Irish Soda Bread Muffins (moist buttermilk muffins with raisins) are a great nod to Ireland plus uses up leftover buttermilk. Make them for St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Bread Muffins in a bread basket with green linen

Every year around this time, I get a little “homesick” for Ireland. It’s hard to believe I spent four months studying abroad in Limerick back in 2007.

It was my first time cooking for myself, which is how this blog got started.

I miss walking to campus through what felt like a tunnel of green trees and feeling so tranquil.

I miss walking to the abandoned castle off of campus and hanging out for the afternoon.

I even miss walking 20-30 minutes one way to the grocery store.

If there’s one thing I regret, I wish I had taken more pictures of the little details.

Someday I hope to travel back and rent a car to really explore. Although that’s going to be fun trying to drive on the left side of the road with the driver’s side on the right side of the car (the passenger’s side).

To help keep the memories of Ireland alive I make Irish-inspired food, although these Irish Soda Bread Muffins are a bit of a stretch from my mini Irish soda bread.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins are more like buttermilk muffins with raisins rather than traditional Irish soda bread. There are more than the necessary 4 ingredients (5 if you’re counting raisins).

Plus baking Irish soda bread in muffin tins makes them easier to share and to eat on the go. You can also freeze them for future breakfasts.

The best part? They’re moister than traditional soda bread. Sometimes the bread can be a bit on the dry side due to the limited ingredients.

Whether you’re a purist or open to interpretation, I don’t think you can say no.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins in bread basket

What is Irish soda bread?

Irish Soda Bread is a quick bread that relies on baking soda for leavening rather than yeast. It’s made up of 4 ingredients:

  1. All-purpose Flour
  2. Baking soda
  3. Salt
  4. Buttermilk

As you’ll see with my Irish soda bread muffins, there is sugar, egg, butter, and oil added. Even the raisins I love adding aren’t technically traditional.

Although this makes my recipe non-traditional, they still pay homage to their origin.

The muffins are also moister than soda bread, so no butter necessary for serving.

Can you make Irish soda bread muffins without raisins?

Yes, you can make Irish soda bread muffins without raisins by leaving them out.

Can you substitute milk for the buttermilk?

Irish soda bread is made with buttermilk, not only to react with the baking soda but to also add flavor.

I personally would stick with buttermilk for taste purposes. You can usually buy a pint of it for small batch baking.

After making this recipe, check out my recipes for using leftover buttermilk.

However, if you don’t have buttermilk, in a pinch you can substitute an equal amount of whole milk plus lemon juice or vinegar.

This acid is needed to react with the baking soda, so don’t leave this part out.

Irish soda bread muffins in basket with green linen

How To Make Irish Soda Bread Muffins

First, mix all the dry ingredients together a bowl large enough for stirring.

Next, beat together the egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and vegetable oil. Then add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix everything together. Don’t forget your raisins!

Because the fat is liquid, you don’t even need a mixer. You can stir everything together with a spoon.

Transfer the batter to a muffin pan then bake at 400F until done, about 15-18 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Because this is a small batch blog, my recipe makes 6 muffins. That leaves you with an extra egg white.

No worries! Learn what to do with egg whites! I highly recommend my flourless chocolate cookies.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins in bread basket

How To Store Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Unlike traditional soda bread, these buttermilk muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

How To Freeze Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Even though this is a small batch recipe, you can easily freeze any extras.

Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe plastic bag, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Irish Soda Bread Muffins with green linen in basket

What To Serve With Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Irish Soda Bread is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, so you’ll want to serve these muffins alongside these Irish recipes:

Irish Soda Bread Muffins (Small Batch)

Irish Soda Bread Muffins (Small Batch)

Yield: 6 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Irish Soda Bread Muffins (moist buttermilk muffins with raisins) are a great nod to Ireland plus uses up leftover buttermilk. Make them for St. Patrick’s Day!


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins, plumped


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 6 cups in a 12-cup muffin pan or line with 6 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large measuring cup or bowl, beat together the egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter, and oil.
  4. By hand with a spoon, gradually stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Fill each muffin cup about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

    Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

To plump raisins:

  1. Place raisins in a bowl. Pour hot water over top until raisins are completely submerged. Let sit 5 minutes or until plumped. Drain and pat dry before using.


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Source: Adapted from Taste Of Home

Originally published March 3, 2014