Fruit & spice soda bread

Fruit & spice soda bread

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 35 mins


Makes one large loaf enough for 8

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

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal405
  • fat5g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars41g
  • fibre5g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 100g rolled porridge oat
  • 25g butter, diced



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g plain flour
  • 200g plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g raisin
  • 50g sultana
  • 50g stoned date, finely chopped



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 3 tbsp mixed peel
  • 450ml buttermilk
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 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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Comments, questions and tips

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18th Mar, 2018
Didn't have buttermilk so used natural yoghurt, delicious bread. Great toasted the following day, very fragrant with the spice.
28th Sep, 2017
Well..this didn't turn out quite as expected! After reading the comments, made sure I used only 400ml of buttermilk however this still turned out a sloppy mess! But quickly chucked it in the oven in the hopes it may yield something edible - never kept any shape, as another comment said it looked like a cushion! 50 mins later, still seemed uncooked as very soft crumb but the crust did look great. Cut a slice of my 'cushion' still 'uncooked' feeling on the inside but the outer crust was delicious! I will endure! I'm definitely going to try this again, but will try 300ml buttermilk and see if that helps any.
Nelly Grace
18th Feb, 2017
I used coconut sugar about 50g and added extra dried fruit. Kept better than I thought and was delicious.
24th Aug, 2016
Please don't use 100g of Sugar its WAY TOO SWEET. I would say max 40g. Otherwise its a lovely bread.
jayjayem's picture
22nd Aug, 2015
That'll teach me to read reviews. Putting in 450ml buttermilk made this really sloppy. I would go with 400ml next time. Consequently my bread ended up looking like a very large cushion. Tasted ok though.
amp1043's picture
10th Feb, 2015
I really like this. I use about 35g of sugar and 400ml of buttermilk. I've recently started making it with 2 grated apples, 100g of raisins and one and a half teaspoons of cinnamon and am very happy with the result. It takes about 45 minutes to cook. I'd describe as in between cake and bread! And it also keeps well.
12th May, 2014
I used 400 rather than 450ml of buttermilk and did have to keep dusting the outside of with flour so that I could work with it. But the results were great. What an easy, delicious fruit loaf. I just used the dried fruits I had in the cupboard-sultanas and figs--which worked perfectly!
13th Mar, 2014
I totally agree with the person who said it way too wet and sticky!! I did use real buttermilk too, but had to add a lot of flour to stop coujon fingers. It is baking now so we will see the outcome. Also there was no suggestions on the dimensions of the bread, either in diameter or height so just had to guess. Will return with the final result
13th Mar, 2014
Does anyone know where it is possible to buy real buttermilk as they have in Ireland? I know they have the cartons in the supermarkets now but I remember proper containers of buttermilk when I was younger but cannot find them over here. I currently sour my mlk with lemon juice. Thanks, Carol
marian tallon
21st Mar, 2014
Lidl and Aldi as well as Tesco in Ireland always have buttermilk. have you tried their UK stores.


2nd Jan, 2014
Could i use regular semi-skimmed milk instead of buttermilk??
16th Mar, 2014
Live yoghurt is better, as milk won't have the required acidity.
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