When I was in Fourth Grade, I made Boston Brown Bread for a 4-H competition, using a real butter mold and a pressure cooker. At the time I was sure this was a recipe from the pioneering days, but it was really yummy! 

Imagine my surprise when I searched for the recipe a few weeks ago, and found out it was from a 1953 Presto! cookbook.  Not as prehistoric as I thought, and you don’t really need a butter mold; any sort of container will do.  The original recipe called for a Pressure cooker, but I wanted to adapt it to cook in an Instant Pot.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, well Bless Your Heart. Go buy one. Seriously. It will change your life. Then you can make this recipe. I can tell you from experience that it will not bake well; it needs  the moisture from the pressure cooker or its as dry as a bone.

Boston Brown Bread in an Instant PotBoston Brown Bread is a hearty, heavy bread that is very filling. You can add a variety of fruits and nuts to change it up! My favorite is dates & pecans, but raisins & walnuts is awesome, so is chopped apples & raisins! It’s great for breakfast, or an energy snack, or even served as a complement to a savory main dish.  My favorite way to eat it is slathered with real butter and a glass of cold milk to wash it down.


This recipe made two loaves of Boston Brown Bread, using a seven inch bowl with a flat bottom.  so if you want a single loaf, decrease the ingredients by half.  However, this bread freezes really well, so a full batch may be a time-saver.

Also, a little shout out to Dude & Dot, who gave new life to the awesome vintage enamelware colander in the pic!

Boston Brown Bread in an Instant Pot

A hearty Boston Brown Bread made with sprouted wheat, dried fruits and nuts. This recipe from a 1953 Presto Pressure Cooker cookbook has been adapted to cook in an Instant Pot.
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 2 7 inch round loaves


  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1.5 Tbsp Butter Softened
  • 1 Large Egg Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Black Molasses
  • 2 Cups Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour Or Graham Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Baking Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Nuts Pecan, Walnut, Almonds, etc
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Fruits Dates, Raisins, Cranberries, etc


  1. Combine sugar,butter,egg and molasses in a bowl. Sift in flours, baking soda & baking powder. As you add dry ingredients,alternate with milk. Add nuts and dried fruit. Mix well. Turn in a buttered bowl or mold that will sit loosely in the Instant pot. Add 2 cups of water to the Instant pot & set bowl on rack in Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then let pressure dissipate naturally. Store in airtight container.

4 Replies to “Boston Brown Bread ~ Make it in an Instant Pot!”

  1. It appears that you have a recipe for one batch that makes two loaves, each to be cooked separately. Can you clarify? What volume are your pans with the flat bottoms and does the loaf crown the pan? Can you use a trivet to stack two pans?

    1. Hi, Mary.
      You are correct, this made two loaves. I used a one quart bowl, and the loaf will crown the pan, so I don’t think you can stack them. However, if you wanted to cook them both at once, you can use the tall 28 oz cans that you buy vegetables in at the grocer (like Bush Beans). If you buy brown bread at the grocery store, it comes in this size can. Hope that helps!

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