Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread (Dairy Free)

Today we make bread! Crusty, tender, irish soda bread!

Filled with white whole wheat flour, juicy golden raisins, crunchy pumpkin seeds! Perfect for slathering with some jam, dunking into soup or eating all on its own!

Easy to make whole wheat irish soda bread! Crusty on the outside, dense yet tender on the inside and hard to resist! Especially when slathered with jam! And it’s dairy free!

And, um, also perfect for St. Patty’s Day. Says the girl who doesn’t have an irish bone in her body. But it’s okay. Soda bread for all!

ANYWAY. If you are terrified of making bread at home, do not fear when it comes to this simple whole wheat irish soda bread. It is very much a quick bread. No mixer. No yeast. It’s pretty much like making a giant scone. <— Now there’s an idea.

But seriously, you got this. Let’s make some bread!

We whisk together a combo of white whole wheat flour, bread flour and baking soda (hence, soda bread). We cut in some solid state coconut oil, before pouring in the wet ingredients and mixing jusssst until the dough comes together (think scones or biscuits here!). Finally, we give it a few kneads before plopping on a baking sheet and tossing in the oven. Easy to the peasy!

And then, the hard part. We wait. Wait while it bakes away and the aroma of homemade bread fills the entire kitchen.

It emerges from the oven with a gorgeously golden exterior that is nice and crusty, and with an interior that is dense but still wonderfully tender. It’s subtly sweet but totally savory at the same time.

And oh is it good. Simplicity at its best.

{PS – While this recipe is dairy free, I’ve included notes in the tips & tricks section below to make it not dairy free. Because, yup, I’m super cool like that! Soda bread for all!}

This simple whole wheat irish soda bread is perfectly crusty and tender! And most excellent when slathered with jam or dunked into soup!

Okay, let’s go ahead and move on to some tips & tricks for the recipe:

  1. I mention this below, but please, please, please plan ahead for this bread and allow time for the coconut buttermilk to chill in the fridge before using. You want it to be cold!! This is especially important because we are using coconut oil and not cold butter. So chill that buttermilk! Capeesh?
  2. Now, with that said. If you don’t want / need to keep this dairy free, you can use equal amounts of butter and regular buttermilk in place of the coconut oil and coconut buttermilk. Make sure that your butter is cold and cut it into chunks before adding to the flour mixture (then just proceed with the recipe as directed).
  3. You can absolutely use different dried fruit or nuts / seeds here. Just be sure to use the same total amount.
  4. When measuring out your flour – scoop the flour with a spoon into your measuring cup and then level off with the back of a knife. Otherwise you’ll likely use too much.
  5. And finally! This bread keeps well for about 2 days wrapped in foil on the counter. It will keep a bit longer than that, but isn’t quite as great (I’d suggest popping in the toaster before enjoying – just be careful! Because if you’re rushing and the bread crumbles off, it will burn in the bottom of the toaster and set off the smoke detector. Ahem, not that I know anything about that…).    

So!! One last suggestion. Smear a piece of this bread with some nut butter + jam. Eeek! The best!

Whole wheat irish soda bread! This simple bread comes together without a mixer or yeast! Subtly sweet yet savory, and perfectly crusty. And dairy free!

Yield: 1 large loaf

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread (Dairy Free)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Easy to make whole wheat irish soda bread! Crusty on the outside, dense yet tender on the inside and hard to resist! Especially when slathered with jam!

Did you make this recipe?


For the coconut buttermilk:

  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk, shaken / stirred well
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar

For the bread:

  • 2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup solid state coconut oil
  • 1 ⅓ cups cold coconut buttermilk, plus extra as needed*
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ cup golden raisins (or regular!)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds


For the coconut buttermilk:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut milk and vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week!

For the bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Add the white whole wheat flour, bread flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add in the coconut oil and use a pastry cutter to cut the oil into the flour. Continue until it is evenly distributed and there are no large chunks. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the 1 ⅓ cups buttermilk and the egg. Add to the bowl with the dry ingredients, along with the raisins and pumpkin seeds. Mix until just combined and the dough comes together. If the dough is too stiff or crumbly, add extra buttermilk, 1 teaspoon or so at a time. Transfer the dough to a floured surface.
  3. With floured hands, knead the dough a few times, then shape into a round loaf about 8-inches in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Using a serrated knife, cut a ½ inch deep cross into the top of the loaf.
  4. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and allow to cool. Slice and serve (a serrated knife works best here!).

*Be sure to plan ahead and allow time for the buttermilk to chill in the fridge before use!

Prep time includes 10 minutes for the buttermilk to “curdle.” Active time for the actual bread is only 15 minutes!

Adapted from King Arthur Flour.