Latest Recipe Testing

Recipe testing babka on

I loved your response to my last recipe testing post and you asked for more behind-the-scenes like this, so let’s do it!

Today I’m sharing a couple new recipes that I’ve been testing this month. What’s been working for me is dedicating one week (or a little over one week, it’s a lot of work!) to recipe testing and kitchen work. It’s a very intense and exhausting week, but it allows me to spend the rest of the month on photography, writing, and other random work. And gives me more time with Noelle, the main reason I’m beginning to do things this way! 🙂

The recipe test week from earlier this month spilled into the weekend. I simply could not get babka to cooperate all week, so I spent the following Sunday working on it again. I didn’t want to give up because my goal this year is to bake new and exciting recipes. And babka has been on my baking bucket list. And it’s babka. And it’s awesome.

Babka recipe testing on

Have you ever had babka? I’ll tell you all about it when I share the (successful!) recipe on Monday. In a nutshell, it’s a rich brioche dough filled and twisted up. Lots of delicious layers. My main babka problems were filling and shaping it. First, I used way too much filling (I went with Nutella!) and it was oozing out everywhere. Could hardly twist it up. What a mess. When I finally got the right amount of filling on there, I used way too much dough. It overflowed into an epic disaster. I wish I took a picture for you to see it. As it baked, it kept growing and growing… and growing. From what I could salvage and taste, the dough wasn’t rich, flaky, and soft as I wanted. In the next batch, I removed an egg white and reduced the flour. Long story short, I ended up with 7 loaves. My kitchen has never smelled better. Most of what you see above is in my freezer. On the menu when we have visitors: babka.

Anyway, twisting babka can be a little tricky so Kevin helped me take a video of me shaping it for you to see. I’ll share it all on Monday, so check back!

Another recipe my assistant and I worked on is the February’s baking challenge. I spent some time looking at your recipe requests for challenge recipes and I’ll share some of them as regular (non challenge!) recipes throughout the year. I already tackled madeleines, a popular request. I was originally going to do some sort of chocolate tart to teach you all about making traditional chocolate ganache, but ended up with something else that’s just as chocolate-y. I photographed the February challenge recipe this past week. Excited for it!

Chocolate cake pops on

You’ll hear more about the recipe on February 1st!


  1. Tiramisu was a popular request and I’d love to work on that in February. Do you have any preferences on it? A traditional tiramisu? A variation?
  2. Thoughts on bread pudding? Do you like it?

And one more thing… I did a podcast with Food Blogger Pro a couple years ago and the episode was featured as a rewind episode this past week. In case you want to give it a listen– it’s all about working hard to create success!

PS: Are engagement anniversaries a thing? Because today’s date will always be special for me. It was 5 years ago!!


  1. Ooh babka! I just love brioche in general. Never tried making it, I can barely make simple breads. I ate a mango babka from Trader Joe’s once, so good.

    And yes, tiramisu please! Cupcakes maybe? I made a tiramisu cake for my birthday couple of years ago from Smitten Kitchen, really delicious!

  2. Congrats on the 5 year anniversary!!! Cant wait to try the babka, Im interested in traditional tiramisu and I love love bread pudding!!! So excited for your new recipes!!! 

  3. Sally, I’m so excited for your babka recipe and the February baking challenge! Since I’m not a coffee fan, including a coffee-free option for the tiramisu would be great! 

  4. Congratulations on your engagement anniversary, and it’s great that you’re figuring out this work-life balance thing.

    Ooh I’m all excited about the babka! I love bread and chocolate and brioche!

    I’m not really excited about tiramisu or bread pudding, but that’s just me. I know many people who would swoon over a tiramisu. You know what I’d go bonkers about? A truly crunchy cookie recipe. That’s so hard to find! I’m not talking about a crisp and thin cookie. I’m talking about one that is crunchy all throughout, yet thick and not chewy at all.

  5. After hearing about your babka, you’d probably be interested in my dad’s Hungarian logs at our family bakery. People are OBSESSED with them, and I mean like, they will order them and have them shipped to them in another state if they move from the area. We make apricot, walnut, and poppyseed and the fillings are all homemade, too. None of that bulk pre-made stuff that bakeries order. Also, our kolachy cookies! Or, Hungarian cookies… I think there’s lots of names for them, and I’m not just saying this but no one makes them the traditional way anymore… it’s hands down my favorite cookie of all time, with European raspberry filling. Or walnut or apricot. If you’re ever interested I could give you the deets on them! Back-breaking cookie to make, though! But so, so worth it!

  6. I love bread pudding and I’d love to try and make it! As for tiramisu I’ve never made it but a traditional one would be awesome. It’s delicious! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the February challenge 🙂

  7. oh yes, please do tiramisu!! i’ve tried soo many recipes but i’ve never, never succeeded. i would love to make it for my mum – her favourite cake – and her birthday happens to fall on feb! so excited. looking forward to it.

  8. Yum! A tiramisu recipe would be wonderful since I’ve been looking for one! If you are interested in making the recipe a bit more special, you could include instructions on how to make lady fingers!

  9. 1. I’m definitely interested in hearing about a classic tiramisu.
    2. And YES to loving bread pudding. But actually, I have no idea what’s in it…is bread actually involved? Silly question?

  10. Babka: never made one, never had one. Excited to see any new recipe from your kitchen, Sally!
    Tiramisu is my favourite dessert but I could never replicate it at home because we don’t get some ingredients here. Substitutes never worked for me.
    Bread pudding is my husband’s favourite and I do have a go to recipe for that but I would love a recipe for it from “The Sally”.

  11. Oh, the suspense!!! I tried making babka once, but it didn’t come out nearly as good as bakery babka. I’d love to give it another try. I make bread pudding pretty often because my freezer is always full of the end pieces of random loaves. (Seriously, I never understood those recipes for bread pudding that call for using a whole loaf of fresh bread.) I’m getting kind of bored of my go-to bread pudding recipes, so I am looking forward!
    Oh, and the way you are balancing work and baby is so inspiring. I hope you can keep it up.

  12. Tiramisu – ANY tiramisu is good by me.  And bread pudding?  Who knew I would love it so much.  It took me 48 years to even try it.  Happy engagement anniversary.  Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary❤️

  13. I’ve never eaten babka or made one. It looks delicious though! I’m definitely one who will need a video of how to form it up properly.

    I’m not a fan of tiramisu because I think those I’ve tried have been so overpowered by alcohol, they weren’t enjoyable. I’d like to try one that goes easy in the booze or is non-alcoholic (I hope that isn’t sacrilegious in the tiramisu world!)

    I’ve never made or eaten bread pudding either! So I have a lot to catch up on!

    Happy 5th engagement anniversary to you & Kevin!

  14. Yes Sally, engagement anniversary are a thing and will always be special 🙂

    I would love a traditional tiramisu and i want to try bread pudding again so please share some posts.


  15. I would love to see a tiramisu recipe from you! it’s my favorite dessert!! babka is one of my favorite pastries, a local bakery here in MN (Breadsmith) makes an amazing chocolate babka, it’s very hard to resist getting it every time I visit!

  16. So excited for babka! I recently learned about it on your Facebook group and can’t wait to give it a try! I’ve been researching it but hadn’t taken the plunge into making it. Can’t wait for Monday! Yet another thing I “need” to make.

    Happy Engagement Anniversary

  17. I made babka bread a few months ago. Did 2 different kinds. One was chocolate & wasn’t impressed, & I LOVE chocolate! I’m very excited to make the recipe you have come up, practiced & tweaked!
    Oooh…have you done Challah bread? I made some a couple weeks ago & the plain was pretty good. However, it just wasnt the same yummy, soft & chewy bread the next day. Is that just the way it is?
    Well, I’d love a recipe from you for Challah bread. Thank you for doing all you do & for sharing yourself & talent with us!!!

  18. Please share a Oreo Tiramisu Recipe with us! That would be awesome!

    A Bread Pudding made with Bourbon would be great too ;o)

  19. Hi Sally! I’m excited for the babka recipe! I think traditional tiramisu and bread pudding sounds great! My parents have been married for 46 years and they celebrate their “engagement anniversary” every year! My husband and I got engaged on January 29th (coming up) 19 years ago! To me it’s a special day…my husband thinks it’s weird to “celebrate it” but I disagree and always remind him on the day! 🙂 

  20. I can’t wait for the babka recipe!  I love white chocolate bread pudding, so good!

    Sally, have you ever heard of or thought of making potica? It’s an Eastern European nut roll. I love it, but I know it’s a lot of work and the recipes look really intimidating  

  21. You cannot go wrong with a traditional tiramisu!! And yes- looooove bread pudding! My favorite is white chocolate with raisins (and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, because duh). Congratulations on your 5 year engagiversary! We are coming up on our 4th!! 

  22. Love traditional tiramisu or maybe and love bread oidd No that’s the right consistency and not soggy. Like them without raisins but anything else is fair game :). You’re the best sally

  23. Aw we always celebrate our engagement anniversary because it was also our ‘dating anniversary’.  I love using the dates to think back at our relationship 🙂  And I have never heard of babka but it sounds absolutely amazing!  

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally