Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

November 19, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 8
Author Notes

No one can resist a chewy, golden brown bagel studded with raisins and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. —

Test Kitchen Notes

Yes, making homemade cinnamon-raisin bagels takes a bit of time and is a fun weekend project, but this recipe walks you step by step how to do it, and you'll love having these around for a fun breakfast or fancy Sunday brunch. The more you make them, the easier the process will get too. The taste will always be so much better than store-bought bagels., who developed this recipe, is an avid cookbook collector and crafter from Seattle and, of course, loves baking and bagels. One of the best parts of this recipe is you probably have most of the ingredients on hand, and it's so much easier to put together than you think.

And the whole process is very straightforward: Form the dough out of some yeast, flour, and salt, and flavor it with the vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins. Shape the dough into bagels, then boil them in lightly sugared water. Once they have cooled, paint the bagels with an egg wash and bake until golden brown. You do have to let the dough proof for about an hour, so be sure to plan ahead. Why do we love this recipe so much? Well, we're all for the Sunday morning dash to the corner bagel shop (most of us are based in NYC), but there's something to be said for homemade bagels, especially when they're as chewy, sweet, and savory as these are. Nailing the correct consistency can be difficult, but it will all be worth it once you take your first fresh-out-of-the-oven bite. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 splash neutral oil
  • 1 large egg white
  1. Into a large bowl, pour 1½ cups lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, then let sit in a warm space for about 5 minutes, until the yeast softens.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the vanilla on top of the yeast mixture. Sift together 2 cups of the flour, the salt, and cinnamon and add to the bowl. Mix until combined (a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer works well).
  3. Add the raisins and 1½ cups of the flour. Mix until combined. The dough should form into a ball easily and be smooth and not too sticky to handle, adding more flour in ½-cup increments as necessary.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a work surface. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes with your hands, folding the ball in on itself one way and then the other. Lightly grease a glass bowl with oil and arrange the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, place in a warm space, and let rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes. While it’s resting, prepare a board or work surface by sprinkling gently with flour and cover 2 cookie sheets or baking pans with parchment paper.
  6. Bring a large stockpot two-thirds full with water to a boil and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and 1½ teaspoons water to make an egg wash. Heat the oven to 400ºF.
  8. Turn out the dough onto the prepared surface and divide it in half. I found a bench scraper to be very helpful, but a knife will work.
  9. The key to this step and the next few is consistency. Cut each dough half into halves, then each quarter again into halves, so you have 8 equal sized balls of dough. I used a scale to weigh mine (each ball was between 4.8 and 5.1 ounces), but your eyes will work if you don’t have a scale.
  10. Gently form each ball of dough into a round and pat it flat. Repeat until all 8 are done. Rest the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Press your thumbs through the center of each dough ball and pull apart gently to form a center hole. Pull slowly away from the center with your thumbs until you have the shape you want. Let rest again for about 10 minutes, until the water in the stockpot is boiling.
  12. Place a cotton tea towel over a plate or rack directly adjacent to the pot and have ready a spider or some tongs. Make sure your baking sheets are also ready and nearby.
  13. Working with 2 to 3 at a time, add the dough to the boiling water; cook for 30 seconds, then flip and boil for another 30 seconds. Transfer to the towel-lined plate to drain some of the excess moisture, then put arrange on a baking sheet, making sure that the bagels don't touch.
  14. Using a pastry brush (or spoon in a pinch), glaze the top of each bagel with the egg wash.
  15. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until golden brown. Let cool slightly, but make sure to eat (at least) one while it's still hot!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elke van Keulen
    Elke van Keulen
  • sarabclever
  • Lekha

12 Reviews

Lekha September 4, 2020
Followed this recipe exactly and it was perfect! After trying other cinnamon raisin bagel recipes, I ended up with either way too tough bagels, or dough that was too difficult to work with. This one’s a keeper! Thanks for a great recipe!
Emysko August 15, 2020
Good recipe but definitely needs to be tweaked! I grind two thick cinnamon sticks in my coffee grinder and put it through my flour sifter. I also add 3/4 cup raisins and use 1 1/2 tbsp monk ( fruit ) sugar to the dough in place of the regular sugar. If you want them chewier, just boil them a bit longer. The tweaks were done on my second batch and they were much better than the original recipe here.
Elke V. April 7, 2020
Made these today and they are delicious! I did increase the cinnamon, but thats my personal preference.
Carly November 23, 2019
Delicious! Thinking about increasing the cinnamon next time based on personal preference, but tasty and delightfully chewy as written.
Rebecca February 26, 2015
Could you point me in the direction of the plain bagel recipe? Would love to make these but need a plain version. February 26, 2015
Hi Rebecca-- it was on the Spoonful blog, which has since gone away. I added cinnamon, vanilla and raisins. I increased the sugar in the dough from 1 (or 1 1/2 maybe) tsp. sugar to 1 T. I did not otherwise change the ingredients or procedure. I hope that's helpful!
Rebecca July 20, 2015
A very belated thank you!
sarabclever February 25, 2015
Sarah! I was so excited to see this was you after I clicked the link to save this! My sons love anything cinnamon raisin so this is a must February 25, 2015
Thank you! I am pleased as punch that this recipe was reviewed and shared. I would love to hear what your boys think after you make them. February 25, 2015
@spilding, the flour line reads really poorly: it should say 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 c. flour. I will try to rewrite it as 3.5, etc. to clarify.
spilding February 25, 2015
I think the ingredient list is missing something as wel . There is a 1/2 blank about 4 ingredients down.
Frida A. February 24, 2015
it looks like step 4 and 5 have been reversed? it reads as though step 5 should come before step 4? I don't know I am incorrect