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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Delightful Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread is scrumptious and soul-satisfying. It’s fun to make, fills your home with an irresistibly inviting aroma, and makes unbeatable toast and bread pudding.
- The gorgeous curl is made from a luscious blend of sugar and cinnamon, giving each bite a blend of savory bread and sweet swirl.
- This beautiful bread might seem complicated, but don’t be intimidated! It’s easily made with a simple rolling technique.
I love how this homemade version of Sun-Maid Cinnamon Swirl Raisin bread looks: every slice is pretty! Check out our other tantalizing swirled breads, including Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Bread, Incredible Chocolate Babka Recipe, Crazy Dough Braided Nutella Bread, and Cream Cheese Swirl Banana Bread.
Table of Contents
- What is Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread?
- Tools You Need
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
- Can I Make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread in Advance?
- How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Cozy Cinnamon Recipes
What is Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread?
- Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread is a yeast bread with a golden-brown and slightly crispy crust, a tender and even crumb, scattered raisins, and cinnamon swirls throughout upon slicing.
- Lean into the sweetness of Cinnamon Raisin Bread by using it to make French toast, in a bread pudding recipe, or toasted with butter with maybe an extra sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
- Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread most likely evolved from Swedish cinnamon rolls called kanelbulle. In North America, baking cinnamon yeast dough in a loaf grew more common, and in the 20th century, commercially made cinnamon became popular.
Tools You Need
- 9×5-inch loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- Small saucepan
- Stand mixer with dough hook (optional)
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring jug
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Rolling pin
- Wire rack
Key Ingredients and Why
- Butter enriches the flavor and contributes to a golden-brown crust.
- Butter fat coats protein to prevent the formation of an excessive amount of gluten, resulting in a soft and tender crumb.
- Butter fat retains moisture in the dough and reduces friction between gluten stands, making it more pliable without tearing.
- During the plumping process, the melted butter permeates the raisins with rich flavor.
- With 3.5% fat, whole milk makes the bread moist and rich and aids in the browning of the crust.
- I always use whole milk in my recipes because it makes the bread extra soft and adds more flavor than low-fat milk.
- Raisins add fruity sweetness and textural interest.
- The egg gives this loaf a plush texture.
- The egg gives the dough moisture and structure and enriches flavor.
- All-purpose flour has a 9-11% protein content, perfect for soft bread with a touch of lovely chewiness.
- Instant yeast does not require sponging and gives a quicker, more efficient rise than active dry yeast.
- Mix instant yeast with flour first to avoid direct contact with salt so the yeast won’t get deactivated.
- If you use active dry yeast: for every teaspoon of instant yeast, use 1 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast.
- Bring the liquid in your recipe to blood temperature and mix in active dry yeast. Let it sit at room temperature for roughly 5 minutes until foam forms on top.
- Salt enhances the flavor of the bread and strengthens the gluten, giving the loaf the perfect crumb.
- Salt also relaxes the dough so that it’s easier to shape.
- Sugar provides sweetness and complements the spiciness of the cinnamon. It also adds moisture to the bread.
- The warm, spicy, slightly sweet, uniquely cozy flavor of ground cinnamon gives this bread its distinctive taste and aroma.
- It blends perfectly with sugar, giving every slice of this bread a warm sweetness. The aroma of cinnamon sugar is nostalgic to many, making this bread an irresistible and comforting treat!
How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
- Plump the raisins: In a saucepan, heat water, milk, butter, and raisins until simmering. Take off heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes until raisins are plump,
- Make the dough: Combine butter, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the egg into the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients (including raisins) to dry ingredients, and mix for 8 minutes.
- Proof the dough: Roll the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Make the swirl: Roll the dough into a rectangle. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the dough. Roll up the dough and place seam-side down in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Finish bread and bake: Cover the pan with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes until it is doubled. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush the loaf with egg wash, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool in a pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and cool completely on a wire rack.
Can I Make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread in Advance?
Yes, you can make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread in Advance.
- To make ahead and store in the fridge:
- Prepare the Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread until after shaping, but before final proofing (STEP 8 in the recipe below).
- Put the dough in the pan, wrap it well, and refrigerate it overnight.
- Remove it from the fridge, proof until it has at least doubled in size then bake as directed.
- After shaping the dough and putting it in the pan, wrap it well in cling film (plastic wrap) and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, proof for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size, then bake as directed.
- To make ahead and store in the freezer:
- Bake the bread, wrap it well, and store it in a freezer bag. Let the bread thaw overnight in the fridge when you plan to serve it.
- Pop it into a hot oven for a few minutes, and it will come out warm and fresh.
How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
How do I make Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread by hand?
- If kneading the dough by hand, combine the dry ingredients, then stir in the wet ingredients until moistened.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 15 minutes.
How do I make sure I get a perfect swirl?
- Be sure to spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly. To make the swirl extra neat, you can take the added step of leaving a small border around the edge to ensure that the filling doesn’t leak out while baking.
- Roll evenly and tightly to ensure a neat swirl.
What do I do if my dough is too wet or too dry?
- The dough should be fairly sticky, but it should still clear the sides of the bowl.
- If your dough is wet, add a bit more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s the correct consistency.
- If the dough is stiff or dry, add one tablespoon of milk at a time until the dough is soft.
How do I make sure my bread gets a perfect rise?
- If your dough didn’t rise, check whether your yeast is expired. Also, storing it in the fridge or freezer will keep it fresh longer.
- Salt does retard yeast growth, and in concentrations that are too high, it can kill the yeast. Keep salt and yeast separate, or mix each with flour first.
- Do not over-proof or under-proof the dough. The telltale sign you use is how your dough looks: if the dough has doubled in size, almost feels lighter but still strong, and a finger indent doesn’t spring back right away, then it’s ready.
Can I make this recipe egg-free?
- Yes, you can make this recipe without an egg. See my guide, 12 Best Egg Substitutes in Baking and How to Use Them. The flax or chia seed egg substitutes could work well here.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- The raisins plump up in the warm milk so they stay nice and juicy in the bread.
- We use dark raisins, but golden raisins would also work.
- You can use this bread to make my Traditional Irish Bread and Butter Pudding.
- This bread makes an excellent French toast.
- Serve this with Homemade Butter or Orange Honey Compound Butter!
More Cozy Cinnamon Recipes
- Gemma’s Best-Ever Cinnamon Rolls
- Classic Coffee Cake
- Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
- Cinnamon Roll Muffins
- Cinnamon Roll Palmiers
Watch The Recipe Video!
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread Recipe (Easy Homemade)
- ½ cup (4 fl oz/120ml) water
- ½ cup (4 fl oz/120ml) whole milk
- 3 tablespoons (1 ½ oz/43 g) butter
- ½ cup (2 ½ oz/71 g) raisins
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 3 ¾ cups (18 oz/532 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
For the Cinnamon Swirl
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- egg wash
- Butter and line with parchment a 9x5-inch (12½ x 23 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat (or using a microwave with a microwave-safe bowl), heat the water, milk, butter and raisins until the butter has melted and the liquid is beginning to simmer. Cover and set aside to let cool to lukewarm while allowing the raisins to plump up, about 20 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (please see tips if kneading by hand), mix together the flour, yeast, and salt.
- Whisk the egg into the cooled wet ingredients, then add into the dry and mix on medium-low speed for about 8 minutes.
- Roll dough into a smooth ball and place in a large, oiled mixing bowl, turning the dough in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a shower cap) and clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for roughly 60-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Once proofed, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 9x18 inch (23x46 cm) rectangle.
- Make the Cinnamon Swirl: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle this evenly all over the surface of the dough.
- Starting at the long side, roll up the dough and place it, seam side down, into your prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Carefully brush the loaf with egg wash and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.