Somewhere in my ancestry there must be a few Irish aunt, uncles and cousins. I’ve always been a fan of St. Patrick’s Day — don’t ask me why, but my mom would tell you I latched on to the patron saint of Ireland in my very wee years. 

I’ve raised my share of shamrocks, cooked an abundance of corned beef and cabbage,* and whipped up a bucketload of colcannon in times past.

One of my very favorite teaching units was the one my teaching partner Dian (Sullivan, of course!) and I did for years with our team. Throughout the study we learned about Ireland’s history, culture, literature and food. Our students ready Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff (read this sweet book, y’all) and researched The Great Famine and its implications for our country. Many of them discovered they even had Irish relatives. One year, they even staged their own St. Patrick’s Day parade, complete with costumes and floats!

One of their most favorite activities was preparing a sampling of Irish foods for our all-out Irish luncheon. Staging that taught me that I could probably stage a State dinner! It was messy, but it was such fun. 

Even today, I get reminders from many of our students each year around March 17 of how much fun we had.

And if they hear The Unicorn Song, they usually call me!

lemon caraway irish tea bread

Everyone needs a few quick bread recipes, right? Here’s a traditional Irish Tea Bread flavored with lemon and caraway rather than dried fruits as are many. This is not a very sweet bread which makes it a perfect pairing with your coffee or tea. It’s delicious on its own, but you can slather it with some yummy Irish Kerrygold Butter as well.



Lemon-Caraway Irish Tea Bread


  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces unsalted Kerrygold butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/2 cup diced, candied citrus peel (lemon, orange, citron or substitute golden raisins)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 ounces buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (convection) or 375° standard.
  2. Spray a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the knife blade, pulse flour, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  4. Cut butter into cubes and pulse in food processor until the flour resembles coarse cornmeal.
  5. Add sugar and caraway seeds and pulse 5-6 times. Add diced citrus peel and pulse 4-5 times.
  6. Add in lemon extract and pulse. Add eggs one at a time, blending throughout.
  7. Slowly add in buttermilk while processor is running; do not overmix batter. Stir with spatula to ensure batter is smooth and completely mixed.
  8. Pour into loaf pan, tapping pan on counter to release air bubbles.
  9. Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  10. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely before slicing.
  11. Serve sliced and buttered with jam or clotted cream. May also be toasted lightly for increased flavor.

I know that corned beef and cabbage is not truly Irish, but it has become such a traditional dish you should give it a try. Check out my slow cooker version HERE,

Want to know about the history, culture and food of the Irish in Arkansas? Check out my OnlyinArk post HERE and pick up my favorite Irish Beef Stew recipe.

Dubliner Guinness Beef Stew diningwithdebbie for OnlyinArk

Or, give these delicious Irish Lamb Pasties I developed for Riceland Foods a try. You’ll be so glad you did!

Irish Lamb Pasties for Riceland Foods

Note: This is not a sponsored post although I’m always open:)