st patrick

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread2

I look forward to Irish Soda Bread around St Patrick’s Day every year!  This version is fluffy and moist on the inside with a crisp, buttery crust.   Very simple to make and it’s especially good when served with Irish butter and slices of sharp white cheddar.

Found this wonderful recipe in the New York Times:


1/4 cup butter, melted plus some extra for greasing the pan

3 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, well beaten

1 1/2 cups raisins or currants

1 T. caraway seeds

Grease a cast iron skillet with butter and then line it with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda.

In a separate bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the butter, buttermilk, and eggs.  Add to the dry mixture and stir just until combined.  Add in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds and stir gently.

Pour batter into the skillet.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until golden and firm to the touch.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve with Irish butter and slices of sharp, white cheddar.  You’re ready for St. Patrick’s Day Potluck Time!



Irish Oatmeal Cake

This recipe comes from one of my favorite dessert cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts.  While this is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day potluck dessert, it’s really good at anytime for any occasion.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

6 T. unsalted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 T. milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  In a blender, whirl the oats to the consistency of cornmeal.  Stir them into the flour mixture and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the vanilla and buttermilk and add alternately with the flour mixture.  Mix until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a knife tests clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then turn onto racks to cool completely.

For the frosting, melt the butter in the saucepan.  Add the brown sugar and simmer on very low heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (Cooking the brown sugar creates a smoother frosting, so don’t cheat on time.)

Transfer the butter-brown sugar mixture to a bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.  Add the milk a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.  While the frosting is still warm, fill and frost the cake.