Filled Raisin Cookies

Quite a few years ago my Chief Culinary Consultant made mention of raisin-filled cookies and how much he loved them as a kid. He wondered if I could try making them, but there was one problem – I had no idea what these cookies were that he spoke of. I had never heard of them or seen them myself. So, I set about on some research and started poking around online for recipes and did end up finding a few. Not long after that, I spotted a box of these cookies at Sam’s Club. I snapped a picture and sent it to him and he confirmed that those were, indeed, the cookies. I had a visual! I picked up those cookies and we’ve since found them in a couple of other places, so I finally got to taste the cookies as well. However, I then displayed some seriously questionable behavior because I totally and completely dropped the ball on these cookies. I’m talking, for years. A thousand apologies to him, and to you.

It wasn’t until I was digging through a pile of my grandma’s old recipes looking for something else that I came across the recipe for these filled raisin cookies. This was it. THE recipe. I knew it immediately. But… if this recipe was in my grandma’s recipe collection… why had I never heard of these cookies before? Or tasted them? I asked my mom and she said that my grandma made these cookies all the time for my grandfather, who adored raisins. However, once he passed away (when I was 5), she stopped making them because no one else in the family really cared for raisins. How sad! The recipe has been officially resurrected and is definitely one that will get a lot of use in my kitchen.

These cookies consist of a very soft and almost sponge-like cookie wrapped around a thick raisin filling. It’s simple, homey and absolutely delicious. Not to mention addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

A few notes on the recipe:

  • I know the first question many of you will ask is if you can use butter in place of margarine. Yes, the recipe calls for margarine and I know many people don’t use it anymore. However, when it comes to old-fashioned recipes, I almost never alter ingredients because you usually won’t end up with the exact same texture or flavor. Butter and margarine have different properties when it comes to baking (butter tends to spread more and creates a crisper final product), so I recommend using margarine as the recipe was written.
  • The directions for mixing the dough are admittedly weird and counter-intuitive for anyone who has ever mixed dough before. I just went with it, and the dough was perfect, so I wouldn’t change a thing.
  • You could substitute any of your favorite fruits in the filling. My mom mentioned that my grandma once made a version of this cookie with a peach filling. You could easily substitute in any dried fruit, just be sure to dice it up before proceeding with the recipe.

I couldn’t be happier that I came across this recipe. Not only is it an absolutely delicious cookie, but it makes me feel connected not only to my grandma, but to my grandfather as well. Baking something in my own kitchen for my favorite taste tester that my grandma baked countless times for the love of her life makes my heart happy.

So, what did my Chief Culinary Consultant think of these cookies after waiting years for me to make them? He said they were amazing and that this is a totally kick-ass recipe. Well done, Grandma, well done.

One year ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Muffin Recipes
Five years ago: Egg Muffins

Filled Raisin Cookies

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


For the Dough:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups water, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (15-ounce) box raisins


1. Make the Dough: Cream together the sugar and margarine on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, eggs, flour and milk. Continue to mix until just about all of the flour is incorporated. Add the baking powder, baking soda and vanilla extract and mix to combine. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Make the Filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and ¼ cup of the water to form a paste. Stir in the remaining water, lemon juice and raisins. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the raisins plump, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.

3. Assemble and Bake the Cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4. Using about 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. (The dough is very soft and sticky, so use as much flour as necessary to roll it out without it sticking.) Cut the dough into rounds (I used a 2¾-inch cookie cutter). Place one on prepared baking sheet, spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the raisin filling onto the circle and then top with another round of dough. Just lay the circle on top of the filling; there is no need to seal them shut, as they will do so while baking. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

5. Bake the cookies until lightly golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


83 Responses to “Filled Raisin Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on July 18, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Grandma’s recipes are ALWAYS the best! I’m not a huge raisin fan either, but I will definitely have to try these cookies. Nice job finding the recipe :)


  2. Xiaoxi on July 18, 2012 at 1:34 am

    What a great idea. It’d be so good to put some fillings in the cookie.


  3. Jlhpisces on July 18, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Oh yum! I bet these would make PERFECT homemade fig newtons! :) Must try both versions at the soonest opportunity!


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 18, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Not changing a thing on the old-fashioned recipes & just going with it – that’s smart. As you said, you’re not going to end up with Grandma’s Cookies otherwise. I love the nostalgia in this post!


  5. amy @ uTryIt on July 18, 2012 at 2:01 am

    These look and sound wonderful. Somehow, they remind me of the famous fig filled cookies. :) Can’t wait to try these out.


  6. Heidi on July 18, 2012 at 2:08 am

    How sweet to find on old recipe and it was exactly what you had been looking for – makes these cookies extra special! They do look good! Almost like mince pie cookies!


  7. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on July 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

    I’m not a huge raisin fan (they are just “ok”), but these look delicious!
    I’m glad I am not the only one (!)…my boyfriend mentioned a store-bought dessert he wanted me to make, and months have gone by and I still haven’t done it. Your post is a reminder that I really need to change that!!


  8. Sprigs of Rosemary on July 18, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Bless you, Michelle! My husband, too, has very fond memories of raisin filled cookies. They gotta be soft and the filling can’t be runny or too sweet. I’ve never made them because he had such high expectations and I didn’t want to disappoint. So glad you’re sharing this today . . . I’ll be a hit!


  9. Laura @ The Salty Kitchen on July 18, 2012 at 8:28 am

    These look delicious! I’m totally excited to try these – thank you!


  10. Mary Lynn on July 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Michelle, we always buy these cookies at Sam’s. Now, thanks to you, I can make them at home. Thanks for ALL the great recipes.


  11. Sharon Peek on July 18, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Hey Michelle,
    Just loved your raisin cookie recipe. As a child I loved Golden Fruit Raisin Biscuits made by Sunshine bakeries. I guess the guys at King Arthur remember them as well. They developed this recipe as a result.
    Hope you get a chance to give it a try it too.


    • Katherine on May 23rd, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I realize you posted this 2 years ago, but I just stumbled onto it now. Thank you for posting it! I loved the Golden Raisin biscuits, and I searched in vain for them, not knowing the company dropped them. Can’t wait to try them. :)


  12. Kate on July 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

    This brought back memories…my mom made these and I loved them. Thank you for the recipe.


  13. Riley on July 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

    These look yummy! I’ve never had anything like this, but it looks like a little mini raisin pie!


  14. Courtney @ Bake. Eat. Repeat. on July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This brought back so many memories for me! My grandmother used to always have these cookies around her house. Even as a little kid who didn’t really like raisins, I loved these. I’m definitely going to have to dig up her recipe and see how it compares to yours! Thanks for bringing back a classic!


  15. Peggy Clyde on July 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for reminding me of this recipe. My grandmother used to make them also. Have you ever used powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out sugar cookies. Try it next time you make sugar cookies. It keeps the dough from getting stiff with re-rolling. Thanks again.


  16. Paula on July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    What a great recipe and a fabulous looking cookie. I can see so many filling options with these.


  17. Barbara on July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    We made these when I was a kid and I still have the recipe. We always put chopped walnuts in with the raisins. I use powered sugar when rolling out the dough if it is too sticky so that the dough doesn’t get tough. We also cut an X in the top piece of dough before we placed it on top.


    • Sandy on June 15th, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Yes, I remember them with the x on top. I have been craving these for so long. Can’t wait to make them.


  18. Susan on July 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

    These look delish! They would be an awesome Christmas cookie filled with fruit mince!! Yum! Need to try that!


  19. Annamaria @ on July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I’ve never seen these before but I must try them, since so many of the old time recipes disappear. Thanks for the post.


  20. Transportation Services Chicago on July 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I love raisins lately… I have never heard of raisin-stuffed cookies… but grandma recipes are always the best! Thanks for sharing the family recipe!


  21. sabrina clever on July 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I just made these for my mom for mother’s day. They were a family cookie that seemed to have disappeared. It took me a really long time to find a good recipe that was similar to those that I ate as a child. Thanks for the great pictures and recipe. You are right…. substitutions for this recipe don’t quite produce the same delicious cookie!


  22. Darcie on July 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    My mom makes these every single year for Christmas. I can’t open presents Christmas morning without them – they are definately a must. Since my mom is getting older, a couple of years ago she finally taught me how to make them myself. However, they still taste so much better when she makes them. I’m jealous that you can buy these at a store in your area – I’ve never seen them anywhere here in Arizona.
    P.S. Your CCC has very good taste in cookies. 😉


  23. Cat on July 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Michelle, I’ve taken to buying my raisins in bulk at Sam’s or BJ’s. I haven’t bought them in the boxes for years. Can you tell me how much the 15 oz box contains? Somewhere around 2 cups? Can’t wait to try this one out – thanks a million!!


    • Michelle on July 18th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Cat, According to the box, a serving size is 1/4 cup and it contains 11 servings. That figures out to 2 & 3/4 cups total. Happy Baking!


      • Cat on July 19th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

        Thanks for the equivalent, Michelle. I may break the 3-minute mile making these!!


  24. chrissi on July 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    My dad made these every Christmas when I was growing up. (Official cookie baker in my family, he would bake thousands of cookies and gift them to everyone.His spritz were amazing.) When baking these he would use a mix of butter and margarine and the cookies turned out perfectly. I still remember how great the house smelled when these were in the oven. Good memories.


  25. Ashley M on July 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    These look great! My MIL loves raisins so I will definitely have to make these for her. Yum.


  26. Laura Dembowski on July 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Seeing this recipe totally made me smile! My Granny and I used to eat the raisin filled bar cookies all the time. I look for them at every grocery store I visit, and I visit a lot, and I cannot find them anywhere. I can’t wait to make these cookies to remind me of her, because I think about and miss her all the time. Thanks for sharing :)


  27. Jill on July 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    These look really different, and good. Yum!


  28. Alisande Allaben on July 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you very much for this recipe. My husband has been asking for a good raisin cookie recipe for years, just like his mother used to make. I can’t wait to try this to see if it comes closer than we’ve been able to find before. Ingredients like margarine may do the trick.


  29. Susan Bedard on July 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    My mother, whi was a terrific cookiebaker,used to make these cookies. Haven’t had them in years so thanks for the resurrection,


  30. Tina From Pa on July 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Yummy! The next time you go to DeLallo’s try their filled cookies,they are wonderful! Over the weekend in my comment this is “The Cookie” I was talking about. I can not wait to try your recipe. I use the tubes of filling ,that baking supply stores. Thank You for sharing a loved family recipe.


  31. Carla G on July 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    These were required baking when I was in High School (graduated 1979.) I remember them fondly, but then my favorite pie is Sour Cream Raisin (soaked raisins, please!) Yep, I’m gonna have to make these.


  32. Tracey on July 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve never heard of these before either but they sound really good! I love your idea to adapt the filling, I’m sitting here imagining all the possibilities :)


  33. Lori on July 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Cute story behind the recipe. I will have to try it…thanks.


  34. Annie @ Annie's Noms on July 19, 2012 at 3:33 am

    These sound blissful! I absolutely adore raisins and always have them in the house, I put them in anything I can, but I haven’t seen these before. However, I’ll definitely be making them soon!


  35. Colleen on July 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I am SO EXCITED about this recipe. In my hometown, there used to be a bakery that made these filled cookies. My favorite were always the cherry filled. My husband and I LOVE these cookies, but can’t get them where we live in Maryland so I’m really excited to be able to make them now! WATCH OUT! :-)


  36. Madeleine @ teeniebaker on July 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

    The filling of these reminds me of butter tarts (it’s a Canadian thing – but they’re SO good!). If you like these, you’d probably love butter tarts too!


  37. Amber, RD on July 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Cookies that double as a serving of fruit? :) That’s my kind of cookie!


  38. ButterYum on July 21, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I adore these cookies. My husband’s aunt makes them every year at Christmas time, only she cuts them with a scalloped cutter.


  39. Carol on July 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I have almost the identical recipe from a friend’s mother. Must be 40 year old recipe or more! Instead of baking powder it uses cream of tartar. As for the margarine, my recipe uses shortening and comes out great. I agree butter would not be a suitable substitute, but Crisco works fine. Whomever added the KAF Sunshine Raisin Biscuit recipe, I love you!!!!!! I too have missed my favorite childhood treat and now I can make them myself. So there Kellogg.


  40. Lila on July 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    They look great! I had the same exact thought as jlhpisces! Any ideas for a fig filling?


  41. Debra on July 29, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Your story brought happy tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing the story behind the recipe. 😀


  42. Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} on July 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Loved hearing the story behind this. I love fig cookies, so these look like something I’d love too. Can’t wait to try them!


  43. Staci on November 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

    these are a favorite of mine! I got my recipe from my grnadmother who always used a little nutmeg and cherry pie filling. I think she used the cherry pie filling to spoil my dad since it is his favorite.

    I have a question – my dough is always quite sticky and hard to handle, does your turn out the same way? If so, how do you not give up after a few cookies?


    • Michelle on November 14th, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Hi Staci, Yes, very sticky. I make mention of that in the recipe above; I just use as much flour as necessary to get it rolled out and assembled, then brush off any excess before I bake them.


  44. Jenny on December 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    These are very traditional and popular in my Mennonite family cookie reportoire and my cousin figured out the easiest way to form and fill them. She rolls out the very soft dough and measures and marks it to form approx. 2 inch by 4 inch rectangles, and then cuts it. No dough is wasted at all, except minimally around the outside edge. Then, you place the spoonfull of filling in the center, and fold each short edge to the center, overlapping it slightly. Press to seal along the two edges. The top flaps kind of just bake into one another without really needing to press/seal them. And if some of the filling peeks out, thats ok too. LOVE THESE COOKIES!


  45. zina on December 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    As a kid, my mom and I filled these with mincemeat pie filling. I love the stuff, but my mom always found it too sweet, this was our compremise.
    I did them again this year, my hubby loved them. Also made the Lakerli, Swiss ginger bread type hunt it out…really good
    Happy New Year


  46. Tom J. on January 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    The recipe is very similar to what my mom used to make except that she used a mixture of raisins (primary) and pineapple. Always made them for Christmas and Easter. After she died my older sister would make them for me, and others, although she knew they were my favorite. Now with her gone, my daughter made them once a few years ago. Boy do I miss them!


  47. darlene bennet on January 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    my husband loves these cookies he would like to know if you could give him 1/2 the receipeas my freezer isnt big


    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Darlene, You can simply cut the ingredients in half for half a batch of cookies.


  48. Maryann Cerato-Dominick on January 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I just have to thank you for the research you did on this recipe and posting it. I just made these today…and while I’m not a “huge fan” of raisins…I am now! So what made me make them if not a fan of raisins….my Mom. She’s been going on and on about her Mother’s raisin cookies but that she can’t find a good recipe the the stores put little filling in the ones she did find.

    I just happened to come across your recipe….FABULOUS! I suer stuff them and use a much smaller diameter and don’t seal them…they almost look like sandwich cookies. I made the larger ones and sealed them, but that darn raisin mixture was so good Mom wanted to super stuff them. I just wanted to eat it with some frozen yogurt!
    Thank you, you have made it possible to bring my Grandmother backing back through this recipe. I’ll now follow your FB posts to see what other unexpected delights you will offer.
    Oh, and since your mission is to “To make you hungry and get your kitchen messy.”–you succeeded. What a nice little mess and sure eat a few of these!
    Maryann, Riverside,CA


    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Hi Maryann, Thank you so much for sharing your story and your feedback about the recipe. It thrills me so much that you were able to share some wonderful memories of your grandmother through this recipe. I love how food can evoke so many wonderful, warm feelings.


  49. Yeko on March 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    OMG! My grandmother used to make a cookie simliar to this with strawberry filling. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    BTW- I love your site.


  50. Karen on July 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Saw this recipe today and tried it out with my boyfriend. They are amazing! The dough was so easy to handle and the filling was delicious. They came out picture perfect and yummy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!


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