Babka Variations

Brioche Challah
May 21, 2020
Cheese Blintzes
May 27, 2020
babka bites


makes 2 medium loaves

Bake Time:

as directed by shape


store at room temperature for up to 4 days

Advanced Prep:

may be frozen



1/3 cup warm water

2 envelopes dry yeast (1/2 ounce, 4 ½ teaspoons)

1/3 cup, plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup oil

6 tablespoons butter, margarine or coconut oil, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing


Chocolate Filling

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa

3 tablespoons oil

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup mini chocolate chips


Cinnamon Filling


¾ cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, margarine or coconut oil, at room temperature

1 tablespoon sunflower or other mild oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation Directions

In the bowl of a mixer, place the water, yeast and teaspoon sugar. Mix and let sit for 10 minutes or until thick and foamy. Add the 1/3 cup sugar, flour, salt, oil, butter, margarine or coconut oil, vanilla and eggs. Combine by hand or use a dough hook in a stand mixer to mix until all of the ingredients are mixed in. Knead the dough for another two minutes. Cover bowl with plastic and let rise for 1 1/2 or 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. To make the chocolate filling, place the chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute and mix. Heat for another 45 seconds and mix again. Heat for another 30 seconds and mix and, if not melted, heat for another 15 seconds. You may also melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Add the sugar, cocoa and oil and mix well. Place the bowl into the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up a little. Whisk again.

To make the cinnamon filling, place the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, margarine or coconut oil, oil and vanilla into a bowl and mix well.

Grease two 8-inch loaf pans with spray oil. Divide dough in half. Place a piece of parchment paper about 20 inches long on your counter and sprinkle with a little flour. Place one piece of the dough on top and sprinkle with a little more flour. Roll the dough into a 12 X 16-inch rectangle so that the long side is facing you.

Spread 1/2 of the filling, about 1/2 cup, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chips over the chocolate filling and roll up the long way. Roll the parchment paper over the roll and roll up. Place into the freezer for 5 minutes while you roll the second piece of dough as you did the first. Place into the freezer.

Remove the first roll from the freezer and unwrap onto the parchment paper with the seam of the roll on the bottom. Use a large flat-blade knife to slice the roll in half the long way. Turn each half so that the cut sides face up. Lay one over the other to form an “ X.” Starting from the center of the X, twist the two strands on the right side around each other, keeping the cut side facing up. Repeat for the left side. Tuck the ends under the loaf so that they slightly overlap each other in the center. Place into the prepared pan and press down slightly. Repeat for the second roll.

Beat the remaining egg and brush the top and sides of the babka.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until medium-browned. Let cool for 20 minutes and then run a knife around the edges. Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack and let cool for another 15 minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Classic twist: Grease two 8-inch loaf pans with spray oil. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll each piece into a large, thin rectangle. Spread ¼ of filling, sprinkle with ¼ of the chocolate chips and roll tightly the long way. When you have two rolls, twist them together, seam side down. Tuck the ends underneath and place into the loaf pan. Repeat for the other two pieces of dough. Brush the tops of the loaves with beaten egg.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until browned. Cool for 20 minutes and then remove from the pan.

Wreath: Shape the inside out babka and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Turn the ends to create a wreath and the tuck in the ends. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes.

Babka Bites: divide dough into 3 pieces and roll each piece about ¼-inch thick into a rectangle. Spread 1/3 of the filling on top and sprinkle 1/3 of the chips on top and roll up the long way. Use a flat knife to cut into 1/2 inch slices and place them, cut side up, into a mini muffin tin lined with a paper liner. You can also place then in a regular sized paper liner into a regular size muffin pan. Bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Cupcakes: Prepare as you would the babka bites and then after you assemble and slice the rolls, place 4 slices into a lined muffin cup, arranging the pieces in different directions. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.