Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Cheddar Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

A quick bread that tastes amazing

Sometimes you want bread but don’t have the time for hours of proofing dough. This is where Irish Soda Bread comes to the rescue. This bread requires no yeast and can be made rather quickly with minimal ingredients. It’s also very versatile in that you can customize the flavours if you want.

A bit of science for those that like to know more about their food

When you make Soda Bread, you are using Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) as the leavening agent. Baking soda is an alkaline or base ingredient. You need an acidic ingredient to react with it to form bubbles of carbon dioxide. These wonderful bubbles are what cause your loaf to rise.

What acidic ingredient should we use you ask? Buttermilk! Regular cow milk is acidic, however, it likely won’t give you enough of a rise which is why we use buttermilk. Buttermilk is more acidic.

This is also why it is important to test if your baking soda is still active. Please don’t use the open box of baking soda from the back of your refrigerator that you have been using to absorb odors 😁.

What to do if you don’t have buttermilk

Store-bought buttermilk is what I prefer to use, but sometimes you don’t have any and don’t want to go out to buy some. No problem. You can make your own. Using a liquid measuring cup, add 2 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice and then top up to 425 ml with whole milk. Give it a stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It will curdle and then be ready to use.

The Best Quick Bread

Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

This quick bread does not require yeast and can be personalized to your tastes.
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 130 grams Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 500 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 425 ml Buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Shred cheddar cheese using the medium sized holes on a box grater.
  • Add the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
  • Add the shredded cheese and using your hands, mix so that the cheese is evenly distributed in the dry ingredients.
  • Add the buttermilk and mix until mostly incorporated.
  • Tip mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Using your hands, gently squeeze in any remaining flour and shape the dough into a ball that is approximately 3" thick.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut one vertical and one horizontal line through your dough almost to the bottom of the loaf.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes. You will know the loaf is baked when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on the underside of the loaf.
  • Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Photos to help the process

Using your box grater, shred 130 grams of cheddar cheese. I use a mixture of old yellow and white cheddar. Add this to your bowl of flour, baking soda and salt and mix. I find it easier to use my hands as this helps separate the cheese and make sure I don’t have a big clump of cheese.

Mix in the buttermilk and once it’s mostly mixed, empty the bowl onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You will notice there are still bits of flour showing. Use your hands to press the ingredients together. Don’t overwork the dough or you risk a very dense tough loaf. It always seems like the mixture is too dry but trust me, it does come together. If it really is too dry and you have a lot of flour remaining, add a little more buttermilk, 1 tbsp at a time.

Shape the loaf into a round, flattish disk. You want it to be around 3″ thick. I use my hand to press the loaf into shape. I do not use a rolling pin. The entire process from mixing in the buttermilk to shaping the disk only takes about 3 minutes.

Once you have the shape, take a very sharp knife and cut a cross pattern into the loaf almost to the bottom of the loaf. Into your preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Have time and want a yeasted loaf of bread? This Caraway Rye Bread has wonderful flavour and texture.

Caraway Rye Bread

The Results of Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

Cheddar Irish soda bread

Can you almost smell how delicious this loaf is! The centre where the cuts are is soft. The outside has a wonderful crust. It has risen beautifully. This really has to be my favorite quick bread to make.

Let it cool on a wire rack for around 15 minutes before you slice into it. I like it slightly warm with lots of butter melting on it.

I slice the loaf into 4 sections and then make slices out of each section. No reason other than that seems right to me. You don’t end up with a crease in the middle of your slice this way.

If you would like to make your own homemade butter to serve with this amazing bread be sure to check this out.

Homemade Butter

Other helpful tips

This bread is best eaten on the day it’s prepared. You can wrap it in plastic wrap once it is cool and store it on your counter for a few days. We don’t tend to have any slices last longer than 3 days and it’s been fine for that time frame. I slightly toast the slices after the first day so that it warms up and the butter will melt.

You can personalize this loaf to your taste. Don’t like cheese? Skip it. Plain Irish Soda Bread is amazing too! You could also add olives (I would chop them up into smaller pieces) or maybe some herbs like rosemary. What would you add? Let me know in the comments down below.

And if you happen to try this recipe out, I would love to see your results. Be sure to tag me over on Instagram @heidiswhatsburning.

Thanks for checking this recipe out!


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