Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Irish soda bread muffin interior
Well.  Here it is, St. Patrick’s Day week.  What the… on earth….how the heck did that freakin’ happen?!  Wow.  I’m running so behind on, well, life it seems!  Sheesh.

But Irish Soda Bread Muffins, ay?

Yeah, I’ve never made nor have I ever even eaten soda bread before.  I know.  You’re looking at your screen like I’m an alien with three heads.

Despite Mike being all kinds of ginger Irish and me having a smidgen of Emerald Isle lineage coursing through my system, yeah, lame, no excuse, hang my head in soda bread shame.

My awesomely cool friend Janette from college, however many mrrrfff mrrrrfff years ago that may or may not be a certain amount of time no one is saying, she asked me if I’d work on an Irish Soda Bread recipe for her.  And by golly, I cannot turn down Janette!

Thrilled to assist, in fact. Thanks Janette!

She mentioned she usually makes this Martha Stewart recipe buuuut, she’s wondering if she’s missing something, a better direction.  After a bit of Q&A, she let on sweeter, raisins, caraway, one that goes well with tea, let’s veer from round and towards bake and share.  Excellent, ok, clap clap, let’s go!

This set off a week+ long research project, a multi-site-read-up event as I’m wont to do.  Ya know, first discovering what soda bread is, where it came from, how it has evolved, what recipe might be closest to its origins, looking at modern day recipes and variations in comparison, etc. etc. etc. and etc.

Heh, yep, this is what happens.  I love me some research.

Ultimately I wanted to find something that a.) wasn’t too far awry from original soda breads (though egg and sugar, yeah, awry), b.) was not fussy, c.) used easy to locate ingredients or ingredients she might likely have on hand, d.) sweet but not too sweet, and e.) portable.

Heh, I’m demanding.  And so be it.

The one I decided upon?  This one from If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen.

Did I find the perfect recipe?  Iiiii dunno, but I sure hope I’m not letting Janette down.

These were crazy simple to pull together so double the batch and share the holiday spirit with the neighbors, the office, everybody.

Heh, is this blog good or bad…..I’m not sure yet!  (Oh it’s good.  Reeeaal good.)

But don’t pack away either of these recipes as merely holiday related as they’ll reward you year ‘round, promise.

Ok, here we go….don’t blink, it’s that speedy.

To start, melt your butter in a smallish to medium bowl and set that aside to cool a tad while you gather the rest.

In a large bowl, toss in all your dry ingredients plus the currants/raisins/none of the above along with (or without) the caraway seed. I went the currant route as mmm, I really like those sprightly little nubbins of fruitiness then sans caraway as Mike and I aren’t quite the fans.

Irish soda bread muffin ingredients
Seriously, don’t blink, this is gonna happen quick.
If you want to get even fancier-pants, try other dried fruits or savory or sweet herbs and spices, drier cheeses maybe as well.  Just note these muffins are not typical muffin consistency when baked, i.e., not as weightier crumbed nor cake-like but much lighter and fluffier.

Next, pour all the remaining wet ingredients into the melted butter and give them a whisk around.  The butter may clump up a tad but don’t panic.  Whisk until the clumps are smaller.

mixed up wet ingredients
All the wet, all in one bowl. Sweet.
FYI, the recipe as written called for sour cream but I opted buttermilk as a nod towards more traditional.  The author also suggested yogurt which I thought would be interesting to try another time.

Pour all the wet into the dry and very very gently just barely roll everything together until the dry is just moistened enough.  Don’t over mix or get rough with it; the less you do here, the greater the reward of light, airy, fluffy lil’ numbers.  Mix too much, you’ll get leaden lumps.

all ingredients mixed in a bowl
Very gently combined indeed.
Split the batter between the twelve cups of a muffin tin* lined with baking cups.

batter divided into muffin cups
Yeah, pretty thick stuff.
By the way, these are my fave go-to muffin/cupcake/baking cup liners, If You Care.*  Quite seriously, I seek these buggers out and won’t buy any other which is tough as they can be hard to find in stores.  If you’ve got a Fresh Thyme, they carry ‘em.

Right, so you’ve split the batter.  Sprinkle sprinkle a smidge of sugar atop then slip them into a 400° F (200° C) preheated oven, flip the timer to twenty minutes, pace excitedly.

When a tester comes out pretty clean from a middle muffin, pull the tin from the oven and carefully and without scorching your fingertips, tip the muffins on an angle so the bottoms are up.  This keeps you from suffering soggy bottoms.  Soggy muffin bottoms anyway, right.

tipped muffins in pan
Apologies for the blurry shot.  Cloudy day in Chicago.
Let cool for five minutes.

After that, cool those cuties on a rack* then chow down with delight, adding butter or jam or preserves or honey or whatever you like.  Or not a thing at all.

Irish soda bread muffins cooling on a rack
The baking liners just seemed to pull away on their own. Interesting.
I didn’t get a super amount of rise but that’s ok. I ripped one of these open while it was still kinda warm, ……oh the joy of being the baker, treats fresh and warm moments from the oven…oooohh yes, woozy….

Ok whew, sorry, but so, still slightly warm, and amazed at how floofy the interiors were, I drizzled some honey atop, and yep.  Whoa.  Score.  Chew, chew, drop everything.

honey drizzled atop opened muffin
Yeah, had to resort to overhead kitchen lights, too cloudy, too late in the day for a great shot.
Excited that I may have hit it out of the park, I dashed to the computer, zipped the recipe off to Janette for the true test, letting her know to let me know if these sucked, if I was nuts, or if she ran into any trouble.

She was caught in one a’ those Nor’Easters bulldozing its way through so the next day she and her daughter gave this recipe a whirl. I was nervous for sure, I did not want to disappoint.

plated muffin
But yay, “huge success,” she wrote!  They were delicious, perfectly sweet, with golden raisins, sans caraway, and she’s looking forward to sharing.  Whewwww!  Yay!  Happy dance!

Mike’s assessment?  I sent a three pack off to work with him (ah, see?  So portable!), alas I was sadly not privy to his facial expressions but he said they were good, he enjoyed them, nods all around.  He gave one to a coworker and she was nice to him the rest of the day so I’m thinking yep, thumbs up.

dressed up muffin on a plate
Aw, fancy staged photo of a tasty muffin that I sure wish we weren’t out of. Tummy growl.
Oh, what else is a keeper?  The Yogurt Apple Cake, which Mike and I, yeah, we already knew.  But my sister in law Yan made it with my cute nephews to share with my folks over the weekend.  I was truly so flattered!  And it was a winner too, woo hoo!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
20 Min
Total time
30 Min
Simple to make, easy to enjoy anywhere, these Irish Soda Bread Muffins will help you get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit all year 'round.


  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 cups (270 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons (1.5 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups (107 g) currants (or raisins, or dried fruit of choice)
  • 1/2 to 2 teaspoons (2-7 g) caraway seeds (to taste)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (227 ml) buttermilk (or yogurt)
  • extra sugar for sprinkling


  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Using baking liners, line a 12 well muffin tin.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants, and caraway seeds if using into a larger bowl and blend lightly.
  4. In the butter bowl, add the egg and buttermilk, whisking to break up larger butter clumps.
  5. Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and using a large non-stick spatula or implement of choice, very gently fold everything together until the dry is barely moist. Over mixing will result in heavy, tough muffins so avoid the urge.
  6. Split the thick batter between the 12 muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with sugar if desired.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean (a few crumbs are ok) from a center muffin.
  8. Remove the tin from the oven and set on a rack. Carefully tip the muffins on an angle so the bottoms are up, keeping them from turning soggy. Let cool for five minutes then remove the muffins to a cooling rack to cool and serve.


To make this recipe gluten free, try a cup for cup gluten free flour substitute though I did not personally test the substitution.

Recipe adapted from If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details.

muffin, Irish soda bread
Irish American
Created using The Recipes Generator

*The muffin tins, If You Care baking products, and cooling racks are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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