Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, this Classic Vegan Irish Soda Bread without buttermilk is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. This is a traditional yeast-free bread filled with raisins and flavored with caraway seeds.
Originally Published: July 2020 | Updated: February 7, 2023
Why You’ll Love this Vegan Irish Soda Bread without Buttermilk
Like many people, I have such fond memories of eating Irish Soda Bread on St. Patrick’s Day. I love that this plant-based soda bread is completely dairy-free, so it’s made without buttermilk!
This is a traditional family recipe for soda bread that has been modified to be dairy free and vegan friendly.
- With only 10 ingredients, this quick bread is a great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.
- The bread is perfectly crusty on the outside, with a soft interior scattered with slightly sweet dark raisins.
About Irish Soda Bread
First, a little history about the origin of Irish Soda Bread. Despite what the name suggests, soda bread was first created by the Native Americans in North America and the Irish later replicated the process.
Soda bread was adopted widely in Ireland because of its use of inexpensive ingredients. You can find more info through this article!
This bread only has 10 simple ingredients (not including salt) that you can find at your local grocery store. They are:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda
- Salted Vegan Butter, I used Country Crock Plant Butter
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ground Flaxseed, to replace eggs (optional)
- Dark Raisins
- Caraway Seeds
- Vegan Butter: dairy free butter can be swapped with a 1:1 ratio with dairy based butter.
- Almond Milk: this can be swapped for another plain dairy free milk like oat milk or soy milk. Almond Milk can also be swapped with regular dairy based milk.
- Ground Flaxseed: the ground flaxseed acts as an egg replacer. It’s the equivalent of 1 whole egg. You can swap it for chia seeds if you don’t have flax on hand, or another egg substitute like Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer.
How to make Homemade buttermilk
The ingredients in traditional soda bread are usually flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Since we are making a vegan version, we’re swapping the buttermilk with a dairy-free alternative.
📌 You can easily make a vegan buttermilk alternative by stirring together almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Before mixing all the ingredients together, let the almond milk and vinegar curdle for about 10 minutes.
Step By Step Instructions
STEP 1: Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well so there are no lumps.
STEP 2: Cut in the vegan plant butter. Then, stir in the raisins and caraway seeds.
STEP 3: Combine the vegan buttermilk, baking soda and flax egg together. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
STEP 4: Once you mix all the ingredients together, the dough should feel stiff and sticky.
📌 TIP: It’s important to not over mix or knead the dough at all. If you do so, the loaf will be heavy and dense after baking.
STEP 5: The dough should come together easily into a ball. If the dough feels too sticky to shape, sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until you can shape it into a loaf.
STEP 6: After shaping the dough into a circular loaf, you can cut an “X” in the top with a knife. This “X” or cross shape is what gives soda bread its classic look (see below). This divides the loaf into quadrants that can be easily broken apart.
Serving the Vegan Irish Soda Bread
Now that the vegan Irish soda bread is ready, it’s time to dig in!
It’s fabulous smeared with a little bit of dairy-free butter. I love this bread served fresh, straight out of the oven, so it’s still a bit warm.
It’s also great served with the classics like cabbage, vegan beef stew and vegan seitan corned beef!
The loaf will stay fresh at room temperature for 1-2 days wrapped well in plastic wrap. After that, I recommend freezing the Irish Soda Bread to lock in it’s moisture.
To Freeze the Loaf: wrap it well in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Or you can wrap individual slices and place them in an airtight container.
Yes, Irish soda bread can be made without buttermilk. The buttermilk acts as a catalyst to help the bread rise since it doesn’t contain yeast. So, you need to replace the acid in the recipe to make the Irish Soda Bread with no buttermilk. This recipe combines almond milk with apple cider vinegar for a simple homemade buttermilk.
Yes, you can make vegan Irish soda bread! This recipe uses dairy free butter, almond milk, and flaxseed to replace traditional ingredients.
Looking for more baked goods?
- Easy 35 Minute Cinnamon Rolls
- Cozy Maple Spiced Coffee Cake
- Vegan Hot Cross Buns
- Vegan Poblano Cheddar Biscuits
- Homemade Flaky Biscuits without Baking Powder
Did you make this vegan Irish soda bread without buttermilk?
I’d love to know! Leave a rating or comment below!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup salted vegan butter, or butter of choice- I used Country Crock Plant Butter
- 1 cup dark Thompson raisins
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice (see notes)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Optional- 1 flax egg, 1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tbsp water (equivalent to 1 egg)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 " round pan.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- Cut in the plant butter until the flour is crumbly. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds so they are coated.
- Make the vegan buttermilk by mixing the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together in a measuring cup or bowl. Set aside to curdle for 5-10 minutes.
- Combine the vegan buttermilk, baking soda, and flax egg (if using) in a measuring cup or small bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Mix the dough thoroughly. The dough will be stiff and sticky. Try not to knead the dough- just mix until everything is incorporated.
- Shape the dough into a domed circle / loaf (about 7" in diameter), and put the dough in the prepared pan. Cut an “X” in the top of the dough with a knife. (see pictures in the post above for reference)
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes, until golden brown on top. When you tap the loaf, it should sound hollow.
- Cool on a wire rack at room temperature for 45 minutes - 1 hour prior to slicing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gFiber: 2gProtein: 4g
Nutritional info is an estimate.
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