Slices of Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo) studded with raisins in front of a half cut loaf

Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo)

This Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo) is easy to make, and coconut free! Also free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, legumes or processed sugar.

Slices of Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo) studded with raisins in front of a half cut loaf
Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo)
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It is the month of March, and therefore the month of all things Irish! 😀Yours truly has the Irish blood running through her veins, so you know I had to make something to celebrate.

Enter Irish Soda Bread. Traditionally, this type of bread is made with buttermilk, which is a no-go for AIP and Paleo diets. And the AIP/Paleo versions I could find out there have coconut in them.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am sensitive to coconut, like many of you. I was determined to come up with Irish Soda Bread free of coconut. Whoa. It’s a lot harder than you would think. Nevertheless, I have something for us!

Two texture options

After many, many attempts at this, I discovered that the smallest things can make a difference in AIP baking. Of course, we already know that the ingredients are fickle. But did you know that the difference of 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda can be the thing that changes your bread texture?

I will leave it to you to decide which texture you desire:

closeup of a slice of AIP/Paleo Irish Soda Bread, studded with raisins
Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo)
  • *If you use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, the bread will spread out, and flatten a bit, but it will be dense enough the next day to cut off a slice and put in the toaster.
  • If you use 2 teaspoons of baking soda, the bread will rise a little more, it will crumble more, and have kind of a cake-y texture, more like a biscuit (shown right).

Personally, I prefer the denser version. It may not rise as much as the other, but it worked a little better for me. Because toast.

🍀 Happy all-things-Irish month! 🍀 As always, I am wishing you love and healing.



P.S. Here are some other Irish recipes on my blog: Toasty Rutabaga Mash, Irish Carrot Soup, and Mashed “Potatoes”.

Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo)

Recipe by Wendi’s AIP Kitchen – Course: Holiday, SidesCuisine: AIP, PaleoDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This Irish Soda Bread (AIP/Paleo) is easy to make, and coconut free! Also free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, legumes or processed sugar.



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (Don’t worry. We’ll lower it later.) Place a sheet of parchment paper on a roasting sheet and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place flours, raisins, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir until the ingredients are combined well.
  • In a small bowl, stir together applesauce, vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  • Place water in a cold saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin all over the water, and allow it to sit and “bloom” for 2 minutes. Place saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking the gelatin and water until the gelatin has fully liquefied. Remove from heat. Whisk this liquid vigorously until it is frothy.
  • Work quickly from this point on. Add ALL wet ingredients to the dry, including melted shortening. Mix with a fork. Form dough into a ball with your hands. Place on prepared roasting sheet, and form into a loaf shape approximately 6″ X 4″.
  • Place loaf in oven for 5 minutes. Then without opening the oven, turn the heat down to 350 degrees F, and bake another 10 minutes. Again without opening the oven, turn the oven heat OFF, and let it bake for another 5 minutes. It is normal for cracks to form as it bakes.
  • Remove bread from oven. Let cool completely before cutting. To serve, gently cut slices with a serrate knife. Store in air-tight container.

Recipe Video


  • *If you use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, the bread will spread out, and flatten a bit, but it will be dense enough the next day to cut off a slice and put in the toaster. If you use 2 teaspoons of baking soda, the bread will rise a little more, it will crumble more, and have kind of a cake-y texture, more like a biscuit.

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  1. Pingback: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #308

  2. Would arrowroot starch / flour work instead of tapioca flour in the Irish soda bread?

  3. Lisa Mahon


  4. Do you add the palm shortening with the wet ingredients?

  5. Oh wow!!! I want to give this recipe a try asap! I dont have apples its a shame!! I have some bananas in rhe freezer, do you think i could use them to replace the apple sauce?

    • Hi, Elodie! (I love that name!) Baking on the AIP is so tricky! Subs are not so easy. I tried many times to get this recipe to work decently. (Oh how I miss gluten and eggs in baking…) I don’t think bananas would have the same effect. I chose apples for a bit of sweetness and their pectin, trying to get some more hold. That being said, I always encourage experimenting in the kitchen. Play with your food! 😀

  6. Elizabeth

    This came out really well, despite making the whole thing and then realizing I hadn’t put in the palm shortening! I took it out of the oven really quickly, added it, and put it back in! I’m wondering if you can change the directions to include the palm shortening. Its in the recipe list, but its not anywhere in the directions- so if you’re just following the directions, then you miss it. Thank you for the yummy recipe!

  7. Pingback: 83 Fantastic AIP Recipes That Are Actually Coconut Free - Food Courage

  8. Stephanie Hodges

    Hi, Wendi! I’d love to try this and am wondering if coconut oil would work instead of palm shortening. Have you tried this substitution or do you have any guesses on if it would work? Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • Hi, Stephanie! I have not tried this substitution. I’m always twitchy about subs when it comes to AIP baking because the ingredients are, shall we say, “fussy.” Without the stability of eggs or gluten, things can go wonky really fast. I’d say if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try! But if you don’t feel like risking the AIP ingredients…keep the shortening. 🙂

  9. Carol Riseing

    Did the coconut oil work as a replacement for palm shortening?

    • Hi, Carol! I suspect not. Dang, baking on the AIP is so hard! I tried this recipe many times with different combinations of things, and this is the version that won. If you are worried about sustainability(?) of palm shortening, there are brands out there that are made sustainably. I tried to create this recipe purposely without coconut because so many of us are sensitive to it (including me). I hope it works for you!

  10. I just followed the recipe exactly and the dough is very crumbly. Is that how it’s supposed to be? There are already lots of cracks before putting it in the oven. Will see how it turns out…

    • Ruh-roh. Your dough should not be crumbly. Question: did you measure the shortening after it was melted? If not, you may not have enough fat/liquid. Also, the flours can be pretty frustrating as far as settling. If you had a lot of settling, you may have ended up with more flour than needed.

  11. I took one for the team and tried the oil substitution. Now, I can’t be 100% sure that this is the cause, but I used olive oil instead of palm oil shortening and my bread didn’t bake all the way through! I even gave it an extra 10 minutes at 350 – no dice. It is what Paul Hollywood and Mary Cherry would call “claggy.” I left it until the next day and it is better, but there are still damp spots. I’m going to try toasting it next to see if that fixes it!

    I’m also just now looking at the video and I see that my dough and your dough look very different. Again, could be the olive oil, could be operator error on my part, as I’m very new to AIP baking (and I didn’t use Otto’s because I bought a different brand before I knew better!) I plan to try again and see if using Otto’s makes a difference, and I may try coconut oil too, just for funsies.

    • Wow, Laura, you rock! Thanks for taking one for the team! Something to think about as you are experimenting with oils: as the bread cools, it will come together – sort of solidify – thanks to the hardening of the shortening. Since us AIPers don’t have the benefit of a gluten molecule or an egg to hold stuff together, our approach has to be completely different. (Gelatin is a good example of this. Whereas eggs solidify under heat, gelatin liquifies! Eek!) I’m thinking that an oil may not work for this recipe. Coconut oil *might* work, since it can harden when it is cold, but I don’t know… FYI on the flour, I didn’t use Otto’s for the video (I ran out!), and my dough was too wet. I’ve just always had better luck with Otto’s. If you try the coconut oil, please let me know how it goes. And thanks for letting us all know about the olive oil escapade! 😅

  12. Can you use an egg instead of gelatin? I break out in hives from gelatin but seem to tolerate eggs.

    • Hi, JoAnna! I haven’t tried it, but I *think* it would work(?). Vague, I know, but AIP baking is so tricky that I wouldn’t want to tell you something for sure unless I had tried it myself. If you try it, will you please let me know the result? I’m sure others have that question, too!

  13. Loved this! Making my 2nd loaf right now. This was my first try with aip baking and it wasnt so bad. Thank you!

    • Hi, Johanna! Oh, I’m so glad!!! AIP baking is so dang difficult. I’m happy that your first try was a yummy experience. Thank you for taking the time to write, and giving me a smile for the day! 🙂

  14. Would this turn out gummier/wetter with Anthony’s cassava flour? It’s difficult to get Otto’s where I live. But I found Anthony’s to be quite gummy.

    • Hi, Monica! Oh boy, that’s the question, isn’t it. Cassava flours are not all the same. In fact, in my video, I used a different brand (maybe it was Simple Organic?), and my bread crumbled. And it’s my recipe! 😂 I’ve never tried Anthony’s before, but if you’ve had experiences with it being gummy, you might have to adjust the amount (add more), or perhaps cook it longer. Of course, I’m totally spit-balling here because I’ve never tried it. But if I were in your shoes, that is what I would do. I wish I could be more help, but I hope what I’ve said is useful. Bake on!!! 😀

  15. LOVE this recipe! I didn’t even have applesauce on hand, which I realized too late to turn back from the recipe, so I used canned pumpkin instead, threw in just a bit of extra honey to compensate for the sweetness, and it turned out just perfectly. I used the two teaspoons of baking soda, and what I got was something that is *exactly* the kind of texture I love. Maybe a little less bouncy than a wheat-based, traditional recipe? But lovely and velvety and super satisfying for anyone on the AIP diet. Thanks, Wendi!

    • Hi, Amy! I’m loving this! I’m glad to hear that it worked with the substitution you used. Maybe you’ll end up liking that even better(?). I so appreciate you taking the time to circle back and leave a happy comment. It makes my day. Thank you! 😊

  16. Can you use Coconut Oil instead of Palm Oil?

    • Hi, Sarah! This has been a common question. Some people have tried it, and the answer is…no. Rarely does a sub work on an AIP baking recipe. I’m grateful for the folks who took one for the team and tried it so that we’ll all know! 🙂

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