Chocolate Babka Is the Best Excuse to Eat Chocolate for Breakfast

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Chocolate Babka Recipe

Swirls of acheronian cocoa are braided done this yeasted breadstuff that’s baked successful a loaf pan.


Makes 2 (9-inch) loaves

Prep1 hour

Cook40 minutes to 55 minutes

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A sliced cocoa babka showing nan texture and braided successful chocolate.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Every clip I spot a image of babka, I find myself mesmerized by each of its beautiful twists, turns, and swirly patterns. Whether it’s filled pinch spices and nuts aliases stuffed pinch a savory filling, babkas are beautiful yeasted labors of love. 

Chocolate babkas are celebrated for a logic — their dark chocolate filling melts correct into a somewhat saccharine mixed and becomes axenic magic arsenic it bakes and rises into a soft, pillowy loaf. Babkas whitethorn look analyzable to make, but their signature shape is achieved by a elemental cutting-and-braiding method that looks amazing, moreover if you don’t propulsion it disconnected perfectly. Here’s really you tin make your very ain babka astatine home. 

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

The Main Ingredients You’ll Need for Chocolate Babka

This look makes 2 loaves, truthful that you tin support 1 and springiness nan different distant — aliases support some for yourself! 

Here are nan ingredients you’ll need.

  • Basic baking ingredients: To make nan dough, you’ll request all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  • Yeast: Two packets of active barren yeast are what makes nan mixed emergence successful a comparatively speedy play of time.
  • Dark chocolate: Go for a 70% aliases darker cocoa here. Opt for bars aliases discs complete cocoa chips, which sometimes person a coating that doesn’t melt arsenic well.
  • Eggs: Three full eggs and 1 ovum yolk springiness nan mixed richness.
  • Dairy: You’ll request beverage (any fat percent is fine), unsalted butter, and cream.

The Two Things That Take This Chocolate Babka Over nan Top

To make this type ace delicious, I incorporated 2 things that I learned from Breads Bakery successful New York. The first extremity is that, successful summation to a spreadable cocoa filling, much chopped-up cocoa should beryllium radiated complete nan filling earlier nan mixed is rolled up. This cocoa melts during baking and adds an other boost of axenic chocolaty flavor.

The 2nd extremity involves nan usage of a glaze. A elemental sweetener syrup is brushed connected nan apical of nan babka arsenic soon arsenic it comes retired of nan oven. This glaze gives it a gorgeous sheen, but besides adds a furniture of moisture and helps support nan babka from drying retired excessively quickly.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

How to Make Chocolate Babka

  1. Make nan dough. Start by proofing yeast successful immoderate lukewarm milk, past harvester it pinch eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and brackish to make a bedewed dough. Gradually operation successful nan food until a smoother mixed forms. Let nan mixed emergence successful a lukewarm place.
  2. Make nan filling. While nan mixed is rising, make a cocoa filling by combining melted butter, cream, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla. I for illustration crushed cinnamon successful my filling too, but that’s optional. Refrigerate nan filling truthful that it sets up capable to beryllium spreadable for illustration Nutella.
  3. Roll retired and capable nan dough. Roll retired each information of dough, past apical pinch nan cocoa filling and chopped chocolate. Roll up into a log and chill for 15 minutes to thief nan mixed and filling group up and make it neater and easier to cut.
  4. Cut and braid nan dough. Cut each log successful half lengthwise to expose nan cocoa layers, past braid nan halves together.
  5. Proof nan dough. Transfer nan loaves into 9×5-inch loaf pans and fto them emergence a small much while nan oven heats.
  6. Bake nan babka and make nan glaze: Bake nan babkas, and make nan glaze arsenic they’re baking.
  7. Brush nan babkas pinch glaze. Brush nan tops of nan babkas pinch glaze. Let cool for 20 minutes, past return nan loaves retired of nan pans and fto cool completely.

Babka is beautiful because of nan swirls of cocoa moving throughout. To get that signature look, rotation retired nan dough, apical it pinch nan cocoa filling, and rotation it up into a log. Chill nan log for 15 minutes, past trim it successful half lengthwise. Turn nan halves cut-side up — you’ll spot lines of cocoa moving down nan magnitude of nan dough.

To braid nan babka, transverse nan halves astatine nan halfway constituent to shape an “X.” Starting astatine nan halfway point, twist nan 2 halves toward 1 end, past repetition pinch twisting toward nan different end. Twisting from nan halfway keeps nan mixed from stretching retired excessively overmuch and getting excessively long. As you work, support nan cut-side up arsenic overmuch arsenic imaginable to evenly administer nan cocoa layers. Once twisted, transportation nan babka to nan loaf pan, tucking nan ends underneath itself — and again, make judge nan cocoa layers are adjacent to nan top.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Babkas frost wonderfully well, truthful conscionable wrap up a cooled loaf successful integrative wrap, past wrap again successful aluminum foil aliases spot successful a integrative zip-top freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw connected nan antagonistic for a fewer hours erstwhile you’re fresh to eat. If you for illustration your babka toasted, skip utilizing a modular toaster because nan cocoa tin burn. Place slices connected a baking sheet, and toast successful a toaster oven aliases regular oven instead. If you’re emotion extra, move those slices into an over-the-top French toast!

Swirls of acheronian cocoa are braided done this yeasted breadstuff that’s baked successful a loaf pan.


For nan dough:

  • 1 1/2 sticks

    (6 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1

    large ovum yolk

  • 1/2 cup

    milk, immoderate fat percentage

  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packets

    active barren yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 4 cups

    plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, positive much arsenic needed

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Cooking spray aliases unsalted butter, for nan pans

For nan cocoa filling:

  • 6 tablespoons

    (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

  • 7 ounces

    bittersweet chocolate

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon (optional)

For nan glaze:

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup


Make nan dough:

  1. Cut 1 1/2 sticks unsalted food into 12 pieces. Place 3 ample eggs and 1 ample ovum yolk successful nan vessel of a guidelines mixer. Let everything beryllium astatine room somesthesia until nan food is softened.

  2. Warm 1/2 cup beverage successful nan microwave aliases connected nan stovetop until conscionable lukewarm to nan touch (100 to 110ºF). Sprinkle 2 packets progressive barren yeast and 2 teaspoons of nan granulated sweetener complete nan beverage and operation to combine. Let beryllium until foamy, astir 5 minutes.

  3. Add nan yeast mixture, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 4 cups positive 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 spoon kosher brackish to nan vessel of eggs. Beat pinch nan mixed hook attachment connected debased speed, stopping and scraping down nan sides of nan vessel a fewer times arsenic needed, until combined, astir 2 minutes.

  4. Increase nan velocity to medium. Beat successful nan food 1 portion astatine a time, waiting for each portion to beryllium incorporated earlier adding nan next, astir 5 minutes. Continue to hit until nan mixed clears nan sides of nan bowl, astir 2 minutes. If nan mixed is very sticky and doesn’t clear nan broadside of nan bowl, hit successful much flour 1 tablespoonful astatine a clip until it does.

  5. Remove nan vessel from nan guidelines mixer and return retired nan hook attachment. Cover nan vessel and fto nan mixed emergence successful a lukewarm spot until puffed and spongy (the mixed does not request to double), astir 1 hour. Meanwhile, make nan filling.

Make nan cocoa filling:

  1. Cut 6 tablespoons unsalted food into mini cubes. Coarsely chop 7 ounces bittersweet cocoa into pieces nary larger than 1/2-inch (about 1 1/2 cups).

  2. Place 1/2 cup dense cream, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1/8 spoon kosher brackish successful a mini saucepan. Heat complete mean heat, whisking often, until nan sweetener is dissolved and nan substance is bubbling astir nan edges (do not fto it boil). Add nan food and whisk until almost wholly melted.

  3. Turn disconnected nan heat. Add half of nan cocoa (3/4 cup), 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 spoon crushed cinnamon if using. Whisk until nan cocoa is wholly melted and nan substance is smooth. Transfer to a mean bowl. Refrigerate until patient capable to dispersed (like Nutella aliases peanut butter), stirring each 15 minutes, astir 45 minutes total.

Assemble nan babkas:

  1. Coat 2 (9-inch) loaf pans pinch cooking spray aliases unsalted butter. Gently punch down nan dough, past disagreement it into 2 portions (19 to 20 ounces each). Shape each information into a unsmooth ball. Sprinkle a activity aboveground pinch a small all-purpose flour. Place 1 mixed shot connected nan flour. Roll into a 10x16-inch rectangle that’s a scant 1/4-inch thick, pinch a shorter broadside person to you.

  2. Spread half of nan cocoa filling (about 2/3 cup) onto nan rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch separator astatine nan top. Sprinkle pinch half of nan chopped cocoa (scant 1/3 cup). Starting astatine nan bottommost edge, rotation nan mixed up into a tight log. Pinch nan mixed together to seal nan seam, past position seam-side down. Repeat rolling out, filling, and rolling up nan 2nd shot of dough. Place nan logs connected a baking expanse and refrigerate for 15 minutes to patient up slightly.

  3. Braid nan babkas 1 astatine a time: Using a ample serrated knife, trim nan log successful half lengthwise, creating 2 halves. Turn nan halves truthful that nan layers are facing up. Cross nan halves successful nan mediate to create an “X.” Starting astatine wherever they cross, twist nan bottommost halves astir each different to nan different end, doing your champion to support nan layers facing up, past property nan halves together astatine nan end. Repeat twisting from nan mediate to nan different end.

  4. Carefully transportation each loaf into a loaf cookware layered-side up, tucking nan ends underneath nan loaf. Let emergence for 15 minutes astatine room temperature. Meanwhile, put a rack successful nan mediate of nan oven and power nan oven to 350°F.

Bake nan babkas:

  1. Bake until nan apical is browned and patient to nan touch, and nan halfway is group and registers astatine slightest 190ºF, 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make nan syrup. Bring 1/3 cup granulated sweetener and 1/4 cup h2o to a simmer successful a mini saucepan complete mean heat, stirring until nan sweetener is dissolved. Turn disconnected nan heat.

  2. Place nan pans connected a ligament rack. Immediately brushwood nan apical of nan babkas generously pinch nan syrup (you whitethorn not usage it all). Let cool for 20 minutes. Run a bladed weapon astir each babka to loosen. Remove nan babkas from nan pans to nan ligament rack. Let cool wholly earlier slicing, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe Notes

Making babka by hand: The babka mixed tin beryllium made by hand, but is labour intensive. Stir nan bedewed ingredients together until a sticky mixed forms, past knead successful nan food a portion astatine a clip by hand.

Make ahead: The mixed tin beryllium made and near to do nan first emergence successful nan refrigerator overnight, up to 24 hours. Let beryllium astatine room somesthesia until nan mixed is soft capable to easy rotation out, astir 1 hour. Meanwhile, make nan filling and cool. Assemble and cook nan babka arsenic directed.

Storage: Store tightly wrapped astatine room somesthesia for up to 3 days, aliases frost for up to 3 months.