Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Recipe

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend, and I’ve decided that calls for celebration in the form of my old fave Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread recipe! 

It’s vegan, too. :)

This recipe was first published back in 2013, but it has received a photo update. 

I hope you enjoy it! 

And if you want more St. Patrick’s Day themed recipe fun, check out these two old faves: Healthy Shamrock Shake + Vegan and Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread vegan recipe

I first fell in love with Irish soda bread when I was, as you might guess, in Ireland.

Back when I was teaching English in Prague in 2009, I spent a long weekend in Ireland with a friend and fellow teacher, Jackie.

The two of us had a wonderful time, staying in cute little B&Bs and exploring the beautiful countryside and small towns.

whole wheat irish soda bread recipe vegan easy

Besides the gorgeous scenery, one of the big highlights was the soda bread that many of the inn owners would serve to us in the morning before we set out to explore.

Irish soda bread is made without sugar so it isn’t sweet at all, and it has a wonderful, hearty texture with a crunchy crust and a soft inside.

It was usually filled with fruit – raisins or figs – and we enjoyed it warm topped with butter and jam, licking our sticky fingers before heading out into the rainy Irish countryside.

whole wheat irish soda bread recipe vegan

When Matt and I were living in Chapel Hill, every March the local co-op grocery store near us sold a wonderful Irish soda bread in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

I bought the bread all month until they ran out, savoring the taste of Ireland and the memories that the bread brought back to me.

whole wheat vegan irish soda bread easy recipe

I’m not sure why it took me so long to try to recreate this bread at home, especially since I now know how easy it is to make.

For an extra challenge, I decided to keep the recipe vegan for my vegan friends, and whole wheat for a little added fiber and nutrition.

Did you know that you can make a vegan buttermilk using almondmilk and some sort of acid (either lemon or lime juice or vinegar)? (More details are in the recipe.)

how to make vegan buttermilk

As for the full line up of ingredients for this vegan and whole wheat Irish soda bread recipe, here’s what you’re working with. 

If you make this recipe, be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour, not just regular whole wheat flour – pastry flour has a much finer, softer texture and will result in a light and fluffy end product, unlike regular whole wheat flour which can be a lot more dense and chewy.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Ingredients

Once you’re ready with your ingredients, this recipe is fast – simply mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then pour in the vegan buttermilk and gently stir again. 

Fold in your apples, raisins, and orange zest, and your dough is ready! 

vegan irish soda bread whole wheat

Form the dough into a loaf shape on a greased pan, bake about half an hour at 375, and get ready to enjoy! 

how to make vegan irish soda bread

The final product came out even better than I’d hoped.

One bite and I was back in Ireland, ready to explore a castle or take a hike on a rugged coastline.

Just as I remembered, the Irish soda bread has a crunchy crust and a soft inside, and each piece was filled with fruit. 

easy vegan whole wheat irish soda bread

I hope you enjoy this vegan and whole wheat Irish soda bread as much as I did!

Here’s the full recipe. 

Yield: 1 loaf

Vegan Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Vegan Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This vegan and whole wheat take on Irish soda bread has a wonderfully crunchy crust with a soft and fruity inside. Enjoy topped with butter and jam!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 C whole wheat pastry flour (not regular WW flour)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 C vegan buttermilk, made with almondmilk and lemon or lime juice (see instructions below)
  • 1 & 1/2 C apples, diced
  • 1/2 C raisins or other dried fruit
  • 3 Tbsp. orange zest, fresh or dried


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. To make the vegan buttermilk, place 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice in a measuring cup, then add almondmilk until the 2 cup line is reached. Let sit/curdle for a few minutes, then it's ready to use!
  3. In a large bowl, gently mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Pour in buttermilk and stir gently until mixed.
  5. Fold in apples, raisins, and orange zest.
  6. Transfer dough onto a large baking sheet that has been greased or cooking sprayed. Form dough into a loaf shape. Sprinkle oats on top if desired to make it look pretty!
  7. Bake about 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden and a fork comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm, topped with butter or jam, if desired!

If you like the sound of this whole wheat Irish soda bread, check out some of my other whole wheat quick bread creations:


  1. 1

    I have never put apples in my soda bread. but i bet it gives it a delicious taste with the dried fruit and orange zest. pinning this for sure. do you have a type of apple preference?

  2. 3

    Looks amazing! I have never had soda bread but of course heard of it. Since my husband is part Irish, it only makes sense for me to give it a go!

  3. 4

    This looks lovely Anne! I am going to have to try making it Gluten-Free though, if I do I will let you know how it works out!

  4. 6

    I want to make this SO bad! Fayetteville isn’t the easiest place to find whole wheat pastry flour, but next time I’m near a Trader Joes in CH…I’ll have to pick some up to make this! Looks delicious :) ps – I love it when recipes and foods can take me back in time…feels like I’m reliving old, cherished memories :)

  5. 7

    I love that you veganized this recipe, it looks SO good!

  6. 8

    Yum! I’ve never had or made this before and I can’t waitto try it!

  7. 9
    Roadrunner says

    Looks wonderful!

  8. 10

    Yum! I love this veganized version! I make a similar soda bread, but I hate raisins so I mix in granola or museli instead. It’s sooo good!

  9. 11

    The vegan buttermilk is genius! The Irish soda bread looks amazing too. Can’t wait to start baking it!

  10. 12

    Love that you make the “buttermilk!” I hate buying things like buttermilk because I never use the rest of the container after the recipe and end up wasting food. Almond milk and lime/lemon juice are things I already buy!

  11. 13

    Looks delicious! I’ve tried a bunch of your breads before…you’re kind of the (healthy) bread/baked good queen!

  12. 15

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this. I never thought I’d like “soda bread,” but I think your recipe is going to change my mind!

  13. 16

    Yum, this is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack :D

  14. 17

    This looks great! I love soda bread, and I love that it’s vegan!

  15. 18

    Mmmmm Anne!! This looks amazing :) Brian (my husband) will LOVE this…he is part Irish and has asked for soda bread in the past :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. 19

    This looks easy enough that even I could make it :)

  17. 20

    I LOVe Irish Soda bread! It’s one of my fav foods, so I’m super excited about this recipe. I love that it’s a healthier version and uses whole wheat flour.

  18. 21

    I’m going to Prague in two weeks on my honeymoon! Do you have any “must do/see/eat” recommendations?

    • 22

      I don’t really remember the restaurants since I was there so long ago, but just make sure to do a lot of walking around the city! There’s a TON to see and it’s best done on foot. Have fun!!

  19. 23

    I get so excited when I see Irish Soda bread on a menu wherever I go. I haven’t had the real thing in Ireland yet, but that country is on my must-visit list so hopefully some day!

  20. 24

    Hi, just came across this recipe in hopes to make a delicious Irish bread! Do you think it would turn out okay if I omit the apples? (Don’t have them on hand currently)

  21. 26
    Howard Fiedler says

    Regarding your whole wheat Irish soda bread, I’d like to use plain, fat-free yoghurt instead of buttermilk or almond milk. How do I modify your recipe ?

  22. 28

    I love that it is whole grain and vegan! I am going to make it this weekend!

  23. 30

    I love this recipe now my daughter who has to staYy away from white four and sugar and eat this! Thanks for making it healthier. I hate that so many recipes for Saint Patrick’s Day have too much sugar and plain white flour in.

  24. 31
    Roadrunner says

    This looks amazing – and no sugar, too! Impressive!


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