Slice of homemade cinnamon raisin bread

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

March 8, 2018 by Michelle

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There is nothing better than homemade bread. Cinnamon raisin bread is a special bread that takes a little effort but turns out fantastic every time. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission.

Homemade cinnamon raisin swirl bread recipe that doesn't require a bread machine, with dairy free options, too. Incredibly soft and better than store bought

When we moved, I didn’t put my toaster in storage. We don’t use it very often, but I felt like it was one of those key appliances that shouldn’t go into storage. Silly me.

It wasn’t until last week that I actually pulled it out and used it for the first time – and we finally move into our new house next week where everything will be out of storage. Of course, I was really grateful to have it when I needed it.

I made cinnamon raisin bread from scratch, and it’s just not the same when it isn’t toasted. And slathered in butter.

Little Miss originally didn’t want to try it because “I don’t like raisin bread.” Ha. I made her try a piece, and now it’s her favorite breakfast. Silly girl.

And yes, she’s discovered that she loves it spread with coconut oil instead of butter since she can’t have dairy. In fact, I modified the entire recipe to use dairy free ingredients for her (almond milk for milk and coconut oil for the butter), and it worked beautifully.

Since most people don’t deal with a dairy allergy, I’m left the recipe traditional for you. It’s a one to one switch, and because you add the flour to feel, it’s fairly forgiving, too.

I love that this doesn’t require a breadmaker because there’s just something about bread maker bread that doesn’t quite taste right to me. I haven’t figured out what it is, but I definitely prefer bread made by hand. Well, I prefer it as long as I get to use my stand mixer.

I love making bread, whether it’s a French baguette or cinnamon rolls. I know, I know – you have a fear of yeast. You are’t alone. I used to, but I got over it.

If you are new to making bread, I have a couple posts to get you comfortable with yeast. In fact, I have a post dedicated to yeast that shares tips on how to succeed with yeast.

The same holds true with kneading dough. Until you do it, you may not get it. Check out this tutorial on how to knead dough.

This cinnamon raisin bread recipe is one I plan to make again and again. The raisins are soft and plump. The cinnamon gives it a beautiful kick, and the eggs and fat in the dough make it a wonderfully moist bread that stayed fresh even after three days when I had it covered in foil.

Pull out your bread, pop a slice in the toaster, and repeat after me: there’s no need for store bought cinnamon raisin bread ever again.

And since this recipe makes 2 large loaves (or 6 small ones), that means you have extra to freeze. This bread freezes nicely, just be sure to wrap it tightly.

You have essentially no extra work to make more loaves, and you get to enjoy the bread longer, which is a win in my book! If you only want one loaf, simply halve this recipe.

Homemade cinnamon raisin bread, fresh from the toaster - heaven!

How to Make Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Make your dough

Plump your raisins first. Personally, I think there’s nothing worse than hard, chewy raisins in a beautifully soft cookie, cake, or bread. Plumping them is easy and quick.

Simply place your 1 cup of raisins into a small saucepan and cover with water. Place on your stove over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain them, then pat them dry to ensure they don’t add extra moisture to your dough.

Plump your raisins before baking with them so they're as soft as the rest of your recipe

While the raisins plump, start your dough. In another small saucepan, add the milk and 8 tablespoons of butter (save the remaining 2 tablespoons for the filling later).

Heat over medium low heat just until most of the butter melts. You don’t want this to get too hot so that it kills the yeast or you have to waste time letting it cool.

Once the butter melts, add the honey and stir until the honey incorporates into fully melted butter. Add the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast atop it.

Add two cups of flour and stir until mostly combined. Add 4 of the eggs. saving the last egg for an egg wash just before you bake your cinnamon raisin bread. Mix until the egg is completely incorporated, then slowly add the remaining flour.

You want the dough to be slightly more moist than a French bread loaf, but only slightly tacky to the touch, not falling apart moist. Depending on the humidity in your flour, you may need to add more or less. Start with 7 cups and work from there.

Add raisins once your dough is mostly kneaded

Once you add the flour, knead the dough either by hand or using your dough hook. If using your dough hook, knead for about 7-10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. Kneading by hand takes 15-20 minutes.

Add the plumped and dried raisins, and knead again just until incorporated. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel in the bowl and let rise for one to two hours, until the dough doubles.

Form your cinnamon raisin bread loaves

After the first rise, flour your work surface and remove your cinnamon raisin bread dough from the bowl. Cut it into two essentially even pieces (or 6 if you’re making the small loaves).

Roll your dough to the width of your bread pan as thinly as you can, making a long strip. If a raisin pops out, simply press it back in.

Add flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface, but you don’t want it to be super smooth dough with no stick to it.

Cut your dough into two equal size pieces to make your cinnamon raisin loaves

Melt your remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl, mix together your cinnamon and the brown sugar.

Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter across your dough strip, leaving an inch or so untouched at the top, which is where you’ll form your seam.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture atop the butter, then roll it up, starting at the end that has cinnamon all the way to the edge.

Add cinnamon sugar mixture to your rolled out dough

Roll that section tighter than you think you need to, which will help ensure that you don’t have a hole in the center of your loaf once it bakes. Place into a greased loaf pan. Repeat with your remaining dough.

Remember to use half the butter and half the cinnamon sugar for each loaf.

Cover the shaped loaves with your damp kitchen towel and let rise another hour. At the end of an hour, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and place an empty pan on the bottom for water.

You want to add water to the hot pan when you bake your bread, which helps to form a perfect crust with all your yeast breads where you want a nice crust.

Brush your risen cinnamon raisin dough with an egg wash just before baking

Bake your cinnamon raisin bread

After you preheat your oven, mix your last egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush the tops of your loaves with the egg wash, recognizing that you won’t use all of it.

Once you prep your cinnamon raisin bread loaves, add them to the oven. Add one cup of water to your hot pan on the bottom of your oven, and let your loaves bake for 40-50 minutes for the large loaves and 30-35 minutes for the smaller loaves. When they are golden brown and sound hollow when thumped, remove them from the oven.

Let your cinnamon raisin bread cool completely on a rack before cutting into them. If you cut into a fresh loaf of bread while still hot, it lets the moisture escape and leads to a dry loaf. If you eat all of it in one sitting, feel free to enjoy immediately of course.

This keeps nicely on your counter for three to four days, wrapped in foil, without going stale. If you plan to save it for later, you can also wrap it well and freeze it for up to a month.

Have you ever made homemade cinnamon raisin bread?

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yield: 28 slices (2 loaves)
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

An easy and delicious homemade cinnamon raisin bread that requires no bread machine. It makes a yummy loaf that stays soft for 3-4 days after making it.

Ingredients

  • 2 c milk
  • 10 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 T yeast
  • 5 eggs, divided
  • 7-8 c flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 3 T cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Plump raisins. Place raisins into a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, then pat dry.
  2. While the raisins are plumping, start dough. In another small saucepan, add milk and 8 tablespoons of butter (save the remaining 2 tablespoons for the filling later). Heat over medium low heat just until the butter is mostly melted.
  3. Add honey and stir until the butter is fully melted and honey is incorporated. Add the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast atop it.
  4. Add two cups flour and stir until mostly combined. Add 4 eggs. saving the last egg. Mix until egg is completely incorporated, then slowly add the remaining flour. 
  5. Once the flour is added, knead the dough either by hand (15-20 minutes) or using dough hook (7-10 minutes), until smooth and elastic.
  6. Add plumped and dried raisins, and knead again just until incorporated. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel in the bowl and let rise for one to two hours, until doubled.
  7. Once it's completed its first rise, flour work surface cut dough into two essentially even pieces. Roll dough to the width of your bread pan as thinly as you can, making a long strip. Add flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to your work surface.
  8. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and the brown sugar. Once the butter is melted, use a pastry brush to spread it across your dough strip, leaving an inch or so untouched at the top.
  9. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture atop the butter, then roll it up, starting at the end that has cinnamon all the way to the edge. Place into a greased loaf pan. Repeat with your remaining dough.
  10. Cover the shaped loaves with damp kitchen towel and let rise another hour. At the end of an hour, preheat your oven to 375 degrees, making sure you have an empty pan on the bottom for water to form a nice crust.
  11. Once the oven is preheated, mix your last egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Brush tops of loaves with the egg wash. Once the loaves have been prepped, add them to the oven. Add one cup of water to your hot pan on the bottom of your oven, and let loaves bake for 40-50 minutes. When they are golden brown and sound hollow when thumped, they are done.
  12. Remove from the loaf pans and let cool completely on a rack before cutting.

Notes

This recipe makes two large loaves of cinnamon raisin bread. If you prefer smaller loaves, you can make six loaves in small bread pans. Follow the same instructions, but cut the dough into six pieces before forming and bake for 30-35 minutes.

This bread will keep nicely on your counter for three to four days, wrapped in foil, without going stale. If you plan to save it for later, you can also wrap it well and freeze for up to a month.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 28 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 191 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 104mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 9g Protein: 5g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

Homemade cinnamon raisin bread recipe - make cinnamon swirl bread from scratch with this simple and delicious recipe

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    Comments

  • Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet


    Looks just as good as store bought!

    • Michelle


      Thanks! It was so tasty. We gobbled it up, so I’m glad I made the larger recipe!

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)


    This definitely looks easy. But at the same time I’m so not good at the bread thing. So you can send me your leftovers, yeah? 😉 YUM.

    • Michelle


      You could totally do this, Andrea! I still say, just move up here by me, and I’ll feed you!

  • Heather Brummett (@loveandcents)


    This looks amazing!

  • Darlene


    Just wanted to let you know that my bread was delicious. My bread turn out so good, I have a little trouble with directions but managed to do the raisin bread well. Too any one this is a great recipe. Thank you

    • Michelle


      I’m so glad you tried and enjoyed this recipe. It’s definitely a good one – and I need to make it here again. It’s been too long!

  • Brenda


    I’ve tried raisin bread recipes before, but this is the only one I’ve tried that turned out the way I wanted. Thank you!

    • Michelle


      Fantastic! I’m so glad to hear that. I love this bread so much – it’s always nice to hear that others do, too.

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