Darina Allen’s Irish Soda Scones

irish soda scones with jam

Irish Soda Scones are classic soda bread in the form of tender little scones ~ have them for breakfast, afternoon tea, or alongside your corned beef and cabbage.  If you’re a spur of the moment baker, you’re going to love these incredibly easy scones.

Irish soda scones with jam

soda scones: the magic of homemade bread in 30 minutes!

These Irish soda scones come from Darina Allen, the queen of traditional Irish cooking. This recipe is from her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking, where she reminds us of recipes and techniques that recent generations have missed. Soda bread is one of those utterly simple recipes that most of us never think to make, and soda scones are a brilliant rendition.

Soda scones require no-yeast, no rising time, and are lower in fat than traditional biscuit and scone recipes that include a lot of butter. The distinctive texture of soda bread is a result of the reaction between the acidic buttermilk and baking soda, which create bubbles of carbon dioxide in the dough that rises the bread.

Irish soda scones on parchment paper

you only need a few simple ingredients to make these scones

The spare list of pantry ingredients reflects authentic soda bread. This lean dough includes no butter, and no egg.

  • Flour – I used all purpose, but I think these would be great using a combination of white and whole wheat flour, too. I’d also like to experiment with some oat flour, because it worked so well in my Irish oatmeal soda bread.
  • Buttermilk, or replace with milk mixed with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Baking soda ~ the rising agent
  • Sugar ~ not authentic, but I use a small amount of sugar just to sweeten these scones ever so slightly. It’s optional. We enjoyed our scones with jam for breakfast, but if you plan to serve your scones as a side with dinner, leave it out.

Irish soda scone on a cooling rack

why do I love these soda bread scones? let me count the ways…

  • So easy!  The ingredients get quickly mixed together in one bowl, and you’re ready to go before the oven preheats.
  • I love soda bread, but it’s hard to avoid a fairly dense, hard crust because it needs to bake at a high temperature for a relatively long period of time. These little scones give you all the rustic flavor and texture of soda bread, while staying nice and soft. Perfect.
  • They’re super versatile. They can be sweet or savory, which makes this a handy recipe to memorize. I love them with clotted cream and jam, but they’re also delicious with Irish Stew.

soda scone with butter and knife

that jam, though…

It’s a gorgeous color, right? It’s a strawberry-rhubarb recipe that’s in the testing phase ~ I promise to bring it to the blog very soon! In the meantime, I have so many other jams and jellies that would make the perfect pair with these scones.

split soda scone with butter and jam

Classic Irish fare ~

irish soda scones with jam
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4.78 from 9 votes

Irish Soda Scones

Irish Soda Scones are classic soda bread in scone form, have them for breakfast, afternoon tea, or alongside your corned beef and cabbage.  If you're a spur of the moment baker, you're going to love these quick and easy Irish scones.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 scones
Calories 239kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (about 3 1/3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cup (414 ml) buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  • Slowly add the buttermilk to the flour mixture until the dough is shaggy but not too sticky and wet. You may not need to use quite all of the buttermilk.
  • Place the dough on a well-floured surface and quickly knead a couple of times to bring it together. Gently pat it into a disc about 1 inch thick, and cut out about 8 scones, reshaping the dough as needed. You can also cut traditional triangles, as well.
  • Place the scones on the prepared baking pan, turn down the oven to 400F, and bake for about 20 minutes until well risen and golden on top.
  • Serve warm with butter and jam, or alongside soups and stews.
    irish soda scones with jam

notes and variations

 
*recipe lightly adapted from Darina Allen Forgotten Skills of Cooking

Nutrition

Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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17 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Sarie Doverspike
    March 18, 2021 at 9:47 am

    I have made Darina Allen’s scones 100 + times. You omitted butter in this version-an important ingredient in scones. Just curious why you left the butter out of your version.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 18, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      These are Darina’s soda scones, which are based on her soda bread, so they’re a little bit more rustic than a regular scone. I’ll have to try her regular scones, too 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet C
    March 3, 2021 at 2:45 am

    3 stars
    I made these yesterday and enjoyed the ease of making them. I ended up with 11 good sized scones. I think because I usually make buttermilk biscuits, I was disappointed in these. They just seemed a little “blah.” My husband thought them tough. We’ll certainly eat all of them, but from now on will stick with true buttermilk biscuits. All that butter really makes a difference. PS: This is the first of your recipes I’ve made that I haven’t loved!

  • Reply
    Dolly
    March 1, 2021 at 10:15 am

    5 stars
    I think this is a fun and unique recipe! Perfect for a St. Pat’s party or potluck because everyone gets their individual serving.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 10:19 am

      I didn’t think of that, but you’re right, thanks!

  • Reply
    Sara
    March 1, 2021 at 10:11 am

    5 stars
    What a great recipe for soda scones! Turned out light, fluffy and hands down delicious!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks for the super quick feedback Sara 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela
    March 1, 2021 at 9:54 am

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed the flavor and texture of these scones. I added the sugar. Next time I am going to try them without. Delicious.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Thanks for the feedback Angela 🙂

  • Reply
    Bintu
    March 1, 2021 at 9:33 am

    5 stars
    I love scones and these sound amazing – can’t wait to give them a try!

  • Reply
    Carrie Robinson
    March 1, 2021 at 9:21 am

    I just love Irish scones! Definitely going to have to bake up this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day this month. 🙂

  • Reply
    K
    March 1, 2021 at 9:07 am

    It just occured to me that scones must be heathier for me than biscuits since there is no shortening or butter in the mix! Will add them to my soup menu this week. Thanks for the revelation!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 9:09 am

      Yes, that’s one of the perks of these scones. And you can make them even healthier by using whole grain flours.

  • Reply
    Rose
    March 1, 2021 at 8:30 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue. As soon as this recipe came through, I knew I had to try them pronto…so I did. They turned out fantastic!! I had more of a raisin tea biscuit in mind, so doubled the amount of sugar and tossed in a couple small handfuls of raisins. I made buttermilk using the vinegar method and, as indicated, I did use a bit less than specified; I’d say about 1 1/2 cups. I should have added some nutmeg and will next time. Because there WILL be a next time. Thanks so much for another great recipe, Sue!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 8:59 am

      Yay Rose ~ thanks for the quick work!!

  • Reply
    Deb
    March 1, 2021 at 6:11 am

    Can you use almond milk instead of regular……with added lemon juice? Also, GF flour?

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2021 at 7:51 am

      I haven’t tried that, but I do know people make vegan buttermilk with almond milk so it should be fine. And again, haven’t tried these scones with gf flour, but it should work.

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