This is the best chocolate babka recipe and the only recipe you would ever need! This recipe is made by making a decedent brioche-like bread and filling it with rich chocolate filling made with dark chocolate, butter, powder sugar, and cocoa powder, topped with a simple sugar syrup that brings all the flavors together.
What is babka?
Babka is a sweet braided bread usually made from brioche-like dough, filled with different fillings. Babka is extremely popular in Israel and the Jewish communities and now became popular all over the world!
Babka was first originated in the Jewish communities in Poland and Ukraine. The most popular babka fillings are chocolate, cinnamon, cheeses, and fruits.
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What you will need for this recipe:
For the dough:
All-purpose flour- we used all-purpose flour for this recipe, bread flour can work great as well!
Sugar- we used granulated sugar for this recipe, caster sugar can work great as well.
Dried yeast- we like to use dried yeast for this recipe.
Eggs- make sure your eggs are at room temperature.
Milk- use whole milk.
Kosher salt- for flavor.
Butter- use room temperature butter.
For the chocolate filling:
Dark chocolate- use your best quality dark chocolate.
Butter- you will need 120 grams of butter.
Powder sugar- for sweetness, caster sugar can work as well.
Cocoa powder- we like to use Dutch cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa powder has a stronger chocolate flavor. Regular cocoa powder will work amazing as well.
For the sugar syrup:
Water- to melt the sugar.
Sugar- use granulated sugar or caster sugar, both work great.
How to make chocolate babka:
1. In a stand mixer bowl, add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast. Mix well with a spoon or a whisk.
2. Add the butter (cut into cubes), the eggs, and the milk. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and mix on low to medium speed until the dough forms into a ball. Add the salt and mix for another 5-8 minutes on medium-high speed or until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
4. Meanwhile make the chocolate filling: into a medium-sized bowl, add the dark chocolate, butter, powder sugar, and cocoa powder.
5. Place the bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate and the butter are melted. Mix with a spoon until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
6. Transfer the dough onto a clean lightly floured surface and cut it in half. (this recipe makes 2 chocolate babka) Roll the dough with a rolling pin into a rectangle shape.
7. Take half of the chocolate filling mixture and spread an even layer on the dough. Gently roll out the dough just like you would do with a cinnamon roll.
8. Place the dough roll into the freezer for 15 minutes. (optional, but makes it so much easier to cut the dough.)
9. With a sharp knife, cut the dough roll lengthwise into half. With the cut side facing up, starting at the top, pinch both ends together. Gently braid the dough placing the right side over the left side, repeating this process until a braid forms.
10. Prep a baking loaf pan with parchment paper, then gently place the dough braid into the loaf pan and cover with a towel, letting the dough rise for the last time for 30-50 minutes in a warm place or until doubled in size. Bake in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
11. Make the sugar syrup: add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and cook on medium heat and bring the sugar and water to a boil. When the sugar syrup dissolves completely, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool completely.
12. Take the chocolate babka loaf out of the oven and brush immediately with the sugar syrup. Let the chocolate babka cool for 10-15 minutes, slice, and serve warm!
Frequently asked questions:
What does babka taste like?
Babka tastes like a rich brioche bread that is filled with different kinds of fillings, like chocolate, cinnamon, jam, fruit, etc.
How to serve chocolate babka?
We like to serve chocolate babka like any cake, next to coffee or tea. You can also top the chocolate babka with powder sugar and make it extra decadent.
How to keep the chocolate babka from drying out?
To keep the chocolate babka from drying out, cover the entire chocolate babka loaf with sugar syrup, it prevents the loaf from drying out and gives it a delicious flavor and texture, so don’t skip this step!
Is babka a brioche?
Babka isn’t a brioche, it’s pretty similar, but it’s slightly richer than a brioche bread, and filled with different fillings.
Is babka a dessert?
Yes, babka is like a cake, we, Jewish like to serve it next to coffee or tea, just like you would do with cake.
Can I replace the chocolate filling with Nutella?
Yes! An easier way to make chocolate babka is using your favorite chocolate spread like Nutella, etc.
How long chocolate babka lasts?
Chocolate babka can stay fresh at room temperature for 3-4 days, up to a week in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to store chocolate babka?
Store the babka at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
Can I freeze the chocolate babka?
Yes! Chocolate babka freezes great! There are two options to freeze chocolate babka, first option is to make the recipe from start to finish and let the chocolate babka cool completely, then wrap the chocolate babka with at least two layers of plastic wrap, place it in the freezer and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to thaw, remove the chocolate babka from the freezer thaw it in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours. Then remove the plastic wrap and place the chocolate babka in a 180c (350f) preheated oven for 5-8 minutes or until the top is slightly crispy. Then you can top the chocolate babka with sugar syrup.
Another way to freeze the chocolate babka is to freeze it right before baking the loaf. Cover the dough roll with plastic wrap or place it in a freezer-friendly air-tight container for up to 3 months.
When ready to thaw and bake, remove the chocolate babka from the freezer thaw it in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the chocolate babka in a 180f (350f) preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, then immediately brush the chocolate babka with sugar syrup, let it cool for 10 minutes, and serve warm!
Tips to perfect this recipe:
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Cover the entire chocolate babka loaf with sugar syrup, it prevents the loaf from drying out and gives it a delicious flavor and texture, so don’t skip this step!
- Use your best quality dark chocolate for the chocolate filling.
- Freeze the loaf for 15 minutes before cutting into it, it makes cutting the dough way easier, cleaner, and smoother.
More chocolate recipes:
Best Ever Chocolate Cake- This is the best ever chocolate cake ever. I’ve been searching for the best one bowl chocolate cake recipe for so long and found it and can’t wait to share it with you!
No-Bake Éclair Cake- This recipe is made by layering tea biscuits or graham crackers and creamy vanilla pudding, topped with a delicious silky chocolate ganache.
3 ingredient chocolate ice cream- This creamy and velvety smooth homemade 3 ingredient chocolate ice cream is extremely easy to make, no need for an ice cream machine, and tastes better than store-bought!
No-Bake Chocolate Biscuit Cake- This no-bake chocolate biscuit cake is one of the easiest no-bake recipes, takes only 20 minutes from start to finish, and it tastes incredible! This recipe doesn’t require an oven, but still tastes amazing!
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For the dough:
- For the filling: