Raisin Bread Stuffing with Cranberries

The recipe below is one I’ve saved for years to remind myself to use raisin bread as a stuffing base, a great option from cornbread or sourdough. And finally I decided to try it.

However, I could only find raisin bread with cinnamon, which isn’t an ingredient I wanted in the stuffing, mostly because I wanted it for turkey, not duck or goose. Did there used to be commercial raisin bread without cinnamon?

I considered making my own cinnamon bread by making panettone or challah and adding raisins, but then discovered a cheat mix for brioche online (at Amazon, of course) from King Arthur’s flour. It makes 1 – 1.5 pound – 9 x 5” loaf and turned out delicious. All you add is butter and warm water; the yeast came with the mix.

So in the end, I’m not really using raisin bread as a base for this stuffing, but I refuse to change the name of the recipe! One day I will find cinnamon-less raisin bread. Or, am I weird and do you think cinnamon belongs in stuffing?

Raisin Bread Stuffing with Cranberries
printable recipe below

1.5 pound loaf prepared brioche
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Scant 1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup raisins
Heaping 1/2 cup dried whole cranberries
Chopped parsley, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the crust of the prepared brioche if necessary. Cut into cubes about 1″ in diameter and place the cubes on a jelly-roll pan. (In retrospect I’d make 1/2″ cubes.)

Bake the bread cubes until golden and slightly crusty, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t include raisins in the brioche, since I was so gung-ho on using raisin bread, it was because I decided I didn’t want the cranberries dried out from the toasting step. Adding them at the last minute assured that they remained plump. The cranberries I use are from nuts.com. They are whole dried cranberries.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.

In a medium-sized skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, allspice, salt, and white pepper, and remove the skillet from the heat.

Place the cooled bread cubes in a large bowl. Add orange juice, drizzling over all of the cubes as much as possible. The bread should be soft, but not soggy.

Stir in the vegetable mixture.

Gently incorporate the raisins, cranberries, and cream. You can add the parsley at this point, but I decided to sprinkle it on before serving instead.

Place the dressing in an 8 x 10.5” baking dish covered tightly with foil.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove the foil, then continue until the top is golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.

I served the stuffing with turkey from a whole turkey breast I roasted in the oven. A perfect pairing.

This stuffing came out absolutely perfect, in spite of the absence of actual raisin bread.

Overall the stuffing isn’t sweet except for the brioche and the bit of orange juice. Even the raisins didn’t pop out as sweet. I think I could have added more allspice, but the savory components were perfect.

I hadn’t yet made cranberry sauce or chutney this year, so I opened a jar of NM prickly pear and jalapeno jelly I bought in old town Albuquerque a while back. I discovered the maker of this jelly here. It’s good stuff!

Please tell me if you know of raisin bread without cinnamon!



About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Marcia Strykowski November 6, 2019 at 6:23 AM - Reply

    YUM, this looks delicious!

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 6:25 AM - Reply

      It really was! And it was fun creating, even without actual raisin bread!

  2. Tabula Rasa November 6, 2019 at 6:38 AM - Reply

    I’m going to be cooking a Thanks giving meal this year for friends so I think I will give this a go!

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 6:53 AM - Reply

      Nice! My daughter moved to London in 2006 I think and I personally feel that she started the Thanksgiving meal trend there! She had a large basement apartment in Marylebone and had so many friends over year after year. I don’t know how she did it with her teeny oven! But I seem them still now making Thanksgiving meals on Instagram! It’s wonderful!

  3. Ruchisvegkitchen November 6, 2019 at 7:53 AM - Reply

    Looks yumm

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 7:56 AM - Reply

      It actually was really yumm!

  4. Jeff the Chef November 6, 2019 at 8:09 AM - Reply

    It’s stuffing season again, isn’t it! And oh my God, does this raisin bread stuffing look fantastic! Mimi, you’re such an inspiration. And as fate would have it, I think I also have a jar of prickly pear jelly in the cupboard that I have no idea what to do with. I think I’m going to roast a chicken this weekend.

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      Ha! That’s great! I finally did get to my cranberry sauce and chutney, but it’s sad cause I’m the only one who likes them! This post was almost dumb because I never did end up using raisin bread, but boy the recipe was so good my husband ate it! He doesn’t like sweet and savory together.

  5. thewackyspoon.com November 6, 2019 at 8:25 AM - Reply

    What an intriguing recipe. I have never thought to use raisin bread in stuffing. Nicely done, Chef!

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 8:51 AM - Reply

      I know! I always liked that idea. Something different.

  6. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats November 6, 2019 at 8:50 AM - Reply

    You got with with raisins! I made so many different stuffings over the years, but never added raisins, though I love them. Will definitely adapt my recipe this year. :)

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      My husband, who doesn’t like savory and sweet mixed together 🙄 is actually eating the stuffing. And, he wants it for Thanksgiving. I about fainted. Do you know of raisin bread without a lot of cinnamon?

      • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats November 6, 2019 at 9:02 AM

        lol That’s a great sign to how good the stuffing is!
        I’m not aware of any such bread, but I will just add raisins to my foccacia recipe, that I use for my stuffing. It has rosemary in it, which pairs so well with dried fruits. :)

      • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 10:22 AM

        Oh yum.

  7. kitchenriffs November 6, 2019 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    I don’t believe I’ve had raising bread for several years. You have me craving it now, though — both for making toast with it (love that stuff!) and for making this stuffing. Neat dish — thanks.

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 10:22 AM - Reply

      Thanks, John! Was it always full of cinnamon? That’s the part I can’t remember.

  8. J November 6, 2019 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    I love cinnamon raisin bread, but I don’t like raisins in anything else. The stuffing with the cinnamon raisin bread I might have to try though. Lol.
    Have a fantastic week and weekend coming up!

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 12:16 PM - Reply

      That’s so funny. Weird, but funny! You might have to make this with actual cinnamon raisin bread! Have a great week yourself!

  9. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen November 6, 2019 at 12:14 PM - Reply

    I’d use the cinnamon raisin bread! There’s enough savory ingredients to balance it out.

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 12:15 PM - Reply

      You’re probably right. And I could make it more savory also, like use chicken broth instead of orange juice.

  10. jenniferguerrero1 November 6, 2019 at 12:45 PM - Reply

    The raisin bread is a great idea. I’ve got a prickly pear syrup I made for sangria. I might try a little of that in it. :D

    • chef mimi November 6, 2019 at 3:51 PM - Reply

      Ooohhh that sounds yummy! Something I use often is boiled cider. I get it on Amazon. I know I can reduce it myself, but it’s all there in a bottle for me! Gravies, chutneys, sauces, you name it. I’ve never thought of using it in sangria!

      • jenniferguerrero1 November 6, 2019 at 6:04 PM

        I love that stuff, too! I get it from King Arthur, but don’t order from there very often anymore. Nice to know Amazon carries it!

      • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:49 AM

        What doesn’t amazon carry?!!

  11. Debra November 6, 2019 at 7:39 PM - Reply

    This is just a wonderful recipe! It’s right up my taste alley, but knowing my family, I am in the minority. So many people don’t like raisins, which is just so hard for me to understand. My favorite ice cream is rum raisin. :-) I am thinking I’d like to make a little side dish for Thanksgiving and see if I can get any takers. If not, I’ll just eat the whole thing! I like to bake bread, so I might just bake some raisin bread and freeze it until I need it. But I think a little added cinnamon might be nice. I’m going to experiment! Can you hear my enthusiasm?

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Yes, I can! I’m finding this out about raisins… who knew?!! I think they’re fabulous! It’s certainly hard making everybody happy, isn’t it? I just made cranberry sauce and chutney, and I’m the only one who eats them. I’ve sometimes just not made them, but then I miss them! Would they be put off by golden raisins? Or maybe if you added walnuts? there have been plenty of dishes I’ve had to eat myself, like red cabbage. No takers there! More for us, right?!!

  12. Kelly | Foodtasia November 6, 2019 at 11:36 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this stuffing is perfection! Love the brioche and love the bit of sweetness from the raisins and cranberries. It looks incredibly delicious!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      thank you Kelly. I’m still wondering about using fresh cranberries next time. These whole cranberries aren’t sweetened, which is why I prefer them, but fresh ones could also be fun. Or, I could incorporate cranberry sauce into the stuffing…. so many options!

  13. Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 7, 2019 at 12:44 AM - Reply

    Bread stuffing is so American – I only ever make a stuffing if we have turkey – which we don’t have often at all :)

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:44 AM - Reply

      It’s definitely American. It’s so fun to make because of all of the options, and not only for the bread. My family’s favorite stuffing is based on a sausage stuffing from a French chicken recipe, actually. But I added the bread!

  14. Ron November 7, 2019 at 2:10 AM - Reply

    Mimi, this will be perfect in the goose I’m cooking for our Mårtensafton (St. Martin’s day) dinner this weekend. I’d have no problem using cinnamon raisin bread in the recipe, but we don’t get it in the markets here. However, brioche bread with raisins is quite common, so I’m set. Maybe I’ll shake in a bit of cinnamon just for the heck of it.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:42 AM - Reply

      I’m so happy to help. I don’t know why I am resistant to the cinnamon. I use allspice in a lot of savory foods. I guess I was worried about too much of a cinnamon flavor. Glad you can get brioche with raisins – less baking!

  15. thatskinnychickcanbake November 7, 2019 at 1:35 PM - Reply

    Nope, cinnamon does not belong in stuffing! But brioche, raisins and dried cranberries sound wonderful!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 2:31 PM - Reply

      Thank you! We might be in the minority!

  16. Our Growing Paynes November 7, 2019 at 2:42 PM - Reply

    A great twist on stuffing. Never thought to add raisins but makes a lot of sense.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 5:53 PM - Reply

      I think because since it’s the holiday season, we add dried cranberries? I mean, they’re red!

  17. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen November 7, 2019 at 4:51 PM - Reply

    I’ve been craving duck and this stuffing would be so delicious with it!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 5:53 PM - Reply

      Oh, yes it would!!!

  18. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons November 7, 2019 at 6:05 PM - Reply

    Raisin stuffing is our standard for the holidays as well, although we add sausage. I love the addition of the cranberries. I’ve used brioche or cornmeal bread. Your recipe sounds delicious, I like that it is vegetarian.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2019 at 6:15 PM - Reply

      Oh interesting! Do you use the swirly grocery store bread with cinnamon? Sausage in it would be so good. We have a pescatarian in our family, so I always have to prepare non-meat dishes, or the poor thing would starve! Thank god she eats seafood, though!

  19. Katherine | Love In My Oven November 8, 2019 at 11:38 AM - Reply

    Stuffing has become my favourite part of a holiday meal. I love that you used raisin bread, it would be so flavorful!!

    • chef mimi November 8, 2019 at 2:58 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Katherine! Have fun with this year’s stuffing!

  20. the Painted Apron November 8, 2019 at 5:10 PM - Reply

    Yummy combo and so different! I adore brioche bread!

    • chef mimi November 9, 2019 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      Thanks Jenna. Brioche is pretty fabulous as is, in bread puddings, as French toast, and now – stuffing!

  21. FrugalHausfrau November 8, 2019 at 7:42 PM - Reply

    Well it looks marvelous! When I first saw the title I wondered, but I can see there’s a lot of gorgeous ingredients in this. I think you are right about raisin bread w/o cinnamon. I see cinnamon put in a lot of places I think it has no business being in…like berry cobbler, for instance and it just takes over the flavor.

    • chef mimi November 9, 2019 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Some cinnamon is so strong as well, or people overuse it… not sure. Well thanks. This definitely worked out well!

  22. David Scott Allen November 9, 2019 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    This isn’t too different from the stuffing my mother made when I was young. I love it AND how you ended up with a brioche loaf + raisins!

    • chef mimi November 9, 2019 at 8:33 AM - Reply

      I know. The whole point of the damn post was about using raisin bread! But it all worked out. good for your Mom!

  23. cookingontheweekends November 9, 2019 at 7:45 PM - Reply

    I love the idea of raisins and other dried fruits in stuffing. How delicious with turkey. Love it! :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi November 9, 2019 at 8:19 PM - Reply

      Thank you Valentina! Golden raisins would also be pretty!

  24. Eva Taylor November 10, 2019 at 4:32 AM - Reply

    What a great recipe, with or without cinnamon. Although i agree with you that the volume of cinnamon in commercial raisin bread would have been too much. It’s cool that there is a brioche mix, will try that when we are in Arizona this year. Will also try your tasty recipe for stuffing. Thx

  25. neil@neilshealthymeals.com November 10, 2019 at 7:39 AM - Reply

    Yay! I’m loving all the cranberry recipes that are coming out now. Cranberries are one of my most favourite berries and always remind me of this time of year and the festive time yet to come! What an excellent recipe. I think I like raisins better in a stuffing than cinnamon too. Yum!

    • chef mimi November 10, 2019 at 9:02 AM - Reply

      A few people voted for the cinnamon, but I’m still not sold on that idea. The raisins definitely worked, and didn’t add too much sweetness. They could always be soaked in port first…

  26. Healthy World Cuisine November 10, 2019 at 8:43 AM - Reply

    The little pop of sweet raisins with the savory is divine. Can’t believe it is almost the holiday season. I know you will have many delicious recipe posts coming our way.

    • chef mimi November 10, 2019 at 9:01 AM - Reply

      I try, Bobbi, I try! Looking forward, as always to feasts this time of year.

  27. popsiclesociety November 11, 2019 at 2:38 AM - Reply

    I’m not expert in stuffing, especially because I never do them but cinnamon I guess will still be ok :)

    • chef mimi November 11, 2019 at 6:06 AM - Reply

      No stuffing?!! That’s very unAmerican! Just kidding. I think a touch of cinnamon, but no more. I do like using allspice.

      • popsiclesociety November 11, 2019 at 6:35 AM

        Yes, I know, very unAmerican 🤪 maybe because I’m from Europe and we never celebrated Thanksgiving or stuffing in general was not part of our meals 🤪 The stuffing that we usually do are the stuffed peppers or cabbage rolls 😉 However from when I’ve started to travel the world, I do appreciate all kind of cuisine and also the stuffing 😉

      • chef mimi November 11, 2019 at 6:53 AM

        My mother is French, and not only never allowed us to celebrate Thanksgiving, but hated turkey. I couldn’t wait until I could do my own Thanksgiving once I was married. But I cooked globally, which got my husband from the MidWest hooked quickly, and for our 2nd Thanksgiving together he requested Ethiopian! Now that my daughters are older (in their 30’s) they request pretty traditional dishes. On daughter’s guy is British, and last year was his first Thanksgiving in the states, at our house, and he’s hooked! So they’re coming again!

      • popsiclesociety November 11, 2019 at 8:36 AM

        The beauty is that each cuisine has its delicious dishes 😋 Definitely you can’t get bored in the kitchen 😉 and than the most important is to be able to share it with the loved ones 😊🥰

      • chef mimi November 11, 2019 at 9:02 AM

        Absolutely! And I do remember you’re from Romania. that’s why I was joking about thanksgiving stuffing!

  28. Laura November 11, 2019 at 3:55 PM - Reply

    This stuffing looks so tasty, Mimi! I’ve never heard of raisin bread stufffing! But you’re right, maybe the cinnamon kind goes better with duck or goose. I’m not sure how it would be with turkey. I like the spices you added, though. I’ve never seen that brioche bread mix from King Arthur, looks like a great find! And, I don’t think Ive seen raising bread without cinnamon, unless it was an English muffin or a biscuit of some type. Hmmmm.

    • chef mimi November 11, 2019 at 3:58 PM - Reply

      Hmmm is right! All I know is that this recipe worked out beautiful, to the point that my husband suggested it for Thanksgiving. We have a vegetarian, otherwise I’d add sausage to it. But it’s that good! The raisin bread situation seems to be a mystery. Certainly no raisin bread exists now without a significant amount of cinnamon.

  29. David @ Spiced November 12, 2019 at 5:40 AM - Reply

    Hmmm…you make an excellent point about raisin bread without cinnamon. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that. Of course, I normally like raisin bread with cinnamon, so it’s never occurred to me to even look. And with that said, a bit of cinnamon would totally work in this recipe – I don’t think it would be enough to overpower all of the other flavors going on in there. Either way, I support your move of baking the KAF broiche and using that. This stuffing looks amazing – perfect for Thanksgiving!

    • chef mimi November 12, 2019 at 6:03 AM - Reply

      Thanks, David. My husband actually suggested it for the Thanksgiving stuffing, which is odd for him. He typically doesn’t like sweet and savory mixed together. But it really turned out good! and I’m definitely going to use that mix again!

  30. Linger November 16, 2019 at 8:08 AM - Reply

    I love how unique your recipes always are. What a fantastic idea – raisin bread stuffing. Wow. Such a festive Thanksgiving side dish. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • chef mimi November 16, 2019 at 9:09 AM - Reply

      Aw, thanks! I have just been collecting recipes since I was a kid, so I got a lot of ‘em! This one was fun.

  31. Abbe@This is How I Cook November 22, 2019 at 9:57 AM - Reply

    This sounds fabulous. I love raisin bread and now you have me thinking about that cinnamon part. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • chef mimi November 22, 2019 at 10:00 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I thought it was a fun idea!

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