Cheddar Soda Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This easy soda bread is made with extra sharp cheddar, which gives it a crisp, golden crust and tender, cheesy interior.

soda bread

Soda bread is a quick and easy table bread in which baking soda is used as a leavening agent instead of yeast. This version is made with extra sharp cheddar, which gives it a crisp, golden crust and tender, cheesy interior. The dough takes just 10 minutes to put together and bakes in under an hour — all the while making the house smell divine. Serve with a bowl of tomato soup or chili, and dinner is done.

What you’ll need to make soda bread

ingredients

How to make the bread

Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

dry-ingredients

Whisk well.

whisked-dry-ingredients

Add the cold cubed butter.

adding-butter

Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly, with a few pea-size clumps of butter within.

cutting-in-butter

Toss in the cheese.

adding-cheese

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk, and add to the bowl.

adding-egg-and-buttermilk-mixture

Stir with a spoon just until all of the flour is absorbed. Do not overmix.

dough

Transfer the dough to a greased 8-inch cake pan. Dust your hands with flour and spread the dough to the edges of the pan.

pressing-dough-into-pan

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

baked-soda-bread

Cool in the pan for about five minutes, then gently turn it onto a rack to cool.

cooling-soda-bread

Slice and serve warm.

irish-cheddar-soda-bread-1

This recipe was modestly adapted from Cabot Creamery via KingArthurFlour.com. My only changes were to increase the salt and refine the instructions a bit. See the original recipe and read the rave reviews here

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Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

This easy soda bread is made with extra sharp cheddar, which gives it a crisp, golden crust and tender, cheesy interior.

Servings: 1 loaf, about 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1-1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Toss in the cold butter. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, "cut" the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Mix in the grated cheese.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just moistened. Do not overmix.
  5. Transfer the sticky dough to the prepared pan. Dust your hands with flour and press the dough to the edges of the pan. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. Cut into wedges and serve warm with softened butter.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once it’s completely cooled, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. To reheat, wrap the bread in aluminum foil and warm it in a 350°F oven until hot.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 wedge
  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Sodium: 510mg
  • Cholesterol: 47mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Delicious bread! I used 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella since that’s what I had in the fridge. I grated frozen butter and mixed it into the flour since I didn’t have my pastry cutter. I added garlic powder, dried minced onion and black pepper. It was amazing! This recipe is a keeper.

    • — Janie on October 13, 2019
    • Reply
  • So easy, so GOOD! Took this to the grandchildren’s for dinner tonight and we couldn’t wait to cut into it. Even good with our wine. The little ones, not quite three, were walking around with pieces in both hands. I’m thinking of all the add ins that would be fun to use. This is a real winner Jenn. Once again, you’ve hit it out of the ballpark.

    • — Carol on March 25, 2019
    • Reply
  • On the second day my bread had started to turn dark on top.
    Should this be refrigerated?

    • — Oetzi on March 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Oetzi, Strange that the bread is turning dark on top — not sure why that is, but it’s fine to the store it on your counter.

      • — Jenn on March 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Just baked this today. Absolutely delicious, and so easy. So good that it doesn’t even need butter.

    • — Gma3 on March 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Yummy! Thanks for another great recipe🙂

    • — Katie on March 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:
    I don’t have buttermilk so could do the old milk and vinegar trivk, but wondering if Kefir would work as well.

    Thanks!

    • — Connie Manuel on March 16, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Connie – as long as it is unsweetened and unflavored.

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2019
      • Reply
  • Made this once and it was fantastic! I’ve been reading recipes on other soda breads and some mentioned using bread flour to make it lighter. has anyone tried that?

    • — Mary from NJ on March 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I don’t recommend bread flour; I actually think it will make it heavier.

      • — Jenn on March 12, 2019
      • Reply
      • Thank you!

        • — Mary from NJ on March 12, 2019
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Would it be okay to use a 10” cast iron pan for this? Thanks!

    • — Carol on August 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I think it will be very flat in a 10-inch pan but if you multiply the ingredients by 1.5, it should work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 6, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this bread today and it was awesome. The texture was soft and moist. Thanks for the amazing recipe. I have one question – Can I add chili flakes and herbs seasonings to the dough to make it more savoury?

    • — Diana Benito on June 2, 2018
    • Reply
    • Definitely! (And glad you enjoyed it 🙂 )

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2018
      • Reply
  • Found the texture to be very light and delicate. However what was best was toast made from the leftover the next day. OMG.
    Next time I plan on using a square pan so that it will be easier to cut slices for the toaster.

    • — Richard on March 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this with food processor butter and buttermilk (1 pint) and it was the perfect amount. As always, instructions are clear and foolproof. Such a great cheesy st Patrick’s day treat with to die for butter!

    • — Kayleigh on March 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • I don’t have an 8″ pan so I used my pizza stone. I preheated my oven with the stone in it. I mixed the dough as per the recipe then turned the dough onto parchment paper. I patted it into a rounded mound then baked it on the stone. It baked for 40 min. Fantastic! Everyone loved it.

    • — Karen on March 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the Cheddar Soda Bread to serve along side Short Ribs. The bread was tasty, tender and delicious slathered with butter. I will be serving this bread often.

    • — Mary Ann on March 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • This bread was excellent served with Turkey Wild Rice soup. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Barb on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Just came back from Ireland where I could not stop eating their cheddar soda bread so was happy to find this recipe. It is quick and easy to make. I used a cast iron skillet instead of a round cake pan and it turned out really well! My family consumed most of this within the first couple days, but as expected with most homemade breads this can begin to stale after a couple days. Glad I found the recipe and will be making it again!

  • Another huge hit with my family! Your recipes are incredible and I seldom change anything but I have a house full of bacon lovers so I added crumbled bacon to it and served it with scrambled eggs. It was gone in a flash!

  • I got curious about soda bread after watching a baking television show. I tried this recipe but did it free form (no tin), and created cuts so there were four large wedges. I add a little bit of fresh chives and used sharp cheddar. This bread turned out amazing! It was so easy to do. Less than one hour and you have a yummy bread that comes together quickly and easily. Will definitely make again!

  • Delicious recipe. No changes needed!

  • Made this with a tomato garlic chicken. It was delicious. The speed and ease with which it all comes together without the wait time required when working with yeast is great.
    I used a white cheese that I had on hand so it didn’t make for the same colour contrast, but you could taste the cheese laced through the whole bread.

  • Another winner Jenn, thank you. My tasters loved it. I have not made one of your recipes that hasn’t turned out perfect. A new go to!!!

  • This was really yummy. However, if you don’t consume it all within 2 days, it starts getting hard.

  • I made this for the first time, and it was delicious. Mine looked just like the photograph. I plan on making this often. Thanks for this recipe.

  • Delicious! I made this as part of a St. Patrick’s Day dinner and I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out wonderfully and everyone loved it. Kids and adults alike. I will definitely make it more regularly.

    • — Christina Copenhaver
    • Reply
  • The best recipe ever. We had unexpected guests over and corned beef was in the crockpot. So I had the ingredients for this bread and made it with white extra sharp cheddar. So good!!

  • Followed directions and came out perfectly. So far my kids love this and easy

  • Another family favourite. If you don’t have buttermilk, pour a few tbsp white vinegar into your measuring cup before adding the milk. Leave it for about 10 minutes and you have a good substitute.

  • Just made this to go with corned beef and cabbage for our St. Paddy’s dinner. It is absolutely delicious! Tender and moist!
    It arrived just as I was looking for a soda bread recipe. Thank you.

  • Jennifer,
    Another blue ribbon recipe!!! You make baking seem so simple with your recipes. Everything that I make using your recipes always comes out perfect!!!
    One quick question. If I reduce the amount of salt used in this recipe, will it have an adverse effect on the final product? I find that some cheddar are saltier tasting than others.
    Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!!!

    • Sure Jim, you can cut back on the salt if you want. If desired, you could replace half the salt with a different dried herb like rosemary or thyme.

  • I spent all day yesterday making the traditional Irish breads, both white and brown, for a party and for friends and family. I thought I was done. This morning I saw this recipe. I had just enough buttermilk left to make it. YUMMY!!!! Very buttery and cheesy. Love it!

  • Also, would this be good made with jack cheese?

    • Yes, jack cheese would be tasty here too.

  • Help! I don’t have any buttermilk. Will this work with the milk and vinegar mixture?

    • Yes Patsy, I think that should work!

  • Can this bread be made successfully using an Iron Skillet instead of a cake pan? If so, are any adjustments needed, like preheat the pan or change baking time for dark utensil?

    • Yes, I think this could be made in an iron skillet with no adjustments necessary. Please let me know how it turns out!

  • As was said earlier, you can’t make soda bread dough ahead and bake it later. But for those of you who want fresh soda bread but don’t want to do all the last minute prep, here’s a do ahead tip I’ve used for years. Mix all ingredients together and cut in the butter. If you are adding anything (cheese, herbs, dried fruit or nuts) stir them in to the mixture. Then transfer it to a covered bowl or bag and put in fridge or freezer. When ready to use, just add the egg and milk and bake as usual. No need to warm the dough. It isn’t yeast risen, so it bakes beautifully. If really pressed for time you can even mix the egg and milk ahead the night before. This works for all soda breads, bicuits and scones. I keep some mixture in the freezer and then it’s ready whenever I want fresh breads. Just remember to label it well.

  • I’ve made the KAF version and while it smelled amazing, I was always surprised at how subtle the flavor was given the quantity of cheese. Reading the recipe and your changes from the original, I’m guessing that it wasn’t salty enough to bring out the cheddar flavor. This would be a perfect accompaniment to all the amazing summer salads we are eating these days.

    I’d love to make these in a muffin tin to maximize the crispy toasted cheese outside. After how long would you suggest I start checking to see if they’re done? Thanks!

    • Hi Erika, Yes, the salt does really bring out the flavor. For muffins, I’d start checking after 20 minutes. Please let me know how they turn out 🙂

  • I have heard of Soda Bread, but I didn’t understand until now just what it meant. I didn’t even know that baking soda could act as a leavening agent. I am new to bread making and this looks fantastic and easy enough for a novice like me!

  • Made this for St. Patrick’s Day and everyone loved it! I’m thinking about adding some diced jalapeno next time for a little kick…just haven’t decided if it should be fresh jalapeno or pickled…

  • We made this to go with tomato soup, and it was a nice, fast bread. I bet you could mix in other ingredients, like chives or bacon to up the flavor. Will be saving this one, for sure.

  • Hello, can i use wheat flour instead of regular flour?

    • Hi Olga, Yes, but I would use white whole wheat flour — I like the King Arthur brand.

  • Hi Jenn….

    This Cheddar Soda Bread is “briliant”. Served it with lunchtime soup – everyone raved at it’s taste, texture and overall appearance. I’m going to make this for a Masonic Dinners – instead of buying store bought bread or buns. This is a real keeper for my family recipes.

    Question – Could you make this in a loaf pan??

    Shar
    Streetsville, Ontario, Canada

    • Hi Shar, So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it would work fine in a large loaf pan.

  • I made the soda bread for our St Patrick’s day dinner. We loved it. I thought it tasted salty so will probably cut down on salt next time. I might add some herbs like rosemary or chives just for a change. I am thrilled to have a soda bread recipe that does not have raisins. THANKS

  • Made this Sunday for an early St. Pat’s party to RAVE reviews. It was moist and flavorful and so quick and easy to make and bake. This is a new staple in my house! Thanks so much!

  • Dear Jenn,

    I posted a question earlier but not sure why it didn’t get published. Anyways, I am interested in baking this very early in the morning but am wondering if the dough can be prepared the night before, and if can, I hope you can advise as to how to store it before baking it the next day.
    Thanks so much Jenn!

    • Hi Sha, Sorry about that. I would not hold off on baking this bread. It is leavened with baking soda, which is activated immediately once the wet ingredients are added. It will lose its leavening power if not baked right away. That said, it keeps very well and will still be delicious the next day warmed in the oven.

      • Hi Jenn,

        Just to let you know, I made this today for breakfast, me and my son are both gluten intolerant, so I used GF flour in place of the AP flour in the recipe.
        It.was.amazing! Very flavorful, moist, nice crumbs and all…I have nothing but good things to comment about this soda bread.
        Thanks, thanks so much for sharing this. Oh btw, I know wrong column to say this, but I LOVE your Peruvian Chicken recipe. That is one roasted chicken recipe that I will forever return to make for my family.
        Thanks!!

  • Dear mrs. Segal,
    I’m going to make the soda bread today (or tomorrow) but I’m not sure about the size of the cup you mention in your recipe (flour). Is it the same as 250 grammes or more? Maybe less? Greetings from Holland (and I really enjoy to read your website)! Elly

    • Hi Elly, One cup of flour is 128 grams. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes 🙂

  • I see you increased the salt from original , which I will do next time I make this.I followed King Arthurs (as I pinned it a couple weeks back) recipe and it def needed more salt.
    I brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled cheese on top ,as well. A keeper for sure!

  • Very good taste and interesting presentation. Served with Jambalaya and it was great.

  • Any chance of cutting in the butter using a food processor?

    • Hi Kathleen, Yes, that would work very well.

  • Hi Jenn,
    Can this soda bread be made 4 or 5 hours in advance and served at room temperature? If not, what breads would you recommend.
    Thanks Mandy

    • Hi Mandy, Yes, absolutely. It can also be warmed up in the oven again, or sliced and toasted.

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