Herbed Goat Cheese and Apricot Babka

Herbed goat cheese and apricot babka recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Rise Time:: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
152 Calories
10g Fat
9g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 152
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 295mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 6g
Calcium 59mg 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.)

Who says babka has to be sweet? Chocolate and cinnamon fillings may be the norm, but that doesn't mean you can't play around with savory fillings. This babka toes the line between sweet and savory, with ribbons of apricot jam and herbed goat cheese swirled throughout. Slivered almonds showered atop the loaf offer a little crunch. Ideal for brunch, this beautiful babka is wonderful for home or at cocktail parties, where it makes a fabulous accompaniment to a cheese platter and and a great glass of wine


  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons (1/2 packet) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
  • 1 large egg
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 5 ounces herbed goat cheese (crumbled)
  • For the Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons sliced raw almonds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water and yeast. Allow to stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Dough hook
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, sugar, and salt.

    Whisk together flour, sugar, salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add to the yeast mixture, mixing with a wooden spoon or the mixer’s dough hook on medium speed. Add the oil, and beat until incorporated.

    Add to the yeast mixture
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Add the egg, and mix until the dough begins to pull into a ball.

    Add the egg
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes, or with the dough hook for 5 minutes, until the dough is slightly tacky but smooth. (If the dough is very sticky, knead in additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough is no longer too sticky to handle.)

    Knead by hand
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. If you’ve been kneading the dough by hand, return it to the bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. While the dough is doubling, grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

    Grease pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. When the dough has risen, punch it down, and divide it in half. Pat each piece of dough into a rectangle.

    Punch dough down
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough into a rectangle about 9 x 15 x 1/4-inch. Spread with half of the apricot preserves, leaving a 1-inch border along one of the long sides. Sprinkle evenly with half of the crumbled goat cheese.

    Roll out dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Starting on the long side without the border, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll-style.

    Roll up
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  12. Pinch the ends together gently to seal. Allow it to rest seam side down. Repeat the process with the other piece of dough and the rest of the preserves and cheese. 

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Lay the rolls side-by-side, seam-side down. Starting in the middle, twist the rolls together by laying one over the other until you get to the end.

    Roll dough
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  14. Repeat on the other side.

    Repeat twist
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  15. Gently compress the ends between your hands to shorten the loaf enough to fit it into the loaf pan.

    Put in pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  16. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until the babka mostly fills the pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (If you’d prefer, you can also cover the pan with plastic and refrigerate overnight. You will need to bring the babka to room temperature before baking.)

    Cover pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  17. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the loaf pan on a piece of foil on the center rack of the oven (the foil will catch any bits of crumb topping that may fall off the loaf). Bake in the preheated oven, turning after 25 minutes, until the babka is golden and firm to the touch, about 45 minutes total.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  18. Remove from the oven. Brush with the 2 tablespoons of preserves and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  19. Return to the oven and bake until the almonds begin to toast, about 5 minutes more. 

    Bake babka
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  20. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    Transfer to rack
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  21. Serve and enjoy!

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck