Irish Soda Bread

This is absolutely the BEST Irish soda bread! If you want to feel Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, you should definitely give this bread a try!

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As I type this I’m listening to Irish music and wishing I could eat out of this Irish soda bread right now! Seriously, I have a weakness for Irish soda bread, it’s just SO GOOD!!!

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Our local grocery store sells Irish soda bread, and they usually have a little basket out for people to sample the bread. You’re lucky if you still find some in there because it usually goes pretty fast! Whenever we do find the basket full, it’s like we find gold and we’ll grab as many as we can without looking too rude. šŸ˜€ Before I tasted Irish soda bread for the first time, I kept hearing everyone talk about it and wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about. I mean, what was so special about a crusty bread called a “soda bread”? Is it just because it’s from Ireland and people want to feel Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

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To my amazement I found out that there really is something so deliciously amazing about this bread. The buttermilk and baking soda in the bread make a chemical reaction that causes it toĀ rise, and it gives it that wonderful, almost biscuit-like texture. Not to mention that it’s slightly sweet and it has raisins, and that raw sugar on top becomes crunchy when it’s baked (which is the best part!). Plus it’s SO easy to make!

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Ā St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and I usually don’t make a big deal to celebrate it. BUT, if you give me some delicious Shepherd’s Pie, and this amazing Irish soda bread, then I might change my mind. šŸ™‚ Of course I don’t want my little sisters to pinch me so I might try to wear something green if I remember…

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I could eat it every.single.day it’sĀ thatĀ delicious. And I’m not even Irish! Or maybe I am and I don’t know? šŸ™‚ I do love Ireland and I would love to visit that beautiful country one day. What could be better than eating a slice of this bread, slathered with Irish butter (oh yeah!) and some good quality jam? Now that’s how I like to celebrate my St. Patrick’s Day.

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Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

4 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
2 cups raisins
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
Raw sugar for the top

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Mix in the raisins. Fold inĀ egg and buttermilk into dry ingredients until blended. Turn dough onto floured surface and pull the dough together, kneading gently until it comes together.Ā DO NOT OVER MIX! You can add a little more flour if dough is too wet. Divide the dough in half and shape into rounds. Place both balls of dough on your prepared baking sheet. Cut crosses on top, 1/2 in. deep. Lightly brush with some milk and sprinkle the whole surface with raw sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!Ā 

Jessica the Baker

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Creamy Lemon Pie for National PI Day

What better way to celebrate this epic Pi day than with a Ā deliciously creamy lemon pie? It’s bursting with fresh lemon flavor!

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Ā I seriously didn’t plan on postingĀ two lemon desserts in a row, I promise! But happy Pi Day everyone! Now this is not to be confused with PieĀ day which is on January 24th. We already celebrated thatĀ here.

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Ā Pi day is always celebrated on March 14th. Now if you’re a math nerd, you will know that this Pi day is extra special since it’s 3.14.15. I actually had to look it up to see that the math Pi is 3.14 and 15 follows right after. Pretty cool eh? We’re actually living through a day that will makeĀ history…or at least that’s how I like to think about it. šŸ™‚ Sorry, one of my favorite subjects in school was history.

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Ā Do not let this day pass without celebrating with edibleĀ pie! I mean just think, you willĀ neverĀ see the date 3.14.15 again!! So take advantage of it, and treat yourself with something special. Preferably pie since we are celebrating Pi day. And preferably I would love it if you would give this luscious, creamy, chock-full-of-lemon flavor pie a try! Wow, that rhymed! šŸ™‚

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Ā Since we added lemon zest to it, there will be no denying that this is a lemon pie as soon as you take your first yummy bite. Also adding some sweetened condensed milk gives this a wonderfully creamy texture, almost like a cheesecake. Not to mention that the shortbread crust kind of becomes like a flaky pie crust that you make for regular pies.

Creamy Lemon Pie

Ā So let’s celebrate Pi Day with yummy pies, and if you’re feeling up to it, you can have a math day on 3.14.15. šŸ˜‰ Today’s not a day to count calories though…hehe (get it? count, math…I know I’m crazy) šŸ™‚

Ā Creamy Lemon Pie

Ingredients:

CRUST

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

FILLING

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
4 large eggs
2/3 cups lemon juice
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
sifted powdered sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust. Combine flour, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Press lightly onto bottom and halfway up sides of ungreased 10 in. deep dish pie pan. Bake for 20 min.

For the filling. Beat sweetened condensed milk and eggs in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat in lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest just until blended. Pour over baked crust. Bake for another 20-25 min. or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream. Slice and enjoy!

Jessica the Baker

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

This lemon buttermilk cake isĀ deliciously flavorful, but it’s also super moist! If you love a lemons, then this is a dessert for you!Ā 

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Someone blessed us with a bag of lemons (Thank You!). I always get excited when I see a bag full of lemons. You know the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. But I say when life gives you lemons don’t just make lemonade, make some lemon cake. And don’t just stop there, turn all theĀ possible desserts into lemon desserts! šŸ™‚

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I love, love, love, lemon desserts!! #lemonlover

As you can see, I already madeĀ lemon bar,Ā lemon cupcakes,Ā blueberry lemon yogurt loaf, and of course I made lemonade, but not just any lemonade,Ā raspberry lemonade. And I’m still coming up with other lemon dessert ideas. Stay tuned!

Did you ever Google the benefits of lemons? My goodness, they’re an entire health pill! Of course they probably lose their health benefits in one of these cakes, but they definitely don’t lose their amazing flavor! Surprisingly I used to dislike lemon desserts, and I think it was mainly because of the artificial flavor that some of the dessertsĀ had (I think it was lemon extract or something). For this recipe I substituted the lemon extract with vanilla extract.

The lemon definitely pops in this cake since you have it both in the cake and in the icing. But it’s a fresh kind of taste. I almost can’t even describe it, but you can tell it’s a natural kind of lemon taste. I hope I make sense. šŸ™‚

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February has zoomed past us and now March is here! That means we’re 18 days away from the first day of Spring, it means daylight saving time begins and the days will be longer, and it means that we’re getting closer to warmer weather!! I love Spring and Summer the most. And I think this lemon buttermilk cake is the perfect dessert for a spring party or get together. Because of the buttermilk, the cake is super moist which makes is that much more delicious!

I hope you give this recipe a try. My family and I really loved it!

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Recipe fromĀ here

Ingredients:

Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream, lite is okay (plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon extract (vanilla extract may be substituted)

Glaze
2Ā cups confectioners’ sugar
about 1/3 cupĀ lemonĀ juice, or as necessary for consistency
about 1 tablespoon lemon zest, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cake –Ā In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, optional salt.
  3. Whisk in zemon zest;Ā set aside.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together theĀ egg, buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, oil, and lemon extract.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 28 to 31 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly,Ā and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  7. Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool. While cake cools, make the glaze.
  8. GlazeĀ – In a medium bowl, add 2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and whisk until smooth. As necessary, add additional lemon juice (or sugar) to reach desired glaze consistency. I used slightly overĀ 1/3 cup lemon juice. Glaze should be easily pourable.
  9. Evenly pour glaze over cake (doesn’t have to be fully cooled), smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary, but glaze will likely just slide into place.
  10. Allow cake to cool in pan uncovered for at least 1 hour (or overnight and cover with a sheet of foil) before slicing and serving so glaze canĀ set up. CakeĀ will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days,Ā or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Enjoy!Ā 

Jessica the Baker