How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

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You’re going to love the taste of homemade cinnamon raisin bagels. So much better than store-bought!

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

Alright, homemade bagels round 2! In case you missed it yesterday, I showed you exactly how to make homemade everything bagels. Complete with a billion photos, tips, and tricks as per usual! Well, today I’m showing you how to make a cinnamon raisin variety because cinnamon raisin bagels > any other bagels. Right??

Also! If you missed it yesterday, I shared some photos from my trip to Seattle the other week on my photography blog. I’ve been traveling so much lately for my book tour (New Hampshire tonight, Boston the rest of the week!) that I am filling up my memory cards soooo fast. Lots of pics to share!

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

So let’s get right to this bagel business. Correction: cinnamon raisin bagel business. Cinnamon raisin bagels, as you know by now, are my very favorite variety. My go-to when I have a sea of bagel choices. I love you blueberry and whole wheat, but you will never been cinnamon and you will never be raisins! Raisins are actually one of my favorite ingredients in desserts. I know. WHO AM I.

Step Photos and Why Rustic Bagels are Cool

So making my cinnamon raisin variety is pretty much the same as making yesterday’s everything bagel. And I have a few step photos to share with you. The steps are all the same as yesterday’s, but we’re going to add a few special extras to the dough. First thing’s first: prepare the dough. It’s a very basic dough; not too much goes into it. Remember, you need a high protein flour like bread flour to make bagels. Bagels = bread, so it’s a no brainer, right? Brown sugar is used in my basic bagel dough– I use brown sugar as a replacement for barley malt syrup from time to time. Barley malt syrup is a little tough to find, but truly gives bagels that traditional malty flavor we all know and love. It’s what most bakeries or bagel shops use. I find brown sugar does something similar. If you can find barley malt syrup, definitely pick it up though! See more about this ingredient in my recipe notes.

Raisins will go directly into the dough. I use about 3/4 cup– anywhere around that amount is perfect. The cinnamon swirl comes from a mix of granulated sugar and cinnamon and that is added after the dough is prepared. What we’ll do is place the prepared bagel dough onto a pile of cinnamon-sugar. Just right on top! Like so:

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

Then, knead the dough a few times in the cinnamon-sugar to incorporate it. This method, rather than just mixing it all in, helps create little swirls and pockets of cinnamon-sugar. The dough will become a little moist as a result of the sugar, but that’s completely fine. See photo above (on the right).

Once the dough rises, shape it into 8 separate balls. Aren’t they pretty? I love all the raisins and cinnamon swirls! Best bagels everrrrrrr.

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

Oh and remember: they don’t have to be perfectly round or shaped.

“Rustic” is totally in right now any way.

Shaping bagels isn’t too tricky. Like I mentioned yesterday, there are plenty of ways to do it– but I prefer a super simple method. Just poke your finger through the center of the ball of dough making a hole. Then, poke two fingers through and widen the hole by moving your fingers in a circular motion. You want a hole that is about 1.5 – 2 inches wide. Remember, rustic looking bagels are trendy. ↓ ↓

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

The water bath is next. And it is the most important step. I suggest you read why right here. And here’s another great article on it too! I add honey to the boiling water bath because it adds caramelization on the bagel’s crust as it bakes. Barley malt syrup works too– remember what I just mentioned about it above? See recipe notes about this ingredient.

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

A brush of egg wash helps give the baked bagels that beautiful sheen. Bake the cinnamon raisin bagels until they’re golden brown. The edges will be just the right amount of crisp. And oh my gosh, the centers are so tender and chewy. I made three batches of these homemade bagels just to test them out and I had to freeze most of them because I couldn’t STOP EATING THEM. So, consider that a warning.

Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

They’re 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!

PS: Don’t feel overwhelmed by all my instructions in the recipe! I’m just a little very crazy about being thorough because I don’t want you to feel lost. I encourage you to read through the steps before beginning.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

You're going to love the taste of homemade cinnamon raisin bagels. So much better than store-bought!


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water
  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons Red Star® Quick-rise™ yeast1
  • 4 cups (520g) bread flour, plus more for work surface and hands
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) light or dark brown sugar (or barley malt syrup)2
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (112g) raisins
  • 3 Tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Water Bath

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey or barley malt syrup2


  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water

Special Equipment

  • Stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or bread machine (see notes)
  • Three large baking sheets (I own and love these)
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Large, wide pan (I use my 5.5 quart dutch oven)
  • Pastry brush


  1. Prepare the dough: Measure 1 and 1/2 cups warm water in a liquid measuring cup or bowl. Whisk in the yeast until completely dissolved. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment3, beat the flour, brown sugar, and salt for a few seconds on medium speed. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the water/yeast making sure to scrape out any undissolved yeast with a spatula. You want all the yeast in the dough. With the mixer still running on medium, add the vanilla extract.
  3. Switch mixer to low speed and mix until all the flour has been worked into the dough. The dough will look shredded; that's ok. Once it appears this way, increase the speed to medium and beat for 8 minutes straight. During the last minute, add the raisins. The dough is incredibly stiff and will be somewhat dry; do not be tempted to add more liquid. During the 8 minutes, if the dough splits or breaks apart-- stop the mixer and fold the dough back together with your hands-- then continue to beat until smooth and cohesive. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball inside the bowl.
  4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle it all onto a clean surface. Place the dough on top. Knead the dough only a few times to pick up all that cinnamon sugar. If the dough isn't picking it all up, sprinkle some on top and knead a few more times. The dough may become a little wet from the added sugar. This is OK.
  5. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or spray with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Loosely cover the bowl with aluminum foil or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 and 1/2 hours. You want the dough to be larger and puffy, but not quite doubled in size. This could range from 70 - 100 minutes. Use your best judgement.
  6. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place a wire rack over a third baking sheet. Set all three aside.
  7. Shape the bagels: When the dough is ready, gently punch it down if you notice any air bubbles. Turn it out onto a clean surface. It will still be a little stiff-- not sticky. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Just eyeball it. Makes no difference if one is slightly larger than another. Shape each piece into a ball and place 4 balls onto the two lined baking sheet. Then, hold up one ball and press your index finger through the center of each ball to make a hole. Poke two fingers through and widen the hole by rotating your fingers in a circular motion. You want the hole about 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter. Cover the shaped bagels with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest as you prep the water bath.
  8. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
  9. Water bath: Fill a large, wide pan with 2 quarts of water. Whisk in the honey. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium or medium-high so that the water remains simmering. Drop bagels in, 2-3 at a time, making sure they have enough room to float around. Cook the bagels for 1 minute on each side. Transfer each bagel to the wire rack. They will look a little shriveled-- that's ok!
  10. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on top and around the sides of each bagel. Place 4 of the bagels back onto each of the lined baking sheets. 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.
  11. Slice, toast, top, whatever you want! Enjoy your homemade everything bagels.
  12. Make ahead tip: These bagels freeze wonderfully! Freeze them for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm to your liking.

Recipe Notes:

  1. If not using an instant yeast, expect around a 50% longer rise in step 4.
  2. Barley malt syrup is 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.
  3. 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. By hand: If you do not have a mixer, you can mix the dough together in a large bowl then knead by hand for 15 minutes.

Adapted from a mix of recipes I've tried: King Arthur FlourCook's Illustrated, and Complete Book of Breads

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Here's exactly how to make homemade cinnamon raisin bagels with lots of step-by-step photos! Click through for the recipe on

Learn how to make cinnamon raisin bagels at home! Lots of step by step pictures. Delicious recipe on
Learn how to make cinnamon raisin bagels at home! Lots of step by step pictures. Delicious recipe on


All Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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. 

  3. Just made these bagels today, and they are delicious…. BUT….

    The oven temp is too high. I had a feeling the temp was too high, so I lowered mine to 400, and baked for 24 minutes, and the bottoms of the bagels were all completely burnt 🙁 I managed to salvage them, cause I managed to cut off all the bottoms of the bagels, which still made them delicious.

    Also, for anyone who doesn’t use quick rise yeast, my suggestion would be to add the water, sugar and yeast in a bowl, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Once your yeast is active, then add it to the flour/salt mixture 🙂

  4. 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!

    1. So happy you have been enjoying the recipes! I love these bagels – so much most satisfying to eat when I make my own 🙂

  5. Hi! I made these last night and unfortunately they didn’t turn out 🙁 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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  1. 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.

    1. I’m glad you are starting to work with yeast! It will open up the possibilities of so many amazing recipes for you 🙂

  2. 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.

    1. You are so sweet, Jan! Thank you so much for trusting/baking my recipes including these cinnamon raisin bagels. I appreciate it so much!


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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally