Kelley Irish Soda Bread

Inger Taylor

Posted on March 17 2018

My grandmother, Grannie Frannie, was a Kelley.  She was one of seven children in a bustling Irish family.  I never got the chance to know her because she passed away when I was two years old, but I’ve heard plenty of stories.  Anyhow, being a smidge O’ Irish, St. Patrick’s Day gives us a great excuse to make Irish Soda Bread.  I mean, after all, three of our four girls have Irish names… Oona, Neve, and Iona, so we should be making it year-round, but we don’t.  I know what you’re thinking – I’ve got an old family recipe to share, but damn it, I don’t!  I’ve gone through recipe after recipe… every St. Pat’s I try a new one, and I haven’t come across one that I love. 

Everything changed this year, ding, ding… we’ve got a winner!  I found inspiration from Colleen’s recipe at and created a recipe our family could really mow through.  It probably doesn’t even qualify as Irish Soda Bread after having my way with it!  It’s sweet, moist, and tastes scrumptious when eaten warm, slathered with melted butter. 

My youngest, Vendela, did all the heavy lifting putting this recipe together.  I was pretty much along for the ride offering her the occasional reminder to keep her mixing in the bowl.  She put all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and whisked everything together.


Then in went the wet ingredients and currants.  The look of determination on her face while stirring the wet into the dry was great.  She was so serious about getting all the dry mixed in without overmixing the dough. 


The dough mixture went into the 10 inch cast iron skillet that belonged to my great grandmother, Mary Mondloch, and has been passed down over the generations.  We lined the skillet with parchment paper for an easy release once out of the oven.


She scored the top of the dough and sprinkled with sugar.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  She too has a massive sweet tusk and sprinkled a huge handful of sugar all over the top of the soda bread before baking.


Into the 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes.  Such a long time to wait when you’re little.  Forget that!  It’s a long time to wait when you’re big!  Vendela was thrilled when it made it out of the oven, onto a plate, and into her mouth.  It was a huge hit in our house this St. Patrick’s Day.  Let’s hope it’s a hit in yours!  Give it a try and let us know! xoxo, -Inger & Vendela



Kelley Irish Soda Bread Recipe


4 ½ C All Purpose Flour

2 ½ t baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ t salt

1 C White Granulated Sugar

¼ C Brown Sugar

2 C Currants

½ C Butter, melted

2 C Buttermilk

½ C Heavy Cream

1 t Vanilla

1 Large Egg



Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 10 inch skillet with parchment paper.


In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk together.  In a large measuring cup, combine wet ingredients and gently whisk together.  Pour wet ingredients and currants into the dry ingredients and stir to combine without overmixing.


Pour into skillet and score top of dough and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes.  Cool a bit, but not too much so the butter melts when you put it on your slice.  Enjoy!

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