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What is Raisin Syrup?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Raisin syrup is a sweet, rich syrup made from raisins. A related version can be made with dates and other dried fruits if a slightly different flavor is desired. There are a number of uses for raisin syrup, ranging from traditional desserts to an alternative sweetener for baked goods. Some markets and health food stores stock the syrup, and it is also possible to make it at home; by making it at home, cooks can add regional variants such as cardamom and lemon juice.

The process for making raisin syrup is relatively simple. A 1:2 ratio of raisins and liquids is created, and the raisins are allowed to soak overnight. Water is a classic choice of liquid, although the syrup can also be made with alcohols to create drunken raisin syrup. As the raisins soak, they plump up, absorbing the water. The plumped raisins are run through a food processor to create an even liquid which takes the form of a dense syrup.

Raisins are soaked and pureed to make syrup.
Raisins are soaked and pureed to make syrup.

It might seem odd to rehydrate raisins to make raisin syrup, as raisins are simply dried grapes. However, pureed grapes will not turn into syrup. This is because raisins undergo chemical changes as they dry. The drying process intensifies their natural sugars, making them much sweeter than fresh grapes. The flavor profile of raisins is also different from that of grapes, as anyone who has done a side by side taste comparison probably knows.

In the Middle East, raisin syrup is often drizzled over desserts. It may be spiced with cardamom or lent a distinctive flavor with orange or lemon extracts. The Greeks enjoy the addition of alcohols such as ouzo to their syrup, giving it an extra kick. Typically, the syrup is drizzled onto the dessert when it is served. The syrup can also be served with ice cream, cakes, and pies; it goes especially well with spice cake, which is naturally more savory.

It is also possible to use raisin syrup as a replacement for sugar, although some caution is required. The extra liquid can change the way a baked good behaves in the oven, and the syrup is also sweeter than sugar, so cooks cannot use a one to one replacement. A major advantage of raisin syrup is that it can be made with minimally refined raisins and it does not have to be cooked, making it popular with people who like raw, minimally processed foods.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

Discussion Comments


Isn't this recipe really raisin purée or paste? I think so. This won't make a liquid. I just did it, intending to make purée, and that's what I got, not a syrup or liquid, so I think I really need syrup. I just found this researching raisin syrup and thought I'd mention this is a purée or paste.


Wow! It's hard to imagine anything being sweeter than sugar. It sounds like raisin syrup must be pretty intense.

I can see how it would taste good over spice cake. Raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg would all go good together, and syrup makes a cake so moist that it falls apart.

I bet I would have to eat it in small portions, though. I can't handle a lot of sugar at once. I would probably just sweeten one side of the cake and go from there.


@manykitties2 - If you are looking for a good recipe that uses raisin syrup and don't want to do something boring like a simple raisin tart, I would suggest trying to make one of the desserts that are popular in the Middle East.

What I like to do is make some Lokma (Fried Sweet Dough) and instead of making a lemon syrup I use the raisin syrup to add the kind of sweetness I like. The dessert is from Turkey. There are plenty of other recipes online if you are looking for more examples but Lokma is a tasty place to start.


Can anyone recommend some good desserts to try that include a bit of raisin syrup?

I have a love of apricot syrup and apple syrup but haven't actually tried the raisin out yet. I figure since I love food like raisin bread pudding that I might give some different raisin based dishes a try. My friend assured me that raisin syrup is delicious and that I would love the unique taste.

I am OK in the kitchen so I shouldn't have any trouble putting together some simpler recipes. I haven't burned anything in awhile so things are looking up!


Would raisin syrup taste good over something like raisin bread pudding?

I have a recipe for this that tastes pretty good, but can also be a little bit dry. Pouring a little bit of raisin syrup over this sounds like it would be a perfect complement for it.

Would someone who does not like the taste of raisins enjoy raisin syrup? My son won't eat raisins, but I think it is more because of the texture than the taste.

If the raisins were made into a syrup and drizzled over foods, it might be something he would enjoy. It also sounds like it would be a good way to add some sweetness without using sugar.


I am the only one in my family who likes the taste of raisins, so having something like raisin syrup or anything with raisins in it is a treat.

My sister and I both grew up eating raisins as snacks, and she loves them as much as I do. When we get together, we enjoy eating foods that have raisins in them.

One of our favorites is french toast with raisin syrup. You would have to love the taste of raisins to enjoy this recipe.

We make the french toast with raisin bread. The syrup consists of a combination of maple syrup, honey and raisins.

This is not the traditional way to make raisin syrup, but is a quick and easy way to enjoy whole raisins in a warm syrup.


I live in a small town, so finding raisin syrup in the store is impossible where I live. You might be able to find it in some specialty or health food stores, but it is easy to make yourself at home.

When I make raisin syrup I like to replace the water with unsweetened fruit juice. I have used both apple juice and pineapple juice. You don't need to use as much of the fruit juice as you would if you were using water.

You can make the syrup as thick or thin as you would like. Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon also adds jut the right amount of sweetness.

I store any leftover syrup in the refrigerator. This tastes wonderful added to my oatmeal in the morning or even drizzled over a bowl of cold cereal.


@chivebasil - I have never tried using raisin syrup as a sugar substitute in baked goods. I am quite familiar with using honey in place of sugar, and imagine the results may be similar.

It would be an interesting thing to try, and there would probably be some trial and error involved.

When I began replacing sugar with honey, it took awhile before I had consistent results. Usually if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, I would use 3/4 cup of honey.

The texture is not always the same, but the taste is good and so much better for you.

One thing I have done is chop up some raisins in the food processor and use them as a sweetener when making cookies. They give the cookies a slightly sweet taste. You can also combine them with a little bit of coconut for extra sweetness and good texture.


This article mentions that raisin syrup can be used as an alternative sweetener in baked goods. Has anyone tried this?

Where would I find raisin syrup? I have never seen it in my grocery store. Also, if I used in in cookies or cakes or whatever, would they have fewer calories. My new years resolution is to loose weight and I am really getting serious about it this year. If I can nibble on a cookie and not have it go straight to my stomach that would be great.


I love to drizzle a little bit of raisin syrup over a bowl of good vanilla ice cream. It is the perfect counterpoint to the rich vanilla flavor.

A had never tried this before until I went to college and ended up being roommates with a girl from Pakistan named Fatima. We became fast friends and still keep in touch. She *loved* raisin syrup and would put it on just about everything. I can remember when we were really broke and hungry she would put it on saltine crackers that we stole from the cafeteria.

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    • Raisins are soaked and pureed to make syrup.
      By: Dionisvera
      Raisins are soaked and pureed to make syrup.