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
4.88 from 16 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


  • 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


  • 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

Cook's notes

*recipe lightly adapted from Darina Allen Forgotten Skills of Cooking


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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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    I just found this recipe today and made the scones. They were terrific! So easy! I used a gluten-free flour mix for 10 oz. And oat flour for 6 oz. plus 1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum. And I used powdered buttermilk and water. Did not have to use all the water. And I used a bit of the flour mix to dust my surface. Shaped dough into a rectangle and cut into 16 triangles because we like our scones small. Did not include sugar so we can use them for savory or sweet (hello honey!!!) applications. Thanks, Sue, for a simple, get-it-on-the-table-quick scone recipe!!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 5, 2022 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks so much for the gluten free info, Kristen!

  • Reply
    Martha J
    March 1, 2022 at 9:07 am

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for an easy recipe like this. I’ll make it at dinner. One question, do they have to be rolled out and cut, or can one make them as drop scones, as a number of recipes allow?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 1, 2022 at 11:47 am

      Sure, you can do these as drop scones.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2021 at 10:24 am

    5 stars
    Just made these, 5 stars. I wanted a scone receipe without sugar, butter and egg. Thanks from Ireland.

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