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Cheddar Soda Bread

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Transform humble Irish soda bread into a deliciously rich loaf with a crisp, golden exterior and a soft, cheesy interior. This comforting bread is sure to please!

slices of irish cheddar soda bread on a plate.

Irish soda bread, a beloved quick and easy table bread made with baking soda instead of yeast, is traditionally made with the most basic and cost-effective ingredients. This version maintains the bread’s simplicity but is anything but basic. Modestly adapted from Cabot Creamery, this soda bread is rich with extra sharp cheddar, yielding a crust that’s golden and crisp, with an irresistibly soft, cheesy middle. It’s comfort food at its best, tasting reminiscent of a cheesy scone or a toasty grilled cheese sandwich.

Prep is a breeze—just 10 minutes and it’s oven-ready, soon filling your kitchen with the most inviting cheesy aroma. Serve it warm alongside a steaming bowl of tomato soup, a comforting lamb stew, corned beef and cabbage, or a hearty chili con carne for a truly delicious meal.

“Made this to complement your roasted corn beef and cabbage recipe…So easy, so good. The crowd loved it.”


What You’ll Need To Make Cheddar Soda Bread

irish soda bread ingredients
  • All-purpose flour: Provides the structure and base for the bread.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: Act as leavening agents instead of yeast, helping the bread rise and become fluffy.
  • Butter: Adds richness and flakiness to the bread; using it cold helps create pockets of steam that contribute to the bread’s texture.
  • Extra-sharp Cheddar cheese: Gives the bread a strong, cheesy flavor and creates a melty, rich texture.
  • Buttermilk: Moistens the dough, adds a slight tang, and activates the baking soda for leavening. If you don’t have any on hand or would rather not purchase a whole carton, see how to make buttermilk using milk and lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Egg: Binds the ingredients together and contributes to the bread’s structure and richness.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by whisking the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

whisking dry ingredients

Add the cold cubed butter.

cubes of butter added to dry ingredients

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.

butter cut into flour mixture

Toss in the cheese.

cheese mixed into dry ingredients and butter

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk.

whisked egg and buttermilk

Add to the dry ingredients.

buttermilk mixture added to dry ingredients and cheese

Stir until all of the flour is absorbed. Do not overmix.

mixed soda bread batter in bowl

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

soda bread dough in baking dish

Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown and set, and a cake tester comes out clean.

baked irish cheddar soda bread

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cheddar soda bread be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare this soda bread ahead of time. Once baked and cooled, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it at room temperature for up to two days. For the best texture and flavor, reheat it in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Can cheddar soda bread be frozen?

Absolutely! Once the bread has cooled completely, wrap it securely in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature or gently reheat from frozen in a 350°F oven until warmed through.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, you can substitute the cheddar with an equal amount of another type of cheese. Try varieties like Gruyère, Swiss, or Pepper Jack for a different flavor profile. Just ensure the cheese you choose has good melting properties and complements the bread’s flavors.

slices of irish cheddar soda bread on a plate.

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Cheddar Soda Bread

Transform humble Irish soda bread into a deliciously rich loaf with a crisp, golden exterior and a soft, cheesy interior. This comforting bread is sure to please!

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


  • 2½ 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 ½-inch chunks, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1¼ cups low fat buttermilk (see note)
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch square 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, two butter knives, or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Mix in the 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 about 35 minutes, until golden brown, set, 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 squares and serve warm.
  6. Note: If you’d like to make your own buttermilk, check out the easy method here.
  7. 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 square
  • 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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  • Easy and delicious !!! We took it to the next level by slicing and griddling until golden and crispy in butter or bacon grease… WOW… absolutely amazing !!!

    • — Susan on March 31, 2024
    • Reply
  • Wondering if you use gluten free flour?

    • — Jill on March 18, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jill, I haven’t made these with gluten-free flour, but a few readers have commented that they have successfully. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Super easy to make and turned out perfectly! I made it for a crowd of 12 and worried it wouldn’t be enough, but it totally was. It’s filling and was the perfect compliment to Irish stew!

    • — Jill on March 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this tonight to go with my corned beef dinner. It was absolutely delicious! Even better with honey and butter! My husband and kids loved it

    • — Shawn on March 17, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Your recipe says to use an 8-inch square pan. But your comment says the batter won’t be as deep and the bake time will be shorter if using an 8-inch square pan. What size pan did you use to develop your recipe? Thank you for clarifying!

    • — Mary B on March 15, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I’m sorry for any confusion. That’s an old comment; the recipe used to be made in a round pan, so an 8 inch square pan is exactly what you should be using. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Love this recipe!

    • — Ashlea on January 11, 2024
    • Reply
  • Could this be made in small appetizer mini muffins or bunt shape? I’m looking for new things to serve before the meal to a crowd. Thank you Jenn for all your great recipes and inspiration!

    • — Joan on September 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Joan – either should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Can I make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge before baking? Thank you:)

    • — Marijeta on April 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Marijeta, Unfortunately, it won’t work to refrigerate the batter as the bread won’t rise well when you go to bake it. If you’d like, you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine them and proceed with the recipe when you’re ready to bake it.

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made this for St. Patrick’s Day and agree with the rave reviews. The bread is delicious and looks gorgeous with the golden crust. The texture of the bread is moist, not slightly dry and flaky like traditional soda bread, but it’s still really yummy.

    • — Laura on March 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Is it ok to use the food processor to quickly pulse dry ingredients with butter? Or will it toughen the dough? Thanks much for all your great recipes!

    • — Tracy, SJC CA on March 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure Tracy, that’s perfectly fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made this to compliment your roasted corn beef and cabbage (veggies) recipe as suggested. So easy, so good. The crowd loved it. Used the “make your own buttermilk” too.

    • — Domine on March 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Had some leftover buttermilk to use up and came upon this recipe… so glad I did! YUM. Took a lot of willpower not to eat the whole thing myself. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly. Quick too!

    • — Yvonne on February 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was simple to make and turned out beautifully. It went really well with a pot of black bean soup. My family ate it right up.

    • — SJR on January 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    Great recipe! Tastes way better than any store bought cheese bread and was so very easy to make.
    As always another great recipe. Thanks

    • — Sharon on December 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thanks so much for this recipe! It turned out perfectly and it was delicious!

    • — Jessica M on August 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • I used sharp white cheddar and added some fresh thyme leaves. Super easy and incredibly delicious

  • This was delicious. I served it with corned beef and cabbage and enjoyed leftovers for breakfast with tea.

  • Jenn, why weren’t you my Home Ec teacher when I was in school? 🙂 The bread was delicious. Grating the butter was brilliant. The bread was simple to make and will be done again in the winter with soup. Thank you for the recipe.

  • I am confused by ‘grated’ cheese and ‘shredded’ cheese. I understood grated to be grated on the fine side of the box grater and shredded is much larger shreds which appear in your photos. Can you explain please if grated and shredded are actually the same thing? Does one weigh more than the other? Thank you.

    • Hi Edie, I’m sorry for any confusion. You’re correct — grated and shredded cheese is different. I’m going to change the wording there to “shredded.” Hope that clarifies!

  • Hello
    I plan to make this bread to go with a soup dinner. Would like to clarify is it 2 cups of cheese or 8 ounces which is one cup?
    All your recipes look great I will be making lots of them.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Jacqueline, 2 cups is the volume you’ll need and it’s the equivalent of 8 ounces if you were to weigh it on a kitchen scale. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!

      • Thanks Jenn, I did figure it out after writing to you! I made this bread and served along with our homemade turkey soup from Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. It is so easy and delicious. Delivered half the pan to my daughter with some soup and polished off the rest with our lunch today, oh and had some toasted with breakfast. It was well used up!
        Thanks for the recipe. I will be trying more of your selections.
        Happy cooking.

      • We’d never tried soda bread before, but it was kind of like a cross between a southern biscuit and corn bread. Very delicious! Thanks for another great recipe Jenn!

  • I made this recipe as muffins and they are DELISH!! They have a moist, tender inside with a crispy exterior. And they reheat beautifully!

    • How long did you bake them for?

      • Amanda, I’m probably too late with my answer for you but I don’t remember exactly. Probably started checking at 30 mts to see how they were browning. Before taking out, check with a toothpick to be certain they’re done.

  • Soda bread is such an easy win, and this is a really delicious one – so moist because of all the cheese. I made the bread to eat with soup last night and it was fabulous.

  • Comparing your recipe to the KA version, I see that you changed the pan size as well, without changing baking time range. Using an 8″ round pan (vs. 8″ square or 9″ round, which have a 27% larger surface area than 8″ round) I think should require an increased baking time to compensate for thicker dough. There’s also the chance of the bread overtopping a shallow 8″ pan.

    I went with the KA recipe, using a 2″ deep 9″ round pan, and the outside edge of the bread rose to the top edge of the pan. 40 minute bake was perfect. My rating is for the KA recipe, but could apply to yours as well, with adjusted baking time and using a deep 8″ pan.

  • Greetings from VA,
    I’m an old girl and have been a foodie since before there were foodies. Your recipes are either top on my list or at the very least a reference. Thank you !!! Now, I was hoping to make your soda bread in my small 9″ cast iron pan. Do you think that will work at the same cooking time and temp. without burning? Thank you in advance, and thank you for all your hard work that makes us look like geniuses.

    • Hi Jane, I think you could make this in a 9-inch cast-iron pan, but it will be pretty thin (also it will take less time to bake so keep a close eye on it). Please LMK how it turns out!

  • Great recipe! I decided to view the link you provided for “Cabot Creamery via KingArthurFlour.com.” That was very helpful as I didn’t want to have to purchase buttermilk for this recipe alone. This provided me the opportunity to substitute Plain Whole Milk Yogurt and Milk instead of using Buttermilk. It came out great, although instead of baking it for 45 min., I’ll try doing only 40 min. Thanks Jenn!

  • I am going to make this for a dinner party. Since my kitchen will be clean, is there any way I can assemble ahead of time and then just put it n the oven when guests arrive ? I’m afraid if I make it a day ahead it won’t be as good.

    • Hi Sherri, I actually think you can get away with baking this a few hours ahead. If you want to serve it warm just reheat it per the freezer-friendly reheating instructions. I would not fully assemble it, but you could put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, cut in the butter, and add the cheese, put the buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl, and then combine and put into the oven right before company comes. Hope that helps!

      • How would you make this into cheesey brown bread. Thanks

        • Hi Sarah, I think you’d need to make too many modifications to the recipe to get what you’re looking for. Instead, I’d encourage you to look for a recipe specific to that. Sorry!

  • Hi, I am going to make the soda bread, I only have a nine inch cake pan will this be ok to use.

    • Sure, Deborah, it should work but will likely take a little less time to bake so keep a close eye on it. Enjoy!

  • This was great! Added some green onions just to experiment and the taste was good, actually just wish I’d added more herbs. I used a sour cream / whole milk sub for buttermilk, and my rise wasn’t as high as yours but did not affect taste! Will make again with more experimentation of flavors!

  • Question: Can plain yogurt be substituted for the buttermilk? P.S. I’ve tried many of your other recipes, and every one has been great.

    • Hi James, that should work but you may need to thin it slightly with some milk. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • Thanks for the tip. I used, in lieu of the buttermilk (which we haven’t had in the house for probably a decade), 1 cup of a rather thin but good quality plain yogurt plus 1/4 cup whole milk. The bread turned out excellent–the whole family raved. I’ve never made soda bread before, but will definitely add this to my repertoire.

        • So glad it came out nicely — thanks for reporting back!

  • This was great! Thank you for another great recipe Jenn. I added onion powder, chopped sun dried tomatoes, oregano and toasted almond slices. It was delicious and went well with beef stew!

  • This was so good and really easy to make!! The second time I made it I added chopped fresh rosemary from my garden. Everyone loved it.

    • — Barb, BC Canada
    • Reply
  • I recommend not using baking powder that contains aluminum.

    • — Virginia Lehner
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I love your recipes (and so does my family!). I’d love to make this recipe with metric measurements but they don’t seem to be working? Thanks so much in advance and for all your amazing recipes!

    • So glad you like the recipes, Rachel! 🙂 Sorry about the issue with the metric measurements – I just fixed it so you should be good to go. Hope you enjoy!

      • Thank you so much, Jenn! I made this today and it is SO delicious! Moist and very satisfying.
        And really easy to make. Thank you!

  • I love quick and easy breads and this one is DELICIOUS! And seriously so simple to make. Everyone loved it. Thank you!

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