Jewish Chocolate Babka

Chocolate babka
Joy / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 2 chocolate babkas (18 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
331 Calories
23g Fat
28g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 chocolate babkas (18 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 331
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 5g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This chocolate babka recipe features a streusel topping and is baked in a loaf pan.

It's unclear if the Poles appropriated this recipe from their Eastern European or Ashkenazic Jewish neighbors or if it's the other way around.

As with most recipes, changes were made over the years. Instead of being baked in a swirly babka pan the Poles use, most Jewish people bake it in a loaf pan and often add a streusel topping.

It's a delicious, rich version that is most commonly made in chocolate, cinnamon, cheese, and almond varieties and, some people say, they surpass most Polish babkas in flavor and richness.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces/2 sticks butter (cold, cut into pieces)
  • 3 large yolks
  • For the Streusel Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • For the Filling:
  • 9 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 (12-ounce) can chocolate filling (not frosting)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this babka dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Scald the milk and let it cool to 110 F.

  3. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the yeast. Let it stand for 7 minutes until bubbly.

  4. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade (or by hand using a pastry blender), combine 3 cups flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar (the remainder of the sugar will be used in the filling), pulsing to blend.

  5. Pulse in the butter as for pie dough.

  6. Add the egg yolks and yeast mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms.

  7. Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Make the Streusel Topping

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, prepare the streusel topping by mixing together 3 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter as for pie dough.

  3. Reserve the topping while you roll out the dough and assemble the babkas.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add 9 tablespoons of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve. 

Assemble and Bake the Babkas

  1. Grease two (8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch) loaf pans and set aside.

  2. Divide dough in half (refrigerating the half not being rolled) and, on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll each half into a 12-by-18-inch rectangle.

  3. Spread dough with half of the chocolate filling and then half of the beaten egg whites.

  4. Fold in the sides of dough and roll up as for a jellyroll.

  5. Place in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel topping.

  6. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the rim of the pan.

  7. Repeat with remaining dough.

  8. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 F.

  9. Bake babkas for about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F.

  10. Let cool in pan 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

  11. Serve and enjoy!