You'll Be Making This Mini Irish Soda Bread Recipe All Year Round

We turned a traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe into a fun mini treat, perfect for sharing any day of the year.

St Patrick's Day Snacks for Kids: Mini Irish Soda Bread
Photo: Dawn Perry

Traditional Irish Soda Bread is, like all "authentic" recipes, subject to strong opinions. Each household has its own version—they evolve over generations, follow families across oceans, and land in recipe boxes written in fading pencil on fraying index cards.

When former managing editor Brenda Dargan-Levy sent over her mom's recipe for Irish Soda bread (with caveats). It looked like this:


  • 3 cups of flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ stick of margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups of raisins
  • 1 to 2 cups buttermilk (gauge moisture of mixture)

Like so many heirloom recipes, Dargan-Levy offered a simple list of ingredients without a method, the particulars of execution assumed, yet only really known by family elders. Indeed, there are so many versions and variations of the recipe. According to Dargan-Levy, some people might not even consider this to be a traditional soda bread because it contains white flour and raisins.

So we took that as permission to modify the recipe ourselves, and swapped in butter for the margarine (simply because that's what we had in the kitchen), added ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds. Then, feeling inspired, we divided the dough into smaller portions to make mini Irish Soda Bread, as they're nice for sharing and appropriate for year-round enjoyment.


  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the raisins and 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds.
  3. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter, the egg, and 1 cup buttermilk. Add more buttermilk for moisture if necessary.
  4. Mix together until no dry spots remain.
  5. Divide the dough into nine mounds, about 1/2 cup each, and divide among two parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 400 F until slightly risen and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Optional: Brush the mini loaves with more melted butter when they come out of the oven.

Big or small, this traditional Irish Soda Bread—slathered with salted Kerrygold butter and served alongside a perfect cup of tea—is an excellent way to mark St. Patrick's Day. For a riff on the real thing, try our recipe for Irish soda bread with cheddar and dill. Just don't skip the butter.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles