Often overlooked as an ingredient, raisins are a cook’s secret weapon in these intensely sweet and tasty raisin desserts.
A classic pantry staple, dried grapes are a fantastic addition to any sweet treat.
They store well, they’re economical, and they add a quick hit of fruity flavor to your dessert dishes.
They’ll work beautifully in cakes and sprinkled on top of puddings. And I love their chewy texture in cookies, muffins, and scones.
You can even make them the star of the show with a juicy raisin pie!
Healthy cooks love raisins, as they’re an easy way of sweetening desserts without resorting to sugar or artificial syrups.
And with this list of 20 raisin desserts, you’ve plenty of inspiration for naturally sweet treats.
Sneak these into your kid’s lunch box, keep them around for when cravings strike. Nature’s candy is the best kind of candy!
1. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Thick, soft, and very tempting, these cookies are devilishly addictive.
They’re just the right amount of crunchy and chewy, with plenty of plump raisins and healthy oats.
And they’re perfect for beginner bakers!
No fancy ingredients, no special kitchen equipment – just blend up a batter and enjoy freshly baked goodies warm from the oven.
2. Applesauce Cake
All experienced bakers know that applesauce can be a cake-saver. Adding a spoonful to your batter keeps it beautifully moist as it bakes.
In this recipe, applesauce is stirred with fragrant fall spices and added to cake batter along with raisins and walnuts.
This teatime loaf is delicious as-is, but you can also take it up a notch with a thick glaze or a cream cheese frosting.
3. Apple Rum Raisin Bread Pudding
Comfort food doesn’t get much better than this hearty pudding.
It’s made with rum-soaked raisins for a boozy kick, so now’s the time to use up that bottle your neighbor brought over last Christmas.
There’s a lot going on in this amazing dish.
Gooey baked apples, soft brioche, and a gorgeous vanilla and cinnamon custard – this recipe ticks all the dessert boxes!
4. Rice Pudding
One of my all-time childhood favorites, rice pudding is a bowlful of sweet nostalgia.
Everyone has their own interpretation of this common dish, but give this recipe a try and maybe you’ll find a new favorite.
It’s made with white rice, eggs, vanilla, and sugar, all blended together in a thick and creamy casserole.
Sprinkle it with raisins, stirring them in as it cooks to ensure they soak up all the milky goodness.
5. Carrot Pudding
Carrot is a great choice if you’re looking to sneak some healthy ingredients into your kids’ treats.
They won’t know or care that there are vegetables in this festive pudding.
It’s a hearty carrot cake, baked in a bundt pan for that signature round shape, and coated in a vanilla glaze.
Flavored with seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, it’s a great choice for holiday baking.
Every cook should have a good scone recipe up their sleeve, and this easy recipe is a great place to start.
It may be a basic recipe, but these fluffy baked goods are anything but basic.
Loaded with raisins, they’re just the right amount of sweet and pair perfectly with a steaming mug of tea or cocoa.
If you’ve ever been to Germany around Christmas, you’ve probably seen stollen at one of their legendary holiday markets.
This is a soft loaf, flavored with candied zest, sliced almonds, rum-soaked raisins, and dried cranberries.
This recipe brings the German Christmas market to your own home, with an easy-to-follow template that includes mini-stollen, stollen loaf, and stollen bites.
8. Cinnamon Raisin Muffins
Perfect for breakfast, these chunky muffins are sweet without being sickly and packed with energy-boosting raisins.
Buttery, soft, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, these are a lunch box favorite and brunch must-have.
9. Lady Baltimore Cake
Lady Baltimore cake is a unique dessert with a unique name.
This dish originates from the southern states, with some foodie historians claiming it was first served in the early 20th century.
No one’s quite sure where the name came from, but this cake is certainly fancy enough to satisfy any visiting ladies (or lords).
A white layer cake with fluffy cream frosting and fruit and nut filling, it’s a Christmas favorite in my house.
Use brandy-soaked fruits to give it a kick!
10. Cinnamon-Raisin Rugelach
Rugelach is a traditional Jewish cookie, popular in Israel, Poland, and Jewish communities around the world.
But you don’t have to wait for the seder feast to enjoy these delightful baked goodies.
With a ribbon of flaky pastry wrapped around a raisin and walnut filling, they’re reminiscent of mini croissants.
The buttery dough hides a gorgeously soft and sweet center sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Serve them warm from the oven to really appreciate their sweet and spicy flavors.
11. Chocolate Covered Raisins
Switching to healthy eating isn’t easy, but sometimes, a recipe comes along to give you a helping hand.
This is one of those recipes. It’s a healthy alternative to classic candies, giving you a whole food option for when you just can’t live without sweet snacks.
And they’re super-easy to make. Melt chocolate with butter, dip in your raisins, and chill until set. It’s as easy as melt, dip, chill!
Buy good quality chocolate to up the health content with heavenly cocoa antioxidants.
A good rule of thumb is to go dark – the higher the cocoa content, the healthier the chocolate.
12. Raisin Pie
Real raisin fans will go nuts for this decadent pie.
It’s made just as you would a traditional apple pie – with shortcrust pastry and a soft fruit filling.
However, the apples are replaced with raisins and you’ll throw in some cinnamon and lemon zest to balance out the intense grape flavor.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or custard and you’ll have everyone licking their plates.
13. Carrot Cake Bars
There’s no oven needed for these super-easy no-bake bars.
They’re a healthy blend of oats, raisins, maple syrup, dates, nuts, and carrots.
Just toss everything into the food processor and shape the blended mixture into bars before chilling to set.
Naturally sweetened and gluten-free, it’s hard to believe these irresistible snacks are good for you.
You can also fancy them up with a thick cream cheese frosting to turn them from afternoon snack to dinner party favorite.
14. Apple Raisin Oat Bars
Full of energy-giving ingredients like oats and fruit, these breakfast bars are a healthy way to fuel your day.
They’re packed with nutritious ingredients including apples, raisins, and oats to keep you satisfied until dinner.
15. Old-Fashioned Raisin Cake
Sometimes, you just can’t beat recipes that have been passed down through generations.
This old-fashioned raisin cake is the perfect example.
Made with spices, nuts, raisins, and vanilla, it’s a teatime tradition.
Spread it with lots of butter and gobble it down while it’s warm. This luscious loaf won’t last long!
16. Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
A little like cookies, a little like biscuits, these scrumptious snacks are 100% yummy.
They’re chunky but flaky biscuits, loaded with raisins and flavored with a touch of cinnamon.
What makes these deliciously different is the buttermilk.
By blending buttermilk together with melted butter and adding it to flour, you’ll ensure the fat spreads evenly throughout the crumb as it bakes, making a mouthwatering, flaky, and tender biscuit.
When they’re fresh from the oven, plumped up and golden brown, you’ll quickly whisk together a thick vanilla sauce for the perfect finishing touch.
17. Apple Raisin Crisp
There’s nothing like a warm crisp on cold nights.
This supper-time classic is a true winter warmer, with baked fruits, juicy raisins, and a buttery, brown sugar crumb.
Serve it with custard or ice cream, and you’ll be in pudding heaven!
18. Raisin Bran Crunch Cookies
Tasty and full of nourishing fiber, these wholesome cookies are a healthy alternative to sickly sweet candy.
Soft yet chewy, they’re pretty much breakfast in cookie form. And you’ll only need four ingredients to get them on the table today.
If you have kids that won’t sit still long enough for a bowl of cereal, feed them grab n’ go biscuits in the mornings because no child can say no to cookies!
19. Raisin Puffs
Super-soft and super-tasty, these puffs will take the edge off your cravings and satisfy sweet-toothed snackers.
They’re like raisin-studded clouds, with a deep fruity flavor obtained by simmering your raisins beforehand.
These pillowy puffs are ideal when you want a quick bite that won’t weigh you down.
20. Apricot Raisin Cake
This apricot raisin cake comes straight from Newfoundland, where it’s usually served at Christmas as a festive snack.
Chunks of juicy apricot and plump raisins are nestled in a soft, buttery cake.
Pro tip – boil the fruit before baking. This helps the dried fruits plump up so they stay moist and the final cake is beautifully airy with a melt-in-the-mouth crumb.
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