Irish Soda Bread-Gluten Free

By Sally Cameron on March 13, 2012

Baked Goods, Gluten-Free, Holiday Dishes, Vegetarian

Baking Irish soda bread was the perfect opportunity to test a new gluten free flour called Cup4Cup. I’ve worked with other gluten free flour blends (like Bob’s Red Mill, also a great product) but was particularly interested in this one because it was developed in the kitchen of famed Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry.

Gluten-Free St.Patrick’s

I’ve baked Irish soda bread for my clients the past few years as a St. Patrick’s week treat. With clients following a gluten-free lifestyle and us having gone wheat-free, I needed to adapt the recipe using gluten-free flour.

This recipe goes together easily and bakes up golden crusted, studded with sweet dried currants.  It’s nice for breakfast, with an afternoon cup of tea or aside a bowl of soup. It also makes a thoughtful gift.

A Quick Bread

As the name implies, a “quick” bread depends not on yeast for lift, but on baking soda as the leavener. As with all soda breads, this traditional Irish version goes together quickly. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder, then butter. Add buttermilk and currants. Shape into a round loaf and bake.

The tools are simple as well. A bowl, spoon, cake pan and measuring tools are all you need. I prefer to use a digital scale to weigh ingredients for better accuracy. If you don’t have one, no problem, but you might consider investing in one.

I test baked several batches of this bread. If your currants are very dried out, soak them in hot water for 5-7 minutes, then drain and squeeze dry in paper towels. If they are more fresh and moist, you can skip this step.

The bread came out wonderful with the Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. The crumb was fine, the bread moist, and the flavor wonderful. In fact, as we were shooting it for the photograph it was hard to stop eating it smeared with apricot fruit spread.

As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, bake a loaf of quick Irish soda bread. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can purchase Cup4Cup online and at Williams Sonoma stores. Other quality gluten-free flour blends are made by Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour.

Note – This bread can also be made with regular flour as in the original recipe. At the bottom is an article on how to make your own buttermilk replacement.

Ingredient note – If you don’t have buttermilk or don’t want to buy it, read this article for substitutions.

Irish Soda Bread-Gluten Free

A golden loaf studded with sweet dried currants, Irish soda bread goes together easily in just one bowl. Not just for St. Patrick’s Day, this is a nice recipe to have in your file for any time of the year. Make it gluten-free with Cup4Cup, Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour gluten-free flour blends. It’s nice served with apricot jam. Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.  


  • 2 cups gluten-free flour 9 ¼ ounces or 266 grams, plus a little extra for your hands
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar divided use
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 9 grams, aluminum free
  • 1 teaspoon table salt 7 grams
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda 5 grams
  • 3 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup lowfat buttermilk 240 ml
  • 2/3 cup dried currants 2 ¾ ounces or 78 grams, if very dry, soak in hot water for 5-7 minutes, drain and dry. If moist, skip this step


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees for convection ovens or 375 for standard ovens. Spray or lightly oil a 9” round cake pan. Optionally, to insure the bread does not stick, line the bottom with a round of baking parchment.
  • Into a medium bowl, measure the flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. For accuracy, use a digital scale to weigh the ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the butter and with a fork or a pastry blender, mix in until the flour becomes a coarse pebbly mixture.
  • Push dry ingredients aside making a well in the center of the bowl. Pour buttermilk into the center. Gradually stir the buttermilk and flour mixture together. The dough will be sticky. Stir in the currants.
  •  With a little extra flour, sprinkle your counter or cutting board. Place the dough onto the floured space and with floured hands, shape the dough into a ball. If it sticks, use a pastry or bench scraper to help get it off the board and shape it. You may sprinkle a little flour on top of the loaf as well, but don’t use too much.
  •  Transfer the dough to the cake pan and press down lightly to spread it out. It will not come to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with the last half tablespoon of sugar. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, cool in the pan 10 minutes and turn the loaf out to cool on a wire rack. Slice or cut into wedges and enjoy.


Serving: 1g
  1. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator - March 13th, 2012

    Hi Sally! I haven’t commented in a while, although I read all of your wonderful, helpful posts. Loved the step by step pix. Nice to have your review of the newest GF flour blend out there. Thanks!

  2. K&B N. - March 13th, 2012

    This looks absolutely delicious !

  3. Ginja - March 14th, 2012

    Hello! Your bread looks beautiful. Just a question: how much buttermilk you put in the bread? Thank you.

  4. Sally - March 14th, 2012

    One cup! Realized I left it off of the ingredients list! It’s fixed now. Thanks!

  5. Lena - March 15th, 2012

    Beautiful photos! What a great idea! Thank you for your support and love for our product!



  6. Sally - March 15th, 2012

    Thanks Lena. I made cornbread with it this morning! Came out great!

  7. Ivy - March 22nd, 2012

    I stumbled onto your site while looking for an Irish soda bread recipe to make for hubby who’s Irish. This looks wonderful. Thank you for the recipe and wonderful photos.

  8. Megan - March 11th, 2013

    This looks wonderful. Do you know if the flour is wheat-free? I have a friend who is avoiding wheat all together (not just gluten), and I’d like to know if I can make this. Thanks!

  9. Sally - March 11th, 2013

    Yes Megan, it’s wheat-free and gluten-free. For anyone concerned with wheat and gluten, this is safe. True, wheat-free and gluten-free are not quite the same, as other grains such as rye and barley also contain gluten. Hope your friend enjoys. It’s easy to make and so tasty! And there are many good gluten-free flour blends on the market that can be used, such as Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur Flour, Arrowhead Mills ad Cup4Cup. All of these flours are wheat-free, gluten-free blends based on alternative types of flour. It’s always good to read labels though.

  10. Alicia - March 17th, 2014

    This recipe is great! I recently made a paleo version of Irish soda bread and it was so moist. Hardly tasted like Irish soda bread. I wanted to try a simple gluten free version using Bob’s gluten free flour mix, and used this recipe. It tastes like the real thing. Love it!

  11. Michele - November 25th, 2015

    Thanks for the GF baking! Where are the vegan subs you mention? Btw, Cup4cup contains milk…

  12. Sally Cameron - November 25th, 2015

    Hi Michelle. Yes, Cup4Cup contains milk powder. This recipe is not noted as dairy-free, as it also contains butter and buttermilk. Would be fine for lacto-ovo vegetarians, but not vegans. Hope the GF recipes help. I am always working on new ones! Thanks for your comment. The buttermilk subs somehow disappeared, so I added a new link with options.

  13. Lucrecia - October 26th, 2018

    Good morning Sally,
    I am using Schar gluten free flour.
    It doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum, do I have to put some in it???

  14. Sally Cameron - November 1st, 2018

    Hi Lucrecia, yes I would, unless you have a sensitivity to gums (or corn). It is a common additive in many foods, both regular and GF. It’s a thickener and helps baked goods to retain moisture. A little goes a long way, so it’s used in small quantities. Thanks for asking.

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