This whole wheat and vegan Irish soda bread has a wonderfully crunchy crust with a soft and fruity inside. Enjoy topped with butter and jam for a slice of Irish bliss!
And if you want more St. Patrick’s Day themed recipes, check out these two old faves: Healthy Shamrock Shake + Vegan and Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie.
My super simple Green Smoothie Recipe would also be a fun one to make for the holiday (or really any day – it’s such a delicious and easy recipe)!
Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vegan Soda Bread Ingredients
Did you know that you can make a vegan buttermilk using almond milk and some sort of acid (either lemon or lime juice or vinegar)? That’s what we’re doing to make this vegan Irish soda bread! (More details in the recipe below.)
As for the full line up of ingredients for this recipe, here’s what you’re working with:
- whole wheat pastry flour
- almond milk
- orange zest
- baking soda
- baking powder
If you make this bread, 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.
How to Make Vegan Soda Bread
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!
Form the dough into a loaf shape on a greased pan, bake about half an hour at 375, and get ready to enjoy!
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.
I hope you enjoy this vegan Irish soda bread as much as I did! You’ll find the full recipe at the bottom of this post.
Check out some of my other whole wheat baked good creations:
- Whole Wheat Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
- Zesty Lemon Zucchini Muffins
- Carrot Cake Muffins (vegan & whole wheat)
- Cranberry Orange Bread
- Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Bars (vegan)
- Figgy Apricot Spelt Bread (vegan)
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Muffins (or Bread) of Deliciousness
- Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
- Sweet Potato Cranberry Coconut Muffins
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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375.
- 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!
- In a large bowl, gently mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Pour in buttermilk and stir gently until mixed.
- Fold in apples, raisins, and orange zest.
- 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!
- Bake about 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden and a fork comes out clean.
- Serve warm, topped with butter or jam, if desired!