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Apple, Beer, and Cheddar Soda Bread

Apple, beer, and cheddar soda bread is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Make this bread in a cast iron skillet for best results. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

beer soda bread in cast iron skillet on green and white towel

Apple, beer, and cheddar soda bread is a variation on good old Irish Soda Bread. Soda bread varieties (including this one) lead the recipe list below in number and many of our bakers have branched out to try other types of Irish breads.

I found this recipe for Apple, Guinness, Cheddar Soda Bread in the March/April issue of a magazine that is new to me: Bake, From Scratch.

The photography is what caught my eye first– stunning food photos on page after page– and then once I dug into the recipes I found that this magazine is packed full of many breads, cakes and goodies that I’ll bake in the coming months. It would be hard to find a page that I didn’t mentally check off with the thought of “Yup, I’d like that one too!”. Go buy this magazine and you’ll understand what I’m saying!

You’ll note that I didn’t have Guinness at home when I baked this soda bread but the dark lager I used was full bodied and flavorful. Go the traditional St. Patrick’s day route with Guinness for your celebration on the 17th or bake with any dark beer and you’ll enjoy the results.

A sharp, Irish cheddar cheese, beautiful Irish butter, a slight tang from green apples– what’s not to like? This bread is leavened with baking soda (hence the name “soda bread”).

The dough is rather sticky so treat it with flour-covered hands and be gentle. Only knead it a few times then place it in loaf pan as the original recipe recommends or in a cast-iron pan as I did. I love the crust that the cast iron pan helps create.

Clean your cast iron pan using advice and tips that detail   how to keep your cast iron pans clean.

Making homemade bread is a joy! Try these bread recipes:

Yield: 8

Apple, Beer, and Cheddar Soda Bread

Apple, Beer, and Cheddar Soda Bread

Apple, beer, and cheddar soda bread is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Make this bread in a cast iron skillet for best results.

Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 4 cups plus 1 teaspoon all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup dark beer (Guinness or a dark lager)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons old-fashioned oats (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set out your 8-10 inch cast iron pan
  2. Prepare the apple filing: combine 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and vinegar. Peel and chop that green apple into small pieces. Soak the apple in the sugar and vinegar mixture for about 5 minutes. Stir ever minute or so to evenly distribute the liquid into the apples.
  3. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients: 4 cups of flour, baking soda, salt and remaining brown sugar. Fold in the grated cheese and the apple mixture. This is a strong batter and I found that a wooden spoon or spatula worked better than a stand-mixer. Add in the beer and the melted and cooled butter. Sprinkle the buttermilk over the dough and fold in until the dry ingredients are just barely still visible. Scoop the dough onto a large piece of parchment and knead a few times before gently placing it in your cast iron pan.
  4. Cut an X into the top of the dough then sprinkle with oats (optional) and the remaining flour.
  5. Bake until a nice golden crust forms on the bread. In my 8 inch cast iron pan I had to bake the bread for a full hour before a toothpick came out cleanly. Let cool before slicing.


This recipe is found on page 98 of the March/April 2017 issue of the magazine Bake From Scratch. The instructions include some of my own description of the process explained in the original recipe, although I followed the original recipe quite closely.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 wedge

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 286Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1036mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

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Tuesday 28th of March 2017

I loved the pan there, Holly :) and scrumptious bread too !


Saturday 18th of March 2017

That is a delicious looking soda bread. Sounds so flavorful too.

Holly F

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Thanks, Pavani!


Saturday 18th of March 2017

Such a great bake Holly!! Loved it! :)

Chef Mireille

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

love the crumby texture

sharanya palanisshami

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Soda bread looks great , it must be delicious. Great Photography......

Holly F

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Many thanks!

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