How to Make Chocolate Babka With Streusel Topping

by Daniel Raffel

Babka is typically made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough then baked in a loaf pan. The dough usually is filled with cinnamon or chocolate and topped with streusel.


  • 1 ½ Cups Warm milk, 110 degrees
  • 2 Packages active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
  • 1 ¾ Cups Sugar
  • 3 Cups While large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Cups Large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ¾ Cups (3 1/2 sticks) Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ Pounds Semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Heavy cream
  • 1 ⅔ Cups Confectioners' sugar
  • 1 ⅓ Cups All-purpose flour
  • 12 Tablespoons Unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Bring 1 1/2 cups of milk to 110° Fahrenheit.

    Step 2

    Transfer the warm milk to a bowl. Add 2 packages of active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each) and a pinch of sugar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

    Step 3

    In another bowl whisk together 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar.

    Step 4

    Add the egg mixture to the yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

    Step 5

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 6 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon salt.

    Step 6

    Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds.

    Step 7

    Once combined the flour and egg mixture will look like this.

    Step 8

    Cut 2 sticks of room temperature butter into smaller pieces.

    Step 9

    Change your mixer to the dough hook. Add the 2 sticks of butter you just cut, and beat on low speed until the flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated. This will take about 10 minutes.

    Step 10

    When you are done mixing the dough will have a smooth, soft, slightly sticky texture.

    Step 11

    Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few turns until smooth.

    Step 12

    Generously butter a large bowl.

    Step 13

    Place the dough in the buttered bowl and flip it around to coat it. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until it doubles in bulk. This will take about 1 hour.

    Step 14

    Finely chop 2 1/4 pounds of semi-sweet chocolate. This goes a lot faster and turns out best if you use a cuisinart!

    Step 15

    Transfer chocolate into a mixing bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, and 1 1/2 sticks butter. Mix together until well combined. Set filling aside.

    Step 16

    Once the dough has doubled you're ready to punch it down. Using a straight first evenly punch down the entire surface. Do not turn your wrist when punching!

    Step 17

    This is what the dough looks like punched down.

    Step 18

    Transfer the dough to a clean surface. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

    Step 19

    Generously butter three 9 by 5 by 2 3/4 inch loaf pans.

    Step 20

    Line each loaf pan with parchment paper.

    Step 21

    In a small bowl beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon cream. Set it aside. We'll be using this shortly as our egg wash.

    Step 22

    Cut the dough into thirds.

    Step 23

    Cover 2 pieces in plastic wrap. We're gonna start working with the remaining piece.

    Step 24

    Place the dough onto a generously floured surface.

    Step 25

    Roll the dough out into a 16 inch square so that it is 1/8 inch thick.

    Step 26

    Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash.

    Step 27

    Crumble approximately 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4 inch border at the edges.

    Step 28

    Roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll.

    Step 29

    Once completely rolled pinch the ends of the dough.

    Step 30

    Twist the roll 5 or 6 turns.

    Step 31

    Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off.

    Step 32

    Fold the right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal.

    Step 33

    Twist the roll 2 turns and transfer it into one of your loaf pans prepared with butter and parchment.

    Step 34

    Repeat steps 24 through steps 33 for your remaining two loaves!

    Step 35

    Heat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

    Step 36

    For the streusel topping mix 1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour, 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature in a mixing bowl. You want it clumpy!

    Step 37

    Brush the top of each loaf with your egg wash.

    Step 38

    Crumble 1/3 of the streusel topping over each loaf.

    Step 39

    Bake the loaves at 350° Fahrenheit for 55 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown.

    Step 40

    After 55 minutes drop the temperate of your oven to 325° Fahrenheit.

    Step 41

    Bake the babkas until they are a deep golden, brown. This could take 10 to 20 more minutes.

    Step 42

    Remove the babka's from the oven once they have a nice golden brown appearance.

    Step 43

    Carefully transfer your babka's to wire racks until they are cool.

    Step 44

    Slice and serve!