Grandma Donovan’s Soda Bread Recipe

St. Patrick’s Day is a big national holiday in our house. All of my grandparents were born in Ireland, as were Paul’s mother’s parents.

When she was alive, my grandmother always had knitting needles in her hands. In fact she became blind in the last years of her life, and yet she still produced wonderful beautiful Irish sweaters and blankets.

I have wonderful memories of eating her Irish Soda Bread warm from the oven dripping with butter and of course I want to spread that love around by sharing her recipe with you:


Grandma Donovan’s Soda Bread

2 1/2 C sifted flour

1/2 C sugar

1 1/2 t baking powder

3/4 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c butter (room temperature)

1 1/4 C raisins

1 1/2 T caraway seeds

1 1/4 C buttermilk

1 egg (slightly beaten)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil 1 cup of water and allow raisins to rest in it until plumped and the drain thoroughly. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut butter into those dry ingredients. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Make a well in the center of the dough. Mix buttermilk and egg together and pour into well. Mix careful – don’t overdo it. Stir in dried cherries or candied fruit or 1 T of jam if desired. (Grandma would make her own candied fruit for this!)

Grease and dust pan. Use either an 8 in round pan ro 5 X 9 loaf pan.

Cook until done! She never told me how long…you can just tell she said… it becomes golden and pulls away from the edges.

8 Comments on “Grandma Donovan’s Soda Bread Recipe”

  1. Oh my gosh, my mom’s recipe has the exact same ingredients – we don’t make it quite the same way, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen another Irish Soda Bread recipe with the exact same ingredients. I’ve been too busy to make my batch but I plan on doing so next Monday.

  2. My Grandma Donovan’s recipe is a little different, and had things written on it such as “Very nice with tea” and “Charley’s favorite” (my Dad). It’s a lovely slice of childhood, isn’t it?

  3. Thank you for sharing! I will make this next year for the next generation of Donovan’s!

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