Fig Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

This Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter is the perfect treat any time of year, but especially lovely for St. Patrick’s Day!

I make this soda bread every year about this time. It’s a great lead up to St. Patrick’s Day. And every time I make it, I’m reminded what a great treat it is to enjoy all year round. It’s so easy to make and the fig and walnut flavours are so perfect together!

This soda bread is very, very lightly sweet. That’s why I highly recommend the addition of the honey butter! Beyond the creamy butter, the touch of sweetness it adds to every bit is just the thing to bring all the flavours together.

Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Cook’s Notes for Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

I baked this one up in my skillet, as you can see :) My skillet is 10 inches top diameter. If you don’t have or want to bake it in a skillet, an 8 or 9-inch round baking pan should work nicely.

I like to mix up a small bowl of the honey butter and leave it out with the soda bread, so it’s handy to use as we enjoy the loaf.

Soda bread is best on the day it is baked, but if you wrap it up well, it will still be quite good for another day or so.

No buttermilk? Make your own for this recipe by measuring out 2 cups of regular milk and removing two Tablespoons of it. Replace with 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice.

I used Black Mission Figs, but any figs will work. (For Canadians, Black Mission Figs are easily available at Bulk Barn, so you can just buy what you need. You’ll only need a handful.)

Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Fig and Walnut Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: St. Patrick's Day recipes, sweet soda bread recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Energy: 256 kcal
Author: Jennifer

Classic soda bread, flavoured with figs and walnuts and served with a lovely and easy honey butter.



Soda Bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs diced (I used black mission figs)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine table salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Honey Butter:

  • 1/3 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp liquid honey


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 10-inch top diameter cast-iron frying pan or an 8 or 9-inch round baking pan. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, walnuts, figs, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well in centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk. Stir to form sticky, thick batter. Scrape in to prepared baking pan, pushing the dough into the edges of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle top with a bit of flour. Bake in pre-heated 400° oven until golden and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. **Note: Check bread after 20 minutes or so and if it is browned enough, simply put a piece of tin foil over the top to stop further browning while it finishes cooking.
  4. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges. Gently loosen from the edges and slide bread onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
  5. Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is baked. If you can't eat it up right away, you can wrap tightly and stretch it another day or so, or it does freeze well.
  6. For the Honey Butter: In a small bowl and using fork, mash softened butter with honey until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup.


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  • When you say dice the figs, exactly how small are we talking? 1/4? 1/8? Same for the walnuts—dice suggestions?

    • Hi Micah, the size of the dice isn’t super important here and is somewhat a matter of taste (do you want bigger chunks or smaller). That said, I usually for for about 1/2 inch ish.

  • I’m making this Wednesday for some friends. It looks delicious! I have a fig tree and froze a bag of them last September. I wondered if they would work instead of dried?

    • Hi Sylvie, I don’t have a ton of experience with gluten free flour, but my understanding that if using a “cup for cup” gluten free flour it will definitely “work”. My experience with gluten free breads is that the texture is usually more dense, but other than that, it should work fine.

  • This looks delicious! I would love to make it in a cast-iron pan, but the only one I have is 12 inches in diameter. Should I scale up the recipe, or do you think it would be fine in the larger pan? Thanks!

  • Hey Jennifer! I love soda bread and never thought to add figs and walnuts. Figs are one of my all time favorite things to eat, dried or fresh. In fact, while traveling in Ireland we carried a package of dried figs to snack on while site-seeing, because there are not many luncheonettes on those country roads! Honey butter is brilliant with soda bread. I don’t know why I haven’t made it more often – you’re right it’s so easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  • I will be making this bread, Jennifer, (as soon as we finish off Sue’s Muesli Toasting Bread! ?) I was just looking at the dried figs in the Bulk Barn the other day and wondered what I could make with them. Not sure if they were black mission ones? I wonder if that would make a difference. I’m not a connesieur on figs..But this sure looks yummy!

    • Hi Colleen :) If I recall, Bulk Barn had Black Mission Figs and Turkish Figs. I usually default to the Black Mission, but I suspect the Turkish would be just fine, too. For some reason, I’ve always imagined that the Turkish Figs might be a bit sweeter, but not completely sure about that. Do enjoy in any event. It’s one of my favourites and my husband absolutely inhales it every time I make it :)

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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