Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sweet yet savory with a perfect, almost biscuity, texture, this hearty Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread is one for the history books.
Serves: 1 small loaf
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour mix*
  • 11/2 t. xanthan gum (omit if your mix already includes it)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk + 1 T for later
  • 2 T. coarse sugar crystals (I used Sugar in the Raw) **
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the raisins to the water, and immediately reduce to a simmer. Allow the raisins to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until soft and plump.
  3. Remove the raisins from the stove, drain well, and set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and sugar.
  5. Using two forks, and then your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mix until the mix is smooth and no large lumps remain. The mix should look a bit crumbly.
  6. Add the caraway seeds to the flour mixture and stir until evenly dispersed.
  7. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg well, and then combine it with ½ cup buttermilk.
  8. Pour the buttermilk and egg mixture into the flour mixture, along with the cooled raisins. Mix slowly with a spatula, until the dough starts to come together, and then start to lightly knead the dough with your hands.
  9. Once the dough is formed into a nice uniform ball, transfer to the baking sheet and knead a few more times until the dough is nicely rounded.
  10. Brush the top of the bread with the remaining 1 T of buttermilk and sprinkle the coarse sugar evenly over the top of the dough.
  11. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the loaf in an “x” pattern, about ¼ inch deep.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  13. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
* I used my own flour mix for this, which is a mixture of superfine brown rice flour, superfine white rice flour, millet, potato starch, and tapioca starch. If you have a more “hearty” homemade blend that you make similar to this, use it! If not, a high-quality store bought blend should work fine.

**Most traditional Irish Soda Breads that I’ve seen recipes for don’t include sugar crystals on top, but I argue that they are an absolute must. If you’ve never had it this way before, you are in for a royal treat!
Recipe by Grain Changer at