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Cheddar Soda Bread

5 stars based on 25 votes

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.


Begin by combining the dry ingredients in a large bowl.


Whisk well.


Add the cold cubed 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.


Toss in the cheese.


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


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


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.


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


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


Slice and serve warm.


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


Irish Cheddar Soda Bread

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


  • 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


  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.

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

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Isla on September 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - LeAnn on August 31, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Alyssa on August 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious recipe. No changes needed!

    - Nicole on May 15, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    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.

    - Gayatri on May 2, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!!!

    - Deb on April 12, 2017 Reply
  • 3 stars

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

    - Victoria on March 28, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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.

    - Cee on March 21, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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 on March 19, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!!

    - Charlene on March 18, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

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

    - Mina on March 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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.

    - tanya abrams on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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.

    - Mary Lawson on March 18, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!!!

    - Jim on March 17, 2016 Reply
    • 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.

      - Jenn on March 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - travel on March 16, 2016 Reply
  • Also, would this be good made with jack cheese?

    - Patsy on February 4, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, jack cheese would be tasty here too.

      - Jenn on February 4, 2016 Reply
  • Help! I don’t have any buttermilk. Will this work with the milk and vinegar mixture?

    - Patsy on February 4, 2016 Reply
    • Yes Patsy, I think that should work!

      - Jenn on February 4, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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?

    - Twinsmama on January 8, 2016 Reply
    • Yes, I think this could be made in an iron skillet with no adjustments necessary. Please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on January 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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.

    - Katee on December 5, 2015 Reply
  • 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!

    - Erika on August 2, 2015 Reply
    • 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 🙂

      - Jenn on August 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Robin W on May 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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…

    - Michelle P on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    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.

    - Rebecca on March 22, 2015 Reply
  • Hello, can i use wheat flour instead of regular flour?

    - Olga on March 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Olga, Yes, but I would use white whole wheat flour — I like the King Arthur brand.

      - Jenn on March 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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??

    Streetsville, Ontario, Canada

    - Sharon Duerden on March 21, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Shar, So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it would work fine in a large loaf pan.

      - Jenn on March 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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

    - Connie on March 18, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    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!

    - Linda Louden on March 17, 2015 Reply
  • 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!

    - Sha on March 16, 2015 Reply
    • 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.

      - Jenn on March 16, 2015 Reply
      • 5 stars

        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.

        - Sha on March 17, 2015 Reply
  • 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

    - Elly Kunst on March 16, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Elly, One cup of flour is 128 grams. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes 🙂

      - Jenn on March 16, 2015 Reply
  • 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!

    - Alyssa on March 14, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

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

    - Kim on March 1, 2015 Reply
  • Any chance of cutting in the butter using a food processor?

    - Kathleen on February 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Kathleen, Yes, that would work very well.

      - Jenn on February 27, 2015 Reply
  • 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

    - Mandy on February 26, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mandy, Yes, absolutely. It can also be warmed up in the oven again, or sliced and toasted.

      - Jenn on February 27, 2015 Reply

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