Instant Pot Irish Soda Bread

Bless the Irishman who introduced me to the wonders of Irish Soda Bread! Not really a bread, not quite a cake, Irish soda bread has a texture almost like a scone, studded with delicious raisins. While some soda breads can end up dry and crumbly, this recipe stays moist and delicious thanks to the wonders of the Instant Pot (get yours here:

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Whether you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, a brilliant side to a well-prepared corned beef, or just a different slice of heaven for tomorrow’s breakfast or brunch, you’ll love this simple bread that will have everyone coming back for “just one more slice”.

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread in which sodium bicarbonate is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. Soda bread has been an Irish household staple since baking soda became commercially available in the early 19th century. Some regions forego the sugar sprinkle in favor of a dusting of caraway seeds prior to baking. But any way you top it, soda bread is delicious!

Pro Tip: Soda bread is very dense and generally needs to “dry out” before being served. You may want to let the loaf cool completely after turning it out of the pan, but before slicing. If needed, it can be stored overnight wrapped in foil and sliced the next day. When combining the ingredients, add as little water as possible to the mixture while still incorporating all of the dry ingredients. As with all soda-leavened breads, overmixing can lead to a tough texture, so avoid kneading the dough.

You’ll love this simple bread that will have everyone coming back for “just one more slice.”


  • 12 oz raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. In a microwaveable bowl, combine raisins and water. Microwave for 3 minutes, then set aside for at least 5 minutes to allow raisins to absorb water.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla until uniform.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
  4. Pour butter mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Drain 1/4 cup water from raisins and set aside. Pour raisins and remaining water into dough and mix until a dough ball forms, adding additional water 1 tbsp at a time from the reserve as necessary.
  6. Coat the inside of a 7” cake pan with nonstick spray (we love this springform pan:
  7. Pat dough into the springform pan and cover loosely with foil–do not seal.
  8. Pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. Carefully lower the cake pan on to the steam rack.
  9. Secure the lid, making sure the vent is closed.
  10. Using the display panel select the MANUAL function*. Use the +/- keys and program the Instant Pot for 45 minutes.
  11. When the time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  12. Meanwhile, preheat oven on broil for 5 minutes.
  13. When cooking time is up, carefully remove the baking pan from the Instant Pot, discard the foil, and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the top.
  14. Set the pan in the preheated oven and immediately turn the oven OFF. Allow the pan to sit in the oven until pan is cool enough to handle, at least 30 minutes.
  15. Release the soda bread from the pan, slice and serve.

*The MANUAL and PRESSURE COOK buttons are interchangeable.