Bread and Yeast Goods/ Cakes/ Chocolate/ Classic Desserts

Chocolate Babka

December 20, 2017

This chocolate babka is made of a rich brioche dough and a rich, smooth and super chocolaty filling, and it always feels homey and comforting. It’s such a delicious treat and an all-time favorite in our home! Every bite is soft and buttery and full of chocolate goodness. No one is able to resist a warm piece of this chooclate babka!

Chocolate Babka in loaf pan

What is Babka?

Thanks to my Jewish heritage, I was introduced to babka as soon as my first teeth came in. My mom used to make babka for special occasions – always at least four and with a variety of different fillings. Babka is made of a rich brioche dough, usually with a cinnamon or chocolate filling. Sometimes they’re topped with streusel for extra crunch. In Israel, there are so many variations of this cake, and they’re always so scrumptious and rich. I know one recipe that uses croissant dough instead of brioche, and another that’s loaded with so much white, milk, and dark chocolate that after just one piece, you feel like passing out. Except for me. I’ll take another piece, please!

Up until now, I’ve mainly used two babka recipes that I got from my mom. One is rich, and the other is richer. If you know me by now, you can guess which one I’ve been making more. But I decided it’s time to try a few more, just to make sure you’re getting the best. The recipe may look complicated but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.

Easy Chocolate Babka with cup of coffee

My Favorite Traditional Recipe

After comparing a ridiculous amount of recipes, first by ingredients and quantities, and then by actually baking a few, my heart was set on one. The funny thing is, it’s almost identical to the one I usually make.

This wonderful recipe is taken from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (update: I updated the recipe since then so it’s now a bit different, especially the filling). The book is filled with amazing recipes and heartfelt stories that take you on a diverse culinary journey.

Babka Cake on plate with coffee

Babka Tips and Tricks

Usually, when I want to follow a recipe, I end up making so many changes that it turns into a completely different recipe than the original. This time though, I had a good feeling about it, so I decided to follow the recipe as-is. The result? Perfection.

  • Although it’s possible to leave the dough at room temperature for the first rise, it’s highly recommended to place it in the fridge for at least 8 hours so it sets properly and is easy to work with. Mine rolled out so smoothly and beautifully after refrigeration that I wanted to keep playing with it forever!
  • After you roll the dough and spread the chocolate over it, it’s time to shape it into a traditional babka. Here are a few of my shooting attempts of the process to help you understand how it’s done.
  • Sometimes, to make things simple, I will use a chocolate spread such as Nutella instead of making the filling myself. You can do the same if you prefer.
  • The sugar syrup not only makes the cake shiny and beautiful, but also keeps it fresh for longer.
  • Speaking of freshness, as with any bread, this cake will start drying out after 24 hours, but the good news is that it freezes well.
  • Instead of water (in the dough), you can use milk or a combination of water and milk.
  • You can add a bit of cinnamon, 1/4 to 1 teaspoon, to the chocolate filling.
  • While some like babka because of the dough, to me it’s all about the filling, so the more chocolate, the better. You can add ⅔ cup chocolate chips or chunks or 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or other nuts (for both loaves).
  • If the chocolate filling becomes firm, warm it up a bit in the microwave. Don’t use it hot, though, since it can warm the dough and cause it to melt. If, on the other hand, the filling is too soft and not in a spreadable consistency, place it in the fridge for a short while, but keep an eye on it so it won’t become too hard.

More Chocolate Breads To Try

This recipe was updated on February 2021. The recipe for the dough hasn’t changed much, so it’s mostly the filling that’s different. I almost doubled the amount of the filling and played with the ingredients and it’s now much more rich and chocolaty! 

4.85 from 51 votes
Chocolate Babka Recipe
YIELD: 2 loaves
 

Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 3 3/4 cups (530g) all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (10g) instant dry yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter ,cut into small cubes and softened to room temperature
  • Neutral oil (sunflower, canola) for dressing
For the chocolate filling:
  • 200 g (7 oz.) bittersweet chocolate
  • 115 g (1 stick/4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
For the sugar syrup:
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
Instructions
Make the dough:
  1. Place flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined. Add eggs and water, and mix on medium speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. Add butter, adding a few cubes at a time, mixing on low-medium speed, until incorporated. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed, until dough is completely smooth, elastic and shiny. It would look soft and might be sticky – that’s ok. During mixing, you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  2. With floured hands, transfer dough to a large bowl brushed with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in the fridge for at least half a day or overnight. The dough may not look like it has risen much, that's ok. If placed a long time in the fridge the dough can become hard, that’s ok, too; leave it at room temperature until it’s easy to work with, 30-60 minutes.

  3. Grease two loaf pans (I usually use 9×5 inch pans but a bit smaller or larger pans would work too) with oil and line the bottom and sides of each pan with parchment paper for easy release later on. Set aside.

Make the filling:
  1. In a medium saucepan place chocolate, butter, heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, and bring just to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat to low and mix until melted and completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. It would thicken and become spreadable as it cools. You can place it in the fridge for a short while until you get a spreadable consistency.

Rolling and shaping (photos here):
  1. Divide dough in half. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring 16x12 inches (40x30 cm). Position dough so that a long side is closest to you. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the chocolate mixture over the rectangle.

  2. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end. Press to seal the dampened end onto the roulade, then use both hands to even out the roll into a perfect thick cigar. Rest the cigar on its seam.

  3. Using a serrated knife, gently cut the roll in half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam, essentially dividing the log into two long even halves, with the layers of dough and filling visible along the length of both halves. With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lifting the left half over the right, to create a simple two-pronged plait. Gently squeeze together the other ends so that you are left with the two halves, intertwined, showing the filling on top. Carefully lift the cake into a loaf pan. Don’t worry if there are gaps in the pan since the cake will rise and will eventually look fine, even if it looks messy at this point. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise at room temperature for 1 to 1½ hours until almost doubled in size. Repeat to make the second cake.

Bake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C, making sure to allow plenty of time for it to heat fully before the cakes have finished rising. Remove plastic wrap, and place cakes on middle rack of oven. Bake 30-35 minutes, until golden brown on top. If you have a thermometer, you are looking for an internal temperature of about 200ºF/93ºC degrees.

Make the syrup:
  1. While the cakes are in the oven, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and set aside to cool. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, brush the syrup over them. Use all of the syrup, even if it looks a lot. Let cakes cool until they are warm, then remove from pans and let cool completely before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  2. Babka will stay fresh for 24 hours in an airtight container at room temperature. Do not place it in the fridge. It also freezes well for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.

Recipe is adapted from: Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

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172 Comments

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    October 28, 2014 at 7:42 am

    This looks amazing but I’d love the recipe for the croissant dough, since I love that flaky buttery kind of dough!

    xo, Elisa

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you Elisa 🙂 The one with the croissant dough that I’ve mentioned is from a local bakery, I don’t make it myself at home, but you can use any dough recipe for this!

    • Reply
      Brie
      April 3, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks so much for the great recipe!! I’ve made this 3x since quarantine started… chocolate once, and a cinnamon raisin variety. I’m planning on an orange cinnamon one next. I’ve always wanted to try a babka, your recipe is great and the pictures make it approachable. Thanks for some baking therapy during these tough times!!

      • Reply
        Sara
        February 9, 2021 at 8:19 pm

        Pictures? Is there a step by step pic that I’m missing. It sure oils make it easier

    • Reply
      Ruju
      September 16, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Shiran!,
      Would love to try your recipe, but we don’t eat eggs. Can you help me with what to use instead of egg. Thank you🙂

      • Reply
        Shiran
        September 17, 2020 at 3:56 am

        Hi Ruju. I’m sorry but I have no experience baking without eggs and can’t give you a good advice. 

        • Reply
          Tim
          December 7, 2020 at 11:52 pm

          Love this recipe!!! Baked thrice and all delicious and sold out immediately.

        • Reply
          Gwen Torres
          February 19, 2021 at 6:14 am

          Can I use bread flour than all purpose?

          • Shiran
            February 22, 2021 at 1:58 am

            Yes 🙂 Same amount in grams.

      • Reply
        Paul
        October 14, 2020 at 6:13 pm

        Hi.

        I haven’t tried this recipe, but I found a recipe for a Vegan brioche dough, so no eggs or dairy.

        It uses plant milk and Vegan butter, but if you’re not Vegan and it is just eggs that you don’t eat could probably be made with regular milk and butter.

        Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext
    October 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

    This babka looks amazing, Shiran! Love recipes like this, perfect delicious warming bread! 😀

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 28, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks Jess!

  • Reply
    Karen
    March 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    I rarely write reviews on recipes, because everyone’s tastes vary so much. But I HAD to let you know this was incredibly good!! I also always change recipes, but I took your advice and made it as is. I ended up needing to add a little more flour, and I forgot to put the chocolate chunks in one of the loaves, but they both tasted amazing! I’m excited to experiment with different fillings 🙂

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    FYI: If anyone is wondering about using dry active yeast instead of instant, it works great without proofing because of the high sugar content of the dough 🙂 I made it this way, and it turned out beautifully!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 26, 2015 at 4:18 am

      Thank you so much Karen! One of my family’s favorite fillings is butterscotch and shredded coconut if you like to try it!

  • Reply
    Steph
    June 19, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Hey if I’m wanting to freeze this, what stage of the process should I do it? Thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

      Hi Steph! After you bake the babka, let it cool completely to room temperature, then wrap it well and freeze.

    • Reply
      Rachel
      September 27, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Would this recipe still work if I only leave it to prove for about 4 hours?

      • Reply
        Shiran
        October 4, 2020 at 3:08 am

        You can, but it’s better to keep it for longer so it rises enough and easy to work with.

  • Reply
    Kara
    June 21, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Just made this, cut it into it asap and it came out amazing-so delicious. I didn’t use the simple syrup on the top and it came out great, just a little more rustic looking!

    Next time I think I’ll add more chocolate though, or play around with the braiding as I was looking for a little more chocolate incorporated throughout the loaf.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Kara! To be honest, I also prefer it with more chocolate, but it’s just a matter of preference 🙂 And by the way, the syrup keeps the bread juicy. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • Reply
      Jill
      September 23, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      I baked this recipe twice.
      1st no syrup
      2nd syrup
      I don’t think I’ll be using the syrup again.
      I liked it better the first time and that’s the only thing I did different.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    October 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Do you have a French toast casserole recipe using chocolate babka?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 11, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Here’s my recipe for bread pudding and you can use it as an inspiration. You can omit the pecans and skip caramelizing the top. You may also want to reduce the amount of sugar if the babka is very sweet.

    • Reply
      Mila
      September 6, 2019 at 8:28 am

      Hi Shiran,

      I just put the dough in the fridge to let it rise but I couldn’t help but notice how sticky the dough was. Is it normal?

  • Reply
    paul
    January 29, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Do you have a recipe for a Cinnamon Babka?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Paul, I do, but not yet on the blog. It’s on my list though! 🙂

      • Reply
        Janet Rojas
        February 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm

        It’s been 3 years. Are you going to post it? Your Chocolate Babka is awesome!

        • Reply
          Andrea Miller
          February 28, 2020 at 3:09 pm

          For cinnamon filling, mix 1/2 cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Spread half on each loaf. You can also get cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips but cinnamon) to sprinkle on as well.

          • Shira
            February 18, 2021 at 12:13 am

            It’s best from my experience to spread a generous shmear of softened butter before sprinkling the cinnamon-sugar mixture to make sure the filling is moist and yummy

    • Reply
      Nicholas Patterson
      March 23, 2020 at 9:39 am

      Cinnamon….. Lesser babka!!
      We’re going to need a marble-rye too please!!

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 14, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    How many hours does the dough need to be in the fridge before it is ready to use. It says a 1/2 day. Is that 12 hrs?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 15, 2016 at 5:57 am

      Hi Karen, ‘overnight’ usually means about 8 hours, but 12 hours is fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Haley
    February 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Is there a first rise for the dough missing from the recipe?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 29, 2016 at 4:24 am

      There is a first rise for the dough, and it’s in the recipe at step (2). The dough is placed in the fridge to rise, or you can leave it at room temperature if you prefer, until it doubles in size. The dough would be easier to work with after refrigeration.

      • Reply
        Barbara
        April 10, 2016 at 6:20 pm

        That’s exactly what I thought. First recipe I tried never mentioned refrigeration and I was unhappy with the dough consistency there. This all makes sense. Will try your recipe next.

        • Reply
          Emily
          May 16, 2020 at 7:35 pm

          I made the dough last night and left it to rise in the fridge. This morning it’s rock hard and barely risen. It’s slightly bigger but not doubled in size. Is this normal? Should I keep persisting or start again??

          • Shiran
            June 3, 2020 at 5:26 am

            Hi Emily, it shouldn’t be rock hard but it depends on the temperature it was kept at. Next time you can leave it at room temperature for a while to see if if softens or if you’re able to roll it. It should be fine.

  • Reply
    Evelyn
    May 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I should have commented on this post a long time ago! I adore this recipe!!! I have probably made 30-something Babkas since discovering your post. The dough is perfect and the step-by-step instructions make it so simple to understand the proper way to slice and braid the dough. I’ve done both chocolate and cinnamon fillings and gotten rave reviews. No matter what filling I try, this will always be my base recipe for the dough! It makes the most perfect gift. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 30, 2016 at 6:46 am

      I’m so glad to hear it, Evelyn! Thank you so much for your sweet comment 🙂

  • Reply
    paula
    May 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Just made this without making any adjustments and it is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 30, 2016 at 6:47 am

      Thank you, Paula! 🙂

  • Reply
    paul
    June 3, 2016 at 2:05 am

    So…. have you developed the cinnamon version of babka yet? We cinnaholics are anxiously awaiting its arrival.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 5, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Hi Paul! I do have a recipe for a perfect cinnamon babka! I’m adding it to my list of future posts 🙂

  • Reply
    Pavana
    August 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Hi shiran,
    This chocolate babka looks amazing !!
    What can be the subsitute for eggs in this recipe ??

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 25, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Thank you, Pavana. Unfortunately, the eggs are necessary for this recipe.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 26, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Hi, I was so pleased with your babka recipe. I baked 2 cakes, 1 exactly like yours ,pictured with the reciepe. the other I made into pinwheel s and baked it in a tube pan. They were delicious and looked so professional. it really enhanced our Sukkot holiday. Thank you. Sarah K.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 30, 2016 at 5:10 am

      That’s so wonderful to hear Sarah, thank you so much, and I hope you had a great holiday!

  • Reply
    Esther
    December 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Can i subsitite margarine for butter?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 11, 2016 at 5:31 am

      Hi Esther, are you looking for a dairy free recipe? In that case, I prefer using oil than margarine, but the recipe I use is slightly different than this one. You can contact me via email or Facebook and I’ll give you the details.

  • Reply
    Maria
    December 30, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Im so grateful for this recipe. Ive been searching for the perfect recipe which combines the beautifully textured dough and yummy chocolate filling. Today will prob be my 10th time making it since i found it! Thank you for sharing your tradition and talent.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 31, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment Maria! I LOVE this recipe, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalia
    February 7, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    This babka looks great, even from seeing the photos, I feel tempted to fetch one and enjoy it with my morning coffee. Thank you for the shaping tutorial.

  • Reply
    Miri
    February 10, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I made the Babka, the dough is just perfect, and the combination with the filling is just a pleasure, and wow what a smell at home … Thanks Shiran

  • Reply
    Rene
    February 14, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Hey Shiran,
    I had to share this with you… On Saturday morning I got up very early, my children and my husband were still asleep and and I felt an urge to bake something. I chose to bake your chocolate Babka to eat with the morning coffee. The whole house was filled with the smell of yeast cake with chocolate that made everyone wake up. There was not a crumb left.
    Thank you

  • Reply
    Gabby
    May 4, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t have time to let the dough rise in the refrigerator over night, or even for a few hours. What would happen if I skip that step and continue on?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Gabby, it’s possible to leave the dough at room temperature, but I recommended to place it in the fridge so it sets properly and is easy to work with. Otherwise it can be soft. If you don’t place it in the fridge, you’ll need at least 1-2 hours for each rise, or the dough will be dense and not airy as it should be.

  • Reply
    Catherine
    May 26, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Shiran,
    I just made this recipe for the first time and it worked like on the picture! It tasted amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the tutorial, it was super easy to follow. I would like to try it with maybe another filling for the second half of the dough, to vary a little, like adding rasberry to the chocolate mix. Do you think it would work? Catherine

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 27, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Hi Catherine, I’m so glad you like it! I’ve never had babka with fresh fruit before so I’m not sure. Popular fillings are Nutella, halva spread, cookie butter spread, cinnamon-sugar filling (similar to my cinnamon rolls/cinnamon swirl bread recipe) or pastry cream with dried fruit or chocolate chips.

  • Reply
    Hindy Adelman
    August 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    How do I make the baka with oil.not butter thanks.looks amazing can’t wate to make it

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    September 30, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Holy moly! This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s my first time ever making a babka. I almost didn’t add the lemon zest, but I’m so glad I did. To me that’s what makes it! Also, once I formed the babka and put it in the loaf pans, it didn’t rise very much at all. I almost threw it away, thinking that my yeast was bad. However, I figured I might as well bake it and see what happened. It rose while it was baking! So glad I didn’t throw it away. It is unbelievably amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe ☺️

    • Reply
      Katherine Burlison
      June 2, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      I definitely want to make this Babka cake. It look absolutely delicious, I can taste it already. Lol! My question is, I would like to make it for a family member as well, but would have to ship it to her. How will this cake hold up during 2 day shipping?

      • Reply
        Shiran
        June 3, 2020 at 6:16 am

        Hi Katherine. The cake will be dry after 2 days. I recommend eating it the same day it’s made.

  • Reply
    Prerna Seth
    November 4, 2018 at 1:45 am

    Hi,
    Planning to try this recipe soon. Will it work well with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 4, 2018 at 8:29 am

      I haven’t tried it but my guess is that it will be too dense. The flavor won’t be the same, but if you still want to try it, I recommend using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

  • Reply
    Whitney
    November 18, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Shiran!

    Do you think the dough will still bake well if I bake one loaf now (Sunday) and save half of the dough in the fridge to bake the second loaf on Thursday?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 18, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Whitney, a dough will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator, so I suggest to bake the loaf now and freeze it, then rewarm in the oven, or thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before serving. It will taste good.

  • Reply
    Antoinette
    November 26, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Hello! This looks amazing and can’t wait to try it myself. Now I was hoping to somehow make this recipe dairy-free and saw you had suggested using oil instead of margarine/dairy free butter? Would you mind sharing more information with me? Looking to hopefully make it this upcoming weekend!

    Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 27, 2018 at 6:17 am

      Hi Antoinette, you can use oil instead of butter. I haven’t tried this recipe using oil so I don’t know the exact amount. You can use 1/2 to 2/3 cup neutral oil (such as canola), and if the dough is dry you can add more water.

      • Reply
        Bhupinder Lalh
        December 7, 2020 at 2:10 am

        Hi
        How long before i take it out of the oven before can i cut it? I wanted to serve it hot, but when i cut it, it got squished. Still tasted amazing.
        Also if i freeze it, thaw it at room temp, how long do i warm it in the oven? How long would it take to thaw?

        • Reply
          Shiran
          December 20, 2020 at 7:25 am

          You should let the bread cool to room temperature before slicing. After freezing, it would take several hours to thaw. You can serve it at room temperature or warm up in the oven until heated through.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    December 4, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Hi Shiran, I recently developed an interest in bread making and really want to try out this recipe as it combines two of my favourite things, chocolate and brioche. However, I do not have a dough hook for my handheld electric mixer. Is there any way I can mix the ingredients by hand?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      It’s possible to knead almost any kind of dough by hand, but brioche is more soft and sticky so it will be harder. If you still want to try it, you can search for some examples on youtube.

  • Reply
    Nancy Resman Resman
    December 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Can I freeze the dough ahead if time and then take it out when I want to make the babka?

  • Reply
    Thresi
    January 3, 2019 at 7:47 am

    This came out great even on my first try. Made 12 using a 6 strand braid as give aways for Christmas. Wish I could post pictures (find them on my Instagram thresi_ramapuram). Thank you for the excellent recipe with such detailed instructions & tips Shoranur! Merry Christmas & wish you a blessed 2019.

  • Reply
    megan
    January 10, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Shiran, I’m planning on making this but was wondering how long is ‘too long’ to leave dough in the fridge. If I left in for 16-18 hours will that impact the dough at all? Thank you!

  • Reply
    susan holloway
    February 20, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I have am planning to try this recipe and the reviews are so postive. If I have a successful outcome, I may change out some of my xmas tea breads and try making mini loaves.

  • Reply
    R
    February 25, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, sounds delicious! Can i freeze the babkas raw? If yes do i freeze before final rising stage or after? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 5, 2019 at 4:15 am

      I like to bake the cakes and then freeze. Then bring to room temperature or rewarm in the oven, and they would taste fresh.

      • Reply
        rachel
        March 11, 2019 at 9:44 pm

        great thanks!

  • Reply
    Hanna
    March 13, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Hi! I have tried this recipe twice and both times it came out underdone in the middle. Both times I left the dough overnight in the fridge before rolling it out and let it proof on the counter before placing it in the oven. The second proof did not seem to increase the dough size very much (if at all). Could this have contributed to the underdone middle? What else could I be doing wrong? Even with a doughy center, it’s still delicious!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 17, 2019 at 4:42 am

      Hi Hanna, I’m guessing it needs more baking time? Try to bake it for longer next time, and if the top is browning too much, cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil.

  • Reply
    Julia
    March 31, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Made this today. One loaf with the optional chocolate chips and one without. Amazing and so much fun to make! Thanks for the recipe and video.

  • Reply
    Cristina
    April 2, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    This recipe is fabulous! The directions were easy to follow and the loaves turned out beautifully. So worth it! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Johanna
    April 28, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Made this babka today and I have to say, I was worried that the dough may have gone wrong as it didn’t rise much overnight or when I left it again before baking but turned out brilliantly and nearly doubled in size in the oven. I made the recipe without the adjustments and loved it although next time I may use slightly less lemon zest as it turned into a chocolate lemon babka as opposed to a chocolate babka (delicious nonetheless). Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  • Reply
    simon leclair
    May 25, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Is it possible to make the recipe without a stand mixer? If so, what is the best way to incorporate the butter?

    • Reply
      Jocelyn
      March 2, 2021 at 12:25 am

      Make sure the butter is soft and at room temp. Slowly incorporating the cubes once you have a rough dough. I like to spread it over it and dimple it in slightly. Incorporating it completely before adding in the next couple pieces.
      I also recommend the slap and fold method if it seems to sticky!

  • Reply
    Brian
    June 23, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    This was seriously off the hook !!! I added a bit more chocolate because I feel like there’s never enough filling in most recipes . I also mixed the 100% cacao with some semi-sweet . This was better than any I’ve ever bought at a bakery !

  • Reply
    Rilanda
    July 10, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Hi Shiran
    Just made the chocolate babka for the first time. It definitely is “the best babka recipe”.

  • Reply
    Alex
    August 12, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Shiran! I just made this recipe over the weekend. The final product tasted really great, however, my dough didn’t seem to rise really at all. And, after the overnight chill, was very stiff and there was nothing to sort of punch down like with other types of breads I’ve made. Is this how it’s supposed to be? Not sure if this is just a denser dough? It also didn’t really rise much on the second proof. My final loaf also came out kind of flat, but it tasted really good and the texture looked good so I’m not sure if anything actually went wrong..haha. Perhaps I used a loaf pan that was too big?

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    October 8, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    This recipe was amazing!! It was better than any babka I’ve gotten at a store or a bakery! I can’t wait to make it again! I did omit the chocolate chips since the chocolate was fairly sweet. I also added finely chopped walnuts.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    October 9, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    This was amazing!!! Honestly the best babka I’ve ever eaten (better than storebought or bakery babka). I used the chocolate sauce and added chopped walnuts as the filling. I will definitely be making these again!!

  • Reply
    Susan
    October 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Is it possible to make this babka gluten free? Perhaps using almond flour or cup for cup gf flour replacing regular flour.
    Choc babka is my absolute favorite since I’m a small child. I would love to have it again!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 16, 2019 at 6:48 am

      I have no experience baking with gluten free flour, but almond flour wouldn’t work here.

    • Reply
      Miette
      December 12, 2019 at 6:35 am

      Hey! Did you try making it gluten-free? I too miss Babka so dang much and wanted to make it gluten-free! If you tried it out please let me know if it worked out or what you did! I’d love to make a couple of loaves this Hannukah!

  • Reply
    Karisa
    October 25, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Hi Shiran!
    I was wondering if you had any recommendations for kinds of chocolate to use in breads.
    Thanks!
    Karisa

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 28, 2019 at 4:03 am

      You can use any bittersweet/semisweet chocolate that you like!

  • Reply
    Angela
    November 14, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    I followed this recipe exactly and it worked out 100% great!

    I used milk instead of water and added more chocolate on the inside. It was truly the best babka I’ve ever had.

    Can’t wait to make it again and maybe add a streusel topping.

  • Reply
    Liat
    November 23, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Very good babka. Dough is rich. And after a day it is still fresh as the first day. I even converted a third of the flour to a wholemeal flour and it is gorgeous and you can not feel it.

  • Reply
    Sandi Dranchak
    December 8, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Hi! Wanting to make this recipe but dont have the 9×4 pan. Will a 9×6 or 8×6 pan work?

    • Reply
      Sandi Dranchak
      December 8, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Meant 9×5

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 12, 2019 at 4:20 am

      Yes, you can use any of them.

  • Reply
    Adam Lamp
    December 10, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Recently found your amazing site – and after trying several different babka recipes – this is far and away the very best!!! Usually I have a hard time following a recipe as there are things I want to change – not this time.

    I even vacuum sealed many of them after baking and letting cool overnight, before shipping across the country to share with friends and family – worked out really well. Thanks for this- now I am going to tackle many more of your recipes.

    Quick question – where is the plate that you show the slice of babka on from? I love what looks like a deep edge on it.

    Thanks again!
    Adam

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 12, 2019 at 3:57 am

      Thank you so much, Adam! I’m so happy you loved and it so much and shared it with others. The plate is from an antique shop.

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Hi Shiran,

    Does it have to be ” instant” yeast — or can it be active? (Can’t wait to try this!)

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 1, 2020 at 4:02 am

      You can use the same amount of active yeast instead, but instead of mixing it with all the other ingredients, you’ll need to first activate it with some liquid from the recipe. I use it in my cinnamon rolls recipe.

  • Reply
    Rebel
    January 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    When I made this recipe, I placed the scraps (the ends you cut off each dough roll before forming into loaves) in mini-brioche pans and baked them for about 12 minutes along with the loaves (of course, you could use a muffin tin if you don’t have mini-brioche pans). I’m puzzled, however — I tested the temperature of the loaves at 25 and again at 30 minutes, and they never reached 195F (most bread recipes advise testing the internal temperature of the loaves to determine when they’re done). When I tested the temperature of the mini-brioches, they did, in fact reach 195F. I’m not sure why the loaves only registered 150F after 30 minutes, though it turns out they were done perfectly.

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 6, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I made these today and they are AMAZING!! Thank you for the recipe. Would love the recipe for a cinnamon filled babka.

  • Reply
    Yossi Preminger
    February 14, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I made this as it’s written successfully, but the measurements have a mistake:
    In the filling it says 1/2 cup powdered sugar or 50 grams.

    50 grams is less than a quarter cup.

    FYI I made it with 1/2 a cup (i.e. 100 grams) and it was fine.

    PS
    Tip: make sure the filling is only just warm when spreading it.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 16, 2020 at 11:52 am

      Hi Yossi. What kind of sugar did you use? 1 cup granulated sugar equals 200 grams while 1 cup powdered sugar equals about 120 grams.

  • Reply
    Jeff
    February 16, 2020 at 11:32 am

    This is a wonderful recipe! I have made it about 6 times. I am relatively new to baking, but I am getting a reputation for making awesome babkas. Thank you so much for sharing. I did find a tip to pass along, Recently I made a batch where I let the babka rise for 3 hours (instead of 1 1/2 hours) before baking. It was still delicious, and a bit lighter. So, if you have the time, it might be worth a try.

  • Reply
    Becca
    April 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Hi
    How do you make the dough without a mixer? We don’t have a dough hook so I’d need to make it by hand. Also is instant yeast the same as dry yeast?
    Thanks, I can’t wait to try this recipe it looks amazing

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 6, 2020 at 7:34 am

      Hi Becca, I’ve almost always made my dough using a mixer. You can watch vidoes on how to to make any dough by hand and I’m sure it would help!

  • Reply
    Diana
    April 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    One of my favorites desserts!! I have done it a few times and it is as delicious as it looks!! Really buttery and chocolaty, I can not aak for more! Thank you for this recipe!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 11, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Can I leave the dough in the fridge for 24 hours instead of just “overnight”?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 13, 2020 at 7:12 am

      yes!

  • Reply
    Jeff
    April 15, 2020 at 6:14 am

    I’ve never made bread before but this turned out perfect!! And don’t skip the syrup I think it’s what makes it so soft and shiny 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheha
    April 18, 2020 at 7:38 am

    It was my first time making (and eating haha) babka but it turned out absolutely amazing! I am being forced to make it a second time within a week by my family!

  • Reply
    Cameo Steed
    April 24, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Hi! First of all, I wanna say that the flavor of this bread is absolutely amazing. I have a question though: when it comes to the first rise, is it supposed to actually rise? Because mine did not. And when I covered the pans with the plastic wrap, it did not double in size. When it baked, it rose enough that it filled out the pan but have you ever had these issues? Just want to see where I went wrong. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 11, 2020 at 5:55 am

      That’s ok. For the first rise, it wouldn’t look like it has risen a lot.

  • Reply
    Hiba
    April 30, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Can I just use homemade nutella instead of the filling that you used? It is made from hazelnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey and almond oil?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 11, 2020 at 4:46 am

      You can use Nutella for sure. This can work but it really depends on the recipe you’re using.

  • Reply
    Tammy
    May 10, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    My 17 year old daughter made this for me for Mother’s Day. It is amazing!! I told her I want one for Mother’s Day every year! Can’t imagine a better way to celebrate!

  • Reply
    Elisheva
    May 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a loonnnggg time! Currently in middle of making the dough, and it seems super sticky? Will this resolve after being in the fridge for the first rise? or do I need to make an adjustment?
    Thank you!!!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 14, 2020 at 1:37 am

      It should be ok after resting in the fridge!

  • Reply
    Helen Gonzales
    May 25, 2020 at 7:10 am

    I make this. It’s so nice. I used Bob’s Red mill AP flour. The measurements are just exact.

  • Reply
    Haari
    June 11, 2020 at 3:53 am

    Is there any substitute for eggs? Much appreciated, thanks in advance

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 14, 2020 at 1:52 am

      I have no experience baking without eggs, sorry!

  • Reply
    kristy wong
    June 13, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Hi, I want to make just one loaf of the recipe and would like to reduce the ingredients. how do i go about it?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 14, 2020 at 1:45 am

      If you want one loaf you can halve the ingredients in this recipe.

  • Reply
    ria seeligsohn
    June 20, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Can I make the dough in my bread machine? Would I still need to let it rise overnight in a fridge for the first rise?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 23, 2020 at 1:53 am

      I’m sorry but I have no experience baking with bread machine.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    June 21, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    First time making babka and I can’t imagine it tasting any better than this! Amazingly rich tender dough and delicious dark chocolate filling. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Ayala
    June 22, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Hi, I just made your babka, I used Nutella and it was a big hit! In stead of making two babkas I used half the dought to make a ricotta and cherry lattice coffee cake and it was delicious! Thank you for this recipe I found very versitile a delicious!

  • Reply
    Myriam
    June 28, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    As this was my first time making babkha, I was looking for “the perfect recipe”. I knew I found it when I came across your blog- especially after you mentioned it was from Y Ottolenghi, and I excitedly decided to try it. Best decision ever! The instructions are very clear, and I found the video tutorial very helpful! It came out exactly like in your picture! And it was very delicious. I made three (smaller) babkhas- one chocolate, one chocolate hazelnut, and one chocolate pecans in a round pan. I substituted butter with margarine and it came out delicious, although it was a bit dry the next morning already… I’m thinking of trying the oil version next time! Thank you for sharing:)

  • Reply
    Ayesha
    July 9, 2020 at 8:08 am

    I can’t find pictures with the instructions of chocolate babka. Please help. Thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 12, 2020 at 5:16 am

      click here 🙂

  • Reply
    Jazz mardel
    July 12, 2020 at 9:05 am

    This is the best thing I’ve ever made!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    July 13, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Hi ! I want to try this recipe . Looks amazing ! Can I use Nutella and some chocolate chips for the filling ?

  • Reply
    Rahila Rauf
    July 21, 2020 at 1:40 am

    hi
    I do not get instant yeast where I live. only active dry so how much should I use? And also I know active dry would need proofing.
    thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 23, 2020 at 5:49 am

      Hi Rahila. You can read this helpful guide.

  • Reply
    Neha
    July 22, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Just made this last night and I have to say that they turned out AMAZINGG! I wasn’t expecting to find a recipe that I would *love* in the first go, but surprisingly I did. I spent weeks trying to decide a recipe, in the end I decided to try this one out. I was kind of scared about adding so much butter because the dough looked too buttery and other recipes did use less butter too, but I decided not to change anything (I do want to try this with less butter though and see if I can get pretty much the same results, maybe increase the liquid, just to reduce the calorie intake xD).
    I first discovered Babka through Tasty’s ‘Magic of Breadmaking’ video, and my first thoughts were: ‘this looks so much like Cinnabon’s cinnamon rolls!” And I have tried cinnamon rolls recently too and they weren’t as good as I wanted them to be, like I’m all about the gooey stretchy layers of dough and I didn’t achieve that. But when I made this Babka, the bread texture was sooooo much like Cinnabon’s cinnamon rolls!! I’m thinking of using the same dough recipe and using a different filling, and basically turn this into cinnamon rolls with a cream cheese frosting, yumm!

  • Reply
    Dom
    August 20, 2020 at 4:58 am

    How long will the babka last in room temp stored in cling wrap?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 20, 2020 at 5:22 am

      One day, after that it will start getting dry. I recommend placing in the fridge for 2 days or cut into pieces and freeze.

  • Reply
    Angelica
    August 21, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    This recipe is amazing. Both of my babka loaves turned out absolutely delicious. I was a little nervous at first because I had never made babka before, but your steps and video on how to roll and shape it made it very easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing!! I’m looking forward to making this again, maybe a savory version 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 23, 2020 at 5:21 am

      Thank you so much, Angelica 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheena
    September 7, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Hi! Can I check what is the maximum time can I leave the dough in fridge for first rise? Is it alright for 2 days? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 9, 2020 at 3:29 am

      Yes, it should be ok for up to 3 days. If at any point it looks like it’s rising too much (double the original size), punch it down gently to remove the air.

  • Reply
    Gabrielle
    September 13, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Hi there, I followed this recipe to the T while making the dough and it’s come out looking more like a pastry dough and nothing like a brioche. I’m not even sure if it’s going to proof.
    I used a KitchenAid stand mixer, I’m just really confused as to why I’m having different results to everyone else?

  • Reply
    Anne
    September 22, 2020 at 3:59 am

    This recipe is superb. First time that I have made babka. My only error was leaving the choc filling a bit too long and the rolling up of the pastry was a tad difficult. I had a bit of pastry left after trimming and I made a mini babka – was delicious. Will definitely make this again. I found your instructions and video extremely helpful. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Sobia Iqbal
    October 27, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Hey is it possible to make this without a stand mixer? Thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 3, 2020 at 9:33 am

      If you’re an experienced baker, then you can watch vidoes on how to make dough by hand and use that method. The dough would be wuite stick though so I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.

  • Reply
    Judy
    October 30, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I’d love to make the babka but I only have a hand held mixer without the hooks. How would I proceed?

  • Reply
    Kim
    November 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Turned out excellent!! Definitely will make this recipe again.

  • Reply
    Noa Seri
    November 7, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    hi thanks for the recipe, i just have a little question – i always find it a bit tricky knowing when the cake i fully baked. is it supposed to be a tiny bit doughy when i take it out of the oven, and then stiffen abit while cools down?
    im always afraid to to oven bake it, but i take out and im not sure its ready (its golden colored at the bottom aswell).. i usually end up taking it out then putting back in the oven a few times again…
    so hope you have good tips for me!!
    thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 15, 2020 at 6:45 am

      It is tricky and I’ve learned with experience, but if you follow the baking time and the exact temperature suggested in the recipe without opening the over door during baking, then it should be ok 🙂 It shouldn’t be doughy and the top should be golden brown.

  • Reply
    Tam
    November 14, 2020 at 11:34 am

    Followed the recipe to the dot, and it came out fantastic!! Will definitely do this again.

  • Reply
    Karen Fedasko
    November 17, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Fabulous recipe!!

  • Reply
    Ell
    December 6, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I would love to make these in half size loaf pans to give as gifts. Do you think this would work by cutting down cooking time? Thank you for your response!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 20, 2020 at 7:32 am

      Sure, it would be fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Julia
    December 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    I made this today and it came out so beautifully. It is absolutely delicious, I had to freeze a bunch because I was scared I would eat it all lol I will definitely try this with the cheese filling one day too!

  • Reply
    Yamit
    December 16, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Wow!! This turned out beyond perfect!!

  • Reply
    Mary
    December 19, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    Can I make the dough portion in the bread machine?

    • Reply
      Maria
      December 23, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      It should be possible. My bread machine has a setting for dough only without baking. I used it a few times for sourdough recipes that called for mixing with a stand mixer (which I didn’t have until recently). I let it run for about 20 minutes of actual mixing – there were rest periods where the machine did nothing, so about 30 minutes of actual time. Your machine may be different. The full bread dough cycle is 180 minutes including rising, but it doesn’t hurt to turn the machine off before the end of that cycle. When I felt like the dough was mixed enough, I turned off the machine and decanted the dough into a bowl for the overnight rising.

  • Reply
    Jayne
    January 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Hi, I would like to make just half of the recipe but I’m not sure if the kneading time would be the same. Should I knead for less time please.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 14, 2021 at 7:01 am

      Yes, the kneading time should be the same 🙂

  • Reply
    Ankita
    January 18, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Hi! Can I make a babka wreath with this dough? And will the quantities remain the same?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 27, 2021 at 10:30 am

      Yes it would work, no need to change anything!

  • Reply
    Matthias
    January 20, 2021 at 4:35 pm

    Made this today, super delicious! Excellent recipe, will probably make it again. Made it as an inauguration celebratory dessert. My family liked it a lot!

  • Reply
    Jenna
    January 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    This is so delicious! I dont have a stand mixer so used a dough hook on a hand mixer until it was all together and then kneaded by hand— worked out just fine. Also, I took the four cut off ends and put them in a muffin tin— cooked for 12 minutes in the oven when I took the babkas out and had four delicious babka rolls!

  • Reply
    Laura L.
    February 12, 2021 at 8:38 am

    I’m sure you don’t need one more comment to convince you how wonderful this recipe is! I’ve begun experimenting with yeast dough during quarantine and this by far was the the biggest success! The instructions are easy to follow and describe every step along the way. I got rave reviews despite being a novice baker. Right now I have a loaf proofing that is filled with canned raspberry filling. I am baking for a charity so I’m hopeful the fruit fillings will work! Thanks for the great recipe!

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