A tender brioche dough swirled with a homemade raspberry sauce and topped with a cream cheese glaze.
Pulls apart for a light, sweet treat. Eat it plain, toast it, or use as french toast!
What is Babka?
Babka’s origins start from the early 1800’s in the Polish Jewish communities. The people would use leftover dough from their traditional Challah bread, and wrap it with flavors like jams or cinnamon.
In recent years, we’ve taken a much sweeter take on the traditional babka bread and fill it with just about anything – sweet or savory! I love this version with a homemade raspberry filling. It’s almost like a raspberry sweet roll, but in sliced bread form. SO good. Amazing plain, toasted, or as french toast!
How to make Raspberry Swirl Babka
Babka is a fun bread to make because it looks intricate and impressive, but it’s actually very easy! If you’ve made a cinnamon roll before, you can make babka! And even if you haven’t done that, I promise, it’s still easy!
1. MAKE THE DOUGH
This dough recipe is a buttery soft yeast dough. It’s easiest to make in an electric stand mixer but can also be kneaded by hand. The secret to this amazing dough: do not add too much flour!! We want the dough to be soft and tacky – so not wet and overly sticky, but also not tough and dense.
When you get close to adding 4 cups, slow down, and try pinching the dough with floured fingers to test for that soft, tacky feel. (If you’ve made by cinnamon roll or dinner roll recipe, we’re aiming for that kind of dough!)
2. MAKE THE FILLING
I love using this easy stovetop raspberry jam spread, but you can swap it out for a favorite store bought or homemade jam of your choice!
– Very easy to assemble. You roll out the dough into a rectangle, spread the filling, and gently roll it up into a long log. YES, exactly like you would a cinnamon roll!
– Chill it in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes, then slice into it vertically. Chilling is optional, but it does help make a cleaner cut.
– Make an “X”, then twist the top strands together, and twist the bottom stands together. Put it in a sprayed loaf pan, cover, and rise.
Brush with an egg wash for extra shine. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown and the centers between the twists look done. If it’s starting to brown too quickly, you can cover it with aluminum foil about 20 minutes in to slow down the browning.
Drizzle with an easy cream cheese glaze for the ultimate treat!
How to use babka bread
So many ways you can eat this soft, melt in your mouth bread!
– Eat it plain (I love warming it up slightly and even spreading more of the cream cheese glaze on it if i’m feeling wild!)
– Toast it
– Use it as french toast
Raspberry Swirl Babka Bread
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- About 4 cups bread flour *see note
Filling (*see note)
- 10 oz raspberries (frozen or fresh)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup butter (salted or unsalted is fine)
- 2 tbsp E-Z gel thickener (or corn starch) (optional - helps set jam nicely)
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened; (salted or unsalted is fine)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-4 tbsp milk
- Add warm milk, yeast, and sugar to a stand mixer with a dough hook. A large bowl will also work if making by hand.
- Add 2 cups of flour, eggs, and salt. Let mix well. Then while mixer is running, slowly add the softened butter. Slowly add remaining flour. Depending on your moisture level, it may be slightly more or less flour. Dough should be soft and smooth, but not too wet or sticky. If it's tough and dense, you've added too much flour. When you feel you're getting close, turn off the mixer and pinch the dough with floured fingertips. If it's soft and tacky, it's enough flour.
- Let mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, put in oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. You can also put in the fridge to rest overnight.
- Optional step: After the dough has risen, place it in the freezer for a half hour. Cold dough helps in assembly to assist in keeping in all the filling.
- While the dough rises, prepare your filling. In a medium size pot over the stove, combine all of the filling ingredients and let it get to a simmer. I love using this E-Z gel thickener, but you can also use corn starch or simmer for longer just to get the filling thick.
- Simmer occasionally and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes to let it start to thicken. Remove from the heat and store in the refrigerator while you wait to to assemble in your rolls.
- Line two 9x5 inch loaf pans with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over the edge (just helps in pulling the dough out). Spray lightly with nonstick spray.
- Divide the dough into 2 even sections. Start with one section and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 10x12" rectangle. Add an even layer or raspberry filling, leaving about a half inch on all sides. Using the short end, roll up tightly into a log (like a cinnamon roll), being careful not to squeeze any of the filling out. Gently pinch along the seam to seal. Repeat this process with the second ball of dough.
- Start with one log and use a sharp knife to cut lengthwise down the entire center. Carefully twist the two ends together. You can do this easily by making an x with the two pieces and then twisting the top, then the bottom. Place in your loaf pans, cover, and let rise until the loaf has risen about 50 percent - usually about 30 minutes.
- While babka is rising, preheat oven to 350° F. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. If your oven browns the tops quickly, you can put a piece of foil on the top about 20 minutes in. It's done when the bottoms are a dark golden brown and layers look fully cooked.
- Make the glaze by beating together the cream cheese and butter together until soft and combined. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat again. Slowly add milk one tablespoon at a time to get to desired consistency. This can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if needed.
- When bread is done, let it rest for about 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. You can either wait for it to cool to drizzle the cream cheese, or apply warm for a melted glaze effect.
- It's amazing a little warm! Bread is best kept at room temperature up to 4 days. Reheat a slice in the microwave if desired. It also freezes great. Enjoy!