• Recipe by
  • Prep time
    30 minutes, plus rising time
  • Cook Time
    40 minutes
  • Serves
    2 Loaves

Equipment: Pre-cut parchment paper sheets

Ingredients

Babka Dough

250 grams whole milk, lukewarm

2 teaspoon (7 grams) instant yeast

60 grams sugar

560 grams all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (3 grams) salt

2 eggs (about 100 grams not including shell), at room temperature

1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla bean paste

120 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cinnamon Filling

115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

150 grams dark brown or light brown sugar

3 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon cardamom

Pinch of salt

To Finish

100 grams granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

60 grams unsalted butter, melted

Preparation

Babka Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the milk, yeast, sugar, flour, salt, eggs, and vanilla.

Mix on medium speed for 6-7 minutes, until the dough has come together.

Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is almost incorporated to add the next piece, until all of the butter has been added. Mix the dough for a further 6-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Lightly grease a medium bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to stand on the counter for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. (See recipe notes for doing this all in one day)

Cinnamon Filling

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl until well incorporated.

Babka Assembly

Lightly grease two loaf pans, and line with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 16" x 25" rectangle (40x64cm). Spread the filling over the surface of the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up into a tight spiral. Measure the length of the sausage of dough, then cut in half so it is in two sausages.

Using a sharp knife, cut the first piece in half, lengthwise, and then cross the pieces over each other to form an ‘x’, and then cross over two more times at each end to form a twist. Place into the loaf pan, tucking the ends under slightly if needed. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Lightly cover the loaf pans in plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough springs back lightly when pressed. While the loaves are proofing, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c.

Bake for the loaves 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and measure 190°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. While the loaves are cooling, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and have the melted butter and a pastry brush nearby.

Remove the babkas from the pans and place on a sheet pan lined with a cooling rack. Working with one loaf at a time, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar.

Store leftovers lightly wrapped at room temperature. I like to toast leftovers and serve warm with butter.

Note: I like to do the first rise for my babka dough in the fridge. Cold dough is easiest to work with. The dough takes a minimum of 3 hours to rise, but can be done overnight too. If you want to make this without the initial fridge rise and the dough is feeling soft,, you can chill the logs of dough before you split and twist them. Just place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Babka freezes well! If you want to freeze the loaf, skip the step where you brush with butter and roll in cinnamon sugar, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Defrost on the counter. I love slicing and toasting babka that has been frozen, and eating with salted butter.

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