Feb 12, 2013
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Freshly baked fig newtons with jammy centers and buttery-soft exteriors are what you’ll get from these homemade cookies!
The best part is that they are made with raisins for an easier-to-make filling that’s more cost-effective than figs.
Can You Make Fig Newtons without Figs?
Shhh! It’s a secret, but you can create a nearly identical cookie that’s perfectly chewy and delicious fig newton with raisins.
Since most of us have raisins in the pantry, not dried figs, and fresh have a short season; this recipe is one you can make without a trip to the grocery store. Plus, I’ve found it to be a much easier option for making these cookies since there’s no peeling required, and kids love that there are none of the fig seeds in the filling.
Making these homemade fig newtons with raisins at home is no big deal since the ingredients are already in most of our kitchens and are easy to find.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to make them:
- Raisins: replaces figs for a convenient and fuss-free option.
- Honey: used to sweeten the filling.
- Cinnamon: makes the center even more delicious.
- Butter: to make the dough.
- Sugar: use white or brown, but brown contains more moisture which creates a chewier cookie.
- Egg: adds structure to the dough and helps it bind.
- Vanilla extract: for flavoring the cookie dough.
- Baking powder: gives the cookie a soft and chewy texture.
- Salt: a little to enhance flavor.
- Flour: a mixture of white and whole wheat flour or all white can be used.
*Check the recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient amounts and allergy-friendly substitutions.
How to Make Fig Newtons with Raisins
Follow the step-by-step process, and you’ll be well on your way to a fresh batch of plump fig newtons with raisin filling!
- Soak the raisins
Place the dried raisins in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover them. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes until they are plump. Drain the water.
- Make the filling
Add the plump raisins inside a food processor with honey, and process until a smooth paste forms.
- Cream the butter and sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Make the dough
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture in ½ cup increments to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined after each addition.
- Roll it out
Place a piece of parchment paper onto a flat surface and add the dough to the center. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll it into a rectangle with a rolling pin.
- Fill and cut
Spread half the raisin paste along the center of each rectangle. Fold the dough edges onto the center to create a rectangle. Repeat with the remaining dough and paste.
Slice the rectangle into 8 to 10 pieces and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cooling before serving.
Watch this video to see the entire process start to finish!
Can I make these Fig Newtons Whole-Wheat?
You can incorporate whole-wheat flour into your cookie dough by replacing ½cup of the all-purpose flour with ½ cup whole-wheat flour.
You can use up to 1 cup of whole-wheat pastry four, which is different than traditional whole-wheat.
Is This a Healthy Snack?
A homemade fig or “raisin” newton is a wholesome option compared to storebought cookies. This recipe uses just enough sugar and honey without being overly sweet, and the kids love the flavor just as much.
For more healthy snack options, check out this kid-favorite cookbook.
The Best Homemade Kids’ Snacks on the Planet
This cookbook is packed with 200+ homemade snacks the entire family will love.
Grab your copy today!
How to Store Homemade Raisin Fig Newtons
Homemade fig newtons will last up to a week at room temperature in an airtight container or 2 weeks in the fridge- but let’s be honest, there’s no way these will last that long.
If you love raisins half as much as I do, you can try my easy homemade overnight cinnamon rolls, oatmeal raisin cookie dough bites, cinnamon raisin fruit roll ups and carrot raisin salad.
Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Newtons
- 1 ⅓ cups raisins
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened*
- ½ cup sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg*
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups flour*
- In a bowl, place the raisins and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Let the raisins soak for 10-15 minutes until they are plump. Drain the water out.
- Put the raisins, honey, and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine the mixture and process until it becomes a smooth paste.
- For easier spreading, you can transfer the filling into a piping or zip bag.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix for another 2 minutes until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on and the paddle attachment, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in ½ cup increments. Combine after each addition until a smooth dough forms.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl onto the counter and divide it in two.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper onto a flat surface, add one-half of the dough in the middle and cover with another piece of parchment. Press it down with your hands to flatten it, and then use a rolling pin to form a 12 x 4-inch rectangle.
- Remove the top piece of parchment and spread half of the filling along the center of the rectangle, making sure to leave the sides of the dough free since they will be folded over to seal the cookie.
- Using the bottom piece of parchment paper to assist, lift one side of the dough and fold it over half of the filling. Repeat this with the other side to seal the cookie. For a visual, check the step-by-step photos or the video in the post.
- Repeat this process with the other half of the dough and filling.
- Cut each rectangular “log” into 8-10 pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.
- Place the cookies on the lined baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool down before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Gluten Free: substitute regular flour for a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour.
What a fun snack! and I definitely prefer the raisins to figs!
Made these this afternoon, they are perfection! Thank you for the video, it helped me tremendously. These are actually very easy and fun to make! I did the whole thing in my food processor, worked like a charm. This is a keeper!
Thank you for not quitting. My whole family is eating better, in no small part because of you! I will try these immediately and begin putting to good use the industrial size bag of raisins I picked up at Costco on a whim, LOL!
My pleasure! enjoy!
Made these a few weeks ago. They are good, but too much cinnamon for me, even though we love cinnamon. Going to give them another shot only I am actually going to use figs and no cinnamon. The pastry part was delicious though! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!
sorry, we are total cinnamon-raisin lovers. You an definitely omit it!
I just popped over here from Facebook and I wanted to tell you that you of course are doing the right thing for G! I am sure by now he is settled and so happy with his new friends. My baby has been in school since he was little and still goes through spurts of crying (usually around the clingy phases of babyhood) so please try not to feel guilty. It will be so great for all of you!
Thank you so much Kinsey! Yes, he goes through better and worse crying spells but the teachers say he is happy there. He is learning lots of things… and most importantly to talk! when you are the 3rd kid around the house… the older ones seem to “know” what he needs before he says it! 🙂 thank you for stopping by 🙂
In the oven as I type!! I’m so excited. I love the boxed fig newtons, but not the preservatives and added hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
Out of the oven and looking good. I may have made them too fat. Next time I’ll make them thinner.
They taste a little sour. I’ll be making them with figs next time.
All in all, lovely recipe.
I will be making these! I was thrilled to see them, my son is very picky and just doesn’t like anything. I know he will like these! Thanks for sharing!!
let me know how your son likes them Shannon! 🙂
My kids love the Newtons that sell in the store. I stopped buying them due to all the ingredients. My son hates raisins but he may “fall” for this! I wonder if I mix raisins and strawberries if he would eat that… Hmmmmm
Thanks for all you do!
Hi Kim! if you add strawberries they might be too runny. I swear they don’t taste like raisins from the box. They become a sweet paste… so much better!!
We don’t use white flour but have spelt, whole wheat and oat flour. Your recipe says not to use all ww could oat or spelt be substituted for the white flour? Thanks
Amanda, Yes, it can work… but the cookie texture will be denser than what’s intended.
Hi! I tried making these and they are so good. Really close to Fig Newmans (our favorite) and I love the idea of raisins–I always have those on hand.
Thanks, love your site!
Thank you Sarah! I just left you a comment. I have step by step pictures but for some reason are not working on here. I will add them soon. Thank you!
Hi Laura! Thanks for all the amazing recipes! I was also interested in making these with another kind of fruit filling. Do you think pectin or some other kind of thickening agent could be used when cooking the fruit, say for example strawberries? Thanks again!!!!
Hi! I am testing them with strawberries as we speak. the first two tries came out “runny” and just not thick enough. your best bet is going to be 1 cup fruit 1/4cup sugar/honey, 1 tb lemon juice. :)the fruit needs to be cooked into a “paste” otherwise it will run out.
I love this.
I had to share the link on my friday links list.
I have to give these a go!
Thank you so much for sharing!
These are all inviting! Thanks for sharing.. can’t wait to try this my own!
Averie @ Averie Cooks
Thanks for your hard work on the recipe testing and trials on these…you saved us all lots of work 🙂 Pinned!
Thank you Averie! Wait till you see what one of the “flops” will become! 🙂
Not that you haven’t done enough here, lol, but do you have any suggestions for experimenting with other fruit fillings? Do you think straight up (delicious, thick, homemeade) jam would work? My kids are not big raisin fans, but we all love newtons!
You’re awesome. Thanks for all you do!
I can tell you that the “cinnamon raisin” filling doesn’t taste like “raisins” just a sweet paste like the figs but without the little “pebbles” as my kids call them. if you use a jam, it will run off. Try using other dried fruits… like apricots… and repeat the process. the key to the filling is for it to be a thick “paste”
I used homemade strawberry chia jam, and I thought it turned out good! I tried the raisin version too, but didn’t care for it because it tested too raisiny to me.
So glad this worked with chia jam! clearly these are made with raisins but I’m glad you were able to find an alternative that worked!
These are great, I am always looking for new recipes for my kids cooking classes. I am going to try and make them vegan and gluten free with brown rice flour. Thanks for sharing!
Great Sarah! Make sure you use xanthan gum if you are making them gluten free. the pastry part will be very dense otherwise.
These look amazing!!!!!!! I cannot wait to try them. I struggle with what to feed my Baby girl every day. I am so happy I found your site today. 🙂
Thank you for your visit! You will get lots of family friendly ideas on this site.
Kelly @ The Nourishing Home
Wow, Laura! These look SO good! Beautiful photos too! I know Baby G is going to settle in well and that soon you both will be used to the new routine! Lots of love to you, sweet friend, Kelly
Kelly, you must make these! they are so delicious!!
We all do that don’t we. Forget to take care of us!!! I thought that the other day when I saw my horrible dusty shoes and my hair sticking out! If we’re not healthy the kids can’t be either so def take care of you!
Love the recipe (and you) by the way! Happy V Day! xo
you are soooo loved back!
Mayra -Estilo Familiar
Love how this newtons look! They look yummy and the picture is beautiful. I’ll have to try the recipe. Thank you for sharing it.