13 easy ways to replace dried currants in recipes with ingredients you might already have in your kitchen cupboard.
What are the best substitutes for dry currants? That’s often something students ask me, when I’m running my Sweet Bread Baking & Enriched Dough course. It’s either because they are used to using other dry fruits like sultanas or raisins for their baking or because they simply don’t like the taste of currants.
The good news is that there are many suitable replacements for currants that work well flavour wise and texture wise.
Which one you choose is entirely up to you, depending on what you have in your kitchen cupboard and what kind of flavour you are after.
How to use dry currants substitutions
I’ve deliberately chosen substitutions that are similar in weight and texture to dry currants.
This means that you can replace them on a like for like basis. For example, if your recipe calls for 100 grams of dry currants, you can replace them with 100 grams of seedless raisins. The same goes for measuring ingredients in cups – just compact the dried fruit in too much.
The best substitute for dry currants to keep the same flavour and texture
Best dry currants replacements to keep the texture (but the flavour will depend on what type of dry fruit you use)
- Dried cranberries
- Dried Craisins
- Dried Cherries
- Dried Prunes – harder type
- Dried Blueberries
- Dried & chopped up Dates (regular dates)
- Dried & chopped up Apricot (harder ones)
- Dried Goji Berries
- Dried Pineapple
Other dry currants substitutions, which will taste differently or might change the texture of the dish or bake
- Baking chocolate chips (milk or dark – semi-sweet chocolate)
- Mixed seeds (sezame, sunflower, poppy seeds, pumpkin etc.)
Out of the box solution – leave the currants out
If you don’t have any of the above, you can also leave the dry currants out altogether.
If the overall recipe relies heavily on the dry fruit (like fruit cake) you might need to adjust the amount of flour or sugar, but if it just says 100 grams (or 1 cup) in the whole cake, you can safely leave out the currants without changing the recipe.
If you are still not quite sure which currants replacement to choose, let’s have a look at each dry currants substitution in more detail:
Seedless sultanas and golden sultanas are one of my favourite replacements for currants and I often use them instead of currants even if I have some at home. Sultanas are usually large than currants, very juicy and have a very similar taste to currants.
I prefer to use seedless sultanas and am happy to pay the extra for golden sultanas as they look lovely mixed into the enriched dough, cake batter, salads or breads.
Raisins are a similar size to currants (only a bit bigger) and have a similar colour, texture and taste. They are often seeded, so if you don’t like the crunchy seeds inside, look out for seedless raisins in your local health shop.
Raisins are perfectly interchangeable with dried currants and you can use them for any sweet or savoury dish that lists dried currants as an ingredient.
A perfect substitution for currents during the holidays, as you get a lovely red colour coming through your cakes or savoury dishes. Cranberries are slightly tarter than currants but still have a lovely sweet flavour and make a great replacement.
Craisins are similar to cranberries in taste and look, they are just slightly smaller and a little bit sweeter than cranberries. They make a great substitute for dried currants and can be used in any sweet or savoury recipe as a replacement.
Dried & Chopped up Cherries
You can use both dried black dark cherries, dried morello cherries, but I probably wouldn’t use glace cherries as they are just full of sugar.
Dried cherries can be also used as a substitution for fresh cherries in these recipes. You might like to soak the dried cherries in water first and lower the amount of sugar in the recipe, as they are often quite sweet.
Dried & Chopped up Prunes (hard dried/not the squishy type)
Dried prunes are a great swap for dried currants, but they need to be the harder type that’s not too squishy. You’ll need to roughly chop them and take out the large pip stone as you prepare them.
Before using them in your baking (for example, adding them to muffins or cake batter) I would recommend rolling them in a bit of plain flour to coat them. This will prevent them from sticking together when you mix them to your cake (since they don’t have dry outer skin like currants).
Dried blueberries will give your recipe a slightly different taste as they are not as sweet as dried currants, but since they are about the same size and colour, I think they are a pretty good replacement.
Dry blueberries are also a great replacement for fresh blueberries in the following recipes (you might need to soak the dry blueberries in water first)
- Blueberry Cake Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze >>
- Blueberry & Lavender Muffins >>
- Blueberry Pancakes (sugar free) >>
- Blueberry & Lemon Sorbet >>
- Blueberry Crumble (Microwave version) >>
- Blueberry & Rhubarb Crisp >>
Whilst goji berries are slightly more bitter and less sweet than dried currants, I think it’s worth mentioning them.
They are similar in size and they are also very firm, which makes them a great replacement for salads, sweet or savoury dishes.
Dried & chopped-up dates
In the same way as prunes, make sure that you chop the dates roughly and remove the pip in the middle. If there are any harder areas of the skin remove them too.
Dust them with plain flour if using in cake batter so that they don’t stick together (and don’t sink to the bottom of your cake).
Dried & chopped up apricot (hard dried/not the squishy type)
The softer dried apricots are perfect for savoury dishes, sauces and salads where they become even softer and add a lovely sweetness and slight fruitiness to your dish.
For cake baking or enriched dough making I’d choose the slightly harder version of dried apricots as it won’t disintegrate into the bake.
Dried pineapple or other tropical fruits
While pineapple or other tropical fruits, like mango will change the look and flavour of your final dish, it’s still a great substitution for dried currants.
Pineapple or mango is slightly harder than currants, but they will work well in sweet bakes, enriched dough or even in savoury dishes.
Dry fruit mix
And finally, I think it’s worth mentioning that you can also use any mix of the above-dried fruit, including orange and lemon peel that’s often mixed in when you buy ready-made ‘dry fruit mix’ (usually for fruit cakes recipes or orange marmalade loaf cake recipe).
Baking chocolate chips (milk or dark – semi-sweet chocolate)
Swapping dry currants for chocolate baking drops is a great solution if you are baking brioche recipe, Chelsea Buns or Hot Cross Buns. You can also add 2-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder into the dough to make the final bake that bit extra chocolatey.
- Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies >>
- Chocolate Chip & Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie >>
- Mint & Chocolate Oat Cookies >>
- Chocolate & Oats Cookies (GF) >>
This blog post was originally written on 17 January 2022 and last updated on 28 December 2022