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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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  • Hi Jenn:
    Can I use regular full fat buttermilk?

    • Yep that’s fine 🙂

  • Has anyone tried this with gluten free flour?? Any recommendations?

    • — Sandra Mitchell
    • Reply
    • Hi Sandra, It looks like one reader commented that she used gluten-free flour successfully. King Arthur flour has a gluten-free flour that a lot of people have commented they’ve had good luck with. Hope that helps!

    • I made Jenn’s recipe “Irish American Soda Bread” gluten free using King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure….it worked well for me.

      • — Mary on March 4, 2024
      • Reply
  • I don’t like the taste of baking powder and always use a cream of tartar/baking soda substitute. Do you think that would work here? Also, to reheat, would you wrap the bread or muffins in foil and at what temperature?

    • Hi Carol, I didn’t know about that combination as a potential substitute for baking powder but I looked it up and it sounds like it will work. Please keep in mind that I’ve never tried it this way. And the bread can be reheated at 350°F. Hope you enjoy!

    • Use Rumford Baking Powder, doesn’t have that nasty ingredient that tastes so awful…can’t remember the name of the ingredient, think it is aluminum something or other. ith Rumford, I can safely use whatever amount the recipe calls for.

      • — Carol Winkelman
      • Reply
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • On the second day my bread had started to turn dark on top.
    Should this be refrigerated?

    • 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.

  • Just baked this today. Absolutely delicious, and so easy. So good that it doesn’t even need butter.

  • Yummy! Thanks for another great recipe🙂

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


    • Sure, Connie – as long as it is unsweetened and unflavored.

  • 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?

    • Hi Mary, I don’t recommend bread flour; I actually think it will make it heavier.

      • Thank you!

  • Hi Jenn! Would it be okay to use a 10” cast iron pan for this? Thanks!

    • 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. 🙂

  • 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?

    • Definitely! (And glad you enjoyed it 🙂 )

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This bread was excellent served with Turkey Wild Rice soup. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thanks Jenn!

  • 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 🙂

    • This recipe is wonderful! Made it as muffins and they were awesome. The tops did not get very brown, but they were definitely done at 20 minutes and were delicious. Added some chopped green onion with the cheese.

  • 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??

    Streetsville, Ontario, Canada

    • — Sharon Duerden
    • Reply
    • 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.

  • 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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