Fruit & spice soda bread

Fruit & spice soda bread

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(16 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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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.
16th Mar, 2014
I sometimes use ordinary live yoghurt for soda breads, and it works.
10th Mar, 2014
Really delicious and kind of a cross between a spiced fruit scone & and a rock cake! Quite a wet mixture but as someone said earlier, handle minimally and just get it looking rustic and round and into the oven. Cooked in 40 mins so a little longer than they said. Used dried apricots instead of dates & threw in a handful of cranberries with sultanas & currants. Only used 2 tbsp of sugar on top and was more than enough. Very scrummy, will definitely do it again.
7th Nov, 2013
This is one of the most delicious and easy to make cakes ever,and I make one at least once a week. mmmmm
27th Oct, 2013
Delicious, freezes well, I sometimes make 2 cakes out of the mixture, one to eat and one to freeze. Doesn't need the extra sugar on top as it can make it a little sweet.
24th Sep, 2013
Really simple, and it tastes fantastic! been enjoying it for breakfast with butter, tastes amazing!
amp1043's picture
27th May, 2013
Very happy with this bread. Agree with the other comments - a bit less sugar and a bit longer in the oven. Also, I use slightly less milk.
26th Mar, 2013
A wonderful recipe, tasty and really delicious, even my husband likes it and he usually avoids anything at all sweet! We couldn't get enough of it so it is to become a "regular" in our house.
18th Mar, 2013
Very nice! I might put more spice in next time though. I baked it in my fan oven for 35 minutes and it turned out quite well. I only put two tablespoons of sugar on the top and felt that was more than enough, and I didn't have any dates so I used half and half sultanas and mixed dried fruit to make up the same mass. I will definitely make this again.


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