Irish Soda Bread Muffins

My first taste of Irish soda bread was an accident. I was on my way to an early-morning class and stopped into a little campus café to grab breakfast. In my pre-coffee stupor, I picked up a triangular hunk that I thought was a scone but turned out to be a wedge of Irish soda bread. If only all mistakes could be this delicious—it was love at first bite! Today’s Irish Soda Bread Muffins boast the same subtle sweetness, buttery crumb, and bewitching texture of Irish soda bread but in the form of easy-to-bake, extra-easy-to-eat, and conveniently portable muffins.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins – authentic Irish soda bread, in individual muffin form! Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast or anytime you need an easy, healthy muffin recipe. Made with whole wheat flour, currants, and a touch of butter. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated
If you’ve never tried Irish soda bread, you are in for a treat. Don’t expect life-altering flavor complexity or a tastebud explosion—soda bread’s beauty is its simplicity. Classic Irish soda bread recipes combine wheat flour (I used whole wheat for the recipe, though all purpose is more traditional) and buttermilk and are made to rise with baking soda instead of yeast. It also often contains caraway seed, whose flavor is more savory and reminds me of rye bread, and some recipes also call for dried currants, which taste like an enchanting cross between a raisin and a cranberry.

The resulting soda bread is lightly sweet, and its texture is beguiling. It’s unquestionably soft and tender (no hockey pucks here) yet dense enough to feel wholesome and satisfying. Because Irish soda bread isn’t overly sweet, it’s ultra versatile too. I love it paired with a piece of cheddar or steamy bowl of soup as much as I do slathered with butter and jam.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Muffins. Not too sweet, buttery, and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast (or any day)! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

I bake some adaptation of soda bread every St. Patrick’s Day (usually my favorite whole wheat Irish soda bread recipe), but this year, I thought it would be fun to try baking Irish Soda Bread Muffins instead. As much as I adore a good loaf of soda bread, I think I might love the Irish Soda Bread Muffins even more! They have a similar flavor and texture to Irish soda bread but are even quicker and easier to prepare.

Also, since the recipe yields 12 tidy Irish Soda Bread Muffins instead of an entire loaf, they’re easier to manage and transport. You can grab one for a quick breakfast and snack on the go, individual muffins provide built-in portion control, and they are simpler to serve, because you don’t need to fuss with slicing.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins — tastes just like traditional Irish soda bread, but in easy muffin form! Buttery, moist, and perfect for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day or year-round. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

In playing around with how I could make these Irish Soda Bread Muffins healthy without compromising their flavor, I found that what worked best was to use Greek yogurt instead of the buttermilk. Like buttermilk, yogurt is acidic, so it reacts with the baking soda and ensures that the Irish Soda Bread Muffins rise. Because it’s thick and creamy, it does also a fantastic job of keeping the muffins moist and tender without a need for an of excess butter or oil.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread Muffins with currants and caraway. Moist, fluffy, and absolutely delicious! A great alternative to Irish soda bread that’s easier to make and serve. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Plus, while I almost always have a big container of Greek yogurt in my refrigerator, I rarely have buttermilk, so using yogurt means I can bake a batch of these Irish Soda Bread Muffins without a special trip to the store.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins – tastes just like traditional Irish soda bread! Easy, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Along with yogurt, another ingredient you will always find in my refrigerator is Phil’s Fresh Eggs. Headquartered right across the border in Illinois, Phil’s is completely family owned. The chickens are humanely raised, fed an all-vegetarian diet, and the egg quality is outstanding. I notice a clear difference in the eggs’ taste and yolk color compared to standard eggs. The shells are harder to crack, which to me signals that the eggs came from healthier, happier chickens. I’m proud to be working with Phil’s this year to create a series of fresh, healthy recipes, including these Irish Soda Bread Muffins.

Although I originally conceptualized these Irish Soda Bread Muffins for St. Patrick’s Day, they are wonderful year-round. If you don’t care for currants or caraway seed, feel free to replace them with another dried fruit you do enjoy. Orange zest and dried cranberries would be wonderful folded into the batter, and I suspect that blueberries (or chocolate chips) would be utterly delicious also.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins – like traditional Irish soda bread, but easier to make (and eat!). Buttery, moist muffins, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or a healthy breakfast year-round. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

For a little extra burst of sweetness and crunch, I topped the Irish soda bread muffins with a sprinkle of coarse sparkling sugar, but if you want to keep the muffins on the even less-sweet side, feel free to omit it.

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Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Irish Soda Bread Muffins. Just like authentic Irish soda bread, but in easy muffin form. Buttery, moist, and delicious! Healthy and whole wheat.

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (use white whole wheat flour for a milder flavor)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (I recommend aluminum free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 large Phil’s Fresh Egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon nonfat milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons sparkling sugar

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and caraway seed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter, and Greek yogurt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir just until combined. Fold in currants.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with sparkling sugar, if using. Bake the muffins for 13 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a rack to continue cooling. Enjoy warm, topped with butter, jam, a slice of cheese, or on their own.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 12)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 194 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg
  • Sodium: 83mg
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Protein: 5g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

I am sharing this post in partnership with Phil’s Fresh Eggs. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you. To learn more about Phil’s, you can visit its company website and Facebook page.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

42 comments

  1. I LOVE Irish Soda Bread, and your idea to turn it into muffins is genius! I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try!

    xx Allison
    alwayseatdessert.com

  2. So great!  I also went to ND (’06) and know exactly what you are talking about!  I’d get those little triangles of yumminess at the various ND cafes all the time. :) Thanks for the recipe – can’t wait to try it!  

    • YES!!! I miss those hunks so much Ali. I hope this helps satisfy your ND soda bread itch :) Thanks for saying hi. It’s so fun to hear from someone else who knows exactly what I’m referencing!

  3. Hi Erin, I am a little confused (easy for me). The nutrition count is for 1 of 16 but the yield at the beginning of the recipe for this Irish Soda muffins is 12? I have not made this recipe yet.

    • Hi Diane, the 16 was a typo—the nutrition information is calculated for 1 of 12. Thank you for catching that and letting me know!

  4. hey girl- these look so tasty! Have a great weekend!

  5. Sorry, but Irish soda bread contains only four ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, and buttermilk. Add raisins as ND it becomes a Tea Cake!

    Nice and tasty recipe, but not soda bread
    Go to http://www.sodabread.info. And learn about traditional Irish soda bread

    • Hi Edward! Thanks for sharing this info. You are right that the absolute most traditional soda bread is just those four ingredients, while the other additions like caraway seeds and currants (or raisins) can vary. I’ve updated the blog post to be more clear.

      • Hello, I have to comment here. My grandmother grew up in Ireland and she puts caraway seeds and sometimes raisins in her soda bread so not sure that makes it Americanized. My husband just popped them in the oven. Can’t wait to taste them!

        • Maureen, I am both so happy that you loved them and so happy to hear that these soda muffins have similar ingredients to what your grandmother made. Thank you for sharing that, and for trying the recipe too. I hope you love how they turned out!

  6. These look so delicious!

  7. I’ve still never had soda bread,but it sounds incredible! I love the spin you put on it with these muffins- the texture looks great :)

  8. I’d love to try the orange zest/dried cranberry variation you mentioned. How much orange zest do you recommend? (I assume same amount of cranberries as currants.) Can’t wait to try these!

  9. Thanks for this recipe Erin. I have never had Irish soda bread before, but it seems like something that would be right up my alley.

  10. Hi Erin! My husband and I made your muffins on this lovely Sunday afternoon. We’re two weeks from my due date with our firstborn, my husband’s family is Irish on both sides, and we’re kinda hoping to get in the Irish spirit for an early, St. Patrick’s Day baby. Fingers crossed! Anyway, these sounded perfect, so after showing my husband, he agreed to bake them while I rested my swollen, 9-months-pregnant feet. I’m normally the baker in our household, but he did great and was excited with his results! These turned out sooooo good! So tall, but hearty. Lightly sweet. The caraway seeds and dried currants were great additions. I can’t wait to snag these on the way out the door this workweek. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Jessica! I’m so happy to hear the muffins were a hit. Thanks for giving the recipe a try and sharing how it went. What an exciting time for your family—best wishes and congratulations on your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy!

  11. Made these Irish Soda Muffins this morning and we each had one for lunch with homemade chicken soup – SO good! I’m not a big fan of caraway so I left that out and instead of currants, I used golden raisins. Also went with the white whole wheat flour. Used Swedish Pearl sugar in place of the sparkling sugar – not even sure what that is, actually. Anyway —a really nice recipe for muffins; thanks.

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so excited to hear that the muffins were a success, Chris! Thank you for taking the time to leave this awesome feedback and share your tweaks to the recipe. Golden raisins sound good!

  12. New to your site and I love it. These Irish soda bread muffins look wonderful – will definitely be trying them this week. We are in the middle of a blizzard here in upstate NY or I’d head to the store for yogurt today! (And milk. Can’t believe I didn’t get THAT to “prepare” for the storm!)

    • Thanks so much for your kind words about my site, Liz! I hope these muffins hit the spot after you’re able to dig out. :)

      • Made these on Saturday and they were SO delicious! I didn’t have carraway seeds but otherwise made the recipe as is. I really like that they were just lightly sweet and tender and wonderful warm from the oven with butter. Also great the next day warmed up a little! Thanks for a great recipe.

  13. Just made these, they are delicious. I added the Orange Zest and used raisins, so yummy. Served them with Corned Beef & cabbage.
    Thank you Erin

    Rating: 4
    • That meal sounds absolutely delicious, Katherine! Thank you so much for giving these muffins a try and reporting back!

  14. These sound delicious and I can’t wait to make the. Can you recommend a different addition than the currants, raisins or craisins? I’m not a big fan of that type of dried fruit, but am open to trying it with them to broaden my horizons :) Thank you!

  15. I just made these for breakfast and they’re delicious! I used full-fat yogurt and whole milk and reduced the sugar to about 1/4 cup. The texture is lovely and they’re still plenty sweet for me. Thanks for a winning recipe, Erin!

    Rating: 5
  16. This recipe makes 12 large muffins.  I used orange peel and cranberries.  Not a sweet muffin, but really good.  I will make again with currants and caraway seeds.  Really good.

    Rating: 4.5
    • I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the muffins! Thank you for taking the time to leave this wonderful review—I’d love to hear what you think about the currant and caraway version!

  17. Wow, this looks yummy! Thank you for sharing this wonderful dessert with us. I would be making this for my family soon. I love baking and knowing more recipe and trying to make them is really fun. By the way, what is an alternative for caraway seed?

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Julia, I think omitting the caraway seed from the recipe would be just fine. I hope you and your family love the recipe!

  18. Another winner, Erin! Made these last night and my husband and toddler (2 of the pickiest eaters I know) loved them. We’ve never had Irish Soda Bread, so it was a fun treat (even if 5 days late. :)
    Have fun in Europe, I’m jealous! ;)

     

    Rating: 4.5
    • Elisabeth, I’m so happy to hear everyone enjoyed the muffins! Thank you so much for taking the time to report back!

  19. Made these last week and my husband said, “These are the best muffins ever!”   We loved the slightly sweet, slightly tangy flavors, great texture and super easy to make. This recipe has gone into the permanent book of keepers. Thanks again, Erin. My husband now knows you as the young gal in Wisconsin whose recipes ALWAYS work out great.  (We’re retired and I’m still enjoying trying new recipes even after cooking for what feels like 100 years sometimes.). 

    Rating: 5
    • Marnie, I’m so thrilled you and your husband loved the muffins! Thank you for the kind review and for taking the time to share your feedback. It’s so wonderful to hear that you enjoy my recipes—that means a lot!

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