Sweet Irish Soda Bread | Mostly Homemade Mom

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

March 1, 2014
A sweet and simple quick bread loaded with raisins - the perfect way to celebrate St. Patty's Day, or any day!

We are a really mixed up bunch of European nationalities in my family, but it's interesting that we always had a special dinner for St. Patrick's Day. My mom has traditional ham & cabbage for dinner. I think Paul's more Irish than we are, and he refuses to even go over there on St. Patrick's Day because he can't even stand the smell of ham & cabbage, ha! We're part Irish, but also part lots of other things. Growing up in Northeast Philly, a lot of people were very proud of their Irish backgrounds - it's no wonder that the youth group Irish Potatoes and Irish Soda Bread sales were always a total hit at church! It was maybe 20% of their total DNA makeup, but hey, they were proud!

This is the soda bread I grew up with. It, quite literally, needs nothing. No butter, no coffee to dip it into (although it's one of my favorite ways to enjoy it), just rip off a piece of the end and eat. This is actually my friend Mary's recipe, she was one of my youth leaders way back when, and she would be the one to diligently make loaf after loaf of this delicious bread. This sweet bread would be perfect for breakfast or dessert after your St. Patty's Day meal!

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

2 cups raisins
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Fill a saucepan half way with water and bring to a boil. Add raisins and continue boiling for 3 minutes. Drain and lightly dust with flour. Meanwhile, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add shortening using a pastry blender or your fingers, it will be very lumpy. Stir in milk and eggs until fully moistened. Carefully stir in raisins. Spread into a loaf pan coated with non-stick spray and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. *Baking powder contains baking soda, hence the name "soda bread."

Well, at least try to let it cool before eating. :)

Here are some other favorite recipes to celebrate St. Patty's Day:

Irish Potato Candy

Mint Oreo Pudding Pie

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