Cabot cheddar soda bread: a heartfelt salute to our dairy farmers

Cheese bread.

Oxymoron, –noun: contradictory terms used in conjunction, e.g., deafening silence; genuine imitation.

If there’s an opposite of oxymoron, that’s what the words “cheese bread” would be.

Because there are no two words in the bake-o-sphere that fit together quite so nicely as “cheese,” and “bread.”

Lives there a cheese-y bread we don’t all lust after? Think Gruyere-Stuffed Crusty Loaves. Three-Cheese Semolina Bread. Savory Cheese Bread.

And now, the easiest, cheesiest of them all:

Cabot Cheddar Soda Bread.

This simple baking soda bread stirs together in a flash. Simply dollop the batter into a pan, bake for about 45 minutes, and there you have it–

Moist, tender, golden cheese bread, perfect for breakfast OR lunch OR dinner.

Enough with the words. Let’s make this bread.

This is one of my favorite cheddars: Cabot’s “racer’s edge” sharp. I love their “seriously sharp,” too. If you’re looking for a well-made Vermont cheddar, you just can’t go wrong with Cabot.

Ditto Cabot butter – a real quality product. Plus, I love that it’s produced by a farmers’ cooperative here in Vermont. It’s nice to know exactly where your food comes from, and who made it…

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Whisk the following in a mixing bowl:

2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pats.

Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly.

Add 8 ounces sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, grated; about 2 cups, lightly packed. Toss to combine.

Next, measure out 1 1/4 cups buttermilk.

If you don’t have buttermilk (I didn’t); but you DO have plain yogurt, whisk together 3/4 cup plain yogurt and 1/2 cup milk.

Can you use low-fat yogurt and milk? Sure; the bread will be a bit tougher and drier.

Can you use nonfat? Sure; your bread will be even drier and tougher.

Let your diet be your guide.

Add 1 large egg to the buttermilk (or yogurt mixture), whisking to combine.

Lightly grease an 8” square or 9” round pan. This happens to be an 8 1/2” square pan – perfect!

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients…

…stirring just until everything is moistened.

Use a spatula or bowl scraper to scrape the sticky dough…

…into the prepared pan.

Using your wet fingers, gently pat the dough to the edges of the pan.

Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes.

Aa cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, and its internal temperature at the center will be close to 200°F.

Remove the bread from the oven.

Loosen its edges with a table knife.

Wait 5 minutes, then gently turn it out onto a rack to cool. It’s tempting, but wait about 20 minutes before cutting the bread, if you can; it’s a bit crumbly when hot.

So, I couldn’t wait. I snuck a piece right from the pan.

Here it is, on its rack, cool, and nicely sliceable.

Cabot’s original loaf was a free-form round. To make a round loaf, make a stiffer dough by reducing the buttermilk to 1 cup (or use 3/4 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup milk).

Shape the dough into a round, and place it on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

The bread’s internal temperature should be about 200°F. 198°F? Close enough.

Cool completely before slicing and enjoying.

Read, rate, and review (please) this recipe for Cabot Cheddar Soda Bread, which comes to us courtesy of our friends at Cabot Creamery, a 1,200+ farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate New York.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. tarragonmh

    That sure looks quick and easy! Not to mention yummy. But, on the round loaf you forgot to cut a slash in the top so the fairies can get out. 🙂

    Ah, sure and begorrah, I did forget that -and me a good Irish lass! 🙂 PJH

  2. ebenezer94

    Looks delicious. Any suggestions for using part whole wheat flour? Would you use whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour?

    I’d use white whole wheat. Try subbing for half the AP flour – see how you like it. It’ll be a bit more dense, but I think it’ll be tasty. PJH

  3. marcin

    I made a very similar bread this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve been thinking I invented something new, but the the KAF test kitchen is already there. In mine, I stirred in a cup of grated zucchini and a very loosely packed cup of chopped green pepper. I served it hot with homemade corn chowder. I cooked a lot of things over the holidays, but the cheddar cheese bread is still starting conversations. It was really a hit. I used a Grafton (also Vermont) aged-three-years cheddar. The bread was so moist. I was nervous about it because there was so much moisture in the peppers and the zucchini. But I said a little prayer first, and then it slid out of the pan and stayed together long enough to cut it. Scary but fun! And the aroma!

    This sounds delicious – I love a super-moist, crumbly bread to serve with hot soup. Just feels like the perfect pairing. Thanks for sharing your ideas here – PJH

  4. Alex

    Nice work on highlighting a local product. I live in Oregon and I have the same love for all the Tillamook dairy products.

    I’ve often wanted to taste the Tillamook dairy products, Alex – been reading about them for years. Someday… PJH

  5. martibeth

    Wish I could get Cabot unsalted butter closer to me – I have to drive 45 miles to find it (Whole Foods, Charlottesville). Their sour cream is the best too. And no debate on the question of their cheddar – amazing. When I can find it, I get the habanera, or the Hunter’s sharp (I think that’s what it’s called). By the way, PJ, how would this work with your Irish wholemeal flour?

    Marti, I think it would be OK – not as high-rising, for sure, so kind of a different beast, but probably pretty tasty… PJH

  6. bsteimle

    Can this be made in a loaf pan? This looks absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait to try it.

    Haven’t tried it, but I’m thinking a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan would work fine. You’d need to bake longer – start testing at about 40 minutes. Enjoy! PJH

  7. "Gayle S."

    I have some Cabot reduced fat cheddar – I think the 50% – would that be OK? Maybe not quite as tender, but do you think it would ruin it? I also like the idea of half white whole wheat flour. This looks so delish!
    The 50% reduced fat would be just fine. Enjoy! ~Amy

  8. fran16250

    This looks great! I’m intrigued by the description of crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. I wish I could achieve that combination in a traditional (read: Americanized) soda bread. I do have some leftover buttermilk that I’ve been looking for a way to use up. I think I’ll give this a try. Thanks for another great recipe KAF!

  9. SoupAddict

    You had me at Cabot. Oddly, it’s much easier to find Tillamook cheeses (also delicious) here in Cincinnati, even though we’re closer to Vermont. Cabot is rare, but I’ve found a store where they keep a good stash. I think I’ll make this loaf in a cast iron pan. I’ll feel more authentic that way. Not the bread – me. (Don’t ask. I’m compelled to bake Irish soda bread in a cast iron pan. Makes no sense. I probably need help.)

  10. Brenda.Brooklyn

    Soda bread comes out GREAT in a cast-iron pan, esp. if you cover it for the first part of baking and uncover at the end to brown the crust (and preheat the pan). Makes you feel you’re cooking over a turf fire in a cottage and all that malarkey.

    I’d love to be in a cottage in Ireland right about now, with about 12″ of snow having fallen and more-more-MORE on the way! 🙂 PJH

  11. wingboy

    About the substitutions – if you use non-fat yogurt and non-fat milk (what we usually have on hand), and then add more fat, say additional butter, would the bread come out moister and tender?

    PJ – If you want to sample the Tillamook products, we’re about 2 hours from Tillamook and our guest room is available . . .

    HA – I’ve never been to Oregon, but you’ve given me yet another reason to go… Sure, it’s all about the fat level and how it impacts tenderness, so reducing fat in one area and adding in another should be fine. PJH

  12. Cyn

    Oh, yet another reason to bake on a cold damp Midwestern afternoon! Would this recipe work with buttermilk powder, using the suggested portions of powder to lukewarm water for 1 1/4 cups? Thanks in advance.

    Yes, Cyn, though I haven’t tried it, I don’t see why not. Enjoy – PJH

  13. vincent


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Best regards,


    Vincent, Thanks for stopping by to take a look. I’m sorry, we do not provide outside links on our site. Wishing you well and Happy Baking! Frank @ KAF.

  14. chinchillalover

    This looks great!My brother would love this,by the way would this work out well gluten free?He cannot have gluten.

    Rather than try to convert this recipe to be gluten-free, I’d suggest using our Gluten-Free Cornbread recipe, and adding grated cheese to it. Good luck- PJH

    1. Cheri

      I kinda of put the two recipes together, and it was delicious! I used 3 C gluten-free flour (the KAF brown rice blend recipe; I don’t know what would happen if you used a different one), 1/4 C buttermilk powder, 1 T. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. xanthan gum, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 5 T. butter, 2 C grated cheddar, 1 1/2 C water, 1 T. vinegar, 3 eggs, and a handful of chopped onion. I threw all the dry ingredients in my food processor and processed until well mixed, then dumped them into a bowl, poured the liquid ingredients in and stirred until smooth. Added the onions (probably about a half cup) and let it sit in the bowl for 10 minutes while I pre-heated a greased cast iron skillet in the pre-heating oven. I baked the bread in the hot skillet, and it was delicious. Took a fair bit longer than either recipe called for, but maybe that was because it was in the skillet? Either way, it was soft and tasty, and toast up very nicely the next day too.

  15. nthompson

    I love you King Arthur Bakers!!! I actually started drooling while reading this blog … I know what I’m making with my ham and cabbage and potatoes this year …

    You’re right, this would go SO well with a classic corned beef (or ham) and cabbage dinner…. Enjoy! PJH

  16. martibeth

    Coincidentally, last night, my husband asked me to make just plain ol’ cornbread last night, but with the addition of cut-up jalapenos. I have to tell you, the taste was incredibly delicious. But what I was thinking was: GREEN jalapenos in this recipe for St. Paddy’s Day. It’s just a thought. Seriously, though, I could not get over how the addition of jalapenos added to the taste of plain cornbread.

    Or green bell peppers or scallion tops, if you want a brighter green – along with the yummy jalapenos, of course… PJH

    1. Barbara

      I add one large can of diced ort chili’s and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese to regular cornbread, my husband loves it. Great with chilli, soups, stews.

  17. I couldn't wait, either...

    Just made this and I couldn’t wait for it to cool down before cutting a corner piece, either…. 🙂

    It was as good as I thought it would be! The Cabot extra sharp white cheddar is excellent as well. I’m lucky that both our Walmart and our Schnucks store carries it.

    Really a good recipe, isn’t it? Thanks to Cabot… PJH

  18. myshadow

    Couldn’t wait to make this and was not disappointed in the results! Asked my husband if it was worth making again and he said, “definitley”. Halved the recipe for first try.

    Glad this was a “family favorite” – enjoy! PJH

  19. Wendy

    Wow, what a post. Thank you so much for the lovely shout out and support. The farm families who own Cabot and all of us who proudly work for them really and truly appreciate the love!

    Mwah! (off now to bake the soda bread. One of my favs)

    Wendy, you guys rock. I love this recipe because it’s SO moist and cheese-y, and you can tweak it with different additions, as some of the readers here have mentioned. Oh, BTW, I miss your “Vegas to Vermont” exercise program – enjoyed the heck out of it last spring… 🙂 PJH

  20. Candace Karu

    Oh my goodness…So quick. So easy. It’s cheesetastic! Thanks so much for this simple, delicious recipe. Can’t wait to share it with our Cabot Facebook friends.

    Thanks, Candace- I got the original recipe from Cabot’s Web site in the first place, so they’ll be happy to see it getting so many positive comments. Cheers- PJH

  21. murphymom

    I live in Ohio but travel to New England every fall. Cabot cheese is available in several types at Sam’s Club. I keep up my Sam’s membership just so I can buy my Cabot. Also, Walmart sells limited types of Cabot.

  22. dlhutch

    Made this bread Saturday. It is very nice. Sorry to say I don’t find Cabot products here in Florida where I live, but used a pkg of colby and monterey jack blend and it tasted fine anyway. This recipe is so easy and turns out so good, I almost felt guilty taking credit for baking it.

    I’m sure it will be even better using only good cheddar.

  23. davefs

    Can’t wait to try this.Cabot is awesome.I just smoked 32 pounds of Seriously Sharp last week in my Bradley smoker.I’m thinking smoked cheese,jalapenos,green onions,maybe a bit of red pepper for color.Thanks for another wonderful post!

    WOW – 32 pounds of smoked Cabot?! That sounds SO tempting… I have a smoker but never thought of doing cheese… Thanks for the light bulb moment, Dave! PJH

  24. April in CT

    Definitely making this to go with leftover chili later this week. I just bought the same cheddar at the grocery last night so it’s meant to be! We visited the Cabot factory last year (and the KAF store later the same day) and it was a wonderful experience. We’re moving to CA in a few months and not so sure I’ll be able to find Cabot there so I need to get my fill in!
    LOVE going to the Cabot factory. Their samples table is sooo much fun, you could eat a whole meal there. Nice folks too. Have a safe re-location. Remember, KAF and Cabot both ship! ~ MaryJane

  25. aconnecticutcub

    in reading this recipe, I have a question. All of the buttermilk I find here in Ct is either low fat or non fat. How would using yogurt make it drier. I don’t see a significant decrease in fat content between the buttermilk we have available and yogurt?

    It is not the fat content. It is the amount of free water. Yogurt has less free water. That is why you’ll want to use a blend. Frank @ KAF.

  26. ponygirl

    WOW! I saw this recipe the day it came out on the blog but resisted trying it because I find cheese breads a real disappointment (except the Gruyere-Stuffed Crusty Loaves recipe you have on the website :-). They never seem to taste like cheese! Well, I WAS WRONG. This is the best cheese bread I have ever eaten! Of course it has my two favorite ingredients: KA Flour and Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar (I always buy the 2# blocks). I made the free form loaf and it was beautiful too. I’ll never doubt you again! Thanks so much for your blog and your wonderful company!

    You’re right, this bread definitely is super-cheesy, and leaves many others tasting flat. Glad you enjoyed it – and you have a new favorite for your recipe box! PJH

  27. Mattpate

    Just made this. Smells awesome!! Just wondering if you have ever tried using whole milk in conjunction with buttermilk powder. I used Saco buttermilk powder and water, but the comments about fat content and dryness intrigued me. Also wondering, in a recipe that calls for 40-45 minutes baking time, when would you start checking for doneness? Mine looks done, tester comes out clean, but temp on my thermo is only at 170. Don’t have a thermapen, gave one to my parents for a gift and they fought over it (only half jestingly) during the night on Christmas. Guess I will have to get my own after I give my parents a second one to keep them happy 🙂 Thanks for the awesome products and shipping and customer service by the way!
    I would use either real buttermilk or the buttermilk powder with water. I would not mix the two. Do you have an oven thermometer? It could be that your oven is hotter than the dial says. If your cooking thermometer is calibrated, the internal temperature of the bread should read 200 degrees when it is done. The pan you’re using can also play a role (both style–ceramic vs. glass vs. metal and size). If you have any other questions, please give us a call on the Baker’s Hotline! And we’re so glad to hear that your enjoy our products. Happy Baking in the New Year! ~Mel

  28. curls

    I have been waiting months to make this bread (just moved), and I made it this evening to go with Chili. I was not disappointed!! The only problem I ran into was having to run to the store for more cheese (apparently not everyone heard me say, “this cheese is for a bread recipe”), then going to the store again for baking powder (What?????, must have been thrown out in the move). Boy was this worth everything I went through! The finished bread is sooooo beautiful, I almost didn’t want to slice in to it……. got over that pretty quickly though. The recipe is very easy and the result it great. My family is definitely putting this on the favorites list.

    Well, glad you persevered and were able to enjoy this bread despite all the obstacles that cropped up! It’s really good, isn’t it? Nice you have something new for your family favorites list. And good luck in your new home! PJH

  29. Novi

    I am wondering if I could use bread flour for this recipe? I ran out All purpose Flour.. If I can, is there any adjustment to the recipe? Thank you very much.For this recipe I would stay away from the bread flour, however if that is all you have, you can go ahead and use it. Remember, bread flour has higher protein (gluten) levels, with will make the bread a little tougher and chewier. No adjustments need to be made. Betsy@KAF

  30. "Jane Dough"

    My family really liked this bread. I’ve made a few times now and I happened to have some around at the same time I was looking for the perfect way to serve your Bacon Jam for a cocktail party. I decided to try slicing the bread thin, then toast it and spread on some jam. The toasted cheese with the bacon jam is just as you might imagine . . . PERFECT!!!

  31. sunnyside

    Do you think this would work as muffins? If so, how long to bake for mini-muffins?
    This should be just fine. Mini muffins will probably take 13-15 minutes. Keep a good eye on the first batch and note the timing down for the future. ~ MaryJane

  32. AZ Lin

    Can this recipe work with gluten-free flour such as either the KAF gluten-free product or the amazing gluten-free flour developed by the famous chef, Thomas Keller?

    It is certainly possible, though I do not believe we have tried it ourselves. I know PJ suggested that you can also use our gluten free cornbread recipe with the added cheese for a similar product!-Jon

    1. Cheri

      I did it the other night – basically used the corn bread recipe but used all gluten-free flour instead of half corn meal, added the cheese and then added a handful of chopped onion. It came out very nicely!

  33. Ann

    This bread is a family favorite. We like to make it in a 9×13 Le Crueset so it is a little less high. In this pan, it bakes in 25 minutes, perfect for a weeknight.

  34. "Jennifer Burch"

    This is my first time posting a comment/question. Although I am an experienced baker, I’m still a relative newcomer to the gluten-free world. I would like to make this recipe for some gluten free friends and am wondering if I should do something other than just try to make it with whatever gluten free flour blend I happen to have on hand. I don’t want to end up with an inedible mess of wasted ingredients. Should I add some xanthan or guar gum?
    Any comments would be appreciated.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Jennifer- Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend trying to convert this recipe to gluten-free. I think that you not only will have a flat, dense bread, but also that it may come out quite gritty and dry. We don’t have an equivalent recipe for gluten-free flour, but you could try using another of our gluten-free biscuit recipes with cheese as an add in which I think would be a bit more like this recipe than any gluten-free bread recipe we have: Also, I would guess an internet search may yield some good results as well. Happy gluten-free baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    2. Cheri

      I did it the other night – basically used the KAF GF corn bread recipe but used all gluten-free flour instead of half corn meal, added the cheese and then added a handful of chopped onion. Baked it in a pre-heated cast iron skillet – It came out very nicely! I used the brown rice all-purpose flour recipe from KAF for the GF flour, I don’t know what would happen if you used a different one.

  35. "Jennifer Burch"

    Thanks Jocelyn, for the heads up on not necessarily trying to convert this recipe and the link to the biscuits, and thanks also to Cheri for the suggestion of moving into cornbread instead.
    Appreciate it. I’ll try both and let you know how it goes at some point. 🙂


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