Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

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Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And there’s more to this celebration of Irish culture than green beer. You can prepare a traditional Irish meal to capture the spirit of the day as well as delight your family and guests.

Soda Bread Recipe

Traditional Irish soda bread relies on buttermilk and baking soda, rather than yeast, to cause the bread to rise. There are many variations on the recipe, and raisins, currants or caraway seeds are all frequent additions. Soda bread should be eaten while warm from the oven, and is delicious with salted butter or jam.


  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms. Add a little bit more buttermilk if necessary.
  3. Shape dough into a slightly flattened ball, and place on baking sheet. Cut an “X” across the top with a sharp knife, then bake for 45 minutes, or until dark golden brown.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
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Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe

Delicious corned beef and cabbage is the classic St. Patrick’s Day meal. So hearty and good, you will want to serve it all year long!


  • 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 10 small red potatoes
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 large head of green cabbage, cut into wedges


  1. Place corned beef in large cooking pot, and cover with water. Mix in spice packet that came with meat.
  2. Cover pot and bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour per pound, or until corned beef is tender.
  3. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and continue cooking until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add cabbage and cook for 15 minutes longer.
  5. Remove corned beef, and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain.
  6. Place vegetables in a bowl for serving. Add as much cooking liquid as desired.

Apple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Finish your Irish dinner with a wonderfully spiced apple upside-down cake. For a truly Irish touch, serve it with a bit of heavy cream to pour over the top when eating. You can use Granny Smith, Jonagold, or golden delicious apples.

Ingredients for apple topping:

  • 3 large applies, cored and sliced
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a frying pan, melt butter then add apples. Stir to cover apples with butter.
  2. Turn down heat and sauté apples, turning them to brown evenly. When apples are lightly browned, add brown sugar and stir to coat.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 4 ounces butter
  • 3 ounces sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Beat butter until light, add sugar and mix until fluffy.
  3. Mix in cinnamon, allspice, eggs and milk, stir thoroughly.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, mix through.
  6. Butter a deep pie dish or springform cake pan.
  7. Arrange the sautéed apples in the bottom of the pan, covering it completely.
  8. Pour the cake batter over the apples, shake pan lightly to settle batter.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake rises and toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cake cool for 10 minutes before turning over onto the serving plate.
  11. Slice and serve warm with heavy cream or whipped cream.

Irish Coffee Recipe

Green beer might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, but there are other beverages that are Irish staples and make perfect complements to a hearty Irish meal. Irish coffee is one such drink. Perfect for enjoying after dinner with your upside-down cake.


  • 1 jigger (1.5 ounce) Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 jigger (1.5 ounce) Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg


  1. In coffee mug, combine Irish cream and Irish whiskey.
  2. Fill mug with coffee, top with whipped cream and nutmeg.

Minty Hot Chocolate

For the kids, mix up a warm cup of cocoa with peppermint.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 peppermint candy sticks
  • ¼ cup whipped cream


  1. In small saucepan, heat milk until hot but not boiling.
  2. Crush one peppermint stick, and add to milk along with chocolate.
  3. Stir with whisk until all is melted and smooth.
  4. Pour into mug, garnish with whipped cream and remaining candy stick.

You will enjoy this hearty, easy and tasty meal any day of the year, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone gets to be Irish for 24 hours.

Last Updated: February 26, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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