Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

by Eddy Van Damme on March 4, 2013


While I lived in Belgium I was puzzled why cinnamon was used in such large amounts in baked goods in the United States. Later I learned that the type of cinnamon used in North America and many European countries differ. American Pastry Chefs and Bakers mainly use Korintje and Vietnamese “Saigon” Cassia Cinnamon while many European countries use Ceylon Cinnamon. Most baked items can only use a small amount of Ceylon cinnamon since the citrusy and peppery notes it contains quickly become domineering. Vietnamese cinnamon, although not apologetic in flavor intensity works in sweet harmony with sugar, vanilla, caramel and butter.

Interesting to note that for centuries Ceylon cinnamon was considered the best in the world, however selective plantings and hybridizing made Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon a true star, especially in cookies, breakfast items, breads etc.

In the United States raisin bread is often made containing a “cinnamon swirl”. This swirl is obtained by rolling cinnamon raisin dough into a long rectangle. It is then sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture and rolled up. For an unsurpassed result use high quality Vietnamese Cassia cinnamon. The recipe for cinnamon sugar is below; the raisin bread recipe is in |On Baking|, edition 3 on page 250.



Yield: 8 ounce, 240 gram

  1 oz Vietnamese cinnamon 30 g
7 oz Extra fine granulated sugar 210 g
  1. DSC_0025Mix the ingredients.DSC_0031

31 comments on “Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

  1. Marijke on said:

    Hello Chef Eddy, The Scandinavian cuisine also uses a lot of cardamom, it’s very tasty indeed. This raisin bread looks really good, airy! Is it possible to fill the bread with some almond paste instead of cardamom? Thanks for your recipes! Greetings from Holland

  2. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Marijke, filling raisin bread with almond paste as you suggest sounds delicious! I must give that a go!

  3. Trendalynn Austin on said:

    I absolutely love this bread!! Now I wanted to know if you are not going to bake the bread right away, can you store it in the freezer and how long will it last if frozen?

  4. When buying cinnamon, I usually don’t have a second thought about which one to buy, I usually just grab the first one I see. I didn’t even think about there being different types of cinnamon, I’m going to have to ask my mom about the Vietnamese cinnamon, thanks Chef!

  5. Raymond Estrada on said:

    Hey chef, do you have recipe for whoopee pie? I might need one just in case.

  6. Raymond Estrada on said:

    Chef yuenas made a lot of these and customers demand more.

  7. Raymond Estrada on said:

    I have never seen a Vietnamese cinnamon before, but we only use regular cinnamon.

  8. Peter Tham on said:

    One of my all time favorite. Thanks Chef for teaching us this all-round great recipe! Sunday brunch will not be the same without a slice of this (toasted with some butter) after the savory dish…

  9. vincent parker on said:

    this bread at first seem a little too much at the begining but turned out to be one of the best raison breads i have ever made,thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Mercy Boynton on said:

    I always wondered as well why cinnamon was used so much in American desserts, as I’ve never been a huge fan, only having mildly liking the flavor before. But after making this bread recipe in class, I have to say I’ve found a new appreciation for cinnamon and the bread was really tasty.

  11. Fatimabiskar on said:

    Hi chef Eddy, thanks for the clarification about the cinnamon . I ve never like to try it before because I use to hate the strong flavor of cinnamon especially in back home Morocco. Now I see that there re different kind of cinnamon. About the bread it was perfect and much better than any raisin bread I ve tasted. I have a question about using chopped dry figes is the recipe will remain the same? Also why using black raisin instead of the yellow one is there is any difference? Thanks. 🙂

  12. Amy Taylor on said:

    I typically do not like raisin bread, but I enjoyed this one very much! All of the ones I have ever tried did not have the perfect proportions of bread to filling. This one was delicious and one of my favorites for sure!

  13. Andrea fields on said:

    I am hoping and praying i get in this, class this is the absolute best raisin bread that me and my family has ever eaten.

  14. Sharyll Crawford on said:

    I’m not a real raisin fan, but I tried this bread once and i really enjoyed it. Whenever i do make this at home I would probably try and add some nuts to it. Hopefully it wouldn’t turn out too bad.

  15. Meghan Abarca on said:

    I used to love raisins when I was little but now that I’m older I hate them. When we made this bread it was AMAZING! I actually enjoyed the raisins and the cinnamon just added to the taste!!

  16. Jessica Santos on said:

    Hello Chef Eddy.
    I personally would like to try Ceylon cinammon. I’m sure the flavor would be just as enjoyable. My initial thought was that the cinammon and raisin combined would be overwhelming but it truly came together perfectly. Cinnamon Swirl Bread just might be the only way I can enjoy raisins.

  17. Arunee Mongkhonsiri on said:

    I never like cinnamon in the dessert before, I just use cinnamon for cooking (just a litter bit). When I tried this bread it change my mind, it was really good.I will make it to my friend, and she will like it.

  18. Richard Martinez on said:

    In class you mentioned that not all breads that contain raisins can be called raisin bread. What is the reason behind this?

  19. Joy Arriola on said:

    Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread is sweet and good.

  20. Renae Holman Murti on said:

    I recently bought a few kinds of cinnamon in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. I’m curious to taste their differences. Cinnamon is my mother’s favorite spice and I do associate it with many American desserts, namely apple pie. Off course there is always cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast or a midday snack as well.

  21. Katerina Kyriazis on said:

    I have not eaten Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread in years because the kind you buy from the store is just not delicious, but I’ve read the previous posts on this recipe and I may just give this one a try. I’m not a big raisin fan so I might reduce the amount of raisins I the recipe.

  22. Fu-Ying Wu on said:

    Wow, I did not know about the difference a type of cinnamon can drastically make! Thanks for the quick lesson, Chef! I’d love to try different cinnamons.

  23. Mary Lorraine Matiling on said:

    I’m not usually a big rasin fan but this was one of my favorite breads we made in class. You mentioned that in order for a raisin bread to be an actual raisin bread, it must contain at least 50-60% raisin. If it has less than that, do you just call it bread with rasins?

  24. cynthia smith on said:

    when baking a cake how can you manage to keep that cake even on the sheet pan once it is done?

  25. aramide on said:

    hello chef eddy,am in a country where butter is a bit pricey any ideas how to substitute margarine for butter in cakes

  26. I don’t eat raisins at all now that I’m older, but when I was younger I would eat it all the time with peanut butter and celery, when I buy the store bought cinnamon raisin bread I would always take it out. When we made it in class I didn’t think I would like it too much, but the bread was so soft and the cinnamon and raisins really compliment each other. I wouldn’t mind making this again and the only thing I would eat raisins with.

  27. lydia hermandez on said:

    a beautiful bread. i used it to make french toast. it was a huge hit. i would like to add cranberries, the tartness eould be good i think.

  28. Amalia posada on said:

    Was Ceylon cinnamon very popular in desserts? You said Vietnamese cinnamon pairs well with sugar etc what are some dishes or items that call for Ceylon cinnamon? How different are the flavors?

  29. I made this bread today and its lovely; soft and rich – the texture is perfect. I love the idea of trying it with chocolate and nuts, substituting cocoa for the cinnamon, and maybe rolling small bits of good chocolate and pistachios into the swirl (leaving out the raisins). Do you think the recipe would lend itself to this idea, or would I be disappointed with the results?

  30. John Foisy on said:

    I have often thought that anus or fennel would bring a nice flavor combination with the raisins.

  31. FU-YING WU on said:

    We made this in class, and it was amazing. I love how dense the breads we make are, and I’ve always been a fan of cinnamon swirl breads; and as it turns out, the dense cinnamon swirl bread we made was the best I’ve ever had, and now I make it at home too! I think it will be fun to try different things in place of raisins, too. Thank you, Chef.

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