cake | cakes | irish | loaves | quick & easy | recipe | st. patrick's day

Irish soda cakes: this time, in little loaves!

March 16, 2015

Beautiful ranunculus. Hello, spring.

Wow, so St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. Time flies. I can’t believe in less than a month I’ll be a Mrs. And springtime isn’t far away! Just a few days!

I think this is, like, the third or fourth time I’m posting this recipe. Each time I put a new little spin on it. Sometimes I add raisins that have been soaked in Jameson and make them into muffins. Other times, I make it the traditional way my mother always has. And then other times I want to do something else. Like little baby loaves.

Irish soda cake loaves.

Irish soda cake. You read that right.

These are not Irish soda bread loaves. No. These are a variation on Irish soda bread that we call ‘cake’ because of the sugar content and the texture. Like a thing you’d have with tea, not with soup and a Guinness. Let me explain.

Irish soda cakes.

An old friend of my grandmother & my mother was from Ireland. This was her family recipe, that she or someone along the line tweaked a bit to make it more sweet. The recipe was given to my mother and she’s made it as long as I can remember. They called it “Irish soda cake” and that’s what we’ve always called it, too. Its completely unique to anything else you’ll have around this time of year, trust me.

I love to make it because it comes together so quick, and you can double batches very easily to bring a loaf somewhere.

Making Irish soda cakes.

Like I said, I’ve made this in all sorts of ways. I’ve made it most often in a round cake pan. But I’ve also done muffins, and now these little loaves. Remember those baby bundt cakes? And how I said I got the pans off of our wedding registry from my Matron of Honor? Well this was the other pan I received from her & her husband. It’s a Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch mini-loaf pan and it’s beautiful and amazing. I highly recommend it.

So anyway… Irish soda cakes.

Loaves of deliciously sweet Irish soda cake.



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps. melted shortening (or butter)
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Make wet dough: mix salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour and sugar. Beat eggs lightly and add melted shortening and buttermilk.
  2. Mix all together.
  3. Grease a cake pan, put liners in a muffin tin or grease a mini-loaf pan, and spoon batter in. I’d say 3/4 of the way is good- DON’T OVERLOAD.
  4. Before putting in the oven, sprinkle sugar on top and with a floured knife, make an X shape in the dough (allows air to release).
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.

Irish soda cake loaves.

The cool thing about making them into little loaves is the opportunity to wrap them in a super cute way to give to friends & family.

Wrapped up Irish soda cake.

Little Irish soda cake loaves.

A little parchment paper, some black satin ribbon and a cut shamrock go a long way to making these feel even more special.

Éirinn go Brách. Have a safe and happy day tomorrow, whatever you do.

Suggestions for use: Serve with tea or coffee and plenty of butter & marmalade.
Soundtrack: Sinéad O’Connor & the Chieftains – “The Foggy Dew”
Sources & Credits: Glass mixing bowl and loaf pan; both Williams-Sonoma, tea towel; Ikea.
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