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.


116 Responses to “Chocolate Babka”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. April@The 21st Century Housewife
    Twitter: apriljharris

    What a lovely treat! It looks so pretty too. Thank you for sharing this excellent tutorial for Chocolate Babka with the Gallery of Favorites.

  2. Oh this looks like all the time and work is well worth it! Delicious! Thanks for sharing on NOBH!

  3. Ramona, congratulations on winning! I’m very excited for you (and of course, a belated thanks for sharing with Friday Potluck!)… this looks wonderful!

  4. Gene says:

    First time I heard of this food. Is this similar to chocolate marble?

    Late visit Food Friday. Here’s mine: Baked Cheese in Filo Pastry

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I’ve never made a Chocolate Marble but if you compare the ingredients, my guess is that the Chocolate Babka is a lot more decadant – there is a LOT of butter and chocolate in this recipe (even considering that it makes 3 loaves!)

  5. I don’t make much bread because I would just eat the whole thing….but I might make an exception for this one. I am not familiar with this recipe but boy does it look yummy!

  6. Miz Helen says:

    Your Chocolate Babka looks so delicious! I sure wish I had a serving to go with my coffee. Hope you are having a great week and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Alea Milham says:

    I have never heard of Babka before, but it looks delicious and beautiful. thank you for sharing it with the Gallery of Favorites and the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  8. Emily says:

    WOW! If only my screen was scratch and sniff! That looks delicious, I wish I could smell it.

    Thanks so much for linking this great recipe up with my {new} Whip it up Wednesday handmade party, too!

    Emily from Nap Time Is My Time

  9. Cookie's Mom says:

    This looks soooo good. My son and I are always looking for delicious breads and cakes to make together. This might be our next project!

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog and for participating in the Best of the Blogosphere blog tour! I’m following back.

  10. jamie creative cupcake recipes says:

    I love Babka. I have never made it with chocolate before. I am defintely going to bake this soon. It looks delicious.

  11. NYOA says:

    Thank you for linking this to Foodie Friday! it’s just amazing! Don’t forget to come by Stir, Stitch and Straighten!

  12. Your Babka looks absolutely delicious! I’ve been thinking to make babka for the upcoming holiday of Sukkos- it’s great because it’s traditional. I’m bookmarking the recipe and step by step tutorial. Thanks for posting!


  13. Abby says:

    This looks so spectacularly yummy. I’ve wanted to make chocolate babka, but it seemed intimidating and difficult. Your step-by-step pictures have helped me out a lot!

  14. OH! MY! GOSH! I have never seen or heard of chocolate babka before, but I sure do want some now. This looks absolutely amazing, and although a little complicated, looks to be well worth the effort. As you say, a real labour of love 🙂 Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Uniflame says:

    This recipe looks so tasty. I love the swirl effect!

  16. Oh my goodness! I will certainly have to try this!

  17. Shah Wharton says:

    Yummy – I’m an absolutely rotten baker. I envy you your foodie skills. Shah. X

  18. I love this… looks so yummy! I’d love to try this one day!

    Thanks for linking this yummy chocolate babka at my Create and Inspire Linky Party!


  19. kymi says:

    I had to click on this I remember seeing the chocolate babka on the seinfeld show lol I always wondered how to make it and what was in it, I just love the name chocolate babka lol thank you for sharing looks very delish!

  20. Diana Rambles
    Twitter: FreeStyleMama

    This looks so YUMMY!!! Thanks for linking up!

  21. Ericka says:

    This looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday!

  22. Alea says:

    Your Chocolate Babka looks amazing! We are featuring it this week on the Gallery of Favorites along with 5 bread recipes.

  23. Kate says:

    I’ve wanted to make a babka for a long time, but they seem so daunting. Your recipe looks totally do able (and delicious!), though.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks Kate – hope you’ll give it a try – it turned out amazing!
      By the way, your recipes look fab – hope you’ll share them with us at Inspire Me Monday!

  24. Jennifer
    Twitter: jennp6

    Wow, this looks wonderful… and I love the step by step instructions. Thanks for sharing!

    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·`¤… Jennifer

  25. Sinea Pies says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Babka. The photo is so amazing, I had to click (found it on Pin Me Linky Party). My granddaughter is such a chocolate person, this would be fun to make with her sometime. Thanks for the share. Pinning even as we speak!.

    Sinea ♥

  26. Diana Rambles
    Twitter: FreeStyleMama

    YUMMY!!! Thanks for linking up to Pin Me!

  27. Dee says:

    That looks sooo good! My sons love Seinfeld and they would love to have a real Chocolate Babka!

  28. Shana says:

    Oh my! I can’t wait to try this and I am totally pinning this recipe! Please tell me you watched Seinfeld?? As soon as I saw your posts name I started laughing! It took me back! Thank you for linking up with the Wake Up Wednesday!

  29. It looks really yummy! I’ve been wanting to make this recently, so I might have to put some of my other food projects aside so that I can. So much to cook and so little time!

  30. Self Sagacity
    Twitter: selfsagacity

    It looks good, but this actually looks a little complicated for my baking skills. Although, I wouldn’t mind trying some, hehe.

  31. Give me chocolate and bread anytime…together? Even better! It looks super delicious! 🙂 Stopped over from Treasure Box Tuesdays! Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. Bekki@a better way to homeschool says:

    I think chocolate makes almost anything better, and this seems like it would follow that rule. I love things like this. Bake, share, freeze, enjoy! Thank you for sharing!

  33. Christy says:

    Looks delicious, I love any combo of chocolate and bread! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Never heard of this but I want it! Thanks for sharing, yum!

  35. wow! This looks amazing and so delicious 🙂

  36. This looks delicious, I am a sucker for anything with bread. Thanks for sharing with Tasty Tuesdays!

  37. XmasDolly
    Twitter: Xmasdolly

    You sure know a lot of great recipes! mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  38. This looks so good! Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party! I’ve pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

  39. Lauren says:

    I love Babka, I can’t wait to try this, thanks for sharing!

  40. Leslie says:

    Yum!!! I was just saying to the Husband this morning that I wanted to get some chocolate babka. This looks labor intensive, but SO good!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      It does take some effort but it is well worth it – especially since it is difficult to find!
      Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
      I also have a Pumpkin Babka Recipe if you’re interested!)

  41. Claire says:

    This looks incredible! thanks for sharing! #SmallVictoriesSundaylinkup

  42. This looks fabulous! Babka is so yummy…

  43. Mother of 3 says:

    OH wow; that looks amazing! Pinned.


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