Jewish Chocolate Babka

Jewish chocolate babka recipe

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • 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
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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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

    Ingredients for dough
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Scald the milk and let it cool to 110 F.

    Scald milk
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the yeast. Let it stand for 7 minutes until bubbly.

    Stir in sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  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.

    Blend in food processor
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Pulse in the butter as for pie dough.

    Pulse in butter
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Add the egg yolks and yeast mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms.

    Add egg
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

    Cover with plastic wrap
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Streusel Topping

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Streusel ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  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.

    Mix together
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Reserve the topping while you roll out the dough and assemble the babkas.

    Reserve topping
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Make filling
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Standing mixer
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add 9 tablespoons of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Reserve. 

    Add sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Assemble and Bake the Babkas

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

    Grease pans
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  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.

    Divide dough in half
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Spread dough with half of the chocolate filling and then half of the beaten egg whites.

    Spread filling in
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Fold in the sides of dough and roll up as for a jellyroll.

    Fold in dough
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Place in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel topping.

    Place in pan
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until above the rim of the pan.

    Cover with plastic wrap
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Repeat with remaining dough
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 F.

    Place rack in oven
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Bake babkas for about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F.

    Bake babkas
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Let cool in pan 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

    Let cool
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck