Festive Hanukkah Faves: Chocolate Babka

Traditionally made on Shabbat with leftover challah dough, this sweet kind-of-bread, kind-of-cake is completely delicious. Over the years, Babka has evolved to incorporate chocolate, cinnamon, and more. Patience is key with this one, so let’s get started.  

Chocolate Babka 


For the dough

4 cups all-purpose flour 

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast for sweet bread

3 large eggs

½ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅔ cup of unsalted butter, room temperature

Neutral oil (for dressing) 

For the filling 

½ cup powdered sugar

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup unsalted butter, melted 

⅔ cup chocolate chunks or pecans 

4 ounces dark chocolate, melted 

For the syrup 

⅔ cup sugar

⅔ cup water


For the dough

 1. With an electric or stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Using a dough hook, add eggs and water until incorporated. On a low speed, incorporate salt then butter, a few cubes at a time, until dough is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix. 

 2. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. 

 3. The next day, remove dough from the refrigerator while preparing the filling. Butter 2 loaf pans (8 ½ inch to 9 inch). Next, butter 1 side of parchment paper to make sure it sticks and line the pans with the buttered paper. 

For the filling

 1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, and chocolate until smooth. 

Shaping the dough

 1. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough into a 15-inch by 11-inch rectangle. Position so that a long side is closest to you. 

 2. Spread half of the filling over the rectangle, leaving a ¾ -inch border. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chunks on top of the filling. 

 3. Use both hands to roll the rectangle into a log. Press to seal and rest on its seam. 

 4. Time ¾ inch off both ends of the rolled dough then gently cut the roll lengthwise in half. 

 5. Place the two halves cut-side up. Gently press one end of each half together and braid. Repeat with the second roll and place both into the loaf pans.

 6. Cover the pans with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. 

 7. Preheat oven to 375℉. Remove plastic wrap or towels from the pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

For the syrup 

 1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

 2. After the cakes are finished baking, coat them in the syrup as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Hungry yet? Get everything you need for holiday desserts, and more, delivered with Shipt grocery delivery. 

Category: Food & Drink

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