Chocolate Babka Square
Babka is a dense cake swirled with delicious layers of everything from chocolate, cinnamon sugar, Nutella and more! It is a traditional Eastern European dessert and a favorite in our house!
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Table of Contents
  1. The Best Chocolate Babka Recipe
  2. What Makes a Babka a Babka?
  3. How to Make Traditional Chocolate Babka Bread
  4. Babka Dough Ingredients
  5. How to Roll Your Babka (photo tutorial)
  6. More filling Options
  7. More Traditional Jewish Recipes
  8. Babka Recipe Recipe

This easy Babka recipe starts with a delicious rich brioche bread swirled with layers of everything from chocolate, cinnamon sugar, Nutella, and more! It is a traditional Eastern European dessert (often found in Jewish bakeries) and a favorite in our house!

Chocolate Babka sliced

The Best Chocolate Babka Recipe

Seinfeld may have made babka famous, but my good friend, Henna, has the market cornered on making it totally and completely delicious!

The first time I met Henna, I was on my way to Israel with a group of 80 women. We were sitting in JFK airport waiting for our airplane and there is Henna. To my total and utter delight, she whips out SIX, yes six, loaves of freshly baked babka – there was chocolate babka, cinnamon babka, Nutella babka – and I tried them all.

Let me tell you, they were mouth-watering delicious…. right then and there, I knew Henna and I were going to be very, very good friends! Well, today I was incredibly fortunate to have Henna come over and give me a one-on-one private babka making lesson!{whisper voice…don’t worry about all of the steps, it really is easy…if I can do it, anyone can!}

This recipe makes 2 babkas in either loaf or bundt pan. I have listed 3 types of filling – pick one of your favorites, but be sure to try all three at some point – one is better than the next!

Grab a hot cup of coffee and enjoy!

What Makes a Babka a Babka?

Babka is a traditional Jewish sweet bread with fillings. It starts with a sweet brioche bread, twisted with a chocolate filling, and is often egg-washed or glazed with a buttery streusel topping.

The babka is made up of three components each includes, let’s just say, some butter!! Our recipe makes 2 loaves, one for now and freeze one for later.

The Babka Dough: We use a rich dough for our homemade babka. This sweet dough is made from eggs, butter, flour, and sugar it makes a delicious, buttery bread to hold the rich chocolate filling.

The Chocolate Filling: The rich and creamy homemade chocolate filling is probably my most popular filling. I have, however, gotten rave reviews from my cinnamon sugar filling and our over-the-top Nutella filling!

The Streusel Topping: I am on the side of it cannot be a babka without the streusel topping. My recipe gives you more than enough streusel, so use a lot or a little, but trust me, do not skip this step!

Chocolate Babka in two loaf pans

How to Make Traditional Chocolate Babka Bread

This recipe looks way harder than it is! Trust me, if I can make it, anyone can! I have broken in down in parts: Making the struesel, making the filling and making the dough.

We will bring all three together while making the dough.

I think it is easier to follow the recipe using the recipe card below. The instructions are much more detailed but use the post instructions below to see pictures for reference.

Babka Dough Ingredients

  • 3 ½ – 4 cups flour
  • 3 packets yeast or 2 ¼ tablespoons
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons cup warm water
  • ¾ cups butter (melted)
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (save the egg white to use for the egg wash on the loaf)
  • 1 tsp salt
dough ready for babka

Streusel Crumb Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 stick butter (2 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

NOTE: You may not use all of the streusel.

Chocolate Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup/2 sticks margarine, melted
  • 1 5.9 ounce box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Babka sliced on a cutting board

How to Roll Your Babka (photo tutorial)

Rolling the babka is probably the hardest part to explain in making a babka. However, it is actually way easier than it sounds! The trick is the double twist. You want to grab each end of the babka roll in one hand and twist it and tuck it.

Step 1: Roll the babka dough out very, very thin. Spread the chocolate filling (or filling of your choice) with a spatula leaving about 1/2 inch from the edge. Roll the dough into a long log-like roll. Cut it in half right in the middle of the roll.

how to roll babka - step 1

Step 2: Lay them next to each other with the bottom half of one up next to the top half of the other (line them up opposite ends – so the end of one of the pieces is next to the middle-end of the other piece).  

Using a sharp knife cut down the center of each piece of dough just through the top (not all the way to the bottom of the piece). 

Pinch the tops together. Lift the left piece of dough and twist to the left. It will be limp and messy! Then twist the right piece of dough to the right. Then take each side and braid one over the other.

how to roll babka - step 2

Step 3: So twist in your left hand and then tuck it under the right. Keep repeating until you braid the whole dough and then pinch the ends together.

You may have to pinch the top again. Then pinch the bottoms of the two pieces together. (The chocolate will ooze out – the messier the prettier it will turn out after baking). 

Place the twisted dough into the bundt pan. Egg wash the top and sides and cover with streusel.

how to roll babka - step 3

More filling Options

Chocolate filling is by far our favorite, but sometimes we love to mix it up. Some of our other favorites are:

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons/ 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together
  • Set aside for later! (you will need 1/2 stick melted butter to lightly brush over the dough for the cinnamon sugar to stick)

Nutella Filling

  • Soften Nutella in the microwave for approximately 20 seconds
  • Wait to do this until right before you use the filling
Babka sliced overhead

More Traditional Jewish Recipes

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread Recipe | The Best Beef Brisket Recipe | Fried Matzo Brei | Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroon Recipe | Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Babka Square

Babka Recipe

Serves — 2
Babka is a dense cake swirled with delicious layers of everything from chocolate, cinnamon sugar, Nutella and more! It is a traditional Eastern European dessert and a favorite in our house!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting/Rising time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients
  

Dough Ingredients

  • 3 ½ – 4 cups flour
  • tablespoons yeast or 3 packets
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ¾ cups butter melted
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk save the egg white to use for the egg wash on the loaf
  • 1 tsp salt

Streusel Crumb Topping Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Chocolate Filling Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter melted
  • 1 5.9 ounce box Instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
 

Streusel Crumb Topping Instructions

  • In a small bowl melt 1/4 stick of butter. Add flour and sugar and mix together until combined. Use your hands to crumble the mixture and set aside for later.

Chocolate Filling Instructions

  • Melt 2 sticks of butter. Add pudding mix, sugar, cocoa, water, and egg. Mix all together with a spoon. Set aside for later!

Bobka Loaf Instructions

  • Prepare two 9×5 loaf pans by spraying them very well with nonstick spray.
  • Melt margarine in microwave. Set aside to cool
  • Place yeast and sugar in a large bowl and give it a little shake to combine.
  • Add warm water to the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit for 5 minutes while the yeast is activating.
  • Crack the eggs in a small bowl and whisk together (1 egg and 1 egg yolk). Set aside.
  • Once the yeast is activated sprinkle salt over the mixture, add melted (and cooled) margarine, and stir slightly.
  • Add beaten eggs and 2 cups of flour and stir until the flour is all incorporated.
  • Continue to add flour ½ cup at a time, kneading until a smooth dough forms (if you find the dough sticky, add a tablespoon more of flour at a time until a finger inserted into the center of the dough comes out clean)
  • Place the ball of dough and place it in a bowl with a clean kitchen towel over it to let rise. Let rise for at least 1 ½ hours (2 hours is preferable).
  • Divide dough into 2 equal parts and roll into large and VERY thin rectangles (they don’t need to be perfectly shaped. Just make sure they are thin.
  • Divide the chocolate filling evenly amongst the two rolled out doughs. Spread the chocolate evenly with a spatula, leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides.
  • Starting with the longest edge, roll the dough into a very long log-like roll. Cut it in half and bring the bottom half up next to the top half (line them up opposite ends – so the end of one of the pieces is next to the middle-end of the other piece).
  • Using a sharp knife cut down the center of each piece of dough just through the top (not all the way to the bottom of the piece).
  • Pinch the tops together. Lift the left piece of dough and twist to the left. It will be limp and messy! Then twist the right piece of dough to the right. Then take each side and braid one over the other, continue until you get to the ends of the dough. Then pinch the bottoms of the two pieces together. You may have to pinch the top again. (The chocolate will ooze out – the messier the prettier it will turn out after baking).
  • Lift the dough and place it into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Egg wash the top and sprinkle generously with streusel. Let rise for 1/2 hour
  • Place in oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes
  • Serve immediately, later or freeze (if freezing, let cool completely first!)
  • NOTE: For the egg wash I used the leftover egg white and 2 tablespoons of milk.

Jenn’s Notes

  • For the egg wash I used the leftover egg white and 2 tablespoons of milk.
  • You may not use all of the streusel.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 4731kcal | Carbohydrates: 711g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 188g | Saturated Fat: 114g | Cholesterol: 717mg | Sodium: 3457mg | Potassium: 1127mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 306g | Vitamin A: 5668IU | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 28mg
Chocolate Babka
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. I’m new here and I can’t seem o get the recipe for your babka ! It’s only showing me peoples comments ! Not what I’m looking for !

  2. 5 stars
    I have been searching for this recipe up and down. Remembering “airport” “Israel” and “pudding” but made the mistake to add “Hadassah” in my google search. (I don’t know why I imagined it was a Ladies Hadassah trip to Israel.) Going through 5 years worth of cake photos saved on my pinterest board, that was never ending… and when I finally spotted the photo, I had a good feeling this was it… Sometimes we put something out in the world and we have no idea what sort of meaning it has to others… they don’t always come back and tell us. Thank you so much for sharing. It is memorable and delicious but to the point where I can’t bake it regularly, but only for special occasions… or well you know, I’ll need to be upping my clothing size. Sending Babka Love!

    1. Awwwww thank you so much for your Babka Love!!! It warms my heart that you remembered snippits of the story!!! Sending you babka love right back at ya!!