Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

The Best Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread recipe you’ve ever had.  Adapted from an ancient Galway recipe, this homemade bread is so delicious that no one will even know that its Gluten-free. This St. Patrick’s day everyone gets to enjoy Irish Soda Bread.  

For more delicious gluten-free breads, you have to try my Gluten-Free Blueberry Banana Bread and my Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Tell me which one you like best!

This recipe comes straight from the old country, by way of Middle Village Queen’s NY. My husband’s grandmother Frieda had this recipe written on a scratch pad for over 60 years. She got it from her Irish neighbor Deidre, who emigrated to New York through Ellis Island in the 30’s. As the story goes, the origins of the recipe date back to the 19th century.  

Now I’ve borrowed it and adapted it for a gluten-free version. Unlike a traditional Irish soda bread recipe, Deidre ditched the buttermilk for regular milk and exchanged baking soda for baking powder.   Somehow it worked incredibly well. Obviously, I’ve also substituted gluten-free four for all-purpose flour.  

This is my first time making a gluten-free Irish soda bread and I am so pleased to report that it has been a satisfyingly delicious great success.  I think you too will be delighted at just how well this traditional soda bread adapts to a gluten-free version. Enjoy a warm golden brown slice with a thick slather of rich Irish butter and a cup of your favorite tea (may I recommend Barrys!) for a perfect start to the morning. 

What Is Irish Soda Bread 

Traditional soda bread is a quick bread typically made with all-purpose flour, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt. It has a tangy sweet flavor and a scone-like texture. The buttermilk’s acidity interacts with the alkaline properties of a leavening agent like baking soda allowing the bread to rise without the use of yeast.

Typically baked in a skillet the American version of Irish soda bread prepared during St. Patrick’s Day is sweeter than the brown whole wheat flour variety commonly served at mealtime in homes in Ireland without added sweeteners. Many Irish soda breads made in honor of St Patrick’s Day, contain raisins and caraway seeds.  Unlike conventional recipes made with AP flour, buttermilk, and baking powder this gluten-free version is made with a mixture of gluten-free flour, whole milk, and baking powder.  It seems like it shouldn’t work but like most recipes passed down from our grandmothers, it defies logic and tastes magical. 

You’ll Love this Recipe

  • I always find it a shame when someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity has to sit out when the holiday food makes the rounds. With this recipe, not only can everyone enjoy this soda bread but it’s as good as any made with conventional flour, so there’s no missing out on flavor. 
  • This is a super easy recipe.  So often holiday recipes tend to be more elaborate and complicated.  This is as simple as it gets. I am talking ONE BOWL level easy!

Let’s Get Cooking!

Ingredients in small bowls on a white background

Ingredients and Helpful Substitution Tips

Simple baking ingredients that are “fairly” traditional for Irish soda bread, but for gluten-free I recommend following the flours that I list below. This is how the recipe was tested and perfected.

Detailed measurements and ingredients can be found within the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Gluten-Free Flour – A combination of almond flour and 1:1 GF flour, Bob’s Red Mill brand – This combo produces a light, not too crumbly, not too dense perfectly textured soda bread.
  • Wet Ingredients – Oil, Milk, Egg – A neutral baking oil, avocado oil is my preference. Milk, any kind either plant-based milk or traditional dairy and an egg, ideally the best egg you can find organic/pasture-raised.
  • Dry Ingredients – Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt
  • Add In’s – Raisins or Currants – Both work. Raisins are a little sweeter. Currants tend to be smaller and a little firmer and Caraway Seeds – A classic flavor combo with Irish soda bread. Caraway seeds lend a nutty, bittersweet flavor with a hint of peppery citrus undertone.


  • Cast-iron skillet or cake pan
  • Large bowl
  • A rubber spatula or wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons

How to Make This Recipe

egg, milk, and oil in a bowl
whisking egg and milk and oil in a bowl
  •  In a large mixing bowl, whisk all wet ingredients until combined.
adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients in a bowl for gluten free irish soda bread
adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients in a bowl for gluten free irish soda bread
  • Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to create the batter. (Note: Sometimes I start with a whisk and switch to a wooden spoon as the batter will start to clog the whisk).
gluten free irish soda bread dough
adding raisins and caraway seeds to irish soda bread dough
  • Add raisins and caraway seeds into the batter, stir to distribute evenly
  • Do not overmix the dough!
a bowl of irish soda bread batter with a spatula stirring
gluten free irish soda bread in a cast iron skillet
  • Pour batter into a greased cast iron pan or baking dish.
  • Slice an X into the dough and sprinkle the top of the bread with a bit of 1:1 GF flour
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50 minutes.
a round plate with a triangle slice of gluten free irish sodda bread
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • Serve with a very generous smear of good Irish butter

Expert Tips

  • Unlike yeasted bread, Irish soda bread does not have a particularly long shelf life.  While it can last a few days, its best enjoyed the day it comes out of the oven. 

Storage, Reheating, and Freezing Instructions

  • STORAGE – Store in an airtight container, breadbox or in plastic wrap for 3 days. 
  • FREEZING – May be frozen for 3-5 months
a round cast iron skillet with gluten free irish soda bread

Abra’s Nutrition Tips!

This recipe is modified from its original version because it is gluten-free and because I cut the sugar in half. I prefer a soda bread that is just slightly sweet, this version is perfect.

It is not uncommon for me to reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe, I am always pleasantly surprised by the outcome.


What does Irish soda bread taste like?

Irish soda bread has a slightly tangy and subtle sweet flavor  Buttermilk and baking soda gives the bread a slight acidity, while the addition of raisins or currants adds bursts of sweetness.

What is the difference between Irish soda bread and regular bread?

rish Soda bread falls under the category of quick bread as it does not use yeast.  Instead, to achieve a rise, this type of bread uses leavening agents such as baking soda and baking powder to create a chemical reaction with the dairy.  Irish soda bread usually has four main ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The baking soda and buttermilk react to cause the dough to rise. In this gluten-free soda bread, I use whole milk, baking powder as a mixture of gluten-free flours. 

Dietary Modifications

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian and modifiable in the following ways:

  • Vegan – Use a plant-based milk

I can’t wait for you to try this! When you make it, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen so I can feature your photo! 

If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!

triangular slice of Irish soda bread with butter, beside a cast iron pan containing baked Irish soda bread.


Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

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The Best Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread recipe you've ever had.  Adapted from an ancient Galway recipe, this homemade bread is so delicious that no one will even know that its Gluten-free. This St. Patrick's day everyone gets to enjoy Irish Soda Bread.  
Course Baked Good
Cuisine gluten-free
Keyword Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 235kcal


  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 spatula or wooden spoon
  • 1 8-10 inch cast iron pan or baking pan


  • 1 cup 1 to 1 flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currants
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 5 oz whole milk


  • Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients by gently stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients by whisking together
  • Combine dry into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix together to create a batter.
  • Fold in raisins and caraway seeds into the batter. Stir batter to distribute evenly.
  • Pour bread batter into an 8-inch cast iron pan or baking dish. Gently press the batter with your fingertips to help it lay evenly in the pan.
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50 minutes
  • Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Slice into triangles shaped pieced and serve with a generous hunk of Irish butter.


Expert Tip: Unlike yeasted bread, Irish soda bread does not have a particularly long shelf life.  While it can last a few days, its best enjoyed the day it comes out of the oven. 


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 1mg


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