Fruit & spice soda bread

A traditional Irish loaf that uses bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast – this version is sweetly spiced with fruit and oats

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 405
  • fat 5g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 79g
  • sugars 41g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 10g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 100g rolled porridge oats
  • 25g butter, diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g stoned dates, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed peel
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 3-4 tbsp demerara sugar


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Whizz the porridge oats and butter together in a food processor, or rub the butter into the oats with your fingertips in a big bowl. Stir in the flours, caster sugar, bicarb, mixed spice, 1 tsp salt, the raisins, sultanas, dates and mixed peel.

  2. Pour over the buttermilk and quickly stir in with a round-bladed knife. Tip out onto a flour-dusted surface and gently bring together into a ball with your hands. Transfer to a flour-dusted baking sheet and scatter over the demerara sugar, pressing it into the top. Use a sharp, flour-dusted knife to cut a big cross in the top and bake for 30-35 mins until crusty on the outside. Eat warm or cold, thickly sliced, with butter.

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