An Easy Cinnamon Raisin Challah Recipe

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Cinnamon raisin challah is an amazing mix of rich egg bread, spice, and sweet raisins for a delightful and easy homemade bread perfect for serving as a great treat at the brunch table and beyond!

The impressive looking loaf only hints at the fantastic goodness with the pillowy and yet rich bread that awaits a slather of butter, honey, or jam.

Slices of cinnamon raisin challah sit on a board with remaining loaf in the background. Text overlay reads: Cinnamon Raisin Challah - homemade recipe.

Basic Challah with a Cinnamon Raisin Upgrade

Unlike my basic raisin cinnamon swirl bread, these loaves take the traditional ropes of challah braids and dredge them in a cinnamon sugar coating.

Adding cinnamon directly to bread dough can sometimes have adverse effect in that it can inhibit the yeast growth. By coating the dough in the ciinnamon, much of this is prevented.

This allows the braided look to stay in place while still getting the cinnamon flavor.

A braid loaf of bread sits on its side on a white napkin.

Shape Options

If desired, one could use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thick rectangle and coat with cinnamon sugar before rolling up into a regular loaf shape and baking in a bread pan. It would be different but still a delicious cinnamon swirl challah.

You could also simply form a round dough ball and coat it with cinnamon sugar before baking for a round loaf.

Slices of cinnamon raisin challah sit on a board with remaining loaf in the background.

Instead of braiding the dough, make something similar to my challah rolls by rolling smaller ropes in the cinnamon sugar and making a knot shape.

You’ll have to watch the baking time for each shape as they may require more or less time but that should be they only adjustment necessary.

A loaf of braided bread sits on an angle propped up on another loaf of bread.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

If you have some experience with baking bread, this should be a great next level recipe to try. The most difficult part is the braiding and it simply takes some practice to make it good. Don’t worry if it’s wonky the braid look doesn’t effect the taste!

How to Serve

Definitely use the finished bread as part of a breakfast or brunch spread with eggs, fruit, meat, etc.

It is delicous toasted and slathered with a bit of butter or drizzled with some honey.

Consider using day old bread for french toast for an amazing twist on the classic.

Slices of cinnamon raisin challah sit on a board with remaining loaf in the background.

How to Store

Leftover bread should be stored in an airtight container where it will stay fresh at room temperature for about 5 days.

For longer term storage, place cooled loaves into freezer bags or other containers and freeze.

Use up frozen loaves within 6 months for best flavor.

Let frozen loaves thaw on the counter prior to serving.

Slices of cinnamon raisin challah sit on a board with remaining loaf in the background.

Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Yield: 2 Loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Use this amazing combination of rich bread, sweet dried fruit, and spice for a simple and yet impressive breakfast or brunch dish. 


  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry, Active Yeast
  • 1 3/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 6 Cups Bread Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Raisins

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Water


  1. Combine Sugar, yeast, and hot water in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add 3 Cups of bread flour, eggs, oil, and mix well.
  3. Add the salt, raisins, and remaining bread flour to form a soft, together dough.
  4. If using a stand mixer, with a dough hook, beat until it begins to clean the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn out to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. 
  6. Grease a bowl, place dough inside, turning to coat.
  7. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let dough rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about an hour.
  8. Meanwhile make the cinnamon sugar topping by combining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread this out onto a plate.
  9. Lightly grease a baking sheet. 
  10. Punch down the dough and knead slightly. Divide the dough in half.
  11. Divide each half into 3 pieces.
  12. Roll each piece of dough to form a long rope of dough about 12" in length.
  13. Place each strip of dough onto the plate of sugar, rolling gently to coat each strip.
  14. Braid 3 strips of cinnamon sugar coated dough as desired. 
  15. Place each braid onto prepared cookie sheet.
  16. Cover the tray with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled about 45 minutes.
  17. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  18. Make the egg wash, by whisking togehter the egg and water until completely combined.
  19. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the challah dough braids with the egg wash all over the tops and sides.
  20. Bake the loaves in the preheated oven until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. The loaves will sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle. 
  21. Remove from the baking sheet to cool completely on a wire rack. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g

I try but cannot guarantee this nutritional information is 100% accurate.

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