Christmas Soda Bread

Christmas Soda Bread, Spelt flour, marzipan, stollen, panettone, mixed spice, orange zest, currants, dried cherries, dried fruit, vanilla, quick, easy, without buttermilk, milk and lemon juiceDecember is such a busy time and what with my birthday, a wedding, my daughter’s numerous school performances and my son’s various exams and his trip to the Cologne Christmas markets, I’m afraid my Christmas recipe offerings have had to stay as ideas in my head until now. (Note to self, start making Christmas recipes in the summer)! So for my first offering I wanted to come up with a recipe that had all the flavours of Christmas in it. To me those flavours are marzipan, oranges, vanilla, mixed spice and dried fruits. I love Stollen and Panettone but wanted to make something which busy people and kids could make really quickly as I think we are all very short of time in the build up to Christmas! Hence my Christmas Soda Bread was born and the best thing is all the ingredients are usually things you have in your cupboards at this time of year (except perhaps the dried cherries which you could substitute for say dates or sultanas etc). I used spelt flours which are not only high in fibre but also add a lovely depth of flavour too but you could use wheat flours if you wished. This Christmas Soda Bread is actually ideal for using up all the leftover ingredients from your Christmas cake and puddings and it lasts for days. (I actually started off by making one double the size of this one but decided a smaller one was more practical).

Christmas Soda Bread, Spelt flour, marzipan, stollen, panettone, mixed spice, orange zest, currants, dried cherries, dried fruit, vanilla, quick, easy, without buttermilk, milk and lemon juice

My husband isn’t usually a fan of dried fruit but once he got a taste of my Christmas Soda Bread he became totally hooked! He said and I quote “it tastes a lot better than it looks”! Well my first attempt didn’t get in the oven quick enough as I got the proportions of flour wrong and had to add a lot more at the last minute! It’s so important with soda bread to get it straight in the oven and not hang about so hence my first attempt was totally delicious but had a completely lopsided rise to it! But it’s true it’s not the best looking loaf in the world but with a sugary crust and all the wonderful Christmas flavours in there it will make your kitchen smell so very Christmassy and spread with butter (and some strawberry jam if you like) it’s truly awesome. My teenage son loved the bread too but my daughter as ever won’t indulge in dried fruit (although she did try a sample of Panettone when we were out the other day so perhaps there’s hope on that front)!

I do hope you give my Christmas Soda Bread a go and manage to sit down and enjoy it with a nice cup of tea in amongst the hurly burly of the Christmas rushing around that we all do.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Christmas Soda Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
All the flavours of Christmas in one loaf (marzipan, vanilla, orange, mixed spice and dried fruit) - Christmas Soda Bread is quick and easy to make and so delicious spread with butter and even jam if you wish!
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8
  • 180 mls Milk
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 175g Plain spelt flour
  • 175g Wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ¾ tsp Mixed spice
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 35g Marzipan, grated
  • Grated zest of 1 orange or 2 clementines (wash well with detergent first)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 40g Currants
  • 40g Dried cherries, chopped
  • Demerara sugar for sprinkling
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190⁰C.
  2. Prepare a baking tray a sheet or baking parchment and a scattering of flour.
  3. Stir the lemon juice into the milk and set aside to curdle.
  4. Sieve the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl.
  5. Then mix in the caster sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, marzipan, orange zest and dried fruit thoroughly.
  6. Add the curdled milk and mix in with a round bladed knife until a dough if formed (use your hands towards the end).
  7. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and shape into a dome (speed is important as the raising agents start working as soon as you add the milk).
  8. Place the dome onto the baking sheet, sprinkle on a good layer of Demerara sugar (patting down) and using a sharp knife cut a deep cross down into the dough.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a hollow sound is heard when you knock on the underside of the loaf.
  10. Place on a wire rack to cook.
  11. Serve warm or cold with butter (and jam if liked) with a nice cuppa!
Unless you have unwaxed oranges or clementines you must wash the wax off your citrus fruit as this is not meant for human consumption. I use a drop of washing up liquid, rub in well with a drop of warm water and then give it a scrub with my potato brush. I think I got this tip from Michael van Stratton on a radio show (LBC) many years ago!

Christmas Soda Bread, Spelt flour, marzipan, stollen, panettone, mixed spice, orange zest, currants, dried cherries, dried fruit, vanilla, quick, easy, without buttermilk, milk and lemon juiceIf you’d like some more festive bread ideas why don’t you take a look at:

Festive Bread Wreath from Utterly Scrummy

Chocolate and Chestnut Spiced Loaf from Blue Kitchen Bakes

Chocolate and Pistachio Wreath from me.

As my loaf is festive, frugal and used up ingredients in my cupboard I am entering it into the following events: Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Fuss Free Flavours, No Waste Food Challenge over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, Festive Food Friday over at Taming Twins and Treat Petite over at Baking Explorer which is co-hosted by Cakeyboi.

Credit Crunch Munchno-waste-food-badgeFestiveFoodFriday-thumbnailTreat Petite new

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/christmas-soda-bread/


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  1. Jayne Sullivan

    Looks delicious. Can I miss out the marzipan ? I really detest marzipan ‘

    1. Camilla

      Of course you can, maybe put some chopped nuts or something else in instead?

  2. Jane Davies

    What a great festive recipe ! Can almost smell it from here 🙂

  3. bev

    Saved for next Xmas


    Great recipe, so easy to make..

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, the joy of Soda Bread!

  5. Paul Wilson

    I tried this over Christmas – very nice indeed.

    1. Camilla

      Fab – glad you enjoyed it:-)

  6. Maya Russell

    I have never made soda bread before. I like this Christmas style loaf.

    1. Camilla

      It’s so easy I think I’ve become addicted to making it:-)

  7. Maddy

    Now you may think I’m odd, but I’d have to make this WITHOUT the marzipan, LOL!

    1. Camilla

      Feel free:-)

  8. Lisa H

    Yummy ,I love soda Bread and this recipe is amazing many thanks would love to bake

    1. Camilla


  9. Fiver Feeds

    I’ll have to try this, looks great!

  10. kellie@foodtoglow

    What a delightful and wholesome recipe for this gluttonous time of year (but nothing wrong with a bit of gluttony!). I am having a little fantasy here of making this and having it with a smear of cold Philly! Mmm! PS I clean my fruits with a little vinegar water ;-0

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Kellie, we still have a loaf in the freezer to enjoy over Christmas:-) I’ll let you have your Philly fantasy while I stick with butter and perhaps a smear of strawberry jam:-) I’ll try your vinegar water tip – do you put it on some paper towel then?

  11. Stephanie Whitehouse

    This does sound festive. I make quite a lot of soda bread, using the liquid I strain out of home made yoghurt, so I’ll have a go with these additions

    1. Camilla


  12. Sarah (@tamingtwins)

    Camilla this sounds utterly delicious, all of my favourite Christmas flavours but without the fuss of proving etc. The photos are beautiful too, lovely styling and light. Thanks so much for linking to #festivefoodfriday.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you so much Sarah – a first post with my new camera:-)

  13. William Gould

    Can’t say I’ve ever had Soda bread, never mind made any! Sounds good though….

    1. Camilla

      I hadn’t had it either until earlier this year and now I’m hooked:-)

  14. Emily

    My mum is sitting with me at the mo and we’ve agreed to make this together tomorrow! Looks really, really lovely. Great pics too x

    1. Camilla

      Aaw thanks Emily that’s great:-) My first post using new camera so really pleased you like the pics, means alot:-)

  15. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    I love a good soda bread and yours looks like a wonderful version packed full of Christmas goodies. I also use the washing up liquid on my fruits before zesting!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Laura:-) I remember in Home Ec we were taught it was called mineral oil but it doesn’t seem to be called that these days but whatever it’s known as now it’s to be avoided! Glad I’m not the only one using Fairy on my citrus fruits;-)

  16. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    I would love a slice of this with plenty of butter – delicious!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Kat:-)

  17. Jan @GlugofOil

    Lovely – I could eat that right now!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jan:-)

  18. Ursula Hunt

    Sounds like a good recipe

  19. Jacqui Gourlay

    That looks so good! I have a new love for marzipan after last Christmas so looking for new ideas. I hope to find the time to try this!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you:-) I’ve had a life long love of marzipan so don’t need much of an excuse to use it:-) I do hope you get a chance to make this.

  20. Paul Wilson

    Great idea – love soda bread.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, it makes great toast too:-) (If you do have any leftover)!

  21. Mel

    That looks like a nice, easy, festive recipe! I am not a fan of dried fruit, but I guess I could take them off.

    1. Camilla

      My husband isn’t either and won’t touch a mince pie or Christmas pud but he went crazy over this bread:-)

  22. Lucy - BakingQueen74

    This looks really good, I would love to try this in the run up to Christmas!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Lucy, it’s a really good way of using up all those leftover Christmas ingredients and so festive and tasty:-)

  23. Jeanne Horak-Druiff

    Oh – I do love a good soda bread (I never have the patience for yeast breads!!) and I love the idea of fruit in this one. I can imagine even after a day or two it woudl still be splendid toasted with some salted butter 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jeanne:-) I really must toast the rest of it, am still eating loaf 1 (it was enormous) and it’s still fine just buttered:-)

  24. Vicki Montague

    What a great idea! I love the sound of this…soda bread is so easy to make! Fantastic flavours in this one!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Vicki it really was tasty:-)

  25. Elizabeth

    Mmm… I could seriously go a big slice of this right now, slathered with butter! What a super idea! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Elizabeth, I almost needed to lock it away from hubby!

  26. Sarah James

    What a lovely festive loaf, I love the sound of grated marzipan. Perfect to have with a cup of tea.

    1. Camilla

      If I can squeeze marzipan into a recipe I’m all the happier Sarah:-)

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