Ok, so you got me… I am not Irish! However, you wouldn’t  live in Boston if you didn’t  have at least one friend with the last name “Sullivan” or “Fitzgerald,” and I have both! But with St. Patrick’s Day coming around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to dust off a traditional Irish recipe that I have been meaning to try for a while. This recipe was actually given to me by a colleague from work, who happens to be a “Devlin,” who said that it is her traditional family recipe; although she admitted to tweaking it a little over the years.

This is a sweet irish bread (not a soda bread) that is more of an afternoon tea kind of treat. It is excellent by itself or toasted and slathered with butter. I do have to say that my favorite part about this recipe is that it is not overly sweet, and it’s also very easy and requires very few ingredients.

When I first looked at this recipe I thought, “she must have missed something – no eggs?” but the Irish are nothing if not resourceful. It turns out that it is pretty traditional for this bread to not have any butter or eggs. Also, since raisins or currants were luxury items they would only be included if it was a special occasion. It always astounds me how people with very little can still manage to make something so yummy!

Traditional Sweet Irish Bread
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe was shared with me by colleague. She said it was brought over from Ireland with her family and since then it has been tweaked a little, but it is very close to the original!
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Prepare a loaf pan with oil and flour.
  2. Mix buttermilk, oil and sugar in a bowl until combined.
  3. Add caraway seeds and raisins.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.
  6. Pour into pan and bake at 350°F for one hour.
At St. Patty's Day add some green food coloring for a festive twist!