Heritage: the things that define us, that make us up. Heritage is something we are given, which means that, at some point, it must also be something we leave behind us. Heritage dares to ask both, “Who are you?” and “What are you becoming?” Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread is my heritage.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

It’s who I am: Irish, complete with the temper, affinity for dark beer, love for Beer Bread, and one of those (maiden) names with an “O’.” It’s representative of who I want to be: whole wheat (a maker of simple choices that make my life better) and best when made with really, really good quality butter (a person who cherishes the best things in life).

If you’ve never had Irish soda bread, it’s similar to a scone but less fussy.

The edges are craggy and golden, the flavors earthy and bold. Currants add small pockets of tartness, and caraway seeds give the Irish soda bread a robustness that reminds me that it was probably created by a people more hearty than I—ancestors who lived in the countryside and didn’t complain about taking out the trash.

This is a rugged, no frills bread, and it begs to be slathered in butter or dunked into your stew.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread. This easy Irish soda bread recipe is a must make for St. Patrick's Day

How to Make Easy and Delicious Irish Soda Bread

As if to reinforce its point that it is easy going, Irish soda bread is a breeze to prepare.

  • Start by cutting the butter into the flour. (I’m using 100% whole wheat, because this is a rustic bread and I like the nutty flavor, but you could use white whole wheat flour for a milder taste, or even a 50/50 blend of wheat and all-purpose.)
Authentic Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
  • Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then add the currants + caraway. You’ll still be able to see golden specks of butter, and the dough will be shaggy. It’s sweet, simple, and natural.
Authentic Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread with Step by Step photos
  • After a few turns on a lightly dusted surface, the whole wheat Irish soda bread is ready to bake. A cast iron skillet gives the maximum “down home” factor, but if you don’t have one, a baking sheet works just fine.

If you’re in the mood for muffins instead, make these Irish Soda Bread Muffins.

What to Serve with Irish Soda Bread

More St. Patrick’s Day Favorites

I make this Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread every St. Patrick's Day. It's the best and easiest recipe!

Whole wheat Irish soda bread is who I am and what I will probably always be: craggy; imperfect; a little tart, and a little sweet.

This is (a small slice of) my heritage. What’s yours?

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread

5 from 1 vote
An easy to make whole wheat Irish soda bread recipe that is moist, healthy, and absolutely delicious

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 1 12-inch loaf


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon Imperial Sugar Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg white beaten
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk plus 2-3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses
  • 2/3 cup dried currants
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I have never made Irish Soda Bread so I am especially excited to try this!  I love the addition of currants and caraway seeds – yum! 

  2. I served Irish Soda Bread to my 2nd grade students… they loved it! I can not wait to try this whole wheat version. P.S. I am IRISH!!

    1. Tracy, I love that you make soda bread for your students! Teacher of the year :) I hope you enjoy this whole wheat version just as much and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. Hey, no way is that Irish soda bread! We don’t put sugar in it, or butter for that matter. It can and does sometimes, have added raisins, but even they are not the norm. It is intrinsically a simple peasant bread made with wholewheat flour, wheat bran, buttermilk, a little salt and bicarb of soda. No offence Erin but your recipe sounds like a rich and wholly unauthentic American version..

    1. Hi Polly! Thanks for sharing your concern. I’m certainly not the authority on Irish soda bread (and I hope I didn’t come across as claiming to be!). The Irish soda bread I grew up eating is very similar to the recipe I shared, and I did find many recipes online that were similar too. It’s certainly possible that my and other online recipes are “Americanized”; I honestly don’t have a way to check. I never meant to offend, and if you decide to try this recipe, I do hope you enjoy it! The Irish soda bread you described sounds delicious too.

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