How to make the best chocolate babka recipe, a perfectly soft and rich brioche dough filled with a delicious homemade chocolate sauce. This easy-to-make-at-home recipe is perfect for breakfast, brunch or snack time.
The original Babka recipe is a traditional Polish Easter cake, also called baba, which means "grandmother" and which is baked in a skirt-shaped pan.
But this recipe is actually quite different from the one we know today, which would rather come from the Jewish community of Eastern Europe.
Babka or Krantz Cake
The Babka that we see today on all feeds and that we also call Krantz cake is rather a very soft and rich braided brioche with a buttery and stringy crumb.
The Babka brioche is filled with a sweet sauce or even a savory version, then it is rolled, cut and braided to give it this marbled and very tasty appearance
It can be filled with all kinds of creams, as shown here with homemade dark chocolate sauce, Nutella, jam, pastry cream, fruit, chocolate chips, cinnamon or even peanut butter.
This recipe for chocolate Babka is very easy to prepare at home and no one can resist its soft, buttery crumb, perfect for brunch, breakfast or a snack.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Flour: Use white wheat all-purpose flour or even plain flour.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar or cane sugar.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter softened. You can slightly soften it in the microwave for a few moments.
- Egg: Large and at room temperature, run it under hot water for a few moments if you didn't have time to take it out beforehand.
- Milk: Use semi-skimmed milk, it should be lukewarm at about 25°C. You can heat it up in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- Yeast: 1 packet of dry yeast or fresh baker yeast.
- Salt: A small pinch of table salt.
You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.
How to make babka with chocolate filling
1 - Make the dough
- Start by rehydrating the instant yeast by mixing it with the warm milk and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Then place the flour, sugar and salt, and the egg in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- Then pour in the milk containing the dry yeast.
- Then add the butter cut into pieces and mix for about 5 minutes. (the dough must be smooth, it detaches itself from the bowl but remains sticky to the touch)
- And cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour, the time it doubles in volume.
Tip: You can prepare the dough the day before and let it rise in the fridge, it will be even more delicious.
2 - Make the filling
- In a small bowl, place all ingredients, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, brown sugar and unsalted butter.
- Heat in the microwave for a few moments and stir with a spoon until you have a thick chocolate sauce like a spread.
Tip: Add a bit of cinnamon to flavor the filling, chocolate chips or simply replace the filling with Nutella or jam.
3 - Fill and roll the brioche
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use your hands to degas it.
- Start by rolling out the dough into a large rectangle.
- Then top with an offset spatula the entire surface with the chocolate sauce.
- Roll the dough lengthwise to form a long roll.
- Using a large knife, cut the dough in the center to form 2 long strips revealing the chocolate grooves.
Tip: If the dough is too soft, you can let it rest in the fridge for a while to make it easier to handle.
4 - Braiding the dough
- Braid the 2 pieces of dough starting by crossing them in the center to form a cross.
- Then take the upper ends and cross them together.
- And again take the 2 bottom ends and cross them too.
- Continue until you have a nice braid.
5 - Baking
- Place the braided babka brioche in the loaf pan lined with parchment paper, trying to place the ends underneath.
- Let the babka bun rise for about 1 hour at room temperature until it swells again.
- Apply a layer of egg wash to the bun with a pastry brush.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and bake the chocolate babka for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is puffed and golden brown on top.
- Let the chocolate babka brioche cool in its loaf pan before unmolding it and serving it warm.
Storage and freeze
To store this homemade chocolate babka, it is at room temperature for 5-7 days. You can reheat it a little in a toaster or in the microwave.
You can also cut it into pieces and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let it come back to room temperature or use the defrost function of your microwave.
2 Tips for making homemade brioche
1 - Use ingredients at the right temperature :
This concerns the egg and the butter mainly, which must be at room temperature so that it can be incorporated into the dough.
Concerning the warm milk, it should not exceed 25°C and you can add a little sugar in addition to the yeast to activate the fermentation.
2 - Let the dough rest in the fridge
It is recommended to let the brioche dough rest overnight in the fridge rather than letting it rest at room temperature.
You should know that brioche dough is really sticky and to avoid adding too much flour to work it, when it is cold it is easier to work it.
More chocolate brioches
More bread recipes
- Butchy brioche buns
- Cinnamon rolls Kanelbullar
- Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
- Homemade soft pretzels
- Cinnamon sugar pretzels
- Sesame bagels
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