Gluten Free (and dairy free) Irish Soda Bread

By Natalie R. Toney M.F.A., C.H.

“May you live all the days of your life.” And may those days be filled with plenty of Irish soda bread! Perhaps that’s not exactly what Irish author, satirist, and Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Jonathan Swift was referring to in his famous quote, (though he is also attributed to saying “bread is the staff of life”, so maybe?) However, who can deny that Irish soda bread-plain, savory, or sweet-is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea, a pint, or a full St. Patrick’s Day feast! The light yet dense, crusty bread can be paired with jam, preserves, honey, butter, or even enjoyed on its own. This gluten-free and dairy-version is quick and easy to make, and will fill your home and heart with goodness.

Tips: Use a Gluten-Free flour that is ”light” in texture(tapioca, coconut, almond, potato, etc.).Ancient grains, garbanzos, pea protein, and lentil are too heavy for the desired bread density. Non-vegans can use buttermilk in place of dairy-free milk, (omit lemon juice as the acidity is present), and unsalted or Irish butter in place of refined coconut oil. Add dried fruits, herbs, nuts, cheese, or seeds to the dough before baking for variety. Soda bread is traditionally baked in a round pan, however any cake or bread pan will do!

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Irish Soda Bread


  • 3 Cups All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Almond Milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum (if gluten-free flour already has xanthan gum, omit duplicate ingredient)
  • 1/2 Cup Refined Coconut Oil (chilled & solid) or Vegan butter
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (brown or white) or sweetener (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum (if necessary), and sugar (if desired). Press in refined coconut oil (or butter) into the flour mixture until well coated and fully mixed in (will be grainy and sand-like). Add non-dairy milk (or buttermilk sans lemon) and lemon juice, mix to form a wet dough. Fold in any add-ins (see Tips) at this time if desired as well. Press into a parchment lined round cake pan, or cast iron skillet (cast iron will give a bit more crust).Cut a criss cross “x” shape on top, place in oven for approx.50-60 min., or until there is a nice golden crust on top. Let cool completely before cutting.