Easter Home Baking with South African Raisins

Easter is fast-approaching and given the current health crisis, it’s likely we’ll be celebrating at home.

South African Raisins are therefore inspiring families across the nation to bake delicious treats for loved ones. All three recipes are incredibly simple to whip up, giving you the perfect opportunity to get the kids involved. Why not also drop round a batch for elderly neighbours who are in isolation!South African raisins are a ‘natural powerhouse’. These little gems make a sweet, satisfying and healthy snack and are the perfect treat for anyone with a sweet tooth. Despite their small size, raisins are a concentrated source of natural energy and are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, they can aid digestion, boost iron levels and keep bones strong.

South African raisins are 100% naturally sundried grapes, produced in the Orange and Olifants river regions, which is in the Northern and Western Cape respectively.

Varieties to look out for are:

Thompson – brown to dark brown in colour with a rich and sweet flavour

Golden – light yellow to golden in colour with a soft texture

Flame – dark deep red/black in colour, sweet flavour and a soft, chewy texture. These recipes are free to use in your publication. Contact details can be found at the end of the release. 

Light-as-air Raisin and Lemon Scones

Try this easy recipe for light, delicious scones, made with juicy South African raisins and a hint of lemon zest, served with clotted cream and lemon curd. Yum! 

Preparation 15 minutes

Cooking 18 minutes

Makes 12


450g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

110g butter, chilled and diced

75g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

120g South African raisins

1 large egg

Approx. 280ml milk

Lemon curd and clotted cream, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6. Put a baking sheet into the oven to preheat. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter, using your fingertips, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, lemon zest and South African raisins.

2. Beat the egg in a measuring jug, then add milk to bring the liquid up to 300ml, mixing well. Add just enough of this to the rubbed-in mixture to make a soft (not sticky) dough – there will be a little liquid left. Bring the mixture together with a round-bladed knife.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for a few moments. Roll out to about 3cm thick – it’s a mistake to roll the dough more thinly! Use a 5cm plain or fluted cutter to stamp out rounds. Avoid twisting the cutter – just press it straight through to help the scones rise evenly. Gather any trimmings, re-roll and cut out more scones.

4. Arrange the scones quickly onto the preheated baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining egg mixture. Immediately transfer to the oven and bake for 15-18min towards the top of the oven, until well-risen and golden brown. Cool for a few moments, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm with lemon curd and clotted cream.

Cook’s tip: Preheating the baking sheet gives the scones extra lift. 

South African Raisin, Orange and Pistachio Swirls 

These gorgeous buns look amazing – and taste even better! They make a great alternative to the Easter Hot Cross Bun.

Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 1 hour to rise      

Cooking time: 18-20 minutes

Serves 9 


225g strong plain white flour, plus extra for dusting

1/4tsp salt

25g butter

2tsp fast-action yeast

25g caster sugar

1 large egg, beaten

75ml warm milk


50g butter, melted

50g light muscovado sugar

120g South African raisins

50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Few drops of vegetable oil


25g caster sugar


50g icing sugar

2-3tsp orange juice

Fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios, to decorate

1. Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Beat the egg and milk together, then stir into the flour mixture. Bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.

2. Dust a work surface with a little flour. Turn the dough onto this and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling, by mixing together the melted butter with the muscovado sugar, South African raisins, pistachio nuts and orange zest.

3. Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 25x30cm. Sprinkle the filling evenly on top. Roll up from one long end and cut into 9 slices.

4. Grease a 23cm (9in) cake tin with a few drops of vegetable oil, then arrange the buns in it (cut sides up), spacing them apart. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until roughly doubled in size.

5. Preheat the oven to 210°C, fan oven 190°C, Gas Mark 7. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes until the buns are risen and golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack.

6. For the glaze, put the caster sugar and 3tbsp water into a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve, then boil for 40-60 seconds. Brush over the warm buns. Cool completely.

7. To decorate, mix the icing sugar with the orange juice to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the buns, then sprinkle them with fine shreds of orange zest and chopped pistachios. Leave to set, then serve.

Cook’s tip: Another time, use finely chopped pecan nuts with lemon zest and juice instead of orange.