Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

I absolutely adore baking bread from scratch, but sometimes I go through a bit of a drought. I get caught up in chocolate and cheesecakes and cookies and then the weather starts to get warm, and fresh bread doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. I am determined to put a stop to that and get back to baking bread more regularly, starting with this spectacular loaf. Amy of Playing House mentioned on Twitter last week that she had just baked a loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread and attached a picture of the loaf fresh from the oven. Like some people fall in love, I was head over heels for that loaf of bread at first sight. Images of my favorite Cinnamon Raisin Bagels danced in my head, and I surmised that the addition of walnuts and a cinnamon-sugar crust could only take things to another fabulous level. Guess what? I was right.

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

This bread is just as easy to make as any other standard loaf bread, with the addition of the raisins and walnuts at the end of kneading. A couple of notes on the recipe:

♦  If the raisins aren’t completely drained, you may need to add some extra flour to account for the liquid from the raisins.

♦  The topping for this bread is technically optional, but I wouldn’t make this bread without it. The extra sweet cinnamon crunch on the crust is delicious, especially when toasted.

♦  Another option for the bread is to roll it out and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and then roll up the loaf so that you have a cinnamon swirl in the bread. I will do that next time, as more cinnamon sugar is never a bad thing in my book.

I ate this bread plain, and I ate it toasted with butter – both were outstanding, but I think toasting it allows the flavors to really explode. The raisins are extra plump, the walnuts toasted and crunchy and the cinnamon sugar crust is caramelized to perfection.

How often do you bake homemade bread?

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Prep Time: 20 minutes (active), 3½ hours (inactive)

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours


3½ cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shortening, melted or at room temperature
½ cup (4 ounces) buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
¾ cup (6 ounces) water, at room temperature
1½ cups (9 ounces) raisins, rinsed and drained
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts

For the topping:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


1. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the egg, shortening, buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.

2. Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed, switching to the dough hook). The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading (or mixing) to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing them too much. (If you are mixing by machine, you may have to finish kneading by hand to distribute the raisins and walnuts evenly.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves. Place each loaf in a lightly oiled 8½ by 4½-inch pan, mist the tops with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.

7. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished breads should register 190 degrees F in the center and be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.

8. Immediately remove the breads from their pans. Mix together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the topping in a shallow plate. Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter as soon as they come out of the bread pans, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Cool loaves on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.


79 Responses to “Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread”

  1. Michele on May 4, 2010 at 12:57 am

    This looks really good. I’m going to make this even though I’m the only one in my family who loves raisin bread.


  2. Amy I. on May 4, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Oh yay I’m so glad you made it! I totally agree about the topping… it’s key. I did the swirl also, but I was too conservative with the cinnamon sugar and the swirl came out really subtle. Next time I will definitely use a heavier hand with the filling. Thanks for the shout-out!


  3. Katrina on May 4, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I don’t make nearly enough homeade bread. I’m in love with yours!


  4. bunkycooks on May 4, 2010 at 7:15 am

    This looks so good! Cinnamon Raisin bread is my hubby’s favorite. I will definitely have to bake this one – with the topping!


  5. shelly (cookies and cups) on May 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I need to jump on your bread bandwagon 😉 I always get a little scared when it comes to yeast!


  6. Jenny Flake on May 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Mmmm! Love cinnamon bread, this looks great!!


  7. Maria on May 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I’ve made this bread several times. It is a favorite in our house. Makes the best toast!


  8. Brett M. on May 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Looks great! I have a question, though: I use Active Dry Yeast in my homemade pizza doughs…can’t I use there here as well? It obviously needs proofed in warm water, though, so how would one use ADY here instead? (or should I stop being fussy and go get Instant Yeast?) 🙂


    • Michelle on May 5th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Brett,

      I personally love being able to use instant yeast and just about every bread recipe I have come across in recent cookbooks, magazines, etc. call for it, but you can definitely use the active dry yeast. To do so, use warm water (around 110 degrees) and put it in a measuring cup, sprinkle the active yeast over it and let sit for about 5 minutes until it begins to swell. Add it to the dough with the egg, shortening and buttermilk and proceed with the recipe as directed. Note that it may take longer than indicated for your dough to rise.

      Hope that helps! Enjoy the bread!


  9. Tina from PA on May 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Now I’m hungry ! Looks soooooo good ,I remember getting raisin bread from the bakery with the thick white icing on top ,it would always burn my fingers when I was taking it out of the toaster ,but so worth it!


  10. LilSis on May 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I adore a nice toasted piece of cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast! Yours looks awesome! I really should get past my fear of yeast!


  11. Heather (Heather's Dish) on May 4, 2010 at 11:25 am

    this makes me want to go make some cinnamon sugar butter and devour an entire loaf. good for self-control? no. fabulous? YES!


  12. Sara on May 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Mmm, a toasted piece of cinnamon raisin bread with butter is such a great breakfast! Awesome recipe.


  13. Janelle on May 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    This sounds great! I am pleasantly surprised that you also do not use a food processor to make homemade bread. Do you think it turns out better when kneaded by hand?


    • Michelle on May 5th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Janelle,

      I’ve actually never made homemade bread in a food processor. I typically use my stand mixer with the dough hook to knead. Since I don’t really ever use straight hand-kneading, I can’t compare outcomes, but my bread always turns out pretty darn good!


  14. Tracy on May 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I loooove cinnamon-raisin bread. Especially toasted. Yum!


  15. Cinda on May 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    This is so good with butter! I love it.


  16. Brooke Reasoner on May 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Quesiton for you – if I only wanted to bake off one loaf would the rest of the batter freeze until I wanted to bake it?


    • Michelle on May 5th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Brooke,

      I wouldn’t recommend freezing the unbaked dough. Instead, I would recommend going ahead and baking both loaves and then once cool, wrapping and freezing the second loaf until you are ready for it. I actually do this almost every time I bake bread since I rarely go through two loaves before the second gets stale. Enjoy the bread!


  17. Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes on May 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I feel like I keep seeing bread EVERYWHERE, so I’m going to have to take my chances on it soon. I’m not a huge fan of raisins, but bread is one of the places I adore them, you’re right – there’s something about how they plump up when toasted, so good. xxSAS


  18. The Housewife on May 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I made bread just once at home and it was such a huge disaster! But your recipe seems so simple and you make it seem so easy 🙂 I’m going to try this out!


  19. Jen @ How To: Simplify on May 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I love cinnamon raisin bread toasted with melted butter…my mouth is watering! Yum!


  20. Cookin' Canuck on May 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    That pat of butter melting on top of the toast looks so good. Your house must have smelled wonderful while this was baking.


  21. Amy on May 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Could you make the dough in your bread machine and just bake it in the oven?


    • Michelle on May 5th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Amy,

      I have actually never used a bread machine, so I really can’t comment on how that would work. Mixing and kneading bread dough in a mixer or by hand is really quite simple; I would encourage you to give it a try!


  22. Maggy @ Three Many Cooks on May 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I LOVE Cinnamon Raisin Bread – the walnuts only make it better, YUM!


  23. My Delicious on May 5, 2010 at 3:52 am

    what a great recipe!


  24. Honeyb on May 5, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I love homemade raisin bread – and my very favorite way to eat it is toasted with lots of real butter!


  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on May 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    This bread reminds me of something my mom makes a lot! I have been making a lot of bread lately, but haven’t made any cinnamon raisin bread yet. What was I thinking?!


  26. The Cilantropist on May 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

    This looks so hearty and homey, I think I need to make some of my own! Or get my boyfriend to do it, he is the real bread baker in this pair. 🙂


  27. Linn @ Swedish home cooking on May 6, 2010 at 2:33 am

    What a lovely bread. Nothing goes wrong when mixing cinnamon and raisin. Mm.


  28. Lauren on May 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Too funny – I just made this bread this past weekend myself! I used 33% whole wheat flour for a healthy kick and left out the walnuts, but it’s still delicious. I LOVE that book.


  29. chandani on May 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I love cinnamon and nuts in bread. Even though my bread always turn out to be rock I will have to try this one.


  30. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on May 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I do not bake bread often enough. It’s a time issue, but it is so gratifying when a perfectly golden loaf comes out of the oven. I adore cinnamon bread. I may try to find time to give this a go this weekend.


  31. Cheah on May 11, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Gosh, what a lovely loaf. Hopped over from Jeannie’s blog. Will return to drool!


  32. Bruce on May 19, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Gosh, what a lovely loaf. Hopped over from Jeannie’s blog. Will return to drool!


  33. Rosenstein on June 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks 🙂


  34. Tanya on August 1, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Just made this bread the other day. It turned out wonderful! The texture was perfect. Made my breakfast extra delicious. Thanks so much. I’ll definitely make it agian.


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  38. carol on September 8, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I made this bread today, it was good but I’ve alwasys “bloomed” yeast in warm water and a little sugar, doing so will result in better bread 🙂


    • Michelle on September 8th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Carol, For active dry yeast the yeast is always bloomed in warm water to activate it, but for instant yeast (which this recipe uses) it’s not a necessary step.


      • carol on September 10th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

        Hi Michelle, I personally bloom yeast (instant too) when I make bread. In my opinion the dough rises bigger and bread taste better.


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  42. Nessa on August 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    What do I do if I don’t have Shortening and instant yeast? Can I replace Shortening with butter and instant yeast with fresh yeast?

    What do I do if I don’t have buttermilk or whole milk?! I live in Sweden and I don’t think I can find these ingredients in the local store


    • Nessa on August 8th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Oopsies… I realised that whole milk is normal milk :L hehe


    • Michelle on August 9th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Nessa, You could use butter in place of the shortening. You can use fresh yeast, but the amount will be different. I would look up substitutions to make sure you use the correct amount.


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  44. Lisa Plettinck on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi, can I use 1 tbsp. melted butter in place of the shortening? Thanks.


    • Lisa Plettinck on January 11th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Oops. I didn’t read all the comments. You answered my question. Thanks!


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  46. Laura Dembowski on March 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I made this bread last weekend and just posted it on my blog with a tribute to my Granny as she loved raisin bread. This is m new favorite homemade bread – it was wonderful. I’d love if you’d come take a look at my post!


  47. Libby Dodd on May 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    What do you mean by:
    “The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. “?

    I do a fair amount of bread baking and don’t recognize the term.

    Since this is an older post, perhaps you could send a message to my email.


    • Michelle on May 6th, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Hi Libby, That means that if you pinch off a piece of dough and gently stretch it, it should get thin enough that if you hold it up to a window it’s almost translucent, but still doesn’t rip. If it rips, it needs a little more moisture.


      • Libby Dodd on May 6th, 2013 at 11:39 am

        Thanks Why do you need to check the temperature of the dough at this stage?


        • Michelle on May 7th, 2013 at 12:14 am

          Hi Libby, It’s just another indicator to help determine if the dough is ready (if it’s not warm enough, it probably needs to be mixed/kneaded longer).


  48. Libby Dodd on May 4, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Correction: that is


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  50. Dallas Jensen on June 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Why do you rinse the raisins?


    • Michelle on June 15th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      Sometimes raisins can have some residue on them.


  51. C. Cooperman on July 3, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I’ve been investigating bread recipes and usually, recipes that produce two loaves call for twice as much flour as is in Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread. Please confirm that 3 1/2 cups is the correct amount and that no other listing of flour was omitted, accidentally.
    Thank you


    • Michelle on July 5th, 2013 at 10:31 am

      The flour measurement is correct as listed.


  52. Val on November 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    LOVE the bread. Want to try the cinnamon swirl. At what stage do I roll out the dough and add the cinnamon/sugar?



    • Michelle on November 24th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Hi Val, You would do that in step 4, after you divide the dough into two loaves. You would roll each one out, sprinkle on the filling, then roll up and shape into a loaf.


  53. Adele on February 11, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Hi MIchelle! Would love to try this. Was wondering, since the recipe states a 8.5 by 4.5-inch pan, if I do not have this size, can I use either the 8 by 4-inch or 9 by 5-inch pan? If so, which one is a better substitute? Thanks 🙂


    • Michelle on February 11th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Adele, You could use either one based on your preference. The 8×4 will you give you a little bit of a higher bread, while using the 9×5 will result in a shorter bread. I like high loaves, myself, so I would opt for the 8×4-inch.


  54. irene on April 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I do have a question though: everything about the bread was really good, but I tried putting the swirl in the bread as instructed and it turned out a little weird. I’ll try to explain: the cinnamon sugar made it so the bread was not all one piece – the swirls sort of broke up the bread. Does that make sense? The bread seemed to cook away from the cinnamon sugar. I used 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar divided between the loaves. The amount of sugar tasted perfect but I’m wondering if that’s what was keeping it from being a more uniform loaf? Keep in mind that this is only the 2nd loaf of bread I’ve ever baked, so if I’m missing a very basic concept – please enlighten me! 🙂 I will say that even though the bread was hard to toast, I still did it and holy mother it was heavenly! Thank you very much for taking the time to post this recipe!


    • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Hi Irene, Many times with a swirl bread, the filling will separate from the bread, so this isn’t totally uncommon. Just make sure when you roll it up, you do so as tightly as you can.


      • irene on April 29th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

        Thank you so much for your help, Michelle!! I really appreciate it.


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  57. Marie Nixon on September 13, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I received an email from a local cooking school saying that a class on cinnamon raisin walnut bread would be coming up soon. I thought to myself “I really don’t need a class on it. I just need a good recipe.” So I searched the internet and found this recipe. My 2 loaves are cooling now. They turned out picture perfect! I love the cinnamon sugar topping on the loaves. I can’t wait to try them.

    Question: At the top of the recipe it says that the total time is 1 hour and 10 minutes. Shouldn’t that be 4 hours and 10 minutes?
    prep time + inactive time + cook time = 4 hours 10 minutes.
    Or does total time usually not include inactive time?

    Thanks for a great recipe.


    • Michelle on September 15th, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Marie, So glad you liked the recipe! And yes, you’re correct, I’ve fixed the time 🙂


  58. Botany Bill on February 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Raisins are soaked? Also, are they measured after soaking or before? Thank you!


    • Michelle on February 21st, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      The raisins are not soaked, only rinsed and drained. They should be measured before doing so.


      • Botany Bill on February 22nd, 2016 at 6:36 am

        Thank you! I just realized that before I added them last night. Re-reading the recipe, I don’t know why I thought they were soaked.


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