Timeless tastes from an Irish country kitchen.

This collection of home-baking recipes, handed down through Ciara McLaughlin’s family, brings cakes and bakes from Granny’s stove to your table. From hearty potato bread to comforting crumble, from the warmth of fresh-baked scones to the joy of a well-stocked biscuit tin, from sticky puddings to foraged-fruit jams, these recipes make a lot from a little and combine seasonal ingredients with classic flavors. 

Share in the secrets of traditional Irish baking and create your own memories with delicious recipes for every occasion, with McLaughlin's book "Bread and Butter – Cakes and Bakes from Granny’s Stove".

Potatoes are undoubtedly the flavor of Irish culture. They were a staple in Granny’s kitchen, as she had a plentiful supply from Granda’s rigs, but not a bit of spud was wasted, as any leftovers from dinner would be mashed up into earthy slabs of potato bread. Try it fried until crisp with tomato and bacon for a hearty Gaelic brunch.

Potato bread recipe



  • 225g potatoes 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 25g butter 
  • 55g self-raising flour 


If you are using leftover cooked potatoes, mash them up with salt and butter. For raw potatoes, wash, peel and boil until tender, then drain and mash in a large baking bowl. Using the potatoes while still warm will give your bread a lighter texture. 

Use a wooden spoon to work the flour into the mashed potato until it forms a soft dough. 

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a round, roughly 1cm thick. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross through the dough, dividing it into 4 equal wedges. 

Heat a griddle or flat, heavy-based frying pan on medium-high heat. 

Cook the wedges on the hot, dry griddle for 4–5 minutes on each side until they develop a toasty giraffe-skin print. They will be quite soft, so handle them carefully. 

Allow to cool slightly on a rack then eat while butter-meltingly warm. 

Alternatively, let the potato bread cool completely then enjoy fried or toasted.

Try an avant-garde spud fusion by using sweet potatoes instead. They are naturally sweet and chewy and will give your plate a bold burst of orange.

* Ciara McLaughlin is an award-winning designer, cake artist, and professional baker living at the foothills of the beautiful Antrim Glens with her parents, siblings, and border collie. It was here she grew up surrounded by traditional Irish baking and fell in love with those special moments spent in the kitchen. A baker by day and creative at heart, she is devoted to passing on an appreciation for homemade food and its place in Irish culture. From her countryside cottage, she runs her successful bespoke bakery, Swallow Barn, uniting her passions for art and food through hand-painted treats.

Check out her book "Bread and Butter Cakes and Bakes from Granny's Stove" here.

** Originally published in 2022, updated in Oct 2023.