Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread is soft and sweet with plenty of warm cinnamon flavor! Enriched with milk, butter and sourdough starter, the bread stays fresh for days. It makes the most amazing French Toast!

You will absolutely love the soft crumb, beautiful swirl of cinnamon sugar, bursts of sweet raisins and special sourdough flavor in this bread.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter. While you’re growing your starter, you can make this Swirled Cinnamon Raisin Bread with commercial yeast.

You can mix and bake the bread all in one day or you can break the work into 2 days. (See the timeline and FAQ sections below for more information.)


  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Sourdough starter (active, 100% hydration)
  • Granulated sugar 
  • All purpose flour 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Salt
  • Raisins 

How to make the Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread:

A glass bowl filled with sourdough before and after rising.
  • Mix the dough then set it aside to ferment for at least 3-4 hours.
  • Don’t add the raisins until after the fermentation.
Bread dough toped with raisins.
  • Knead the raisins into the fermented dough.
A rectangle of dough covered with cinnamon sugar. A hand rolling the dough and pinching the seam.
  • Roll the dough to a rectangle, brush it with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Roll the dough to form a log.
  • Pinch the seam tight.
Raisin bread dough before and after rising.
  • Set the loaf aside to rise until it fills the pan.
Brushing melted butter onto raisin bread in a pan.
  • Brush the loaf with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven.

A timeline for making Sourdough Raisin Bread from scratch:

If you want to make the dough in one day:

  • Feed your starter the night before.
  • Make the dough early in the morning and leave it to ferment until the afternoon.
  • Form the loaf and leave it at room temp to rise.
  • Bake when the loaf grows to fill the pan.

If you want to break up the work into 2 days:

  • Feed your starter early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough.
  • Mix the dough in the afternoon. Allow it to ferment at room temperature all day.
  • Add the raisins then refrigerate the dough in the evening before going to bed. The dough can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days at this point.
  • Take the dough out first thing in the morning and shape the loaf. Leave it at room temperature to rise for 1 1/2- 2 hours.

FAQs for making homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread:

Can I make the dough ahead of time and hold it in the refrigerator?

Yes. After the long fermentation at room temperature the dough can be held in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Can I use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar to make the cinnamon sugar swirl?

Yes. You can use either brown or granulated sugar for the filling.

Can I use sourdough discard to make this bread?

No, the recipe requires an active sourdough starter. This means the starter should have risen to it’s peak and is just beginning to recede. This is the optimal time to use the starter.

Can I shape the loaf and hold it in the refrigerator overnight?

I don’t recommend pre-shaping the loaf for this recipe. The cinnamon sugar swirl in the loaf can melt in the moist environment of the refrigerator. The melted sugar can leak out and cause the bread to stick to the pan.

How long does sourdough cinnamon bread last?

Because the dough is enriched with milk, butter and a little sugar the bread will stay soft and fresh at room temperature for 3-4 days. The sourdough starter also allows the bread to stay fresh longer.

Should the bread be refrigerated?

No, bread should not be refrigerated. The bread should be stored in a paper or plastic bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Can I freeze sourdough cinnamon raisin bread?

Yes. Slice the bread and store the sliced loaf in a freezer bag. Individual slices can go straight from the freezer to the toaster.

More recipes to try:

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

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5 from 10 reviews

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread is soft and sweet with plenty of warm cinnamon flavor! Because it's made with sourdough starter the bread stays fresh for days. It makes the most amazing French Toast!
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time40 minutes
Fermentation & Rising Time8 hours
Total Time9 hours 40 minutes
16 slices
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  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (divided)
  • 8 oz sourdough starter (active, 100% hydration)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (divided)
  • 12 1/2 oz all purpose flour (2 1/2 cups, see note)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 5 oz raisins (1 cup)


  • Warm the milk in the microwave to about 110 °F. Stir 2 tablespoons of the butter into the warm milk to melt. Set the rest of the butter aside.
    8 oz whole milk
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl combine the milk with the starter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) of the flour. Mix to form a loose batter. Cover the bowl and set the sponge aside for 30-60 minutes.
    8 oz sourdough starter, 12 1/2 oz all purpose flour
  • Uncover the bowl with the sponge. Add 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and the salt. Stir to combine. Use the dough hook if working on a stand mixer.
    1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining cup of flour (5 oz) until the dough gathers on the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. If mixing by hand, stir in as much flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour. Knead for about 5 minutes to develop the gluten in the dough.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If the dough is very sticky sprinkle a little more flour as you knead.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature for 3 hours. Every hour or so check on the progress of the dough by folding it over itself in the bowl. This will help redistribute the yeast too. After about 3 hours the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature.
  • At this point you can shape the loaf to bake the same day, or the dough can be held in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Melt the remaining butter. Brush a 9"x 5" loaf pan with some of the melted butter. Combine the remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
    4 oz unsalted butter, 4 oz granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the raisins into the dough then roll it into a 8"x16" rectangle. If the dough springs back too much let it rest 10 minutes then try again. Brush the dough with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough from the short side to form a log. Pinch the seam to make a tight seal. Set the dough into the pan, seam side down. Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter.
    5 oz raisins
  • Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise until it expands to fill the pan and comes about 1" over the top, about 1 1/2-2 hours (longer if the dough has been refrigerated).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake about 40 minutes until golden brown and the interior temp is 200 °F
  • As soon as the pan comes out of the oven, brush the top of the loaf with melted butter. If any raisins on the surface look burnt you can pluck them off the loaf. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Finish cooling to room temperature before slicing,

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m having an issue with this recipe. I have been trying to do the two day method and it takes forever for it to bake and it doesn’t brown. I left it out to room temperature and let it rise again. Next time, I will do it the same day. The taste is there, just the baking isn’t. Thank you again for sharing.

    1. So you made the dough and let it ferment on day 1. Then you refrigerate the dough overnight. Shape the dough in the morning and set it aside to rise. Then bake. Is this the process you used? Did you let the loaf rise until it fills the pan? Do you have an oven thermometer to check that the baking temp is correct? With sugar in the dough I’m very surprised it’s not browning.

  2. Mine is in the oven now! 8 Oz of starter seemed like a lot. I weigh all of my baking ingredients. But we will see! I did have to add extra flour to get the dough where I could handle it. It smells really good! Can’t wait until I can eat some.

  3. 5 stars
    I need to apologize for my lower rating below. I made this again, following the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. No idea what I did wrong before! I don’t want to discourage anyone from making this and can’t figure out how to remove my prior comment. It is delicious. Thanks so much for these wonderful sourdough recipes.

    1. Thank you for the update Jean. I appreciate that you took the time to correct your previous impression of the recipe. I can delete your prior comment.

  4. @Eileen Gray, I’m thinking this recipe might work for hot cross buns for Easter. Maybe just add a couple more warm spices with the cinnamon and shape into rolls. What do you think?

  5. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe! It worked a charm, although I have to admit I misread the recipe and used all the butter and cinnamon in the sponge! I still used the correct amount in the filling, but swapped brown sugar for the white (which created a yummy sticky glaze).
    Having a vibrant sourdough discard really is the key as the dough rose beautifully!
    This is going into my favourite file along with your biscotti recipe (a real crowd pleaser) and the English muffin recipe!
    We’ll done!

  6. As with everything sourdough, the condition of your starter can affect how the dough behaves. Also, are you using weight measures or volume measures. If you are using volume measure be sure to use the “dip and sweep” method for filling the cup of flour.

  7. 5 stars
    I love Cinnamon and Raisins AND Sourdough, so I thought this would be a great bread to make. My wife is not a fan of Raisins, so I thought I’d have the loaf all to myself for a few days. Well, she had to try it and now I have to share.
    The bread was so easy to make. The directions were clear and being a chemistry major, it was just like doing a lab experiment.
    Thank you for the recipe. It will be a favorite of mine, no ours. In fact, my wife volunteered me to make a loaf for our POA meeting coming up on Saturday. I’ll have to make two.
    Great recipe. I’ve already shared it with the lady who gave me the Sourdough starter along with your directions.