Sweet, buttery, flaky and bursting with cinnamon raisin flavor, cinnamon raisin biscuits are the perfect breakfast baked good. A hybrid of a classic biscuit and a cinnamon roll topped with a vanilla glaze, these biscuits combine the best elements of both beloved breakfast classics and taste like an absolute dream.
Cinnamon raisin biscuits come together quickly and are perfect for casual and fancy get-togethers in equal measure. Whether you’re making a quick and delicious breakfast for the family or hosting a scaled-up bridal brunch, these biscuits will make everyone happy.
They are sweet enough that there’s no need to serve them with jams or nut spreads, but not so sweet that they can’t be served with a side of bacon or scrambled eggs. However you serve them, they’re sure to be a hit!
What You Need to Make Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
The biscuits and glaze come together with basic pantry ingredients, and the liquid component for this recipe is heavy cream, though buttermilk or regular milk can be substituted.
The glaze is a powdered sugar base, but if you don’t have powdered sugar or don’t want a biscuit that’s too sweet, you can make a cinnamon sugar topping with melted butter or omit the topping completely.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Granulated sugar
- Butter- frozen or very cold
- Heavy cream- very cold Ingredient 1
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
How To Make Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
Cover raisins with very hot but not boiling water and let soak for 10-15 minutes, then drain and cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon and set aside.
In a large bowl, add flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder and whisk to combine. Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture using the large holes of a box grater.
Using your hands or a fork, cover the butter with flour until just combined; do not overmix. Add in the rehydrated raisins (make sure they’re cool!) and mix until just combined and evenly distributed.
Stream in the heavy cream, using a fork to evenly distribute the liquid. As soon as a shaggy dough forms, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Use your hands to gently knead the dough until it just comes together, then form it into a 1-inch-thick square. Using a bench scraper or a very sharp knife, cut the dough into four equal pieces.
Generously sprinkle 3 of the four dough pieces with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stack the pieces on top of each other, making sure the top of the stack is the piece without the cinnamon sugar sprinkling.
Use a rolling pin to compress the dough stack, then roll the dough into a ¾ to a 1-inch-thick rectangle. If the dough starts to stick, lightly dust it with flour as needed.
Lightly flour the sharp end of a 3-4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, and punch out as many biscuits as possible and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.
Gather and reroll any dough scraps and punch out more biscuits until the dough can’t be rerolled.
Transfer the biscuits to the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up the butter. Brush the biscuit tops with heavy cream and sprinkle on more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
While the biscuits are baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, loosen it with 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached. After the biscuits have cooled for 5 minutes, drizzle the glaze over the top and enjoy!
To ensure flaky layers and a tender biscuit, the butter and cream for this recipe should be extremely cold. It’s highly recommended that you freeze the butter and grate it on a box grater and only mix it until just combined with the flour. Try not to overwork the dough to make sure the butter doesn’t soften too much and compete with the raisins.
The raisins should be soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes and cooled completely before they’re mixed into the dough. Rehydrating them will keep the biscuit moist and consistently tender throughout.
To keep the raisins from piercing the dough, and to create layers of cinnamon sugar, the dough will be cut into quarters and stacked as opposed to being rolled and folded. It’s a different but super effective technique for making biscuits with add-ins.
I don’t like raisins—can I use something else?
Yes! Raisins are polarizing, and if you aren’t a fan you can still make this recipe. Swap them out with dried apricots, dried figs, dried cherries… the list goes on. If you’re using dried fruit that is larger in size, chop them into raisin-sized pieces, and don’t forget to rehydrate them!
How do I thicken a glaze that’s too thin?
If your glaze is too thin, thicken it up by adding one tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until you reach your preferred consistency.
Are these cinnamon raisin biscuits the same as Hardee’s?
They are definitely inspired by them! Unfortunately, Hardee’s retired the beloved menu item, but with this recipe, you can replicate them at home!
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
For the biscuits:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream very cold
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks or 1 large block) frozen
- 1 scant cup raisins
- 2 tsp cinnamon
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Soak the raisins in very hot but not boiling water for 10-15 minutes, drain and let cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, remaining sugar, salt and baking powder until well combined.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour using the large holes of a box grater.
- Using your hands or a fork and working quickly, work the butter into the flour until just combined; do not overmix.
- Add the cooled raisins into the bowl and stir until just combined and evenly distributed.
- Stream in the heavy cream and use a fork to evenly distribute the liquid.
- As soon as shaggy dough starts to form, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Gently knead the dough until it just comes together and shape it into a 1 inch thick square.
- Using a bench scraper or very sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces.
- Generously sprinkle 3 of the 4 dough pieces with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then stack them on top of each other, making sure the piece with no cinnamon sugar is at the top.
- Use a rolling pin to gently compress the dough stack, then roll the dough into a ¾ to 1 inch thick rectangle (if the dough starts to stick add a light dusting of flour).
- Lightly flour the sharp end of 3-4 inch round cookie or dough cutter and punch out as many biscuits as possible, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Reroll the dough scraps and punch out more biscuits until the dough can’t be rerolled.
- Transfer the biscuits to the freezer and let the butter firm up for 10 minutes, then brush the biscuit tops with heavy cream and lightly sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
- While the biscuits are baking make the glaze.
- In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth; if the glaze is too thick add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
- Drizzle over the warm biscuits and enjoy!
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