distribution in the bread.

6. Preheat oven and prepare pans: Ensure your oven is properly preheated as directed by The recipe and prepare baking pans or line them with parchment paper ahead of time.

7. Check for readiness: When baking is complete, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread, if it comes out clean with no crumbs stuck to it then your bread is done.

By following these tips during the process of making Irish Raisin Bread Recipe, you’ll surely end up with an aromatic and delicious loaf of bread with a crispy crust and moist center.


Before we bid adieu, let’s dive into the most frequently asked questions about this easy Irish Raisin Bread Recipe! I know how important it is for you to get every detail right when it comes to baking, so let’s clear up any confusion and ensure a stress-free baking experience. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

What makes Irish bread different?

The distinctive consistency of this bread is achieved through a chemical reaction between acidic ingredients and baking soda, which produces tiny pockets of carbon dioxide throughout the dough.

What is the key ingredient in Irish soda bread that makes it different from other breads?

Making a soda bread involves a chemical reaction between sour milk and baking soda that creates bubbles of carbon dioxide in the dough, resulting in the bread’s distinctive texture. The shape of the bread is also an important aspect of its heritage.

What makes bread super soft and fluffy?

The presence of carbon dioxide can be attributed to the airy and spongy texture of bread which is produced by the gas bubbles it creates when yeast grows. The higher the level of yeast growth, the more gas expands in the dough that ultimately leads to fluffier and lighter bread loaves.

Why do you put a cross on Irish soda bread?

Back in the 19th century, making a cross-shaped cut on top of your soda bread was thought to have had a supernatural significance. It was believed to have warded off evil spirits during the baking process, while at the same time, the mark was seen as a way of giving thanks and asking for blessings for the bread.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Irish Raisin Bread recipe is perfect for anyone looking to add a touch of Ireland to their breakfast table. With its unique texture and flavor, this bread is sure to become a household favorite. It’s easy to make and requires simple ingredients that you may already have on hand.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe can be easily adjusted to suit your taste preferences. And with the tips and substitutions provided in this article, you can customize this bread to your liking while maintaining its traditional Irish soda bread roots.

So why not give this recipe a try? Whip up a batch of delicious Irish Raisin Bread and enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee. Your family and friends will be impressed with your baking prowess, and you’ll love the feeling of satisfaction that comes with making something delicious from scratch.

Don’t hesitate – get baking today!

Irish Raisin Bread

Irish Raisin Bread Recipe

This is different than the Irish soda bread that you often see out.
Course Bakery
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Breads, Healthy, Quick Breads
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Calories 373kcal


  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour
  • 3 -4 teaspoons baking powder (1 teaspoon for every cup flour)
  • grain salt
  • table sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 15 ounces raisins
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  • Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  • Add the raisins to the mixture and dredge, break up the raisins and rub them to get them coated in the flour mixture.
  • Pour milk and egg into the middle of the mixture, stir, add 3 tbl melted butter.
  • Mix well, put the mixture into a 9" round pan for baking. Sprinkle top generously with sugar.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Serving: 154g | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 72.2g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 6.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.7g | Cholesterol: 58.3mg | Sodium: 177.3mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 27.2g

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