Chocolate Babka

Chocolate BabkaChocolate Babka

When I heard that Ott A was teaming up with Red Star Yeast for their September Iron Chef Challenge, I was beside myself with joy, because I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to make Chocolate Babka – an amazing dessert your family and friends will love!

After reviewing countless recipes, I chose Martha Stewart’s version, because it best embodies the essence of what a Chocolate Babka should be. Rich and decadent, Chocolate Babka makes the perfect home-baked gift – and Martha’s recipe contains enough ingredients for you to make three full-sized loaves!

Now, I will tell you up front: Martha’s recipe is challenging. But, if you are looking for a recipe that’s worthy of your time and creativity – this is it!

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

Red Star YeastThe Challenge Ingredient

First, you’ll be working with active dry yeast in this recipe. If this is your first time, don’t be intimidated – Red Star Yeast will teach you everything you need to know! Based on my experience, the most important things to pay attention to are the freshness and temperature of your yeast. Chances are, if your yeast does not rise properly, it is due to one of these issues!

Absolutely ChocolateYou Can Win This Book!

Second, purchase the best quality chocolate you can for this recipe! European and domestic chocolates have different qualities to them, so you might want to sample a few first to see which you prefer.  I highly recommend Taunton Press’s book, Absolutely Chocolate, as a reference for everything you need to know about choosing and working with chocolate. For a chance to win your very own copy of this fabulous book, enter my 2nd Blogaversary Giveaway.

Making Chocolate Babka is an act of love. Have fun with this. The end results are worth the effort!

Iron Chef Challenge - Red Star Yeast

Streusel Ingredients

1 2/3 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
1 1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
12 Tablespoons (1 ½ Sticks) Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature

StreuselChocolate Babka Streusel

Streusel Instructions

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and butter.

2. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.

This recipe makes 3 ¾ cups.

Chocolate Babka Ingredients

1 ½ Cups Warm Milk, 110 Degrees
2 Packages Active Dry Yeast, ¼ Ounce Each
1 ¾ Cups Sugar Plus A Pinch
3 Whole Large Eggs, Room Temperature
2 Large Egg Yolks, Room Temperature
6 Cups All-Purpose Flour, Plus Additional Flour For Your Work Surface
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 ½ Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
Additional Butter To Grease The Bowl And Loaf Pans
2 ¼ Pounds Semisweet Chocolate, Very Finely Chopped*
2 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream

* After chopping the chocolate into moderately sized chunks, you can save time by using a food processor to pulse the rest of the chocolate in two batches to small bits.

Chocolate Babka Instructions

1. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of sugar over the milk; let it stand until foamy, for about 5 minutes.

Chocolate Babka, Step 1Chocolate Babka, Step 1

2. In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs and the egg yolks. Add the egg mixture to the yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

Chocolate Babka Step 2Chocolate Babka, Step 2

3a. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and salt. Add the egg mixture and beat on low speed until almost all of the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Chocolate Babka Step 3aChocolate Babka, Step 3a

3b. Change to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks of butter and beat until the flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Babka Step 3bChocolate Babka, Step 3b

4a. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few turns until smooth. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Chocolate Babka Step 4aChocolate Babka, Step 4

4b. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Babka Step 4bChocolate Babka, Step 4b – View 1

It’s amazing how high your dough can rise!

Chocolate Babka 4cChocolate Babka, Step 4b – View 2

5. Place the chocolate, the remaining cup of sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the remaining 1 ½ sticks of butter until well combined. Set the filling aside.

Chocolate Babka Step 5Chocolate Babka, Step 5

6a. Generously butter three 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans and, if desired, line them with parchment paper. Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of cream. Set the egg wash aside.

Chocolate Babka Step 6Chocolate Babka, Step 6a – Egg Wash

6b. Punch back the dough and transfer it to a clean surface. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll the dough out into a 16-inch square; it should be 1/8 inch thick.

7a. Brush the edges with reserved egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Refresh egg wash if needed.

Chocolate Babka Step 7aChocolate Babka, Step 7a

7b. Roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch the ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush the top of the roll with egg wash.

Chocolate Babka Step 7bChocolate Babka, Step 7b

7c. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons of filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let the mixture slide off. Fold the right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold the ends under and pinch to seal.

 Chocolate Babka Step 7cChocolate Babka, Step 7c

7d. Twist the roll 2 turns and place it into a prepared pan. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and the remaining filling.

Chocolate Babka Step 7dChocolate Babka, Step 7d

8a. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of  the streusel topping over each loaf.

Chocolate Babka Step 8aChocolate Babka, Step 8a

8b. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Chocolate Babka Step 8bChocolate Babka, Step 8b

Note: If you like, you can prepare the Babka through Step 8, then freeze it for up to a month before baking. If you do this, when you are ready to bake, remove the Babka from the freezer and let it stand at room temperature for about 5 hours before baking. Otherwise, continue with Step 9.

9a. Bake the loaves, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes.

Chocolate Babka Step 9aChocolate Babka, Step 9a

9b. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until the Babkas are a deep golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to wire racks until cool.

Chocolate Babka Step 9bChocolate Babka, Step 9b

10. Remove the Babkas from the pans and serve.

Chocolate Babka Step 10Chocolate Babka, Step 10

Note: You can freeze your Chocolate Babkas for up to a month.


For more great recipes, visit Create With Joy – Recipes.
For more great chocolate tips and recipes, see Absolutely Chocolate.
For information on baking with yeast, visit Red Star Yeast.


119 Responses to “Chocolate Babka”

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  1. maiylah says:

    oh wow…your post just transported me back to those days when my parents owned a bakery store..i can still remember the smell of freshly baked breads every morning!
    i agree, this would make a lovely gift!

    thank you so much for sharing this delicious treat over at Food Friday 🙂
    happy weekend!

  2. Kim, USA says:

    Wow this is yummy. I doubt if I have tried this before this looks very yummy!

    Rice Pudding

  3. Winnie says:

    I love Babka – It’s almost a traditional cake for us.
    You did a great(!!) job here!

  4. Judy Haughton-James
    Twitter: james_judy

    Looks delicious! I love anything with chocolate in it!:) Have a great weekend!

  5. I find that my favorite chocolates are from England.

    This looks fantastic. I bet it smells great while it’s baking, too.

  6. I havent’ had babka in so long. Your recipe looks wonderfully delicious. Thanks for sharing it in the Iron Chef Challenge!

  7. mommy nuts says:

    wow, i really want to try to bake sometime.. so delicious and it’s fresh!

  8. Tanya Serrao-Jones says:

    Great site and AMAZING recipes! I’m a new follower (via GFC). Playing Blog hop tag, YOU’RE IT! Tag me back at:
    and on facebook

  9. Run DMT says:

    That looks fantastic and not too difficult either. My dad used to travel a lot growing up and he would always bring home a babka from NYC.

    I co-host a foodie meme called Friday Food Fight and I would love for you to link up and share you babka recipe. Hope to see you in the ring! 🙂

  10. Michele says:

    Oh my gosh does this ever look fabulous! I think I may have to attempt this over the weekend, I have no idea why but baking with yeast has always made me nervous, seemed like it was something only my grandma was able to do, I think its about time I give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  11. rebecca says:

    Wow, that is a labor of love. We LOVE a good chocolate babka, and I might have to roll up my sleeves one day and try this! Thanks for sharing. (saw you on This Chick Cooks)

  12. LuAnn
    Twitter: KentuckyGal

    Oh my, how much fun would THIS be to make! I might leave the picture up on my computer to draw interest (and helpers) from the family! *lol*

    I’m a new fan/follower from the Friendly Friday blog hop.

  13. Ott, A says:

    This looks delish! I love that there is chocolate in this. Thanks a Latte’ for linking up to the Iron Chef Challenge!

  14. Katherines Corner
    Twitter: goaskkatie


    Hugs and wishes for a joy filled weekend.

  15. angelfish says:

    Oh my! That looks absolutely delicious:)

  16. Brae says:

    Oh, this looks delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    I am following you on GFC from MBS’ Friday hop. I’d love a follow back!

  17. Julie says:

    This recipe is now on my long list of recipes to try.

  18. It looks absolutely delicious. It’s such a traditional recipe and you’re right, it would make a great gift. Thank you for participating in Vintage Recipe Thursday. 🙂

  19. Christina says:

    This looks amazing. I’ve never tried this before, but I’m saving this recipe because it looks so darn good – and I love a good challenge!

    Stopping by from the Stop and Stumble Hop. Post stumbled =)

    Here’s mine – Getting to Know You Friday Hop

  20. Every time I stop by you are cooking up something else scrumptious with chocolate! This time I was smart though, I had lunch first. LOL! Stopping by to say hello from the Footloose and Fancy Free hop.

  21. beth says:

    New follower from Boost my Blog Friday blog hop! Hoping you follow back!! =0)

  22. Jenny says:

    New Follower via the blog hop. What a great recipe. Glad I found you 🙂 Following via GFC.

  23. Physicschick says:

    Love your site! I’ve definitely got to try the chocolate babka! Thanks for sharing!

    I’m following you on GFC from the blog hop at MBS!

  24. malia p says:

    looks yummy! stopping by for the blog hop, now following!!

  25. Mary Bearden says:

    Yes, it does look pretty darn good! Maybe you should mail me some so I can take a bite or two and do a review!! Ha! Just pulling your leg!! It does look good although I have never heard of chocolate bread. That is what it is basically, huh? On second thought, maybe you do need to send me one!!!! Have a great day!


  26. Mary Bearden says:

    Had to come back because Mom Blog Society had sent me a reminder to follow our group thru RSS for Friday. I don’t think I was following you there but I am now! I guess they want us to stick to the days. Now Saturday is Networked Blogs but I can’t do much there because NB sent me a message awhile back that I had met my limit. Don’t understand all this limit stuff now. If we are going to have limits then what is the point of the hops? So I will be skipping today’s thing but making up for yesterdays!!


  27. Jay-agent112778 says:

    i like this one! sadly the violet variant is always on sale

    heres my entry

  28. Michelle says:

    I received the Kreativ Blogger award and was charged with passing it on to seven deserving blogs. I thought of your blog because you are very creative…and I love your cats!

    Congratulations, and your can read more about the award at .

  29. Cheryl Roth says:

    Following you with GFC from the FNF Hop. Would love for you to Follow me back.

  30. Penni says:

    Oooh this look gorgeous.


  31. Chocolate and homemade bread, could it get any better? Looks very time intensive but delicious!

    Stumbling this from the stop and stumble hop – here is my post if you have time to do the same:
    Blogging Tip: Are Your Giveaway Entries Breaking Facebook Rules?

  32. Donna says:

    Sounds sooo yummy!

  33. Mary Bearden says:

    It is Saturday and stopping by from another one and just had to get another look at that bread, dessert, what is it really?


  34. oh wow…this looks absolutely decadent! Yummy! I am hopping through on Saturday evening! If you haven’t yet, Please Follow back Parga’s Junkyard Blogand on facebook as well as on my new networking site Like it Ladder Thanks!

  35. Shah Wharton says:

    Scrumptious as always. Thanks for linking up at the creation hop over at mine – Always a pleasure. Shah. X

  36. beth says:

    New follower from Finding New Friends blog hop! Hoping you follow back!! =0)

    My Crazy Life

  37. Jacqueline says:

    This looks really good! Thank you for sharing at Simply Creations Link Party!

  38. The preggo thinks this looks yummy! I wonder who I can convince to bake it for me!

    Following from the SSS blog hop!

  39. Christine says:

    Wow, that looks really good but a little to involved for me…lol. Thanks for linking up with the NOBH.

  40. Shannon says:

    Yum. That looks so delicate and flaky! You are one heck of a baker, I can tell just from the pictures. lol
    I Only wish I could taste it =)
    I noticed your kitties in the side bar? Are they Maine Coons? We have a male and female. They sure are beauties.
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  41. cher
    Twitter: mamasmoney

    Love all the pics!

    Visiting from the Make Your Rank Lower Monday Alexa blog hop!

  42. Chaya says:

    There is nothing that compares to chocolate babka except maybe cinnamon babka. That is my mock sophistication setting in. I love both chocolate and cinnamon.

    I saw the photo where you linked it to My Meatless Mondays and had to come over, immediately to thank you for one of my favorites.

  43. Miz Helen says:

    What a yummy treat! This is a great recipe that I would love to try. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great week!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  44. Stacy says:

    Looks delicious! New follower from the not so moody monday blog hop! Hope you’ll visit!

  45. Michelle says:

    Wow! That looks good! Never even heard of babka before!Thanks for stopping by the Sit and Relax hop again!
    Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life

  46. Ruthie J. says:

    Stopping by from Tuesday tag. I already follow you but wanted to say “hi”. This recipe looks heavenly and I can’t wait to try it. Love that it makes 3 loaves. Perfect for gift giving.

    Have a great week.

    Ruthie J.

  47. Swathi says:

    Chocolate babka looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  48. Sheryl says:

    I love your recipe! Would you come over to CAST PARTY WEDNESDAY at Lady Behind The Curtain and share your recipe with us tomorrow?
    I hope to see you there!

  49. Congratulations on winning the Iron Chef Challenge!! Also, thanks for linking up to 2 Maids a Baking!!!

    This looks super awesome!!

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