Raisins seem to be quite a polarizing type of dried fruit – you either love them or hate them. However, we feel part of that polarization is down to the fact that raisins always seem to be incorporated in the same few recipes.
Even if you’re not usually the biggest fan of raisins, we think you should check out these 23 amazing raisin desserts.
Some of these are well-known classics, while others are more unusual. What they all have in common, though, is they’re delicious and will change the way you think about raisins from now on!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 23 most irresistible raisin desserts ever!
Chocolate covered raisins are one of the easiest recipes to make using raisins.
Simply coating your raisins in chocolate is a simple way to turn an otherwise pretty boring snack into a delicious dessert.
You can enjoy these raisins by themselves as a snack while watching your favorite movie, or you can incorporate them into other desserts.
They work beautifully as an ice cream topping, for example, or sprinkled on top of rice pudding (see no. 4).
Oatmeal raisin cookies are a very popular way to turn raisins into a dessert. This is a healthy recipe that will still satisfy your sweet tooth.
It’s not just the sweetness of the raisins that give these cookies their flavor. You’ll also be adding cinnamon and vanilla extract to the cookie dough to give them a sweet and spicy aftertaste.
Apple strudel is a classic German recipe, and we’ve actually got a few German desserts to recommend in this article. This strudel is definitely one of our favorite ways to incorporate raisins into baking, though.
All you need to make the flaky pastry for the strudel is a large egg, flour, canola oil, and some warm water. Then, the filling comprises breadcrumbs, raisins, apples, cinnamon, sugar, sour cream, and butter.
4. Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is the perfect warming and easy-to-make dessert for cold winter evenings. It takes very little effort and very few ingredients to prepare, but it’s delicious.
You just need white rice, water, cinnamon, raisins, granulated sugar, an egg, salt, butter, vanilla extract, and a couple of cups of milk.
Within 25 minutes, you’ll have one of the tastiest and most comforting desserts you’ve ever tried.
A British classic, scones will never fail to satisfy when it’s time for dessert or a mid-afternoon snack. This recipe recommends adding a variety of berries to your scone batter in addition to the raisins.
Because the flavor of raisins works well with berries and other dried fruits, you can get creative with the ingredients you add. It’s also recommended to add spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
Golden apple bundles might also be referred to as apple turnovers depending on where you are.
No matter what you call these delicious pastries, though, they’re undoubtedly one of the best desserts to make using raisins.
The key to making these golden apple bundles irresistible is to use brown sugar to complement the flavor of the apples and raisins and add some cinnamon and lemon zest along with the walnuts.
If you’ve never tried Lady Baltimore cake before, this is your sign to get going with this bake immediately!
This cake tastes like Fall and Christmas mixed into one thanks to the combination of the brandy, figs, orange zest, raisins, and pecans.
Make sure to use heavy whipping cream for the frosting if you want it to come out as thick and indulgent as possible.
It’s also important to soften the butter before adding it to the cake batter if you want to achieve that ideal moist consistency.
As exemplified by the use of both raisins and pecans in the Lady Baltimore cake recipe above, this nut and dried fruit combination is delightful. That’s why we also recommend making this recipe for raisin pecan pie.
Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving staple (although it can obviously be enjoyed year-round), so why not switch up your usual Thanksgiving menu this year by making this raisin-filled version?
Apple raisin crisp is the perfect Fall dessert, and it’s not difficult to make. For the filling, you simply need golden raisins, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar.
Then, for the crumb topping, you’ll just need to combine brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and some butter.
The finished apple raisin crisp can be enjoyed without any extra toppings, but it’s extra-delicious when served with cream or ice cream.
10. Carrot Cake Bars
Ever wished you could enjoy the delicious flavor of carrot cake without going to the effort of baking an entire cake? With this recipe for no-bake carrot cake bars, you can do exactly that!
These carrot cake bars are packed with nutritious and tasty ingredients, including raisins, carrot, dates, almonds, and pineapple chunks.
The frosting is easy to make with just 3 ingredients: cream cheese, liquid stevia, and vanilla extract.
Instead of baking the bars, just store them in the refrigerator!
11. Ginger Puffs
Ginger puffs are some of our all-time favorite cookies that use raisins. They’re especially good to make around Christmas time due to the sweet and spicy flavor.
What makes these cookies stand out from the rest is how soft and fluffy they are. That, and the fact that they take just 15 minutes to prepare and even less time (10 minutes) to bake.
Having guests at the last minute? These are the perfect treats to pass around.
Another seasonal recipe that will help you to use up your raisins is this apricot raisin cake.
It does take around an hour and a half to make because you need to prepare the fruit and the batter separately, but it’s worth the effort for the taste experience!
Simply simmer the apricots and raisins in water for roughly half an hour and then prepare the cake batter. Once the batter is ready, you can fold everything together and bake.
We’ve recommended two raisin cookie recipes already today, but we’re not done yet! That’s the beauty of raisins – they’re so versatile. Another cookie recipe you can make using raisins is this Sicilian recipe: cuccidati.
Cuccidati are soft cookies filled with a mixture of dried fruit and nuts, including raisins, dates, walnuts, figs and oranges. You can also add a delicious glaze of milk and confectioners sugar for a special touch.
Bread pudding might be a simple recipe, but you should never underestimate the classics. This rum and raisin version of bread pudding might be the best we’ve ever had, so you should try it for yourself!
For the best results, both we and the author of this recipe recommend using a Granny Smith apple because of its sweet but tart flavor. You can use either brioche or challah cubes, but we personally prefer to use brioche.
15. Applesauce Cake
Applesauce cake might be the perfect festive bake, but we love it so much that we make it throughout the year.
This applesauce cake recipe is one of our favorites because it’s simple and doesn’t call for any fancy ingredients, but it has all the flavors you need to achieve the warming, spicy taste associated with this kind of cake.
Raisins aren’t a very common ingredient in muffin recipes, but you can’t go wrong with these cinnamon raisin muffins. They’re perfect for Fall, but there’s no limit to when you can make these delicious treats.
The recipe also suggests sprinkling chocolate chips into these muffins, which we think is a great idea! Dark chocolate chips work especially well with the raisin and cinnamon combination.
When pumpkin spice season rolls around in the Fall, why not take the opportunity to try making this pumpkin spice bread? It’s packed with pumpkin, pecan nuts, spices and, of course, raisins.
You’ll be using butter flavoring as well as buttermilk and vanilla essence to give the pumpkin bread that extra buttery taste and texture.
Stollen, like strudel, is another classic German dessert recipe. Like several of the recipes on this list, it’s a festive recipe.
To make your own stollen, also known as ‘German Christmas bread’, you’ll need flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, milk, vanilla extract, almonds, butter, and yeast.
You’ll also need raisins, rum, sugar, water, orange and lemon zest. The topping is just powdered sugar and melted butter.
19. Raisin Pie
If you love the flavor of raisins without much interference from other ingredients, you’ll love this recipe for raisin pie.
All you need for the pie filling are raisins, lemon juice, water, cinnamon, lemon zest, cornstarch, and brown sugar.
The rest of the recipe just involves making a standard pie crust or purchasing a pre-made pie crust from the store depending on how much effort you feel like putting in.
A delicious alternative to the above raisin pie recipe is this recipe for walnut raisin galette. This recipe takes about an hour to make in total, with equal time dedicated to preparation and baking.
You’ll just need to purchase from phyllo pastry dough (unless you feel like making it from scratch) and after that all you have to do is make the filling.
You’ll be using raisins, walnuts, spreadable apricot, cinnamon, butter, whipped cream, shredded coconut, lemon, and cinnamon.
These slow-cooked stuffed apples are so easy to make and they’re the ideal dessert for Fall, especially served with ice cream or cream.
Since this is a slow-cooker recipe, you’ll need to allow 3 hours for the apples to be ready, but most of that is waiting time. You’ll only need about 20 minutes for preparation.
The recipe recommends an extra topping of caramel ice cream and granola, which we can confirm is incredible.
This cinnamon roll pudding recipe is quite similar to bread pudding, but with an added spicy twist that makes it unique and extra-delicious.
Prep time for this pudding is only about 15 minutes, but it does take about 2.75 hours to cook, so this isn’t a recipe you want to make in a hurry.
All the same, it’s worth the wait, and you only need standard baking ingredients plus cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and cinnamon roll cubes.
If you’re a fan of the classic French creme brulee, we highly recommend testing out this rum and raisin variation.
Prepping and cooking the creme brulee takes under an hour, but remember to leave enough time (about 4 hours) to refrigerate the desserts before caramelizing and serving. This will ensure that they set to the proper consistency.
This list of raisin desserts proves that you don’t have to stick to the same oatmeal cookie or bread pudding recipes to use up the raisins in your pantry – although you should try the recipes for both of these desserts as well as the others on our list.
For the best results, make sure to soak your raisins beforehand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Flavors such as cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, rum, and brandy all go beautifully with raisins, whether they’re black raisins or golden raisins.
Golden raisins are easily the winner when it comes to choosing the best raisins for baking. They’re juicier and sweeter, and can be made even more so if you soak them in vinegar prior to baking with them.
Raisins might be a healthier source of sugar compared to others, but they still contain enough sugar to spike insulin.
This means that people with diabetes should consume raisins in moderation. With that being said, diabetics can still enjoy small and occasional portions of these raisin desserts as long as a doctor has confirmed that it is safe to do so.