Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This moist and flavorful yeast bread with swirls of cinnamon and plump raisins is truly amazing. Yesterday morning was so perfect, fall break had started and I stayed up late and got to sleep in. When I woke up I had craving for cinnamon swirl bread and grits. Mmmm…I just had to have it! Luckily I already had everything that I needed in my kitchen to make it. When I was younger my parents always had a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread around. I loved to toast a slice of the bread and eat it with a big bowl of buttery grits. It was so perfect. :) There is nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven and this bread made my house smell so delicious for hours. I had a hard time waiting for this bread to cool…it smelled and looked so yummy! So why do you have to wait for the bread to cool? Well I guess technically you don’t…but if you cut it while it is warm the pressure from the knife will compress the loaf and you will end up with a doughy slice. Not cool at all! So resist the temptation, I promise you the wait is worth it. If you do like your bread warm, just pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and slather with butter…mmmm…heaven. Why is it that so many people are hesitant to make yeast breads? I don’t get it, the hardest part is waiting for the bread to rise! Give this bread a try, baking with yeast isn’t as scary as you may think. If you don’t inhale this entire loaf after it cools, you can use this bread to make french toast or bread pudding.

Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread


For the Dough:
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 envelope instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/4-3 3/4 unbleached all purpose flour

For the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Milk for brushing

For the Glaze:
1 large egg
2 teaspoons milk


Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter melts. Cool until warm, about 110°F.
Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast over water. On low speed, mix in sugar and eggs. Add salt, cinnamon, milk mixture, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook and add 1 1/4 cups more flour and knead at medium-low speed for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add flour sparingly if the dough sticks to the side of the bowl.
Turn the dough onto a work surface. If the dough is sticky, knead up to a 1/2 cup more flour to form a smooth, elastic, soft dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
After the rise, punch down the center of the dough once. Making sure not to fold the dough, turn it onto an unfloured work surface; let dough rest 10 minutes.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9X5 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar together.
Press the dough into an evenly shaped 6 x 8 inch rectangle. With the short end of the dough facing you, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 18 X 8 inch rectangle. Brush dough liberally with milk. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture and raisins evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the far side.

Starting at the side closest to you, roll up the dough, pinching the seam tightly to secure. Push the side of the roll in so the loaf is no bigger than 9 inches. With the seam facing up, push in the center of both ends. Firmly pinch the dough at either end together to seal the sides of the loaf.
Place the loaf, seam side down, into prepared pan, press lightly to flatten. bread loaf fan, seam side facing down. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise 1 1/2 hours or until dough is 1 inch above the top of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Gently brush the top of the loaf with the egg mixture.
Bake until the bread is a golden brown, about 35-45 minutes and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf reads 185 to 190°F.
Remove from pan and let cool on its side on a wire rack until room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Recipe Note: You can refrigerate the dough overnight, then shape it, allow to rise, and bake it the next day. Allow to rise 2 1/2 hours before placing in the oven.

Source: adapted from Baking Illustrated

19 Responses to “Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread”

  1. #
    briarrose — October 22, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    Beautiful loaf. Nothing better than the aroma of a cinnamon yeast bread baking in fall. 😉

  2. #
    Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox — October 22, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    Love cinnamon raisin bread. Yours looks wonderful. Saving the recipe.

  3. #
    Pennies on a Platter — October 22, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    What a beautiful loaf of bread!!

  4. #
    Evan @swEEts — October 22, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    This bread looks near perfect! I love it.. I can only imagine how good it smells while baking.. I don’t know if I’d be able to wait!

  5. #
    Rachel — October 22, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

    What perfect swirls! I’ve always wondered how to achieve those beautiful cinnamon raisin swirls.
    I’m about the take the real plunge with yeast bread and bake some for our use. You’re right, the hardest part will probably be waiting for it to rise!

  6. #
    Baking Serendipity — October 22, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

    Toasted cinnamon raisin bread with almond butter is one of my all-time favorite breakfast treats. Your bread looks fantastic…and I am definitely envious of the way I’m sure it made your house smell. The scent of baked bread is the absolute best.

  7. #
    orsetta — October 23, 2010 @ 5:44 am

    Your blog is a wonderful discovery! Nice to know you. Skip to us, we offer you a treat from Italy:)

    We made italian dishes but we love to share it with other cultures!

    Many greetings Italian


  8. #
    gingerbreadcake — October 24, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    This has to be the most beautiful loaf of raisin cinnamon swirl bread I’ve ever seen! The bread you made is just gorgeous and SO delicious looking. I love making yeast breads and can’t wait to give your recipe a try. I agree with you, yeast breads aren’t hard to make, the hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise. Sometimes I just want the time to go faster so I can get the bread in the oven and eat it! Thanks so much for sharing. YUM!!! :)

  9. #
    Lucie — October 24, 2010 @ 5:28 am

    Raisin cinnamon bread reminds me of Saturday mornings when I was younger–a warm slice slathered with yogurt spread is one of my favorite things! I can smell the cinnamon just reading your post…

  10. #
    fromHawaii — November 1, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS BREAD!!!I did not put raisins because not a big fan and also was short one cup of flour so I used 1c of whole wheat and it still turned out to be AMAZING!!!Very easy to make, EVERYBODY DON’T WAIT JUST GO MAKE IT!!!!!!!!I am making second loaf wright now :)

  11. #
    ShopCookMake — May 7, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    Beautiful Bread! I’m baking it as I type.

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  14. #
    beccysfoodies — February 4, 2012 @ 5:08 am

    i’ve been looking a recipe for cinnamon raison bread for ages, and this one looks perfect!! :)

  15. #
    Maggie Dennis — May 16, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    Couple months ago, searching your page I found these incredible recipe (Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread)…Oh my!! We are such a fan of this bread…my mom asked me to bake at least twice in a month, I know it by heart. Thank you so much, easy instructions and it turns out just as you said, nobody can’t wait to cool down to eat. BTW love getting your emails. Keep it up.
    Maggie Dennis

  16. #
    basalevolution — August 3, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    a little late to the party, but this looks amazing! yum!

  17. #
    Momoftwo — January 7, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    The best ever cinnamon bread! Next time I will spilt dough and roll out thinner for two loaves. I did not have enough white flour, so I used 1c of bread. Thank you so much for recipe!

  18. #
    Barbara — February 26, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    Can you specific at what point exactly I can refrigerate this overnight? After the first rise? It also looks like that 2 1/2 hour rise is printed 2x on the recipe. thanks!

    • Christina replied: — February 27th, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

      Hi Barbara,
      I fixed the directions. You can refrigerate the dough after the 2 1/2 hour rise. When you are ready to bake it, just shape it and and allow to rise 2 1/2 hours before placing in the oven. :)

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