According to Spoon University, Babka is a dense cake with the appearance of bread. You can usually tell by the beautiful swirls of chocolate in between layers
Whether it’s stuffed with chocolate or cinnamon or enjoyed as its simple, buttery self — everyone is talking about babka. Sure, it’s trendy now, but it’s been around for ages. Originating in Eastern European bakeries, babka is a buttery bread loaf that’s long been a staple in that part of the world. See why bakeries across the States can’t stop trying to reinvent the babka with this simple chocolatey recipe!
chocolate babka recipe instructions
Everyone and their mother is talking about babka – and for good reason. See why with this recipe!
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
For the dough:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the cocoa powder, sugar, milk, coffee, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil, then lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick (it will still look a little liquidy and will continue to thicken as it cools), 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in the orange juice. Transfer filling to a bowl, cover, and chill in the fridge until it thickens into a spreadable paste, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.
- Stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm water in a small bowl and let sit until bubbling and frothy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt, orange juice, 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk (reserve the white), and butter to the bowl of a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment.
- When the yeast mixture is bubbling, pour it into the bowl and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until the butter is fully dispersed, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces, and keep 1 piece in the bowl, covered, while working with remaining piece. Roll out the dough into a large, 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Spread half of the chocolate mixture evenly over the rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the border with a little of the reserved egg white to help seal the dough.
- Starting at one of the short sides, roll up the dough like a jelly roll (not too tight), pinch the ends to seal, and place it, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining dough and filling and place the roll on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between the two rolls.
- Brush the tops of each roll with egg wash and prick in a few places with a fork to keep it from splitting while it bakes. Bake, rotating the pan once halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer babka to wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm. Reheat leftover babka briefly in a toaster oven or oven before serving.