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. 🙂 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 – 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® Quick-rise™ 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°F (218°C).
  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. These were amazing!!! I’ve never baked with yeast before (without a bread maker) and these were so easy to make. It went with the overnight route and they turned out great. I did need to add more flour than the recipe said but that was my only change. I am 100% making these again, I can never go back to store bought now.

  2. I have been making your everything bagel recipes and fell in love! I was wondering for this recipe, if i wanted to replace the raisins with cranberries and add some orange flavoring, zest or extract, which step I would add in the orange flavor. Thank you for always having great recipes!

    1. Hi Nicole! That sounds delicious. I would add the orange flavor in when you’re adding in the flour/salt.

  3. Thomas J. Gibbons says:

    My wife was having cinnamon bagel for BF, (store bought). I mentioned baking some and found your recipe first and stayed with it because it was so straight forward. I have baked for many years, you name it. So I am ready to mix another batch. The first ones, (last week) were very good . I did have some issues with handling ease. Dough was somewhat non-compliant. But I got over that well enough and ultimately we enjoyed great bagel experience. Not since Jersey have we enjoyed such great tasting bagel. They tasted exactly like the ones in the little bagel shop on Bloomfield Ave. in West Caldwell. Great recipe, thank you much , Tommy Gibbons, Ashland , Ky.

  4. I made these today and they taste lovely! My only sadness is that they spread out more so than puffing up. What could have caused this? Before I placed them in the water bath they looked perfect but then they just kind spread out and lost their puff.

    1. Updated to add 5 star rating! I remade these and found that it was my yeast I used. I used a bread machine yeast but upon the 2and batch used Saf Instant yeast with gorgeous results!♡♡

  5. These came out really good but the bottom of my bagels were also burnt.. any idea what the problem is? They were cooked perfectly throughout but the bottoms turned black . I baked them on parchment paper.

    1. Hi Alicia, I’m glad you enjoyed them! Next time, try lowering the oven temperature. Also, wait for the bagels to somewhat dry before baking. It’s the water from the boiling step that is burning on the bottoms.

  6. Can I use AP flour instead of bread flour?

    1. In a pinch, you can use all-purpose flour. However the bagels won’t be as chewy.

  7. Brenda Trevino says:

    I’m not a baker. Recently I purchased a pristine slightly used KitchenAid mixer. I made both the everything and cinnamon raisin bagels. They were beyond my expectation!!! I’m really excited about being able to make these. If you follow the recipe you won’t have the slightest problem!

  8. Winner! This was my first time making bagels. I found this recipe to be easy to follow and clear. It took maybe 3 to 3.5 hours all together to make it from start to finish. I mixed my dough by hand, let rise for 90 minutes, and lowered the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. I baked the dough for 12 minutes on each side. The bottoms were darker brown for the batch on the lower rack. The middle rack worked perfectly for a golden brown. They were a hit! I would make this again in a heart beat.

  9. This was my first time making bagels and these were incredible! Super easy recipe to follow too. Thanks Sally, I will certainly be making these again!

  10. I weighed out my flour cup by cup this time around and was at 490g after 3 cups. I think this is why I was a little firmer than I wanted last time with 4 cups.
    Thanks for including mass. I’ll report back tomorrow!

  11. Hi Sally trying these for the first time today. Hoping they turn out! Next time if I want to make mini bagels (grandkids love them) would you change time in water bath and baking time? If so, what are your recommendations? Thank you.

    1. Hi Betty! I’d still boil the mini bagels for 1 minute on each side (maybe closer to 45 seconds) and I’m unsure of the bake time because it depends on their exact size. Luckily you know they’re pretty much done when they’re golden brown!

  12. I love all of your recipes. Thank you for taking time to write out why you do things a certain way and also provide pictures and videos. I haven’t found a recipe of yours that wasn’t amazing!

  13. Leaving another comment because I can’t stop making these! My fave is after the egg wash, roll them around in brown sugar and cinnamon before baking. To. Die. For. Thank you, Sally!!

  14. The overall recipe is really good. Bagels turn out well and taste great. The issue is the amount of flour listed. It was far too sticky and wet. I had to add about 60g extra to get it to a remotely workable consistency.

    Overall though, they were good and turned out really well.

    1. I think Sally has the measurement wrong. The recipe says 4 cups, but 1 cup of bread flour is 157g, so 480g is only 3 cups. I agree that 480g is not enough. I also added a half cup or 80g yesterday and tonight I am trying a full cup. It is definitely a stiffer dough (with 600g of flour, as I did 150g per cup), so will be interested to see if there is a difference once baked. Sally, can you please confirm if the recipe needs to be updated? P.S. we LOVE this recipe! My husband ate 3 in one day. Lol

      1. Hi Jenn, 1 cup of bread flour is about 123-127g. 480-500g is how I tested this recipe, but feel free to add more if that works for you. 600g is considerably more than what I typically use though.

      2. Thanks for the reply, Sally. My apologies then as my Google search for bread flour weight said 157g per cup. 480g was not a stiff dough for me, but may be a factor of location. As a follow up, I preferred the 3.5 cup dough at 560g (as I compared that to 600g).

  15. This recipe was a total flop. The worst part was the waste of yeast.( given it seems to have disappeared from my state ) Oh well. Cheaper and easier to buy already made from the store.

    1. Hi Harriet, I’d love to help troubleshoot. How was it a flop? What went wrong and what didn’t meet your expectations?

  16. I never cook with yeast so this was a big step for me but oh my goodness this recipe is perfect. I used the overnight method and the bagels turned out perfectly! They are super chewy and glossy on the outside and dense and moist on the inside.
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  17. Unless otherwise specified will table salt be used in your recipes rather than kosher or sea salt?

    1. Hi Diane, I use table salt in my baking, including in this dough.

  18. My first attempt at bagels turned out really well and they were lovely to eat. My issue was that after boiling them, I used a draining spoon to lift them and place them on the parchment paper and when cooked they were all stuck to the paper. I managed to peel the paper off but how can I avoid that happening next time please.

  19. Thank you for making this so easy! I made my first bagels this past week using your everything recipe and made these today — fantastic!

  20. Nancy Kahm says:

    I was able to find bread flour. I made them with bread flour and they were great. I have made them twice since. I make them in the dough cycle of my bread machine and that works great also.

  21. I’ve made this recipe five times and it’s been great! My wife insists that I keep making it, she loves it too.

    I’ve had one lackluster batch, which I think was due to using the weighed flour amount instead of measuring 4 cups. The dough was wetter than any other batch. I weighed 4 cups of flour for my latest batch and had 580 grams instead of the 480 in the recipe.

    I also homebrew beer and have used liquid malt extract in the boil, which I thought gave it a nice flavor. If you’re having trouble finding barley malt syrup, you can get liquid malt extract at any homebrewing supply store.

  22. If doubling recipe should yeast be doubled too?

    1. Hi Diane, for absolute best taste and texture (and to not overwhelm your mixer), I recommend making two separate batches of dough.

  23. So good so far. I’m in process- does is rising. I’ve baked a lot of bread so this seems totally doable. Anyone use convection oven to cook? Must be fine as that’s what bakeries use. I’m letting my oven convert to 425 temperature to appropriate temp. Does this sound right? Or should it be 425 on convection as well?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jane, if using a convection oven, lower the baking temperature by 25 degrees F.

  24. Louise Lind says:

    I have made these bagels 2 times now. Both batches turned out, but the second was better than the first. Practice helps. I left off the egg wash on the second batch, and they still turned out fine. We slice, toast, butter, and then sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mixture. I used to buy my raisin bagels, but now prefer the ones I make myself!

  25. Angela O'Brien says:

    I don’t have a Kitchen Aid, so I make these bagels by hand. If you are making/kneading by hand, use a wooden spatula to mix all ingredients together until it’s difficult to move the spatula (be sure to try and scrape the sides of the bowl). Turn out onto the counter and hand knead for 15 minutes. If you are adding anything, I have found that it is easier to do once you are about 5 minutes into hand kneading so that a smooth dough is already formed.

    I’ve also made these two modifications for different flavored bagels:

    1. Cranberry Walnut – Substitute 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. At hand kneading stage, add cranberries, walnuts, and a mix of 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon at 5 minute intervals, making sure each ingredient is fully kneaded into the dough before adding the next.

    2. Chocolate Orange – Substitute 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and the zest of 1 large orange. Hand knead dough for initial 5 minutes, then add the chocolate chips and hand knead for an additional 5 (or until well incorporated). Add the orange zest. Note: This will make the dough very wet, so have a little flour at hand to “get a grip” on the dough as you knead in the zest. Note: You’ll get the orange flavoring with a little zest — be careful of adding more zest because citrus tends to inhibit the yeast and you won’t get as good of a rise.

  26. I make these bagels about once every two weeks. My wife and mom love them! We ramp up the recipe by increasing the cinnamon and raisins. I use a total of 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and 1 1/4 cups of raisins.
    These are good with the brown sugar if you can’t find the barley malt. But the barley malt became a game changer once I found some.
    I have boiled these bagels in honey, molasses, agave nectar, brown sugar. They all work great, but barley malt is the way to go.

  27. Hi!! I make these and the everything bagels all the time following the recipe exactly and love them!! I am having a problem lately. First question. Should the dough be sticky?? I’ve been working through stickiness lately and just proceeding but when I get to putting them on the cookie sheets covered in parchment they are so sticky holes are almost impossible and they stick to the parchment when I go to put them in the water. Is this a naturally sticky dough or should it be firmer from the beginning? How much flour is appropriate to add at a time to get it firmer. They still turn out delish tho!! Huge fan! Love all ur recipes!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie, There are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency. Just remember that the dough is supposed to be a little soft, so don’t over-flour it. Flour your hands and work surface well when you are shaping them.

      1. I’m about to prepare a batch of 64 bagels, with the same quantity of ingredients (including cinnamon). When boiling the bagels, there will likely be a cinnamon residue in the water. At that rate, wouldn’t the last 8 bagels have more cinnamon than the first 8?

  28. Thank you for all the hard work that went into these great recipes! Have you tried, or do you have any tips for making, apple-cinnamon bagels? I think I could probably follow this recipe, but use grated apple (not sure how much) instead of the raisins (or, heck, in addition to). I’m just a little concerned that the dough would be hopelessly wet, with potentially sad, flat, messy results. (I may give it a try anyway, even without any tips!)

  29. I’m absolutely devastated! I’ve just made these bagels…they look beautiful, but the parchment has stuck to the bottom of every one! They are ruined!!

    1. Same here!!! Ruined them! After failing utterly at making this recipe yesterday I went back to basics. Bagel dough is typically 50-57% hydration by weight. This recipient is almost 71%. Shoulda checked before making it. This recipe should be more like 58% with sugar and raisins. I’ll retry this next week with 280ml of water instead. Weighting my ingredients makes it fool (me) proof.

    2. I brush my parchment with butter or sprinkle cornmeal to prevent sticking!

  30. Thank you for your recipe. Everything worked well except i think 1 teaspoon cinnamon is too little especially if you use some part wholemeal flour like I did. I could hardly taste it and i put in more (since it was not freshly ground). I think more like 1-2 table spoons would be better.

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