Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche

sugar crusted raisin brioche post 2 red

Sugar-crusted Raisin Brioche will add a little sweetness to your morning.


Call it a rut or a routine.  Either way, eating the same thing for breakfast every day means one less decision.  Am I the only person who does this? For three years now, I grab a big ole cereal bowl and fill it with my own custom mixture of dry cereals, heavy on Fiber One but also including Raisin Bran Crunch and Special K with Almonds. Then I put a BIG scoop of homemade Greek yogurt on top of the cereal, a handful of fresh fruit like blueberries or raspberries, and cover it all with vanilla-flavored soy milk.  It may not be the breakfast of champions but it holds me till lunchtime and that’s the goal.

Every now and then an irresistible temptation, usually some type of homemade bread, causes me to forsake my bowl of cereal.  Most recently, it was this Raisin Brioche.

At the end of last year, I worked and baked, tested and tasted as I searched for a brioche recipe that would be easy to make with a dependable outcome.  I was really happy with the result.  But of course, I can never leave well enough alone so I invented a variation I thought you might enjoy as well.  Combine the buttery flavor of brioche with the sweetness of raisins and the crunchiness of sparkling sugar for a breakfast or brunch treat that will cause you to forget about your usual bowl of cereal.

sugar crusted raisin brioche 3

Sanding sugar provides the finishing touch.

Just like the original recipe, you must mix the dough the night before, let it rise on the counter for a couple hours and then chill for at least 6 hours or overnight in the fridge.  The dough is simple–a dump and mix proposition with no guesswork involved.  Let your stand mixer do the kneading. See my post, No More Lopsided Brioche (A Beginner’s Guide) for pictures of the process.

For rolls that look like those pictured, divide dough into 24 equally-sized balls after the overnight chill.  Place two balls side-by-side in each cup of a muffin pan.   Allow to rise about 2 hours. Glaze, sprinkle with sugar and bake.

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Form balls, let rise 2 hours, brush with glaze and sprinkle with sugar.


Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 12 rolls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Easy recipe using a stand mixer to make brioche studded with raisins and sprinkled with sparkling sugar.
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature (Important!!)
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1-3/4 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Sparkling sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon heavy cream whisked together well.
  1. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl of stand mixer and set speed on LOW until flour is moistened. Increase speed to just below MEDIUM and set the timer for 15 minutes. You can pretty much walk away during this time. When ready, dough with be shiny and elastic and the bowl will be clean with all dough sticking to the paddle. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.
  2. Dough should be allowed to rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours in warm place immediately after mixing and kneading. Then gently release dough from the sides to remove some of the air.
  3. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for 6-24 hours. Do not skip this part. If you don't have time for the chill, you might want to make another kind of bread.
  4. Remove dough to lightly-floured board (or use a silicone baking mat, no flour needed) and mold into a large ball. Cut in half. Cut each half in half. You should now have 4 pieces. Cut each of those in half (giving you 8 balls) and then cut each of those in thirds giving you a total of 24 balls. Roll all portions into little balls. The smoother the better and practice helps. Place two balls in each hole of a well-greased muffin tin. Cover all with tea towels and allow to rise in warm place until almost double. This may take 1-2 hours.
  5. When rolls have almost doubled in size, brush with glaze taking care not to let glaze pool at the edges between the dough and the mold.
  6. Place muffins pans on cookie sheet to keep the bottoms from over-browning. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake rolls for about 15 minutes. Loosely cover rolls with foil if tops are getting too dark. Internal temperature should reach 185-190 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Best eaten the same day but also good toasted the next day.


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Nardia October 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm


Could you tell me what dry milk is? Is this milk powder? Is it full fat or low fat?

Have you tried making this recipe without the dry milk or with liquid milk instead?

Thanks for the advice 🙂

I am looking forward to making this using my apple cinnamon bread flour.


Paula October 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

Yes, dry milk is the same as powdered milk. Here in the states, it is nonfat. Powdered milk helps the bread stay fresh a little longer. Have not tried it without.


Yousreya Sharkawi June 16, 2013 at 6:19 am

I lost my grandma recipe a long time back, and I couldn’t enjoy eating a brioche since then, until I tried your recipe, I am notvery good in baking but as it was very well explained, I did a great job, your brioche returned to me the wonderful childhood memories. Thank you for changing my mood and making my mornings brighter.


Paula June 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

You’re welcome. Thanks for writing. It is so much fun to recreate food memories like your grandma’s bread.


Jeanette September 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Perfecto! This was my first attempt at brioche and it turned out beautifully, thanks to your detailed instructions. I used dried currants instead of raisins, by the way: I like that they’re smaller and therefore distribute more evenly.


Harry McMurray September 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Wonderful. I just took these out of the oven.
A little hint to pass on: ABSOLUTELY let the dough chill over night. Dough with butter and sugar remains sticky. The long chill keeps it firm.
I used a marble cutting board, so that the dough would stay cold while I worked it, just like making puff pastry from scratch (Did that once: never again.)
To keep the marble board cold — my latest discovery — set it on top of one of those freezer gel packs, the flat kind you use to wrap a sore knee in or something. Marble stays cold, butter in the dough doesn’t start melting. One of my more brilliant improvisations………………!


Paula September 30, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I like your idea, Harry. Genius way to keep your board cold if you’re using marble. I don’t have one so I just work fast.

Glad you reiterated the fact this dough must be chilled. Not only does it make handling easier but it is very important to the texture and taste. Enjoy your rolls.


Annie May 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

These look beautiful Paula! I love the idea of the sugar crusting on top. I’ll have to try that next time I make brioche.


Mimi May 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Beautiful. Who wouldn’t want this for breakfast.


Karen May 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

These look fantastic, Paula! I can easily see these becoming my new morning routine with some jam and a cup of coffee…what a great way to start the day. 🙂


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 23, 2011 at 1:04 am

lovely recipe and photos!

I am diggin the sanding sugar that I can really SEE on top of the brioche. Delish!!!


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit May 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I eat a very predictable breakfast as well, that usually involves cereal, fruit and yogurt (but not the nifty homemade kind yet.) These little brioche rolls would be a lovely way to venture out of my rut. 🙂 They’re beautiful!


Kirstin May 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Love your muffin tin!


Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious May 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

These look gorgeous! I actually tried to buy brioche rolls last week and no one carried them. Now, I can make my own brioche rolls! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂


Vicki V May 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm

These look so enticing! I’ve never made brioche, but I think I’ll give these a try. Your photo-styling skills are amazing, too.


Michaela May 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

I definitely get into breakfast ruts! They usually only last a few weeks at a time, but I’ll eat essentially the same thing every day for two weeks.


Paula May 20, 2011 at 9:08 am

Lovely! The texture of these… wonderful.


Lorraine May 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

Off to the kitchen I go again with another Paula treasure… can’t wait to bake these up!


Suzanne May 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

I had to laugh at the eating the same thing for breakfast, my husband gives me a hard time about it. He calls the Kashi cereal I eat “kibbles and bits” and I do frozen blueberries on top.
Anyway your brioche looks wonderful, btw I think you have convinced me to start making my own yogurt, when I do I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂


The Café Sucré Farine May 20, 2011 at 6:35 am

These are beautiful, for me there would be no contest, I would gladly choose these over a bowl of cereal but the problem is that I would want more than one for sure! Thanks for all the work to simplify this recipe! You sound so much like me, my husband calls me the crazy chemist in the kitchen 🙂


TheKitchenWitch May 20, 2011 at 5:50 am

Only you could make me crave a raisin.


Jill May 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I’m a huge raisin fan, and these look outstanding!


Mary fioretti May 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Awesome, can’t wait to try them.


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