Cinnamon Babka

Way back when this blog was just a baby (and before this baby was around), we shared a recipe for chocolate babka with you. We love this babka recipe. We double it to freeze some. We make it with chocolate, cinnamon, white chocolate, and just eat it up. We impress dinner guests and impress hosts with it. We make it all the time. And we love it all the time. And hope you do to. If you don’t, this is just a friendly reminder that you should.Well, back then we didn’t take such great pictures. I mean, they were nice and all, but we didn’t upload them in big. And we didn’t center all of them. And we shared some boring ones, or not enough pictures, or not final pictures, etc. And we feel bad about it. So today I’m reposting the recipe, but with cinnamon instead. And showing you a picture of the swirl (even though I served it in a tin. So what?).

This cinnamon babka is delicious. Amazing. It’s good as a Friday night dessert, and also makes a perfect breakfast any day of the week. Give it a try, it’s really not so hard. Don’t be scared – the recipe is very forgiving, even though it’s a yeast dough.

When you make the babka, be sure to really seal the edges, and that twist it a lot! The more you twist, the more swirly each slice will be. And doesn’t everyone judge the awesomeness of babka by the swirls?

I know in the original recipe we added a delicious streusel topping to the babka. It is definitely a giant plus to have a crunchy topping, but definitely not necessary. I skipped it this time. And I skipped the fake milk, opting for water instead. And it was still amazing. Don’t believe me? Try it and see for yourself already! (Also, I’ve never made this dairy. I can imagine it is even more amazing.) Yes, there are a lot of steps to this, but it doesn’t make it hard. Just time consuming (with two two hour-long rising sessions and some active time in between).

Okay, I’ll stop teasing you. And now the recipe:

Cinnamon Babka, adapted from here:

Makes 2 or 3 babkas, depending on the size of your loaf pan

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast (or two 1/4-oz packages)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) Earth Balance, or your favorite pareve butter substitute, cut into pieces and softened
  • 5 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  1. Make the dough: mix the water with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, or until it foams.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of flour to the yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
  4. Switch to the dough hook. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour.
  5. Increase speed to medium and beat in Earth Balance, a few pieces at a time. Let it beat until the dough is shiny and stringy, about 4 minutes.
  6. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled.
  7. Grease and flour 2 (or 3) loaf pans.
  8. Combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  9. Punch down the dough and cut in half (thirds)
  10. Roll out on piece of dough on a well-floured surface into a 12x8ish rectangle (or just as thin as it will get without tearing or sticking) with the long side facing you.
  11. Spread half the Earth Balance over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the top.
  12. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.
  13. Roll the dough into a tight log, making sure to pinch the edges to seal
  14. Bring the edges together (like a snake eating its own tail!)
  15. Twist the circle twice (or more times) to form a twisted circly log/figure 8/awesome twisty dough and place in the loaf pan.
  16. Repeat with remaining loaf/loaves
  17. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for two hours, until the dough puffs up.
  18. Brush with egg wash.
  19. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until the top is nice and golden brown