Chocolate Babka Loaf
My rich and buttery Chocolate Babka Loaf recipe is a brioche bread that is braided with delicious chocolate ribbons throughout. It’s by no means a quick recipe, but it’s really easy to make and makes the perfect coffee, brunch or breakfast treat!
A Babka is made of enriched dough and is kind of in between cake and bread in texture. It originated in Jewish communities but is enjoyed by everyone as an indulgent and visually gorgeous loaf that is sure to impress anyone!
What makes Babka unique is that you can flavor it with an endless amount of things. Cinnamon, chocolate, or Nutella make excellent fillings. Today, I’m sharing a chocolate one today that is based on my Nutella Babka Buns recipe on the blog.
If you’re looking for other indulgent desserts that make perfect brunches or breakfasts, give my Banana Bread a go, my Moist Lemon Pound Cake is a tangy option and my Chocolate Banana Bread is the perfect chocolate hit!
Table of Contents
It’s not quick, but it’s easy!
My Babka loaf is unlike anything you’ve ever had before. It’s ultra-soft and buttery making it a deliciously indulgent treat for any occasion.
It’s by no means a quick recipe, there are some long rising times, but putting this loaf together is quite easy and frankly fun. With a little planning the night before, it’s simple to finish off in the morning as a treat before everyone wakes up.
For a full set of step-by-step instructions with images take a look at my step-by-step photos. Ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this loaf.
Ingredients You Need To Make a Chocolate babka Loaf
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
- Milk – I used full fat cow’s milk for this recipe.
- Granulated sugar – regular white sugar will work for this recipe.
- Instant dry yeast – is sold in the baking isle of your supermarket. It is a dry form of yeast that when activated with wet ingredients creates gas and helps baked goods rise.
- Eggs – I used large eggs for this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract – Always use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
- All-purpose flour – also known as plain flour.
- Salt – I used fine salt for this recipe.
- Orange zest – this is optional but it helps this dough have an added depth of flavor.
- Unsalted butter – make sure your butter is softened to a spreading consistency.
- Dark chocolate – make sure you use cooking chocolate for this recipe.
- Brown sugar – I used regular brown sugar for this recipe.
How to make a Chocolate babka Loaf!
Don’t let all of the steps in this recipe fool you into thinking it’s a hard recipe! I just like being through with my photos!
- Add sugar and yeast to a jug with warm milk and mix. Allow to rest for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Mix dry ingredients for dough.
- Add orange zest and whisk to combine.
- Add eggs to milk mixture and whisk
- Add to bowl with dry ingredients along with softened butter.
- Use a dough attachment to knead for 10-12 minutes.
- Until a smooth but sticky dough forms.
- Oil a large boil.
- Add dough and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 8 hours (overnight)
- It will double in size.
- Melt filling ingredients together in microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted.
- Roll out the chilled dough to a 10×15-inch/25x38cm rectangle.
- Spread filling on top.
- Roll up.
- Place on a chopping board and chill for 20 minutes.
- Take out of the fridge and slice in half.
- Twist around itself pinching at each end.
- Place in the prepared loaf tin (brushed with butter and lined with baking paper)
- Brush with egg wash. Bake for 1 hour.
- Allow to cool in the tin until warm. Slice and serve.
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Please please please measure by weight using kitchen scales. It’s a far more accurate way of measuring ingredients than by using cups.
- Rising times – these are important in achieving a soft and light brioche bread. The first one is done in the fridge overnight and the second at room temperature or in a warm spot. If it’s a cold day, place in a very gently warmed oven (switched off of course!).
- Chocolate Filling – you can melt this over a double boiler too. Melt about 10 minutes before you’re ready to use. You don’t want it to be warm, but you need it to be in a fairly liquid state so that it can spread easily. It will begin setting pretty quickly when it hits the cold dough.
- Don’t skip the shiny top! Brush your loaf tin really well with egg wash before baking to give it that gorgeous shine. It’s one egg whisked with 1 tbsp of milk. Some people go as far as using a syrup. Extra steps, extra sweetness on an already sweet loaf in my opinion. But to each their own!
- Chill time – right before slicing the babka in half to braid is super important to getting a neat looking babka!
- While baking – check your babka at the 30-minute mark. If it’s looking a little dark, cover loosely with foil and bake for another 30 minutes. That will prevent it from burning.
- Allow to cool in the tin until warm. This will prevent it from potentially falling apart in the
- Babka is best served the day it’s made. However you can store tightly in plastic wrap and reheat in the oven, microwave or toaster.
- Add chocolate chips for added chocolate goodness!
Frequently Asked Questions about Chocolate babka Loaf
What does it taste like?
Buttery, sweet, light and so pillowy soft!
How do I store this?
Although best eaten on the day, this can be stored and used for later!
- Fridge: wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave, oven or in your toaster as slices!
- Freeze: wrap tightly in plastic wrap and thaw before reheating.
Is Babka like a brioche?
Yes! It’s a type of brioche but there are so many different types. This one happens to be one that is braided with a rich chocolate filling.
Can I make this into buns instead?
If you loved this recipe, check these out!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
Chocolate Babka Loaf
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) milk lukewarm (36-40C/98-105F on a thermometer)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp (5 g) instant dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 orange zested (optional)
- 1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter softened (see notes)
- 1/4 cup (60 g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100 g) dark cooking chocolate chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Heat up the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds or until lukewarm (36-40C/98-105F on a thermometer). Add the sugar and instant dry yeast. Mix and allow to rest for 5 minutes. It will froth slightly to show the yeast is active. If it doesn’t, your yeast is not active and you need new yeast.
- Once frothed, add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl add the flour, salt, orange zest, softened butter and yeast mixture and use the dough hook attachment to mix on low speed for 10-12 minutes.
- If making dough by hand, begin by mixing the yeast mixture and dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until a scraggly bowl forms, then add the softened butter 1 tbsp at a time, kneading each time until it’s incorporated. Transfer to a workbench generously dusted with flour and knead by hand. The dough will be very sticky.
- Oil a large bowl with olive oil and place your dough inside. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest overnight or 8-24 hours. The dough will rise in the fridge and double in size. This is a slow rise and will help the though develop its flavors.
- Make the filling about 20 minutes before the dough is ready to come out of the fridge. Begin by adding all of the ingredients to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until melted and smooth. It will need some time to cool at room temperature.
Forming the dough
- Brush a 9x14-inch / 22x35cm loaf tin that is 4-inches/10cm in height with melted butter. Line the bottom and side with baking paper. Set aside.
- Dust your workbench and rolling pin with flour. Turn the cold dough into your workbench and roll out into a 10x15-inch/25x38cm rectangle.
- Spread the filling as evenly as you can using a spatula leaving a 1-inch/2.5cm border around the rectangle.
- Roll up along the short side. Carefully transfer the roll to a cutting board and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. Take out of the fridge and use a sharp knife to cut in half. Twirl the two halves around each other pinching at each side.
- Place into the loaf tin. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and allow to rise for a final 1 hour in a warm spot. The loaf will puff up.
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 165C/325F (180C/355F for no fan). Once Babka has finished rising bake in the middle rack for 60 minutes. Check the Babka at about the 30-minute mark and if it’s looking a little dark, cover with foil and bake for further 30 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and brush with an egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp of milk) and bake, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes.
- Once baked, take out of the oven, allow to cool in the tin until warm. Take out of the tin and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Babka is best served the day it's made.