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The Best Irish Soda Bread Scones Recipe

The best Irish soda bread scones recipe is this one for sure! With a spin on the traditional Irish soda bread, these scones have a crispy golden crust and are filled with tender, fluffy layers of dough, raisins, and orange zest! This easy recipe tastes like your favorite Irish soda bread and is perfect for celebrating the St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Irish soda bread scones with buttermilk

Irish soda scones are traditionally baked with dried currants and caraway seeds. I put a twist on this traditional recipe by leaving both of those ingredients out and replacing them with sweet raisins and adding orange zest. The outcome is absolutely delicious and I love that this recipe tastes just like this soda bread recipe only in scone form!

With a few simple ingredients, you can bake scones that are tender and flavorful and the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

If this is your first time making scones don't be nervous. Check out my Master Scone Recipe to get started. It has helpful tips for making any scone recipe whether sweet or savory! Scones are really easy to make and I will walk you through them step by step so you will have a nice, fluffy, and tender scone, one that will rival any coffee shop!

Soda Bread scones with raisins

Tools for baking

Before we start to make our homemade scones, it is a great idea to prep our work surface with the ingredients and items we will be using. Here are my go-to baking tools I use for every batch of the best scones.

  • Pastry blender we mention this item with every single recipe because it is THE item that will ensure a fluffy outcome for your scones. You can use 2 knives or your hands, but a pastry blender or pastry cutter is best.
  • Parchment paper a baking sheet lined with parchment paper is not only great for non-stick baking, but it is also awesome for easy cleanup! No pan scrubbing is needed!
  • Mixing bowl should be a large mixing bowl if you want to make this a one-bowl recipe! I mix and also knead the scone dough right in the bowl before turning it out onto a floured surface. 
St. Patricks Day scone

The secret to Making Good Scones

First, let's go over THREE VERY IMPORTANT THINGS you MUST DO to ensure a perfect flaky scone:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees for at least 20 minutes before baking. A hot oven will help your scones rise tall instead of being flat.
  2. Make sure you're using COLD butter. It does not matter if you use cold unsalted butter or salted butter, but it MUST BE COLD. As the butter melts it will allow for air to create flaky scones
  3. Minimal handling of the dough. The more you knead the scone dough, the tougher it becomes and you will end up with a flat, hard scone.
drop scones on cooling rack

Irish Scone ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • Buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon
  • Raisins
  • Orange zest

How to make Irish scones recipe

Grab your cup of coffee or tea ready and get these tasty drop scones into the oven and soon you will be enjoying nice warm and tender scones!

As I mentioned above in the Baking tips section, it is important to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Be sure to do this at least 20 minutes before you intend to bake.

We are going to mix our dry ingredients first. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, orange zest, and salt. 

Now, in the flour mixture, we are going to cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs. You should see lumps of butter and that is exactly what you want.

Next, we are going to add our wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract until just moistened. If you only have heavy cream That is ok too.

Before kneading the dough, gently fold in the raisins. 

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently 5 to 10 times until it creates a shaggy dough.

With a 1/3 cup measuring cup or cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place the mound on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. You should have 6-8 scones. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut a small x into the top of the scone dough. I can usually fit all eight on a large baking sheet.

Large scones on baking sheet

With a pastry brush, brush the top of the scones with 1 tablespoon of buttermilk, and sprinkle each top with sugar for a little extra sweetness.

Place scones in the oven on the middle rack.

Bake until golden brown, which is about 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Serve a warm scone with your cup of hot tea or coffee!

If you have any leftovers, store scones in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months, or you can keep them on the counter at room temperature loosely covered with a sheet of plastic wrap.

golden brown baked scones

Ingredient substitutions to make soda bread scone

  • Flour– you can easily make these gluten-free scones by substituting the all-purpose flour with a one-for-one gluten-free flour. You can use Bob's Red Mill or my favorite King Arthur brand, which you can find in most grocery stores.
  • Butter– I like baking with Earth Balance vegan sticks. Place in the freezer to ensure it is super cold because this tends to be a little softer than regular butter. Cut into small cubes before cutting into flour mixture. 
  • Orange Juice- If you only have orange juice, you can substitute the zest. Use 1/4 cup of juice for a bit of orange flavor.
  • Buttermilk- You can use any soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk in place of buttermilk. You can also make your own buttermilk with 1 cup of regular milk and 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes and then be ready to use!
  • Currants- A true recipe for soda bread will have currants but they can be hard to find at times. I've substituted raisins or golden raisins and this savory scone tastes great.

Other scone recipes you should trylemon blueberry sconesbest cranberry scones, fresh peach sconesfresh strawberry sconescinnamon chip sconescarrot cake scones, Cheddar & Rosemary Scones

St. Patrick's Day scones recipe

This Irish soda bread scones recipe creates the flakiest scones and should be on your table for a St. Patrick's Day breakfast. These are large scones and are perfect to enjoy with your favorite jam, butter, or clotted cream.

buttermilk scones with raisins

Top FAQ

What Does Adding Egg Do To Scones?

Adding an egg to scones helps to bind ingredients together. Some seem to think that it adds richness to the flavor, however, I found the best results are when I don't add an egg. That's why the texture of the scones is full of layers and super flaky. 

What is the Best Temp For Baking Scones? 

Setting the oven to 425 degrees I have found to be the best temperature for baking our easy scones recipe. As mentioned in our baking tips sections, it is important to bake your scones in a preheated, hot oven. This helps to release steam from the butter when baking creating layers of tender scone.  

Irish Soda Bread Scones
Irish Soda Bread Scones recipe

Irish Soda Bread Scones

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy recipe tastes like your favorite Irish soda bread and is perfect for celebrating the St. Patrick's Day festivities. Scones have a crispy golden crust and are filled with tender, fluffy layers of dough, raisins, and orange zest!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, orange zest, and salt. 

In the flour mixture, cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs. You should see lumps of butter and that is exactly what you want.

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract until just moistened. 

Add raisins. 

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently 5 to 10 times until it creates a shaggy dough.

With a 1/3 cup measuring cup or cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place the mound on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. You should have 6-8 scones. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut a small x into the top of the scone dough.

With a pastry brush, brush the top of the scones with 1 tablespoon of buttermilk, and sprinkle each top with sugar for a little extra sweetness.

Place scones in the oven on the middle rack.

Bake until golden brown, which is about 15-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

We would love to see your scone creations! Tag us on Instagram @thesconeblog & use the hashtag #thesconeblog. You can also share on Pinterest & Facebook by clicking the buttons below!

AJ

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Blarney Scones! Can't wait to make these.

Kelly Pugliano

Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Yes!! :) Let me know how they turn out!

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