Nutella Babka

Deliciously sweet and addictive bread swirled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles! Nutella babka recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Continuing the stepping outside of our baking comfort zone goal today.

We’re traveling deep in the layers of babka. Located somewhere between bread and decadent dessert, this undeniably addictive treat is filled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles. It has a rich history and was catapulted into popularity by Seinfeld (cinnamon… the lesser babka!).

And today? Babka’s all the rage in New York bakeries.

Deliciously sweet and addictive bread swirled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles! Nutella babka recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I have more step-by-step pictures than I know what to do with today. Not that babka is super complicated or anything– I just really want to show you how approachable it is. Yeast bread is the January Baking Challenge, so hopefully you’re comfortable with yeast now! If not, babka can totally be your starting point. Just wait until you see how it all comes together. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that babka is totally something you can (and should) pull off!! Nothing to fear, I promise.

We’ll focus on the traditional Jewish version of babka which begins with a brioche dough that’s twisted and baked high in a loaf pan. Baked until golden brown and best enjoyed warm when the Nutella is extra melty. Self control and babka do not coexist.

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

There are many ways to make babka. This is how we’re doing it today, a recipe based off of my cinnamon roll dough. This recipe will make 2 loaves. Freeze one or gift it to someone special. Trust me, someone will want this gift. 😉

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • make a brioche dough – a soft, rich, puffy, and very buttery yeast dough
  • let the dough rise
  • punch down the dough to release the air bubbles
  • divide dough into 2
  • roll them out, spread with Nutella
  • shape babka (how-to video below!)
  • top with streusel
  • bake, eat, get lost in the layers!!!

You can brush the babka with sugar syrup when it comes out of the oven, but I skipped this step. It ensures a super crisp crust, but I liked the babka without it too. You can also fill babka with a homemade chocolate filling– or really anything at all– but I reached for Nutella. I want the main focus to be on the dough and process, so let’s use a little shortcut for the filling. Bonus that it’s NUTELLA and it’s fabulous.

(By the way, have you made the Nutella glaze yet?)

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade dough – egg rich, butter rich, calorie rich. You’ll need yeast, milk, sugar, eggs, butter, and flour. You likely have all that in your kitchen now. You can use an instant or active dry yeast, the rise time will be a little longer if you choose the latter.

Let this dough rise in a warm environment until (roughly) doubled in size, about 90ish minutes. You might remember me showing you this a couple weeks ago, but I use my oven for the rising. This is very simple. Preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the dough inside the warm-ish oven. Leave the oven door slightly cracked open. Leave it alone, watch it grow!

After it rises, punch the dough down to release all those air bubbles. You’ll be left with super soft and supple dough. Divide it in two. Don’t make the mistake I did and accidentally make 1 babka loaf with all this dough. It will spill over your loaf pan and look like a mangled, deformed, burnt bread massacre. Whoopsies.

Alrighty! Your dough is divided in two, now let’s roll it out, slap some Nutella on top, and shape the babka. This can be a little tricky, so watch me do it in this very unexciting video that Kevin filmed with my phone.

Literally just slicing the roll down the middle and twisting. You can handle it!

How to shape babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to shape babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to shape babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to shape babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

A little messy, but don’t all the best foods need a little clean up? Place the twists into loaf pans, cover them up and set them aside as you make a cinnamon crumble topping. This time lets the dough rest before baking. Give the babka a little brush of beaten egg white + milk (egg wash), then top with your cinnamon crumble.

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Deliciously sweet and addictive bread swirled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles! Nutella babka recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I know what you’re thinking. Is the cinnamon crumble really necessary? The answer is YES. Isn’t cinnamon crumble always necessary? You’ll just need some brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Again, simple ingredients.

By the way, the only thing better than eating babka is smelling babka as it bakes. Just wait until you experience that. And the only thing better than both is making French toast out of babka. Enough said.

Deliciously sweet and addictive bread swirled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles! Nutella babka recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Want to know why this Nutella babka is so addictive? Because each bite is different. Some bites are overflowing with gooey Nutella and others are full of soft flaky dough and cinnamon crumbles. Each twist and turn is unique, no loaf will look the same, and the whole thing stays moist for days. Good luck with it in your house!!

Do you have a favorite babka recipe? How do you usually fill yours? I’m super happy with how this babka turned out, but would love to try more variations!

Nutella Babka

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) whole milk, divided*
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast (1 standard size packet)*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/4 cups (530g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling
  • 2 cups (600g) Nutella, divided

Crumble Topping

  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Directions:

  1. Make the dough: Heat 1 cup of milk to about 95°F (35°C). You can use the microwave or stovetop. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or you can use a handheld mixer or no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). Manually whisk in the yeast. Cover the bowl with a clean towel. The mixture should be frothy and foamy after 5 minutes.
  2. On low speed, beat in the sugar and softened butter until butter is slightly broken up. Next beat in 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white) and the salt. The butter won't really be mixing in, so don't be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute.
  3. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. If you do not have a stand-mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
  4. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Place into a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. (I just use the same mixing bowl that I made the dough in-- remove the dough, grease it with nonstick spray or olive oil, put the dough back in.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven. Leave the oven door cracked a bit.
  5. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut dough in half. Work with only half of the dough at a time. Place a clean towel over the dough you aren't working with.
  6. Generously grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans with butter or nonstick spray.
  7. Shape the babka: On slightly floured work surface, roll one dough half out into a 9x13 inch rectangle (approximately). Spread with 1 cup of Nutella, leaving a 1/2 inch border uncovered.
  8. Watch the video above to see exactly how I do this step. Tightly roll the dough into a 13-inch log. Place the log on its seam. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise. I find a serrated knife works best. Criss-cross one half, cut side down, on top of the other half-- forming an X. Twist the two together. Place in prepared loaf pan and cover with a clean towel. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. This step can get a little messy!
  9. Allow both shaped (and covered) loaves to rest for 10-20 minutes as you prepare the crumble topping and preheat the oven.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  11. Make the crumble topping: Mix the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the brown sugar mixture until coarse crumbs are formed. Set aside.
  12. Whisk the remaining 2 Tablespoons of milk with the leftover egg white. This is your egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the babka loaves with egg wash. Do the best you can as some Nutella is exposed. Top each loaf with crumble topping.
  13. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until babka is golden brown on top. Remove from the oven, place each pan on a wire rack, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  14. Cover and store leftover babka at room temperature for a couple days or in the refrigerator for 1 week. (It won't last that long!!) You can also freeze the baked babka for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. Or warm it up in the oven.

Make ahead tip/overnight: After dough has risen two hours in step 4, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 5. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 5.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Whole milk or even buttermilk is ideal for this dough. You can get away with 2% or 1%, but I do not recommend skim. You'll need 1 cup in the dough and you'll use the other 2 Tablespoons for the egg wash in step 12.
  2. Active dry or instant yeast work-- if using instant yeast (such as Red Star Platinum) the 1st rise time will be a little shorter.
  3. Instead of Nutella you can try a homemade chocolate fudge filling. This one is excellent. But I really love how the Nutella tastes in this!

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Stand Mixer Glass Bowl | Dough Scraper | Pastry Cutter | Rolling Pin | Loaf Pan | Pastry Brush

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117 Comments

Comments

  1. Laura | Tutti Dolci on January 29, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    I love babka and this looks incredible with those Nutella swirls!

  2. Marcy Bradford on January 30, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I made it tonight and it turned out great!!  And I had never made any kind of dough before!  The pics on your blog inspired me My kids were so upset that didn’t get to taste it tonight but what a yummy breakfast treat it will be. Thanks Sally. 

    • Sally on January 30, 2018 at 7:15 am

      So happy you gave babka a try! I hope you guys enjoy it– let me know!!

  3. Angela on January 30, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Do you think I could use yogurt whey in place of the whole milk? I know that I can use it in place of buttermilk in a muffin or pancake recipe, but am not sure about babka…

    • Sally on January 31, 2018 at 11:37 am

      You’ll need whole milk.

  4. Lou B. on January 31, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I’ll try this one today. Wish me luck! I’m so excited

  5. Sally K on January 31, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I made the Nutella Babka yesterday and it was delicious! I have never heard of Babka before!
    With your directions and video made it easy peasy
    Readers, please try it! You won’t regret it! It truly is wonderful!
    Sally made it easy for us! You can do this!
    Thanks Sally

    • Sally on January 31, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      I’m so glad that you tried it for the first time!

  6. Ravish on January 31, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Hi Sally!
    Can I use chocolate ganache instead of Nutella as a filling?
    Thanks!

    • Sally on January 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Ravish! I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m unsure. Let me know if you do!

  7. Tiffini on January 31, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I’m planning on making this today and had one question! I only have one loaf pan but wanted to bake both today. Is it okay to leave the second half of dough out while the first is baking, or should I put it in the fridge? Thanks!! 🙂

    • Sally on January 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I would put it in the fridge. Have fun baking!

  8. Willa on January 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Willa — JANUARY 31, 2018 @ 1:15 PM
    Hey Sally! I made the Nutella Babka today. Your detailed instructions and video made it easy. The taste is amazing. I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the satisfied zone. However, I did think that I’d harmed my new 5 Quart Kitchenaid stand mixer. Even though it’s a 325 watt , manual instructions advise not to knead double batches of dough or knead dough on higher than position 2. Well for about 6 min I had that mixer cranking at level 4 and (yikes ) maybe higher… only then did I check manual …sometimes I’m just dumb. You must have the more powerful professional model. Nevertheless, I’ve learned  2 lessons… take utmost care and follow Kitchenaid operating  manual AND trust Sally to deliver extremely tasty recipes!

  9. Naniek Schmitt on January 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Sally, 
    I am definitely sure that my boys will love this Babka.  But what is „standard packet yeast“ , i mean how many in gram ??? Here in Germany  1 packet instant yeast weight 11 gram. Thanks 

    • Sally on February 1, 2018 at 10:06 am

      1 standard packet of yeast is about 7g or 1/4 oz in the US 🙂

      • Naniek Schmitt on February 3, 2018 at 4:33 am

        Big thank you, my family loooooove it so much. I just making it this morning. Everyone enjoy the Babka. So yummy 



    • Jenny on February 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Naniek, did you use the 11 grams or only the 7 Sally mentioned? Thanks!

  10. Rachael on January 31, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    This makes me miss my Jewish Grandma. The memory of eating homemade Babka will never leave me. I’m now inspired to try my hand at it. 

  11. Rachel on February 1, 2018 at 10:10 am

    In the process of making this right now! I’ve never tried a brioche-style dough, so excited to see how it turns out. Just realized that I only have one loaf tin – I’ll likely set aside the second one to bake another day, but is there any other dish you would suggest for baking? Would baking on a cookie sheet be a horrific mess?

    • Sally on February 1, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      How about some babka muffins? Joy the Baker has a recipe and method for them! I want to try them next.

  12. lisa on February 1, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I followed your recipe and it tasted great out of the oven, but the next day the dough was kind of dry. Any ideas why this may have happened? Too long on the dough hook? Too long proofing? I did set timers for everything and followed the directions to a T. It’s delicious and I’ll probably turn it into French toast but would love to learn what I did wrong and try again this weekend. Thanks!

    • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Lisa! Maybe over-baked? That would be my top guess. Did you cover it up nice and tight overnight?

  13. Diane on February 1, 2018 at 11:45 am

    This recipe makes 2 loaves, but if I use a Bundt pan would I use all, or still spilt dough into 2?    This recipe sounds, and looks so goo I can’t wait to try it. Thanks 

    • Sally on February 1, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Diane! Honestly, I haven’t tried this babka in a bundt pan so I can’t say for sure. But I don’t foresee any problems. Let me know how it goes.

  14. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) on February 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    absolutely AHHMAZING! I love love love how gorgeous this babka turned out and all that delicious nutella…mmmm

  15. Eleni on February 2, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I’m really excited to try this! I love Nutella! But, I have a ton of blueberries! I was wondering if there was a way to maybe make one of the loaves a blueberry lemon sort of thing?

    • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Eleni! I haven’t tested anything besides the Nutella filling and the chocolate filling. Please let me know anything you try!

  16. Stefanie on February 2, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Planning on making this beauty this weekend but was wondering if you had any suggestion for another filling? I would like to make one with the Nutella filling and one with another filling. Thanks 🙂

    • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      In the recipe notes I linked to another recipe for a chocolate fudge filling!

      • Stefanie on February 2, 2018 at 12:33 pm

        Yes I had seen that 🙂 But I was thinking more of another flavour profile (caramel, apples, cinnamon, maple sugar…)



      • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        I haven’t tried anything else, but let me know if you do! I think a caramel apple filling would be wonderful.



  17. Katherine on February 2, 2018 at 9:18 am

    I made this last night and holy cow! It is amazing! We had it fresh after dinner and then warmed up with a dab of butter on each slice for breakfast. Easily the best thing that I’ve made or eaten in a while, and I bake daily!

    The brioche dough was absolutely gorgeous! I’ve made a lot of brioche, but this takes the cake! I’m already thinking of ways to repurpose this perfect dough!

    Thank you thank you thank you Sally for this amazing recipe!

    • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      What a great endorsement! I’m so happy it was such a hit and let me know how else you decide to use the dough!

  18. Hannah on February 2, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Sally! I am planning on making this today but I was thinking about melting chocolate chips for the filling instead of Nutella. Do you think that would work or would it be too runny? Thanks! 🙂

    • Sally on February 2, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Hannah! I’m afraid that might be a little too runny.

  19. Natalie on February 2, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I made this for my husband’s birthday today and it was delicious! I have a question though. It sunk in the middle after baking even though it seemed to be fully baked. Do you have any idea why that happened and what I can do to keep it from happening next time? Thanks!

  20. leslie on February 2, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Your preciseness, talent and dedication is admirable. Your recipes, to die for to say the least. Have the dough rising in the oven currently, i can’t wait to bite into it 😀 

  21. Kasia on February 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I just baked them! Looks amazing! Thank you for great directions! Babkas smell delicious and look delicious. 

  22. Kristen on February 3, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Made this tonight with buttermilk I had leftover from your marble cake! OMG it’s awesome… I need to get this out of my house pronto or I’m going to eat both loaves! Thank you for a great recipe, Sally!

    I appreciate how much work you have put into your blog and stepping out of your comfort zone! I’ve made babka before, but this recipe was much easier with the Nutella as a filling rather than having to make the filling from scratch. Will definitely be making this again! (I still have buttermilk left, after all!)

    • Sally on February 4, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you so much for reporting back, Kristen! I agree, Nutella is easier.
      And thank you for the very kind comment. I appreciate it so much.

  23. Regina on February 4, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve been wanting to learn how to make babka. Made this today and it turned out great!! Thank you!

  24. Janet on February 4, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    This is delicious. It may be my favorite recipe from you yet, Sally. Thank you!Janet

  25. Liz Topping on February 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I made the Nutella babka today and it turned out beautifully. Your recipes have never failed me and this is an impressive one, but actually easy. Thanks!

  26. Kate on February 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Sally this babka is amazing!
    I am enjoying my first slice right now and can see how it won’t last long around the house.  
    Great recipe and instructions, totally worth the time and effort.  
    Thank you!

  27. Lori on February 7, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Hi Sally! I can’t wait to try this, I’ve never made bread before but I hope I’ll be able to handle it. Just one question.. as I only have a small convection oven and would like to reduce the baking time, can I cut the dough in smaller chunks and twist them as needed? If possible, for how long would you recommend baking it?

    • Sally on February 7, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Hi Lori! You can shape the dough into smaller babka loaves, but I’m unsure of the exact bake time.

  28. Jackie on February 10, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I don’t have a thermometer, so how long should I microwave the milk?

    • Sally on February 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      45-60 seconds is usually good.

  29. Agnes on February 17, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Hi sally, I’m having trouble with the dough not rising. I’ve tried making it twice and both times it doesn’t rise after two hours.  First batch I tried the 200 degree oven method, and second time out on the counter. Room is not too cold. I tested the yeast (I thought perhaps it’d gone bad) but it’s still good. I’m out of ideas, welp! Any tips? 

    • Sally on February 18, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      I can’t imagine why the dough won’t rise without fresh yeast. Can you try another brand? And is your milk warm enough?

      • Agnes on February 18, 2018 at 10:01 pm

        Hi. Yes I believe the milk is warm enough; I used a thermometer both times and made the milk a bit warmer the second time in case it was too cold the first round. It didnt seem to make a difference. I plan to try again in a bit with different yeast and hoping for better results!



      • Erin Tacheny on March 6, 2018 at 4:19 pm

        Ironically, I’m having the same issue. My milk/yeast combo is never frothy/bubbly. I went the whole way through and it never rose…even after 2.5 hours. I’m so bummed. It was a brand new thing of yeast and whole milk.



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