The BEST Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread with a Secret Ingredient

Home » The BEST Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread with a Secret Ingredient

Preview: Mix this Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread in your bread machine, then roll it out by hand to get that classic swirl. Bake it in your oven for a superior crust. The secret ingredient? A pinch of ground cloves in the filling accentuates the cinnamon flavor.

sliced cinnamon raisin bread baked in a Pullman Pan

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Am I the only person who likes to unroll, separate the layers, or otherwise dissect my food as I eat it? So unroll this bread as you eat it so you can appreciate all the layers of cinnamon as you smell and taste them.

If you’re wondering how you can swirl your bread in a bread machine, I will show you two ways. My favorite is to remove the dough after the DOUGH cycle, shape it by hand, and bake it in your oven. That’s how you get the best crust (see how thin it is in the picture) with even browning and an even texture throughout the bread.

You can also interrupt the regular bread cycle to pull the dough out and shape it. Keep reading for more details.

I like to bake this bread in a covered Pullman pan. It’s perfect for this recipe to keep the swirls under control. Compare the picture above with one further down in this post where I used a regular loaf pan. The coils aren’t nearly as pretty.

You will not get cinnamon-raisin bread that looks like the one above if you bake your loaf inside a bread maker. That’s why I almost always mix the dough in a bread machine and bake it in my oven.

No worries if you don’t have a bread machine. Use a stand mixer or mix this bread by hand. See the recipe notes for details.

toasted slice of raisin bread

Ingredients and substitutions:

ingredients needed to make cinnamon-raisin bread
  • MILK: Use any kind of milk you have. But remember, the more fat in your milk, the richer and more delicious your bread. That’s a general principle for all bread recipes.
  • EGGS: All bread recipes on this website are made with large-sized eggs. If you use a different size, adjust the liquid accordingly.
  • BUTTER: I tested the recipe with unsalted butter. If you use salted, decrease the amount of salt slightly.
  • SUGAR: Use granulated whitesugar. If you want to substitute honey, use a little bit less as honey is sweeter than sugar. Because honey is liquid, don’t forget to check the dough as it kneads (yes, open the lid) and see if it needs more flour.
  • SALT: Use table salt or sea salt. If you use Kosher salt, increase the amount by at least 1/4 teaspoon.
  • CINNAMON: Be sure it’s fresh! It makes a big difference.
  • CLOVES: If you like secret ingredients, this is for you. A pinch of ground cloves is what makes this bread memorable. Cloves punch up the flavor of cinnamon just like instant espresso intensifies chocolate or chocolate enhances chili. BTW, this ingredient is optional. If you don’t have it–no sweat!
  • FLOUR: Bread flour is my favorite for this loaf. The higher protein helps the enriched dough to rise better, imparts more chewiness, and makes a loaf sturdy enough for toast. If you need to substitute all-purpose flour, you may need to decrease the liquid slightly.

    Be sure to open the lid and check your dough as it kneads to see if it needs an adjustment in flour or liquid. This is the most important secret to making good bread with a bread machine.
  • YEAST: I don’t buy anything but instant or bread machine yeast. If all you have is active dry yeast, see the notes in the recipe for more information.
  • RAISINS: Leave them out if you’re not a raisin lover or get creative with substitutions. Try other dried fruit such as currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or chopped dates. (See the FAQ below for suggestions on the best way to add fruit and nuts to your bread dough.)

    Walnuts and pecans are additional options. I recommend you toast nuts in the microwave before adding them to your bread for maximum flavor.

A word about the filling:

Most recipes call for white sugar or brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling. The problem is the layers. They want to pull apart as they bake. See the old picture below using a different recipe.

This shows bread with large spaces in the cinnamon swirl that let the raisins fall out and the bread gets dry.

I got the idea to use powdered sugar in the filling from Jennifer at Once Upon a Chef. The cornstarch in the sugar “glues” the layers together. Baking the bread in a covered Pullman pan helps keep the cinnamon coils from separating.

Can I make this bread from beginning to end in a bread machine?

The answer is yes. I can think of at least two approaches:

  1. If you don’t care about the cinnamon swirl, follow the directions in the recipe, but instead of choosing the DOUGH cycle, choose the REGULAR cycle. Forget about the filling and glaze. You can expect the crust to be thicker than when you bake it in your oven. The color may be lighter on top than the sides and bottom.
  2. With this method, you can do the cinnamon swirl, but it requires some hands-on time. Minimize the holes caused by the paddles by pulling the dough out of the bread machine just before the last rise (check your manual). Remove the paddles.

    Quickly shape the dough into a large rectangle, as seen in the how-to pictures below. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll it up. Pinch the seams shut and turn the ends toward the seams. Drop the dough back into the pan with the seam side down. Make sure the dough is distributed evenly in the pan. If you do this quickly, you don’t need to stop the machine.
cinnamon raisin bread baked in a bread machine
Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread mixed, kneaded, and baked in a bread machine. You can see that the texture is slightly more dense but still acceptable.

Why did my cinnamon swirl bread split on the side as it baked?

Two possible reasons:
1. When rolling the dough after applying the sugar-cinnamon mixture, avoid stretching the dough before pinching the edges shut.
2. The pan you used was too small.

How to assemble Cinnamon-Raisin Bread after the DOUGH cycle finishes:

Please note: These pictures are of dough without raisins (so my grandkids would eat it).

shaping dough into a ball

Remove dough from the bread machine pan. Shape into a rough square. Cover and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

dough in a rectangle shape

Use a rolling pin or your hands to roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches.

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spritzing dough with water.

Give the dough a light spritz of water.

cinnamon and powdered sugar on top of dough

Distribute the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top, leaving an inch of uncovered dough at the borders.

rolling up the dough

Start rolling the dough from one of the short ends. Roll tightly but try not to stretch it.

pinched seams on dough cylinder

Pinch the seam closed and turn each end toward that seam.

dough in pan before final proof.

Flip over and place the roll into a pan, with the seam down. Cover and place in a warm place to rise for 45-80 minutes or until it is almost double. When ready to bake, glaze loaf if not using a Pullman pan or the bread machine for baking. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 375˚F (190˚C) or until internal temperature reaches 190˚F (88˚C).

bread cooling before cutting

Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. This helps the sides not to cave in. Next, remove the loaf and allow cooling on a rack for about 30 minutes before slicing to avoid squashing the soft interior.

sliced cinnamon raisin bread

FAQ about Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread:

When and how should I add the raisins?

Chop the raisins coarsely or use currants (nature’s mini raisins). Add them when your machine beeps that it’s time for add-ins.

If you add raisins in the beginning, the machine will pulverize them. Not only will it change the color of the bread, but you also won’t experience the sweet flavor bursts from the raisins.

Some people sprinkle them on top of the cinnamon-sugar filling. I don’t care for that method because the raisins tend to fall out as you slice and eat the bread.

How can I know when this loaf is ready to pull out of the oven?

Use a quick-read thermometer (here’s a cheap but functional model). The internal temperature (in the middle of the bread) should reach 190˚F. If the crust gets too dark, lay a piece of foil over the top. Next time move the shelf down a notch.

Why did my cinnamon-raisin bread turn out dense?

The possibilities are endless, but one of the most common causes is too much flour. Using a measuring cup often results in adding too much. Next time, weigh the flour with a digital scale. Here’s a basic scale for not much money.
Another common reason for denseness is that the bread did not rise enough. Enriched bread (lots of butter, sugar, and eggs) tends to rise slower. If your kitchen is cold, it will also slow down the rise time. Allow plenty of time to make this bread in a cold kitchen.
Read more about the causes of dense bread here.

How long will raisin bread stay fresh?

Homemade bread with no preservatives can’t compete with store-bought bread when it comes to shelf-life. Eat what you can the first couple of days and freeze the rest. Keep the loaf in a plastic bag, not the refrigerator. If you make a lot of bread, I recommend these plastic bread bags because of their long shape.

So, are you a fan of a pinch of cloves in your cinnamon bread? If you are, be sure to try my favorite cinnamon rolls and these Tangzhong Cinamon Rolls.

If you love bread with fruit and nuts, check out these recipes on this website:

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

sliced cinnamon-raisin bread made with a bread machine

Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Recipe

This recipe makes a sweet cinnamon swirl bread with or without raisins. Use your bread machine to mix and knead the dough.
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Bread
Servings 12 slices

Ingredients

DOUGH:

  • ½ to ⅔ cup lukewarm milk - 114 to 151 gr
  • 2 large eggs - 100 gr
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - (softened) 42 gr
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar - 50 gr
  • teaspoons table salt - 9 gr
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon - 1.3 gr
  • 3 cups bread flour - 360 gr
  • teaspoons instant yeast - 7 gr
  • cup raisins - (chopped or use currants) 66 gr

FILLING:

  • cup powdered sugar - 38 gr
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon - 5 gr
  • teaspoon ground cloves

GLAZE:

  • 1 egg - 50 gr
  • 1 tablespoon water - 14 gr

Instructions
 

MAKING THE DOUGH

  • Add all the dough ingredients, ½-⅔ c milk (114 to 151 gr), 2 large eggs (100 gr), 3 T unsalted butter–finely chopped (42 gr), ¼ c sugar (50 gr), 1½ t salt (9 gr) ½ t cinnamon (1.3 gr), 3 c bread flour (360 gr), 2¼ t instant yeast (7 gr) except the raisins to your bread machine pan. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. After 12-15 minutes, open the lid and check the dough. It should be
  • Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. Do this right after the machine starts to see if the paddles are correctly engaged and the dough is starting to form a ball.
    Recheck the consistency of the dough again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Find out more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • Add ⅔ c raisins or currants when the machine beeps that it's time to add any ingredients you don't want to be mashed by the kneading action. If your machine doesn't have this signal, add them before shaping the dough by kneading them into the dough by hand.
  • When the DOUGH cycle finishes, poke two floured fingers into the dough to see if it has proofed enough. Your fingers should leave an indentation that slowly fills in. If the dough bounces right back, let it sit in the bread machine a little longer and test again in 15-30 minutes.

SHAPING THE LOAF:

  • Remove the dough from the bread machine to a lightly floured or greased surface. Form into a ball and flatten into a rough square shape. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Mix together the filling ingredients.
  • Roll dough out to a 9 x 14-inch rectangle. Spritz lightly with water. Sprinkle the filling (⅓ c confectioners sugar, 2 t cinnamon, ⅛ t cloves)evenly over the dough. Roll up jelly-roll style starting from one of the short ends. Pinch the seam together to seal. Pull each end towards the seam and pinch. Place dough cylinder into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan seam-side down or a 9x4x4-inch Pullman pan. Press down on the dough to evenly distribute it throughout the pan.
  • Cover the pan and place in a warm place until almost double in size. This process will likely take longer than usual (1-2 hours) because it is an enriched dough, but check it at 45 minutes. Use a knuckle to lightly press on the side of the loaf. The indentation should fill in slowly. If it bounces back immediately, let it continue to rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C) about 15 minutes before you think the loaf will be ready to bake.

GLAZE: (optional if you are using a 9×5-inch loaf pan)

  • Combine 1 large egg (50 gr) and 1 T water (14gr). Use a pastry brush to glaze the loaf.

BAKING THE LOAF:

  • Put the lid on if using a Pullman pan and you want a square loaf. Pull the lid off about 10 minutes before you expect the bread to be done.
  • Bake for about 35-45 minutes. Use a quick-read thermometer to guarantee the bread is baked all the way through. The internal temperature should reach 190˚F (88˚C).
  • Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Use a table knife to loosen the loaf from the pan and turn it out onto a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes before slicing to avoid squashing your loaf.

Video

Notes

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Bread Machine Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Recipe
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
221
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
49
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
315
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
38
g
13
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keywords: bread machine recipe, breakfast bread, cinnamon bread, raisin bread
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Recipe Rating




31 Comments

  1. Next “dough” loaf I’m going to try, Paula. Don’t have a Pullman pan but I know it will be super in just a regular. Thank you!

    1. You’re right. It will be good in a regular loaf pan. That’s what I used for years.

  2. Ann McGuire says:

    Love all the awesome recipes you are sending!

    1. Hi Ann,

      Nice to “see” you. Glad you are enjoying the recipes.

  3. In your instructions you sometimes state “any milk”. I avoid dairy milk and usually use oat milk for most things. You don’t say if you’ve tried anything but dairy milk in your recipes so my question is if you think it would create similar results? Do you know if anyone has tested the recipe with non dairy milk?

    1. Jackie, I have not tested it…yet. But it’s a good idea. I think it would work just fine. The flavor might be slightly different, but I assume that’s OK with you. Depending on how much fat is in your substitute, you might want to add a little more butter to make up for it. It will help the bread to keep from drying out quite as fast.

  4. Holly Snyder says:

    5 stars
    I am new to my bread maker. Made this and did the corrections adding the milk. This came out PERFECT, like store bought! I recommend this recipe!

  5. Debbie Chandler says:

    5 stars
    This bread is amazing. I’ve made it several times now and my grandchildren love it.

  6. 5 stars
    The only issue I had with this bread was I ate 4 slices right off the bat! And my family followed suit, we won’t have a problem storing it, cause it’s almost gone!
    I omitted the cloves-not a fan-but followed the recipe exactly otherwise. It wasn’t too sweet, a perfect cinnamon raisin loaf! Thank you Paula for another amazing recipe! Oh and I used the Pullman pan for the first time with this recipe, loaf slid right out!

  7. I just made this bread, although with a few tweaks, and it was delicious. I use the bread for nut butter sandwiches, so wanted a solid piece of bread, rather than with a swirl. I skipped the filling, but added 2 tsps of cinnamon to the dough, which worked marvelously. Of course I had to have a piece of toast first to check it out. 😀

    1. Ummmm. I can smell that toast if I imagine hard enough. Yum. Thanks for your kind words. Glad the recipe turned out good for you.

  8. Never stated when to add raisins

    1. @Debbie, under the FAQ

      “When and how should I add the raisins?
      Chop the raisins coarsely or use currants (nature’s mini raisins). Add them when your machine beeps that it’s time for add-ins.”

    2. Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for letting me know. I’m so sorry if it inconvenienced you. I have added it to the recipe itself.

  9. Has anyone rolled the cinnamon/sugar in the dough then put it back in the machine to rise and bake? Did it turn out ok??

    1. Hi Donna,
      Glad you asked. The answer (and picture) is already in the post. I tried it. It worked out fine. Didn’t look as good in my opinion. But it was delicious. I described two ways to do it. Hope that helps.

  10. I have a 13×4 pullman pan. Would making 1 1/2 (except for the yeast)of the recipe be enough for this size pan?

    1. Hi Donna,

      I do not have a Pullman pan this size, so I can’t speak from experience. From what I’ve read, a 2 lb. loaf is about right for this size. So 1 and one-half times this recipe seems about right. The original recipe is probably close to a 1½ lb. loaf. It’s worth a try. I would love for you to come back and leave a comment about how it went. Your experience would be helpful for my readers.

  11. I use a stand mixer then shape and bake my breads in an oven as well. I want to try this recipe for a friend with currants. If I put the currants in at the beginning with all the other ingrediants would that be ok or should I add them closer to the end? Already tried your 2 tsp starter yoghurt and it was a total sucess, hopefully this will be too! From Melbourne Australia.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Congratulations on your yoghurt success. It’s so satisfying to make your own yoghurt–don’t you think?

      About the currants: You can certainly add the currants in the beginning, however, if the mixer is strong enough to knead your bread, it will likely pulverize the currants. Your bread will turn brown. If that’s what you like, go ahead. I like to taste and see the currants individually, so I add them closer to the end–like the last 5 minutes. If you forget, you can always incorporate them by hand when shaping the dough. I bet you will like that recipe. So tasty!

    2. @Paula, I think I will add by hand when shaping the dough. After my expensive well known stand mixer died less than 6mnths after I brought it I did some research and eventually got an Ankarsrum Assistent Mixer, it is very powerful, great for kneading all my bread, including the stiffer doughs and never overheats. Wil definitely add after by hand, thanks.

  12. Made this and it had a very small disappointing rise to it. I read everything (there is quite alot) but when I had the ingrediants to make it I jumped straight to recipe so missed the bit right at the end about using dry active yeast.

    The needed info is there but I think it would really help in the recipe section if there was a little asterisk saying to check notes or something.
    The other bits about sultana/currant substitution etc is personal choice but I think the note about the yeast is very important and something about it in the recipe would help enormously.

    1. Hi Lorraine,
      I’m sorry your rolls didn’t rise so much. There could be many reasons your bread didn’t rise besides the yeast. Active dry yeast normally works fine, but it may take a little longer. I would love to help you troubleshoot. If you are interested, send me more details about your process. Did you use the DOUGH cycle and your own oven, or did you mix and bake it in the bread machine? How warm is your kitchen these days? That can make a huge difference. Did you use the two-finger test to see if your dough had risen enough? You might want to take a quick look at my post about dense bread for more help. Hope to hear from you again.

  13. I made this just now and I had to say thank you so much. Wow, this recipe tastes absolutely fantastic. Definitely among the best cinnamon raisin bread I’ve ever eaten.

    I didn’t have whole milk, so I mixed one part heavy whipping cream with two parts 2% milk and I’m very impressed by how fluffy and flavorful it turned out.

    I can’t get enough of this– gonna go eat some right now. Keep up the excellent work!

    1. David,
      I’m so happy to hear that you liked it. I agree with you. This bread is hard to resist. I can imagine that using the cream only made it better!!

    1. You’re welcome Sheri. And thank you for the 5-star rating. Have a great week.

  14. 5 stars
    Not bad for a first attempt, but I still got the “undesirable space” from the swirl at the top of my loaf. Consistency is great, flavor fabulous, not too dense, all of the rise checks were on target (slow filling of finger indentation) and I used 10X sugar in the filling. I’m ordering the Pullman pan specified with the lid instead of the unlidded pan (9 x 5 I think) also suggested. Anything else I can try?

    1. Hi Laurie,

      The lid for the Pullman pan will fix that space at the top of your loaf. Can you believe the price for that pan? Crazy! But worth it just for this bread. Those spaces drive me crazy. However, if you look at cinnamon-raisin loaves online, almost everybody has them.

      I would love to see a picture after you get the lidded Pullman pan. I bet your loaf will be beautiful. You will soon be famous for your cinnamon loaf. High-Five!!!!

  15. Becky Poe says:

    5 stars
    I wish I could show you the photograph of my Cinnamon Swirl loaf! I don’t have a Pullman pan, and it still came out PERFECTLY…no “undesirable spaces”! The neighbor who received it was thrilled. This is my third Paula Rhodes recipe…everyone one has been a HUGE SUCCESS! (Note: if you haven’t made her Hawiian Bread, you missed an AWESOME recipes…the rolls are to die for!)

    1. Hi Becky,
      Isn’t it satisfying when you make a bread that turns out perfect? Thanks for sharing your win (and also for the recommendation on the Hawaiian bread).