Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Learn how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with this simple recipe tutorial. You only need a handful of basic ingredients and they taste WAY better than store-bought!

cinnamon raisin bagels

Let’s all agree that cinnamon raisin bagels are the best bagel variety. Everything bagels, you hold nothing on cinnamon and raisins. ūüôā Today I’m teaching you how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with a few basic ingredients and a deliciously dense bread dough.

These bagels are:

  • hot ‘n’ fresh
  • extra chewy
  • soft in the center
  • golden brown
  • sweet & cinnamon-y

Let’s do this!

stack of cinnamon raisin bagels

Ingredients in Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

This cinnamon raisin bagels recipe is similar to my¬†everything bagels¬†and plain bagels recipe. The only difference is that we’re adding a little vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins to the bagel dough.

  • Yeast & Warm Water: Allows the dough to rise. I recommend an instant or active dry yeast. Red Star Yeast is my #1 choice.
  • Bread Flour: A high protein flour is necessary for making bagels. We want a dense and chewy texture, not soft and airy like cinnamon rolls. Bread flour is the only solution!
  • Brown Sugar: Bakeries use barley malt syrup to sweeten the bagel dough– it can be a little difficult to find, but brown sugar is a fine substitute. Read more in my recipe notes below.
  • Vanilla Extract: For extra delicious flavor to these sweet bagels.
  • Raisins: Use around 3/4 – 1 cup. Dried cranberries are a delicious substitute!
  • Sugar & Cinnamon: Knead the dough directly on the mixture. We’ll use our hands to work it into the dough!¬†This method, rather than just mixing it all in, helps create little swirls and pockets of cinnamon sugar. The dough gets a little moist from the sugar, but that’s completely fine.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

2 images of cinnamon raisin bagel dough in a ball and dough rolled into cinnamon sugar

After the dough rises, shape it into 8 separate balls.

cinnamon raisin bagel dough rolled into individual balls

Shape Bagels in 2 Easy Steps

Shaping bagels is a lot easier than it looks. You can watch me shape bagels in the video below, where I’m preparing plain and everything bagels. Same method applies to these homemade cinnamon raisin bagels.

  1. Poke your finger through the center of the dough ball.
  2. Widen the hole to about 1.5 ‚Äď 2 inches wide.

Boil the Bagels Before Baking

After you shape the bagels, it’s time to boil them. Why?

  1. Boiling the bagels gives the bagel its beautiful shine. But looks aren’t everything– this shine is actually a result of the dough’s starches becoming gelatinized. These starches cook to a crisp, shiny coating in the oven. I learned this from¬†Cooks Illustrated.
  2. Boiling bagels cooks the outer layer of dough, which guarantees they’ll hold their shape when baking.

Add honey or barley malt syrup to the water bath because it adds¬†caramelization and crisp to the crust. Brushing the boiled bagels with egg wash does the same. Don’t skip either!

cinnamon raisin bagels after boiling on a cooling rack

cinnamon raisin bagels on a silpat baking mat

These homemade bagels are perfection. No need to waste money on store-bought or stand in line at the bakery. Homemade is the ONLY way to do cinnamon raisin bagels. You’re going to love these!

Homemade Bagels Video Tutorial

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cinnamon raisin bagels

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 8 bagels
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with this simple recipe tutorial. Don’t skip the water bath and egg wash- both provide an extra chewy and golden brown crust.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons Red Star¬ģ Quick-rise‚ĄĘ yeast*
  • 4 cups (520g) bread flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface and hands*
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) packed light or dark brown sugar (or¬†barley malt syrup)*
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (112g) raisins*
  • 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • coating the bowl: nonstick spray or 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey¬†(or¬†barley malt syrup)*

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water and yeast together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes, then beat in the raisins until combined. The dough is very stiff and will look somewhat dry.
  3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle onto a clean surface. Place the dough on top. Knead the dough for 4 minutes, picking up all that cinnamon sugar. Work as much of the cinnamon sugar mixture as you can into the dough. The dough may become a little wet from the added sugar– that’s ok.
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel.  Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Shape the bagels:¬†When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 8¬†equal pieces. (Just eyeball it– doesn’t need to be perfect!) Shape each piece into a ball. Press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole about 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter. Watch video above for a visual. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with kitchen towel and rest for a few minutes as you prepare the water bath.
  7. Preheat oven to¬†425¬įF (218¬įC).
  8. Water bath: Fill a large, wide pot with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Drop bagels in, 2-4 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel. Place 4 bagels onto each lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You want the bagels to be a dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bagels to cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Slice, toast, top, whatever you want! Cover leftover bagels tightly and store at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 4, allowing the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The slow rise gives the bagels wonderful flavor! In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rise for 45 minutes at room temperature. Continue with step 5. I don’t recommend shaping the bagels the night before as they may puff up too much overnight.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked bagels freeze wonderfully! Freeze them for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm to your liking. You can also freeze the bagel dough. After punching down the dough in step 6, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then punch the dough down again to release any air bubbles. Continue with the rest of step 6.
  3. Yeast: Use instant or active dry yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise time may be up to 2 hours. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. Bread Flour: Bagels require a high protein flour. Bread flour is a must.
  5. Barley Malt Syrup:¬†This ingredient can be a little hard to find, but truly gives bagels that traditional malty flavor we all know and love. Most natural food stores carry it. I offer alternatives such as brown sugar in the dough and honey in the water bath; I’ve made bagels with these alternatives AND with barley malt syrup and honestly love both versions.
  6. Bread Machine: Place the dough ingredients into the pan of the machine. Program the machine to dough or manual, then start. After 9-10 minutes, the dough will be quite stiff. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then continue with the recipe.
  7. By Hand: If you do not have a mixer, you can mix the dough together in a large bowl then knead by hand for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Special Equipment: KitchenAid stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, large baking sheets (I love these), big pot (I use my 5.5 quart dutch oven), pastry brush.
  9. Adapted from a mix of recipes I’ve tried:¬†King Arthur Flour,¬†Cook’s Illustrated, and¬†Complete Book of Breads.

Keywords: cinnamon raisin bagels, bagels

cinnamon raisin bagel cut in half and topped with cream cheese on a green plate

116 Comments

  1. Can you use this same recipe with other added ingredients? Say caramelized onions or garlic?

    1. Absolutely!

  2. Sally, I just made two batches of the cinnamon raisin bagels and love them! I am from upstate NY but live in the Midwest, where it is difficult to find “real” bagels. My advise to anyone making these ¬†is, –just go get the barley syrup! It is over the top if you’re a baking freak like me you will love what it does!! The texture is awesome and now I plan to make some other varieties. Love your recipes Sally, never met one I didn’t like and the results are fantastic. I’ve got to get my hands on one of your books now! Thanks!

    1. I can’t wait for you to get one of my books, Maria! Thanks! Thanks for reporting back as well. I’m making a batch of these tomorrow to bring to a friend. Love them.

  3. Hi Sally. ¬†Just made a whole wheat version of this bagel and it is awesome! ¬†I am trying to get more whole wheat and less sugar into our family diet (because we love our sweets!) so I used 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups bread flour and substituted 3 tablespoons of maple syrup for granulated sugar. ¬†Just tossed it all in the bread machine and followed your instructions from there and they are a big hit! ¬†My 10 year old said they are “almost as good as Panera”! ¬†If you knew my picky little guy, you would know that is high praise! ¬†Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. I made these today. They turned out very good, but mine don’t look as pretty as yours. ¬†Husband loved them tho!¬†
    Will try again and see if my second batch comes out prettier ūüôā¬†
    Thank you for making the recipient easy to follow! ūüôā

  5. These are amazing! I’ve been wanting to make bagels for the longest time but never have barley malt syrup. I had no idea you could sub honey. I’ve made this recipe 4 times now and I’m making another batch today! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!!

  6. Hi Sally! ¬†I am new to your blog! ¬†My husband is on a business trip for two weeks and with a three year old and an infant I’ve been going a little stir crazy. It’s too cold to do much outdoors and so I’ve been baking. Way. Too. Much. ¬†I wanted to try making donuts for my three year old son (he’s never had a donut! ¬†I know, crazy!) and your recipe came up when I searched for baked donuts. But then your other recipes all sounded so good and I ended up making these cinnamon raisin bagels instead… ¬†A couple of things went wrong – which I can probably attribute to my own inexperience with yeast and definitely to my own 8 month old cooking/baking distraction ;). ¬† My dough was in fact sticky when I went to shape the bagels – Did I let the dough rise too long? ¬†(I checked it after 70 minutes but maybe my spot was too warm.) ¬†I proceeded anyway since I didn’t think that could be fixed and I dusted with flour so they didn’t stick to my hands. They held together enough to be boiled and baked, but they ended up very moist on the inside whereas yours look to be chewy but also dry when toasted. ¬†If it’s possible I think mine were too moist and chewy? ¬†(Definitely still delicious if you ask me! ¬†My picky three year old didn’t agree but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about! ¬†Haha!) Do you think this is all due to letting the dough rise too long or did I do something else wrong as well? ¬†Should I have punched the dough down before shaping? ¬†Thanks so much for troubleshooting!

    1. Hey Ashley! Welcome. I hope you find recipes you love! About the bagels- it simply sounds like the dough needed more flour. Not a huge issue, but certainly fixable if you try them again. I recommend adding 1/2 cup extra bread flour. Not rising long enough could also be an issue as well. So, a couple things to change in the next round. Let me know if you try them again!

  7. Can I use active dry yeast instead of the yeast you recommended? Thanks!

    1. Yes- the rise time will be a little longer.

  8. Sally,

    Love your blog! I made your everything bagel recipe last week and fell in love with homemade bagels. The recipe and process was very simple! Today I made the cinnamon raisin bagels because they are definitely the best but had some trouble. The raisins didn’t want to mix into the dough and then when I formed the balls the raisins would fall off and some did in the water bath. Any ideas on why this happened or how to keep them in the dough?¬†

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Rachel! Happy you love these homemade cinnamon raisin bagels. And thanks for checking in about the raisins– sometimes they can be a little difficult but what I do is press them inside the dough and then just keep working them in. You can splash a couple drops of warm water on your hands as you work the dough, which will help it become more tacky so the raisins can stay put. Let me know if this helps next time.

  9. These are great!! Just made my first batch and wow! They look so rustique but hey it’s okay

  10. These turned out great! Thanks for sharing. 

  11. Sally, please Help!?!? ¬†I want to make blueberry bagels and you are my go-to girl for all things bread and baking. ¬†Do I use dried, frozen (thawed) or fresh blueberries instead of the raisins? ¬†I assume I also omit the cinnamon sugar swirl (unless, of course, I want cinnamon-blueberry bagels)? ¬†I’ve become a pro at “everything”, Asiago, cheddar and plain bagels but the blueberry are stumping me. ¬†Every recipe calls for the darn things in a different form. ¬†Blueberries ain’t cheap¬†so I hesitate to experiment. ¬†Thanks

    1. I would use fresh blueberries, not frozen. You could also used dried blueberries! You can leave out the cinnamon-sugar swirl or leave it, whichever you’d like to do! I’ve done these with fresh blueberries before and the dough gets a little wet when you fold them in (add them when you would add the raisins here), so use very floured hands.

  12. Hi Sally! I saw that another commenter reported she had sticky dough after rising which led to kind of wet bagels after baking. This happened to me too! I followed your advice you gave her and made the bagels again with an extra ¬Ĺ cup flour but still had the same results! I tried it again with approximately 1 cup flour but it still turned out wet and sticky. Should I add even more flour or do you have any other advice? I live in Baltimore so no problem with high altitude, I measure the flour as you recommend (spoon and level), and I weigh the ingredients. I tried increased rise time but even by the time it reached almost double the size (which is a bit bigger then you instructed but I was hoping the increased rise time would lead to the correct dough). You’re my go-to guru for baking and I make tons of your recipes religiously with great success so I’m sure I’m just doing something wrong! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I really want some bagels lol!¬†

    1. Hi Nancy! Honestly, I’d simply add more flour. The dough is supposed to be sticky, but not sticky to the point where it’s wet and you can’t even handle it!

      1. Hi Sally! Thanks for the reply. Even with an extra cup of flour, the dough was very sticky and difficult to work with and the bagel hole would just close up as soon as I made it! I’m going to try again and see if adding more flour will help. Do you think I’m doing something wrong if I need to add more than 1 cup of extra flour to make the dough workable? I was also using red star platinum so I think I’ll try using their regular active yeast this time. *fingers crossed*

  13. Made these today, absolutely delicious! I don’t have malt barley, and honey is to pricey for me to use a whole cup of it on a recipe I hadn’t tested yet, so I used a cup of molasses. I would use it again, they’re great!

  14. Monica Garcia says:

    Mine just came out of the oven! They were quite rustic looking. I had a little trouble forming the balls of dough after it had risen because the dough was pretty moist. ¬†I don’t know why it was so wet but maybe I could have let the dough rise longer? I did 70 min (I was inpatient). Also they turned out pretty browned/almost burned on the bottoms but were still a little under baked around the hole in the middle. Would it be okay to bake them at a lower temp for longer? Other than that, they were delicious and the house now smells AMAZING.¬†

  15. Sally – I’ve been building up my baking skills by working through your site. Everything has been perfect! ¬†Just finished these bagels and the dough was so easy to work with. I used my stand mixer with the hook instead of my bread machine which is usually my go to. I will definitely be making a double or triple batch next time and freezing a bunch. Thank you!

  16. Hi! I made these last night and unfortunately they didn’t turn out ūüôĀ I never got the dough to look shredded in step 3…how long does that normally take? After a couple minutes, I just proceeded so I’m guessing that’s what messed the rest of the recipe up? The dough was really sticky the entire time. The bagels never got bread-y in the oven and a couple of them grew this weird white pus! I followed the recipe exactly. It’s the first recipe of yours that hasn’t turned out amazingly for me so I’m hoping I can figure out where I went wrong and try again. Thanks!

  17. These were so easy to make and delicious! I’ve never made anything with yeast before and was a bit apprehensive, but there was no need. The directions were clear and easy to follow. The bagels are delicious! I will definitely be making them again.

  18. Followed the recipe and turned out as expected, a bit of work but very good.

  19. Hi,
    I’m a big fan of your site as well as your books. I don’t often work with yeast so am trying to get a bit more practice in and made these yesterday and they turned out great. Rustic, for sure, but they have the nice bagel outside and are still nice on the inside. Thank you for another recipe.

  20. Bev Connelly says:

    Love this recipe! Just wondering how to alter for blueberry bagels? Loved the everything bagels too! My family doesn’t want any other bagels now, they’re spoiled!

    1. Hi Bev! Anytime I’ve tried adding blueberries (fresh or frozen) to the dough, I’ve had a difficult time incorporating them. You can definitely try and hopefully you’ll be more successful! Start with about 1 cup.

  21. Just made these. So good. Recipe was easy to follow and the results were perfect. I found my dough to be quite sticky at end of proofing so I used a sprinkle of AP flour on my work space, a little on my hands as I shaped the balls, about 5 extra grams in total. Made the dough easy to handle and didn’t affect the bagels at all. Some days are just different for flour. Another winner, Sally! I have a special binder full of your recipes for weekend projects this fall. Hopefully I will be able to restrict myself to just taste testing and instead make my grandkids the beneficiaries of your creativity.

  22. I just made these! Can’t believe how easy and quick to make they were. It’s only the second time I try to make a batch of bagels, the first time I kneaded them by hand, used only granulated sugar, and the felt dry and too doughy. This time I used a stand mixer, and I get now why the barley malt syrup is so important! Thank you so much for this recipe.

  23. Hi Sally! I want to make these for co-workers, but 8 isn’t quite enough. Could I double this recipe, or do you think I should just do two separate batches? Thank you!

    1. Hi Valerie! You can double the recipe, but I recommend making two separate batches of dough at the same time.

  24. Hi Sally,
    If I am to use only whole wheat flour instead of bread flour, how much should i use ? Would also appreciate any tips and recommendations in any adjustments/changes with regards to the rest of the process.

    1. Hi Ida! I’m currently working on a whole wheat variety, but don’t have one I’m confident about yet. Some readers have used 2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 and 1/2 cups bread flour, but I haven’t tested it.

  25. Hi Sally!!

    My family isn’t too fond of raisins. Would this recipe work with chocolate chips or cinnamon chips?

    Can’t wait to give these a shot!

    1. Yes, either one would be delicious!

  26. I cannot believe I made bagels!! Very rustic for sure but I didn’t expect them to be perfect by any means. Followed the directions exactly and they are so good! Thank you for sharing this bagel recipe!

  27. This was my first time making these! They turned pretty good and the recipe is so detailed and easy to follow…I just need to work on my technique!

  28. This is absolutely THE BEST RECIPE FOR BAGELS! I make a half recipe and get 6 bagels from it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Make this recipe EVERYONE,

  29. This recipe is amazing. Ive made them multiple times (each one turned out perfect). I gave some to my sister and cousins and they loveee them! Ive basically memorized the recipe by now and it is definitely a staple in our household. Both adults and kids are obsessed. Highly recommend anyone to try them out!

  30. Hi Sally,
    I have had great success with the everything, plain, and cinnamon raisin bagels and would like to add a chocolate chip for an upcoming brunch I am hosting. Would you recommend following this recipe and simply adding chocolate chips instead of raisins?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin, I’m so glad you have enjoyed so many varieties! Yes, a simple swap to chocolate chips would be what I recommend. Enjoy!

      1. I split the batch and made half with raisins and half with chocolate chips, both came out perfect! Thank you!

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