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Harry Clarke and Brian Weir

Cinnamon Swirl Wreath with Whiskey and Orange Icing

Pastry chef Aoife Noonan knows a thing or two about creating show-stopping desserts.

Time: 3 hours +
Difficulty: Difficult


For the filling:

  • 200g raisins
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 75g muscovado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

For the dough:

  • 650g strong bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 150ml milk
  • 125ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the whiskey and orange icing:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice


  1. Put the raisins into a bowl with the orange zest. Squeeze the juice into a small pan and gently heat until warm. Pour the warm orange juice over the raisins and set aside to soak while preparing the dough.
  2. Make the dough by putting the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a mixing bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  3. Place the milk and water into a small pan and gently heat until warm. Whisk the eggs and butter together in a separate bowl, and slowly whisk in the warm milk, mixing well to combine.
  4. Begin to mix the dry ingredients in the mixer on a low speed. Slowly add the liquid egg mix and continue to mix on a medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for one to two hours until doubled in size.
  6. Once risen, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock the dough back, pushing down to release any air bubbles. Work the dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5 and grease and line a 30cm diameter cake tin with parchment paper.
  8. To finish the filling, mix the muscovado sugar with the ground cinnamon and set aside.
  9. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each out to a rough 30cm x 20cm rectangle. Brush each with the melted butter, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and scatter over the soaked raisins.
  10. Roll up each rectangle from the long end to form a log. Cut each log into six using a sharp knife and arrange the slices in a circular pattern around the edge of the cake tin, leaving a small gap in between each. Place a ramekin, upside down in the centre of the cake tin. Cover the tin with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
  11. Brush the top of the cinnamon wreath with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool before removing from the tin.
  12. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the orange zest. Slowly add the whiskey and orange juice, mixing well to combine. Drizzle over the cinnamon swirl wreath and serve.

TIP- This is best eaten fresh but the dough can be left to rise overnight. Just take it out of the fridge a few hours before baking. It can also be frozen.

Photography: Brian Clarke, assisted by Harry Weir