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swirled cinnamon raisin bread with two slices and a loaf

Easy Swirled Cinnamon Raisin Bread (2 Ways)

A slice of warm swirled cinnamon raisin bread slathered with butter is the perfect addition to your breakfast! This bread is soft, fluffy, and loaded with cinnamon and juicy raisins. The ultimate comfort food!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves


  • one or two 9 x 5 inch (23 X 13 cm) bread loaf pans


For the dough

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup (56 g / 2 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups (444 g / 15.7 oz) all-purpose flour (plus up to ½ cup extra for kneading)
  • 1 cup raisins (about 150 g / 5.3 oz)
  • 1-2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (to spread on baked loaves

For the cinnamon sugar filling* (OR See the NOTE below for a sweeter, denser & really moist filling)

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg


Prep the pan(s)

  • Line the pan(s) with overlapping parchment paper. Alternatively, generously grease the pan(s) with vegetable oil. Set aside.

Proof the yeast

  • Warm the milk to a temperature between  105° F –115° F (40°C – 46°C). It should feel comfortably warm on your wrist, but not hot. Stir in the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Let it proof for about 10 minutes until it’s foamy.

Make the dough

  • In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the beaten egg, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Add the proofed yeast mixture and mix.
  • Add the flour, a little at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and mix on medium speed.
  • Add the raisins and mix.

Knead the dough

  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes. You can either do this by hand on a floured surface or with the stand mixer (using the dough hook) on medium speed. Add enough flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is pliable or doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Let the dough rise

  • Lightly grease a bowl with oil. Add the dough and coat it with some oil, too. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until it’s doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Roll out the dough

  • If you want 2 loaves, divide the dough in half. Then roll it out into a rectangle (about 9 X 20 inches / 23 X 50 cm).

Add the filling* & roll up the dough

  • Brush the dough with the melted butter. Then sprinkle the surface with the sugar and spices. Roll up the dough, pinch the ends, and tuck them under.

Let the dough rise a 2nd time & then bake

  • Place the dough seam side down into the prepared bread pan(s). Cover with plastic wrap and then a clean towel and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  • About 15 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375 °F / 190 °C. 
  • Uncover the dough and bake it for 35-45 minutes or until it’s golden brown on the top.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and immediately spread the top with the butter. Allow it to cool in the pan(s) for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bread from the pan(s) and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing it.
  • Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. The baked loaves can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Enjoy!


Picture Tutorial & Tips: I have a detailed picture tutorial in my post to help you out with each step of the recipe as well as lots of tips to ensure success.
* For a sweeter, denser and really moist filling, mix the following together and spread it on the rolled out dough:
2 ½  tablespoons light vegetable oil 
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground nutmeg
Allowing the dough to rise in the fridge overnight really allows all the flavors to develop! For freshly-baked cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast, prepare the dough and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Then cover it loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight, but don’t put it into the pan(s) because it will rise too much and overflow. 
In the morning, roll out the dough, add the filling, and shape. Then place it in the pan(s) and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before baking. 
You can either wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, or slice it and individually wrap each slice. You can put each frozen slice directly in the toaster, or you can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then put it in the toaster.
Baking Measurements: I have used weight measurements for all the recipes on this website. Even though I have also included American volume measurements for convenience, I highly recommend using a digital kitchen scale to weigh all ingredients for the most accurate measurements. Digital kitchen scales are more precise than cups, which is so important in baking, and they give the most accurate, consistent results. Happy baking!
© Pastry Wishes