Chris's wholemeal raisin muffins

Chris's wholemeal raisin muffins


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About this recipe: Try these healthy raisin muffins. Made from 100% wholemeal flour, containing loads of fibre but with no added sugar or salt. They get all the sweetness they need from the raisins, along with the nutrients and fibre contained in the fruit. You can substitute chopped dates, figs or other dried fruits or fresh fruits for some of the raisins for variety. If you use fresh fruit you will need to use less water. Goes well with a pot of tea or coffee.

ggaylmer Cambridgeshire, England, UK

Makes: 12 muffins

  • 200g raisins
  • 250ml water
  • 400g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt or buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Grease muffin tray or line with 12 paper cases.
  2. Add the raisins and water to a saucepan on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes while preparing other ingredients. Let cool. (Speed up the process by transferring the mixture to a bowl and immersing the bowl in cold water.)
  3. Add the flour to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the bicarb and sesame seeds.
  4. Drain the raisins and reserve the liquid they cooled in. Measure 250ml of liquid (if not enough, add more water as needed to reach 250ml). Add the liquid and raisins to the flour mixture. Mix well. You may need to add a bit extra water or buttermilk to get the right consistency. The mixture should cling to a spoon. Finally, stir in the bicarb.
  5. Spoon out the mixture into muffin trays and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or any other seeds or chopped nuts work well). I sometimes add a little squeeze of runny honey to each muffin half way through filling up the moulds.
  6. Bake for about 55 minutes at 150 C / Gas 2 depending on oven. Check to ensure they are risen and cooked properly. Allow to cool on a wire rack. (This fairly low temperature gives a softer muffin than using a higher temperature for a shorter time. I used to bake at 190 C / Gas 5 but much prefer the lighter bake.)

Other ideas

These muffins have been made as healthful as possible and contain lots of fibre but no added sugar or salt, apart from the natural sugar in the raisins. They are neither rich nor cloying on the palate and much lower in calories than normal muffins. This is my style of cooking. A little honey could be added to the mix if you prefer them sweeter.

Cook's note

I use potassium rather than sodium bicarbonate (available on internet) to avoid adding any sodium or salt, but this is optional.

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Reviews (2)


The sugar is definitely missing. They are rather untidy and not that appealing visually. The fruit soaking works well, but if I do again I will add at least 50g of sugar and probably sprinkle some on top as well. - 07 Aug 2016


Great recipe - surprisingly good given the lack of sugar. The raisins made up for it I perfectly. Instead of mixed spice I used cinnamon and ginger - a teaspoon each and I also left out vanilla or almond flavour. I'll definitely make it again - 05 Sep 2013

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