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 FlourCook’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. I had made plain bagels before but I wanted to venture into different flavors. This recipe was great. I used dried cranberries instead of raisins because I am not a fan of raisins. In addition, I used malt syrup for the first time. I highly recommend using malt syrup. The bagel was way more flavorful than using brown sugar in the dough. The difference is amazing – the dough puffed up to give it that classic bagel look that I was missing previously and the sweet bagel flavor was on par with those bagel shops in New York. In addition, I used active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. Because of this, I increased the amount of yeast by 25%.

    The bagels were amazing – perfectly sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. They were chewy. We ate them untoasted with cream cheese and it was so good. The bagels are also great for freezing. We toast them in the mornings on busy mornings. While the bagels are not as chewy as the day they were made, they are still tasty.

  2. Hydration ratio is way off, wasted good dough and time I won’t get back

  3. First time making bagels…these bagels are so delicious and soft. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I used my bread machine to mix the dough. Now I’m looking forward to making it again. Five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. I am an experienced baker, and used this recipe in combination with another from a dedicated bagel making book to tweak to my liking. No idea why all the “hydration ratio” comments, but the problem is not this recipe. All breads need an adjustment when kneeding, based on environmental factors and/or how flour was measured. There are no absolutes with bread making.

    1. It’s experience, to wet add flour, too dry add water. It isn’t rocket science but it isn’t an exact science. I made bread before and had it down pat but that was winter and dry heat with no humidity inside, the summer time was a game changer so I had to adapt.

  5. Hi Sally! I just made these bagels this morning – they’re delicious! I think I’m going to hide them so that my family won’t eat them all (because I want to save them for me !) They’re soft and chewy and taste SO MUCH better than the storebought ones. I added just a bit more cinnamon, and it was awesome! Do you know if you could replace the raisins with blueberries to make blueberry bagels? Or would they be too wet and change the texture of the bagels? Thanks!

  6. I love this bagel recipe! I make mine with dried cherries and white chocolate chips. They are soooo good! I once tried the recipe with regular flour because I was out of bread flour. It was impossible to shape the dough into bagels, so I just made two big loaves which were actually delicious. My family thought it came from a bakery. 🙂

  7. Hello.
    I am new to baking and I’m going to attempt your bagel recipe but I want to add raisins. My question is, do the raisins need to be prepared in any way before adding them to the dough ? I am going to be using Sun Maid raisins.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alan! No need to prepare the raisins. If they’re clumpy you can gently separate them with your hands. Enjoy!

  8. I loved these bagels! I followed the recipe as listed and had no problems. The bagels were chewy with a slightly crisp crust. The dough was just a little more stiff than a bread dough and the addition of the cinnamon sugar did loosen it up a bit. Will definitely be making these again.

  9. miriam omphroy says:

    This is the best Bagel recipe I’ve ever done, very easy to follow and the bagels come out as if they were from a Restaurant but better, I am now a Bagel slave, my whole family only want to eat Bagels for breakfast, thank you Sally!

  10. Wow my first attempt and success! Some are a little wonky due to sticking to parchment before boiling. Will dust paper with flour next time.

  11. Sheila Beck says:

    Love your recipes Sally! You are my go to when it comes to baking, in-fact I just tried your plain bagels …. delicious! So they are gone, and today I am making a batch of whole-wheat and a batch of cinnamon raisin. They are rising now. I did something different with the raisins, I soaked them in boiled orange juice, then drained and added the raisins to the dough while kneading the cinnamon and sugar into the dough. I bet they are going to be amazing!!! Lots of thanks for your informative videos too.

  12. These bagels are fantastic and on my regular rotation. It is a very tasty dough and I was wondering if this dough could be used as a base for other kind of bread recipes? Kind of like using the same dough for dinner rolls, pizza dough, etc.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan, we’re so glad you love these bagels! This is a quite dense dough and we fear wouldn’t be the best for other baked goods. You may love our recipes for dinner rolls and pizza dough instead!

      1. I have made both the dinner roll and pizza dough and they are both delicious.
        Thank you for responding.

  13. This was my first try at bagels. This recipe is perfect. My bagels turned out really good- moist, tasty, good texture. My family loved them! I will be making some more tomorrow! Thanks for such an excellent recipe!

  14. These are amazing! I have made several batches now and keep my freezer fully stocked for easy breakfasts during busy weeks. 🙂 They remind me so much of the cinnamon raisin bagels I grew up with from NOAH’s! Sooo tasty!

    We used to love the blueberry bagels as well, but I can’t seem to find a good recipe for them. Have you ever made blueberry ones? Would I be able to use this same recipe but substitute dried blueberries instead of raisins, and then just leave out the cinnamon and knead the dough in just the sugar? Or will this change the consistency of the dough too much? What would you recommend in trying to get a good blueberry bagel?

    Also, do you have a recipe for chocolate chip bagels? They were my brother’s favorite as a kid and I would love to make a batch.

    Thanks for all of the amazing recipes!

    – Jessica

  15. Water to flour ratio is way off. Too wet. Kneading was impossible as the dough kept sticking to the surface. I had to add extra bread flour. I prefer recipes that are strictly by weight to ensure success. I will continue to use Joshua Weissman’s tried and true bagel recipe, and tweak it to add the cinnamon and raisins.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Claudia, thank you for giving this recipe a try. There are a lot of variables 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.

  16. Loved. I’m not an experienced baker. I even changed recipe to whole wheat flour mixed with bread flour, and added chopped pecans. They were delish. My 3 year old twins are tough critics and loved. I will try to make the mini bagels next time so I can keep myself under control. I’m no professional but everyone should know if dough is too wet at flour and water if too dry. Sally, you describe what the dough consistency should be perfectly. I agree, they are much better than my children’s store bought breakfast addiction. They like your homemade version much better.

  17. Well, thanks a lot. Looks like you just cost me a lot of time. I got tired of the bagels I bought in the store as the cinnamon / raisin bagels had hardly any cinnamon in them and one brand had like 1 raising per bagel so I thought I would try making my own. First time I have ever made bagels. They may not be the prettiest (will improve with experience) but the flavor is fantastic so looks like I am going to have to be making my own bagels from here on out. (One note: I tripled the cinnamon. Thinking of possibly changing it a little using dried cranberries and orange extract in place of the vanilla.) Thanks for a great recipe.

  18. I’ve just made this recipe, I’m delighted with them. I usually use a different recipe but wanted to try something different, and they turned out beautiful.
    My dough was a perfect easy to knead bagel dough until I’ve added the sugar and cinnamon, I’ve managed only half of the quantity, then it became a bit wet and sticky, so I half kneaded by hand and half I’ve used the mixer.
    Sally could I possibly add these with the raisins? Just because our flour in Ireland seems to take in water very easily, plus our weather and humidity are quite different too.
    They proofed fine and I was able to do the rest of the baking, but because it was so sticky I cut the kneading probably a couple of minutes short.
    Many thanks for this and so many lovely recipes

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dani, thank you so much for your kind feedback and for giving this recipe a try! The dough will definitely be a little wet, but there are a lot of variables 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. For next time, feel free to more (about a tablespoon at a time) until it comes together as a workable dough.

  19. The comment about over hydration (too much water) is correct based on my experience resulting in an unmanageable sticky dough. By reducing the water to 300 Grams from the recommended 360 grams with a high gluten bread flour results in a dough consistency that’s just right for forming bagels.

    I also reduced the amount of vanilla to 3/4 tsp to reduce the vanilla aftertaste, reduced sugar to 2 TBS (less sweetness) when added to the sweetness of the raisins. I also reduced the raisins to 1/2 Cup , because the raisins dominated the flavor.

    The recommended quantities produce a yield of just over 1000 Grams dough, resulting in what I consider oversized bagels for 8 bagels.

    By cutting the recipe by 20%, yield results in more appropriate size bagels.

    The basic recipe is a good start, and with a bit of fine tuning can be made even better to suit personal preferences.

  20. This is my second time making this recipe. This time I used high gluten flour because I love a very chewy bagel. I also added more cinnamon sugar. The additional cinnamon sugar made it sticky and hard to get a pretty/smooth bagel but man were they great. I will definitely use the high gluten flour in all of my bagels. I can’t wait to try the different varieties.

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