Updated Raisin Quick Bread


Quick breads may be a rather old fashioned treat, but it’s a treat I still very much enjoy and make all the time. One of my favorite recipes was my grandmother’s – the classic raisin brown bread that every good homemaker made back in the day.

Once before I’ve written about this recipe and even baked the bread in tin cans like my grandma always did. But as the years have gone along, I’ll admit I never bake the bread in cans anymore – AND – I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe too.

quick bread recipe with no eggs and no oil

I’ve been working on eating more plant-based and eliminating a lot of oils, eggs, and dairy from my diet so I’m not making as many baked goods as I used to. BUT – this raisin quick bread recipe was one that already had no milk and only a tablespoon of butter which could just be left out. I decided it would be an easy recipe to update – and it was!

My Easy & Healthier Quick Bread Changes

For starters, the original old-fashioned recipe had you soaking the raisins overnight with many of the other ingredients. Now, I just soak the raisins and I’ve shortened the time down to just 10 or 15 minutes.

I’ve also eliminated the egg in this recipe and use my method of substituting flax seed for an egg. So the way I now begin this recipe is to get those two components soaking (the raisins and the flax seed egg replacement).

Ingredients for updated raisin quick bread

In the meantime I stir together the dry ingredients. Rather than all purpose flour, I try to now always use the white whole wheat flour. I like the Trader Joe’s brand, however I’ve seen more options for this type of flour at my regular grocery store now too (it’s sometimes also called whole wheat pastry flour).

And yes, there’s still sugar in this recipe but I now replace half of the white sugar with brown sugar and I’ve had good results. (If I want to make a no-sugar treat I make my homemade Larabar Bites, or my Healthy Snack Bites).

Finally, there’s some walnuts in this recipe too which I chop up a little more if needed.

or until a toothipick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean

And then – I just mix everything together. The dry ingredients and the flax seed egg get dumped into the bowl of raisins and their soaking water, and I usually stir the nuts in last.

My Old Fashioned Pans

Although I’m not using tin cans anymore to bake this recipe, I do have a couple of older pans that I love and use all the time. They’re smaller sized loaf pans that used to be my mother-in-law’s and they are the perfect size for dividing a recipe like this into two loaves. But whenever I look for this size loaf pan in the store I have no luck. One of the closest I’ve found on Amazon (*affiliate link*) are these loaf pans that are 7.75″ x 3.75″ which is almost the same size as I have.

Batter for homemade quick bread

Of course this recipe can also be made as one loaf in a standard 9″ size loaf pan, or divided into four mini loaf pans.

homemade brown bread recipe

I’ve always enjoyed quick breads as a mid-afternoon treat or as a bedtime snack and I like that they’re not as sweet as things like cookies or cakes often are. Most of the time I just call this recipe “my brown bread”. Maybe it’s old fashioned but for me, a little piece of fruit, a little piece of bread, and a cup of hot tea is a snack I never get tired of.

Updated Raisin Quick Bread

Enjoy this classic old fashioned quick bread with plump raisins that uses a few modern updates to eliminate eggs, dairy, and oil.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Quick Bread
Author: Beverly


  • 1-1/2 cup Raisins
  • 1-1/2 cup Very Hot Water
  • 1 Flax Egg Replacement (1 Tbl Ground Flax Seed + 2-1/2 Tbl Water)
  • 2 cups Flour (I prefer white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Chopped Walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the raisins in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot water and set aside to let the raisins soak for 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Combine the 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed and the 2-1/2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt.
  • Then combine everything by adding the dry ingredients and the flax seed egg replacement to the raisins and water, and stirring until all the ingredients are moistened together.
  • Finally, stir in the nuts.
  • Pour the batter into lightly greased loaf pan(s). If using one 9" loaf pan bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If using two medium loaf pans, or four mini loaf pans, bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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    1. I ran my recipe through a nutrition calculator, and here are the results. I assumed a full size loaf cut into 12 slices for a serving size.