Saint Patricks Day Tea Time Treat: Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

Top o'the morning to you!

My corner of the world is turning green just in time for Saint Patrick's Day. I am not Irish but I do enjoy a reason to whip up a tasty tea time treat for a special occasion!

To celebrate Saint Patrick's Day I will be sharing my twist on Irish Soda Bread.
In my humble non-Irish opinion, Irish Soda Bread is similar in taste to scones but is shaped into a round loaf. Traditional Irish Soda Bread is known for its caraway seeds which add a distinct flavor. Raisins are also a popular mix in.

I knew the caraway flavor and the chewy raisins would not go over with my crowd. There was also the gluten issue that needed to be addressed.  My son is gluten free by necessity and I have a dancing daughter who prefers to be gluten free. Which brings us to my twist on this traditional Irish bread.


 What is this twist?

First, I used a gluten free flour. My recommendation for this recipe is Bob's Red Mill Baking Flour, Gluten Free. All gluten free flour mixtures have a different texture and sometimes taste. GF Bobs Red Mill is mellow in flavor and is similar to all purpose flour in texture.
The other twist I made was to use chocolate chips in place of the raisins. Because what child or child at heart does not appreciate a bit of chocolate now and then.

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread with a twist

3 1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthum gum

2 eggs ( room temperature )
2 cups Sour Cream

1/2 cup chocolate chips ( more if desired )

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix gently.
In a small bowl crack the eggs and whisk with a fork. 
Pour whisked egg and sour cream into dry mixture bowl.  Stir until well mixed.
Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into a spring form pan or if in a pinch a bunt pan works fine; you will just have a hole in the middle.

Bake 35-45 minutes. **

** GF baking note: A toothpick will come out clean around the 35 minute mark. I have found with GF baking that if you bake a bit longer than the "toothpick" time, you can avoid the gummy middle that sometimes happens. **

Now we have our treat but what tea will we pair with our soda bread?

In honor of this Irish holiday sip a cuppa Irish Breakfast tea!
This strong and robust black tea goes perfectly with the simple flavor of this recipe.


 Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables


October is the time for all things pumpkin flavored.

In honor of October and its pumpkin offerings,  I am going to share a tea time treat with you!

These pumpkin muffins have been a seasonal favorite in my house for years.  They are delicious by themselves or they pair perfectly with a hot cuppa tea.


 Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour***        1 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda               1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. baking powder               5 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon                    1 15oz can of pumpkin
1/4 tsp. nutmeg                    1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. salt                      2 cups sugar

***Gluten Free flour options work well with this recipe!  Be sure to add 1 teaspoon xanthum gum for each cup of flour.***

Prepare muffin tins and preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter and coconut oil until light.  Add in the eggs, one at a time.  Add pumpkin puree, mix until smooth.  Pour in orange juice, mix on low until combined.

Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Spoon into muffin cups. Bake at 350° until a toothpick comes out clean.  About 22 minutes ( shorter for mini muffins )

Cool and enjoy!



Download Perfect Pumpkin Muffins






When in doubt go with Black Tea

I am going to start a new saying, “ When in doubt, go with black tea. “

Black tea is robust, tasty without being bitter,and has an array of nutrients and antioxidants. I find it has the right amount of caffeine kick to shake off morning or afternoon sluggishness.

For years my go to Black Tea has been- Twinings English Breakfast. 


This tea bag is not just for breakfast, it is a delightful afternoon tea when paired with a tea time treat. 
The decaffeinated version is just right for those who do not want the effects of caffeine or if you are sipping later in the evening.

Tea bags are convenient for the morning rush or when you do not want a lot of fuss. However there is much to be said for a loose tea.

When you take a few extra moments to add loose leaves to a tea ball or infuser; you not only have tea, you make an occasion.

Currently, my favorite loose black tea is by Two Leaves and a Bud. 

Loosetea2 Collage

This tea is a sip & savor treat for me. 

It is ideal on mornings or afternoons when there is no rushing about.  

No matter if it steeps from a tea bag or a tea ball, black tea is a must have in my Booksipper tea stash.