Orange Blueberry Irish Soda Bread Scones

What is a soda bread? Maybe you aren’t familiar with this type of bread, but traditionally, a lot of people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with soda bread. And in case you’re thinking it: yes, there are other ways to celebrate than with green beer. For this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day, I’m taking the traditional recipe and turning it into the perfect Irish soda bread scones!

Let’s go on a soda bread history lesson

  • Historically, soda bread was prepared a lot in Ireland. The bread was inexpensive to bake with simple ingredients that most people had on hand.
  • Years ago, yeast was hard to find and bicarbonate, or baking soda, was cheap. The prevalence of baking soda is the reason why this bread utilities only this leavening agent.
  • To cause a reaction, baking soda needs to have something acidic, and sour milk was almost always around. Today, we use buttermilk.

Soda bread is good but I don’t really find myself making it a lot. Once in a while when I want a loaf of bread and don’t have much time, I’ll opt for this type of bread. It’s super quick and moist, but not always exciting.

Recently I realized that soda bread is the perfect formula for scones. And since this is the year of brunch, well, pairing scones and soda bread is a match made in heaven! My tried and true recipe was easy to convert into scones and it had the same benefit as soda bread: uber simple ingredients.

Hand holding scone broken in half to show blueberries inside with extra scones in background sitting on a tray lined with parchment paper

Scones are that carb we all crave for brunch. Can I get an amen?! But the base for this recipe is soda bread and soda bread by itself is now what I’d call “sweet.” And I think it’s against the law to have scones without at least a touch of sweetness. Maybe that’s just a law here in Iowa? (Totally joking.)

Here’s what I add to my scones

To add that punch of sweetness within the scone itself, frozen blueberries are my go-to option. Typically, they’re flash frozen when ripe, so they retain their flavor. As a bonus, frozen blueberries don’t bleed into the batter when mixed and sliced.

Close up view of side of Irish soda bread scone sitting on piece of parchment with extra scones around

The blueberries help to add sweetness, but a glaze really is the finishing touch. This time of year, oranges are at their peak. No, unfortunately not in Iowa.

The sweetness and flavor of the orange mixed into the glaze give the scones a shiny, sugary topping that everyone will want to grab.

Top view of glaze sitting on top of Irish soda bread scone made from orange juice and orange zest
Mmmm… that glaze just completes the scones. They were made for each other!

Watch how to make these Irish soda bread scones:

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Top down view of glazed orange and blueberry scones sitting on baking sheet lined with parchment with small oranges all around on wood board

Orange Blueberry Irish Soda Bread Scones

  • Author: Kaleb Wyse
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 scones 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Scones made with an Irish soda bread base are the best kind of scones! This orange and blueberry scone recipe is a cinch to whip up for brunch or any other time of the day!


Scale

Ingredients

For the scones

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional, but adds intense orange flavor)
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

For the scones

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. With the mixer running on low, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Allow each addition of butter to mix in for 30 seconds before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, the mixture should look like coarse sand.
  4. Turn the mixer off and combine the wet ingredients. Whisk the buttermilk, vanilla, egg, orange zest, orange juice, and orange blossom water to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until moistened and shaggy, about 1 minute.
  5. Place dough on a well-floured board and knead until smooth. Pat into a roughly 16-inch circle. Pour blueberries on top and press in. Fold dough over on itself, kneading the blueberries into the dough. Press into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 20-25 minutes. While baking, prepare the glaze.
  7. Once the sones are baked, remove from the oven and cool 5 minutes on the baking pan. Then transfer to a cooling rack. Glaze the scones while slightly warm.

For the glaze

  1. In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar.
  2. Add the orange zest and juice.
  3. Whisk until smooth, adding more orange juice for a thinner glaze and more sugar for a thicker glaze.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 scone
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 27.3g
  • Sodium: 587.6mg
  • Fat: 10.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 77.4g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 9.1g
  • Cholesterol: 47.4mg

Keywords: brunch, scones

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