Filed Under: Bread | Christmas

Rum Raisin Bread

Recipe By Tessa Arias
December 7th, 2017
4.5 from 2 votes
4.5 from 2 votes

This Rum Raisin Bread is beautifully braided and loaded with comforting flavors, making it perfect for the holiday season. A super impressive recipe, but surprisingly achievable!

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions provided are my own. Thanks for supporting me in working with brands I love, to bring you new recipes and giveaways!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Loaded with that complexly sweet and strong rum raisin flavor, and a hint of cinnamon!
Texture: The loaf is rich, soft, and tender.
Ease: Easier than you might think from looking at the bread… promise.
Pros: Fun and festive recipe that’s perfect for Christmas or the holidays.
Cons: None that I can think of!
Would I make this again? Yes, this would make a great edible gift as well.

Rum raisin will always remind me of my late Grandpa. It was one of his favorite ice cream flavors, but as a kid I could never understand that.

This Rum Raisin Bread is beautifully braided and loaded with comforting flavors, making it perfect for the holiday season. A super impressive recipe, but surprisingly achievable!

Not when there’s chocolate and sprinkles and caramel to enjoy! But now that I’m a little older I can see the attraction.

Rum raisin offers a complex depth of sweetness, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this bread recipe. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the loaf to make it extra comforting, but feel free to skip that if you’d prefer.

There’s also a sweet glaze drizzled over the top with an extra hint of rum. The entire loaf just smells simply amazing, even after it’s done baking!

This Rum Raisin Bread is beautifully braided and loaded with comforting flavors, making it perfect for the holiday season. A super impressive recipe, but surprisingly achievable!

To intensify the rum raisin flavor, allow the raisins to soak in the rum overnight before you add them into the dough.

This dough is considered a “rich dough,” because it’s made with sugar, eggs, butter, and milk. These ingredients lend that wonderfully soft texture and bold flavor. They can also slow things down in the bread making process. So, be sure to give this dough some extra kneading time and rising time.

I’m partnering again with my favorite brand of baker’s yeast, Red Star Yeast, to bring you this recipe. I used their Platinum Yeast to make this perfectly fluffy yet rich loaf of Rum Raisin Bread.

The Platinum Yeast takes the stress out of homemade bread baking. It’s made with dough enhancers that strengthen and improve your dough, and even increase oven spring, so every bread-baking project turns out wonderfully.

Rum Raising Bread made with Platinum Yeast

Click here to see where Red Star Platinum Yeast is sold near you. I highly recommend seeking it out and stocking up on it when you find it. If you can’t locate it, you can also use the same amount of Quick Rise Yeast or Active Dry Yeast, though it may take longer to rise.

By the way, if you don’t finish this loaf the day it’s baked the somewhat stale leftovers make for excellent French toast or bread pudding!
If you decide to give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a picture and tag us on Instagram so we can see and share: @handletheheat @redstaryeast.

4.5 from 2 votes

How to make
Rum Raisin Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
This Rum Raisin Bread is beautifully braided and loaded with comforting flavors, making it perfect for the holiday season. A super impressive recipe, but surprisingly achievable!


For the dough

  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) raisins
  • 3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) Red Star Platinum Yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)

For the egg wash:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the rum glaze:

  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum


  1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the rum and raisins. Let soak for 1 hour, or overnight.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the egg, egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash), melted butter, milk, and extract if using. Gradually add the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together. Knead for a minute then add in the rum soaked raisins and any remaining liquid. Continue kneading for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and springy, adding up to a 1/4 cup more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky.
  4. Shape the dough into an even ball and place in a lightly oiled ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Gently deflate the risen dough and divide it into thirds. Turn out each piece into an even ball.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough to a 12" rope. If the ropes spring back, let them rest for 5 minutes. Use the ropes to braid the dough. Pinch the ends together and tuck them underneath. Push the ends into the center to shape a nice rounded loaf. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk together the reserved egg white and water for the egg wash, then brush all over the braid.
  7. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let the braid rise for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled.
  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until deep golden brown and the center reads 190°F when measured with a digital thermometer. Remove from the oven and cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar with the milk and rum until a thick but pourable glaze forms. Drizzle over the cooled loaf before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can also knead this dough by hand. Check out my tutorial on how to knead by hand here.

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Alfred — January 23, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Great recipe!
    For some reason my dough didn’t really rise. Probably because I didn’t kneed it for long enough (I don’t have a mixer, so used hands).

    After baking, the greased plastic wrap was stuck to the top of the bread. I was able to get most of the plastic out of the bread. You couldn’t really taste the rest because the glaze was super yummy!

  2. #
    Michael Brandimore — April 15, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Is the Red Star yeast used in this recipe active dry yeast or instant yeast? Can I use either one interchangeably?

  3. #
    Tracey — March 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Ok. Recipe easy enough
    Looks good
    Taste tbd

  4. #
    sabrina — December 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    this takes me back to a similar recipe from childhood (no rum!) that I’ve completely forgotten about and haven’t had anything like it in years, so thank you for this, a nice holiday baking recipe!

  5. #
    Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up — December 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    What an interesting flavor combination! Sounds perfect for Christmas morning. I think my sister would love this recipe – I’ll have to forward it to her. 🙂 I love Red Star yeast – it’s all I use!

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Thanks so much, Erica!! 🙂

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed