What is Raisin Bread?

Matthew F.

Raisin bread is a baked dough made with raisins, sugar, wheat and flour. It is a sweet bread often served as a dessert. Raisin bread is sometimes swirled with cinnamon in a variation called cinnamon raisin bread. The bread is often baked on holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, and is considered a family favorite by many.

Raisin molasses bread.
Raisin molasses bread.

Raisin bread is, like other breads, prepared by combining water and flour into a dough and baking it. Salt and yeast are also common, as in other breads. What makes a raisin bread, though, is the raisins. And the addition of other delights, like spices such as cinnamon, give raisin bread different flavors and character.

Golden raisins.
Golden raisins.

Raisins can be baked into any of a number of breads, from white to wheat or whole grain. Many raisin breads, though, are baked into a sweet loaf and topped with sugar, pecans, or a variety of toppings. One popular variety is made with swirls of cinnamon baked into the bread around the raisins. Like many french toast brands swirled with cinnamon, the cinnamon raisin bread has a pleasing spiral appearance when sliced. To compliment the brownish curves in the bread, a light or strong cinnamon taste enhances the sweetness of the bread and raisins.

Raisin bread is often flavored with cinnamon.
Raisin bread is often flavored with cinnamon.

Raisin breads, whether sweet or not, are a popular breakfast meal. The bread offers a filling sampling of carbohydrates, and fruit from the raisins. It is often sweet enough not to need jams or preservatives that may add sugar or calories. In the same vein, raisin breads make a popular family holiday treat because they are easy to make. Many families can claim individual recipes, and the loaf is easily cooked, sliced and prepared for meals. The cinnamon raisin bread is convenient for breakfast, lunch or dinner on these occasions.

Raisin bread has spawned several other desserts, from raisin bread pudding to raisin bread cake. It can be served toasted, or for the adventurous, as a part of a sandwich. Many restaurants offer raisin bread as a healthy choice for a sweet breakfast or a heavily topped and delicious choice for a lighter dessert.

Raisin breads are often topped with pecans.
Raisin breads are often topped with pecans.

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Discussion Comments


@cellmania: Here is the recipe for raisin bread that I use and it is also very simple. My husband is a diabetic so this is a no-sugar version. You will need:

½ cup quick-cooking oatmeal, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 cups bisquick, ¼ tsp. salt, 1 ¼ cup skim milk, ½ cup raisins, 1 medium egg (well beaten) and artificial sweetener (equivalent to 4/5 cup sugar). I use Splenda and it is delicious.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients first, then mix the rest of the ingredients and add it to your dry ingredient mixture. Blend well. Pour this into a 1 quart round casserole dish that has been greased. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before putting on a wire rack.


@cellmania: I have several different recipes for raisin but this one is, by far, the easiest. The ingredients that you will need are:

1 cup raisins, 1 cup boiling water, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 ½ cup flour, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp. salt, 1 egg (beaten), and 1 tsp. salad oil.

Mix together the raisins and baking soda in a bowl. Add the boiling water. Let that cool for 30 minutes. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in another bowl. Stir in the raising mixture, egg, and oil into the flour mixture. Mix well.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. I use a 9x5x3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for ten minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack.


Does anyone have an easy recipe for raisin bread? I'm not the greatest baker in the world so if there is a simple recipe, I need it! Thanks!

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