Nutella Babka

You’ll fall in love with each layer of deliciously sweet and addictive Nutella babka. It’s beautifully swirled and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles. Make this New York bakery favorite in your own kitchen! Follow my step-by-step photos and helpful tips for best results.

Nutella babka

One of my baking goals is to begin stepping outside of my baking comfort zone– I showed you how to make madeleines, and today I’m going to teach you how to make delicious and impressive Nutella babka.

We’re traveling deep in the layers of babka. Located somewhere between bread and decadent dessert, this undeniably addictive treat uses the dough from my overnight cinnamon rolls recipe as the base, 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.

overhead image of 2 loaves of Nutella babka

Tell Me About This Nutella Babka

I include lots of step-by-step babka pictures and a quick shaping video below– showing you how approachable homemade babka truly is. (If you’ve ever made my raspberry twist bread or homemade cheese bread, you’re already familiar with the shaping method.) This is a fun starting point for yeast baking– 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.

There are many ways to make babka, and today we’re using dough based off of my overnight cinnamon rolls. This babka recipe makes 2 loaves– freeze one or gift it to someone special. Trust me, someone will want this gift!

Nutella babka in loaf pan before baking

How to Make Nutella Babka

While babka may look a little intimidating, follow these simple steps for perfect babka every time. Let’s review:

  1. Make a brioche dough. This is a soft, rich, puffy, and very buttery yeast dough– we’ll review the dough below.
  2. Let the dough rise. Let the babka dough rise in a warm environment until (roughly) doubled in size, about 90ish minutes. I use my oven to help with rising– it’s 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!
  3. Punch down the dough. This helps release the air bubbles. You’ll be left with super soft and supple dough.
  4. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
  5. Roll them out. Spread with Nutella. You can also fill babka with a homemade chocolate filling– or really anything at all– but I reached for Nutella. I want today’s 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.
  6. Shape the babka, then let it rest. Be sure to watch my how-to video below.
  7. Add with crumble topping. 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.
  8. Bake. The only thing better than eating babka is smelling babka as it bakes– just wait until you experience that.
  9. Enjoy. And get lost in the layers!!! Some recipes instruct you to brush the baked 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.

2 images of babka dough in a glass bowl and rising in the oven

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

2 images of babka dough punched down and 2 balls of dough on the counter

Nutella Babka Uses a Rich Dough

We use a rich dough for homemade babka, which means that it’s prepared with fat like milk, butter, and eggs. Rich doughs make soft breads such as monkey bread, soft dinner rolls, and glazed doughnuts. Lean doughs, on the other hand, are made without much fat and produce crusty bread such as focacciabagels, and pizza dough.

Today’s babka dough is egg rich, butter rich, calorie rich. It comes together with 7 basic ingredients: milk, yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, and flour. You likely have them all in your kitchen now. Let’s review the importance of each babka ingredient:

  1. Milk: Liquid activates the yeast. Whole milk or even buttermilk is ideal for this dough. You can get away with 2% or 1%, but I do not recommend skim.
  2. Yeast: You can use an instant or active dry yeast– the rise time will be a little longer if you choose the latter.
  3. Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
  4. Butter: Butter promises a rich and flavorful dough.
  5. Eggs: Eggs provide structure and flavor.
  6. Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  7. Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the dough.

Quick Shaping Video

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

babka dough rolled out into a rectangle and topped with a layer of Nutella

babka dough rolled into a log

babka dough filled with Nutella and sliced in half

twisting Nutella babka dough

It’s a little messy, but don’t all of 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 gives the dough time to rest before baking. Brush the babka with beaten egg white + milk (egg wash), then top with your cinnamon crumble.

brushing babka with egg and milk mixture before baking

2 images of cinnamon crumble topping in a glass bowl and topping on 2 babka loaves before baking

slice of Nutella babka

zoomed in image of Nutella babka

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!

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Nutella babka

Nutella Babka

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Deliciously sweet and addictive bread swirled with Nutella and topped with buttery cinnamon crumbles! 


  • 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, (spoon & leveled) 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


  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 and 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar. Cover the bowl with a clean towel. The mixture should be frothy and foamy after 5 minutes.
  2. On low speed, beat in the remaining sugar and the 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 9×5 inch loaf pans with butter or nonstick spray.
  7. On slightly floured work surface, roll one dough half out into a 9×13 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 20-30 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. Gently tap the loaves– if they sound hollow, the bread is done. 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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, KitchenAid Stand Mixer Glass Bowl, Dough Scraper, Pastry Cutter, Rolling Pin, Loaf Pan, and Pastry Brush
  3. Milk: 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.
  4. Yeast: Active dry or instant yeast work– if using instant yeast (such as Red Star Platinum) the 1st rise time will be a little shorter. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. Filling: 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!

Keywords: babka, nutella babka


  1. Hello Sally – I absolutely love your recipes. I am a new maker and have made your star bread and the cinnamon wreath and they came out brilliantly. I live in India and sometimes the ingredients you mention may not be avilable here but I manage with substitues. This weekend I am going to try this babaka! (If I manage to keep my hands off the Nuttela bottle of course!) Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experienec with us.

  2. Hi Sally,
    Thanks for the recipe! I tried it today and baked at 175C on fan forced and it came out a little dry. Just wondering if your oven temp is for non-fan forced. So should I have reduced my temp by 20 deg C?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephanie, We have conventional ovens with a convection setting. We use the convection setting for savory items- like when roasting veggies or cooking meats. When baking, we prefer the traditional conventional setting because things overbake quickly when using the convection setting. As a general rule, if using convection/fan forced settings for baking it’s best to lower your oven temperature by 20 degrees C and even then the bake time may be shorter.

  3. hi sally your nutella babka looks wonderful, i just have a question regarding the all purpose flour you use, which brand or protein content do you use? thank u for all your great tips

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elaine, thank you so much! We typically use King Arthur all-purpose flour in our recipes. It has an 11.7% protein content.

      1. Thank you so much that’s really helpful!

  4. Hi Sally, can I use peanut butter or any other filling in place of Nutella? 🙂

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ellaine, We give an option for a chocolate filing in the notes, but you can use a peanut butter filling or others. Let us know what you try!

  5. Delicious! This recipe was so easy and baked beautifully in four mini loaf pans. Can’t wait to make it again!

  6. Does this recipe only have one rose?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sylvia, yes- this recipe has 1 rise.

  7. Hello!

    Made this today, however, my dough was sticky. Why could it be? Anything I need to do with my dough?

    1. Hi Giselle! When it comes to yeasted doughs, many variables are at play such as weather, humidity, brand of flour, etc. Some days a dough can be too sticky while others it’s just right. Though this dough should be soft, if you find it’s simply too sticky to work with, add a few more Tablespoons of flour to make a workable (but still soft!) dough. I hope this helps.

  8. Hi
    I would like to know what setting should I use for my oven as I generally use my fan setting? Can I use the fan setting and if so what temp should it be?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Yumma, All of the recipes here are written for conventional settings. The rule of thumb when baking with convection/fan settings is to lower your oven by 25 degrees F. The bake time may still be shorter so begin checking before the recommended bake time.

  9. Hi!
    If I were to use this recipe but cut the babka into small pieces to fit in a muffin tin, instead of a large loaf in a bread pan, would you recommend any difference in oven temperature or bake time?

    1. Hi Chloe! The oven temperature would be the same, but the bake time will be shorter since the babkas will be much smaller. I’m unsure of the best bake time, though. Let me know what you try!

  10. I was able to cook it, but it is difficult to know when it is done. I don’t know if the toothpick works for a yeasted dough…i always tap my breads at the bottom but this one was tough because i used a patterned bundt pan and it was hot with the filling so i couldn’t pull it out.
    i eventually used a thermometer and i think it was about 160 when i pulled it and it was done , it was delicious but i think i would like to know a way to check it by looking or feeling if possible. How do you check the middle?

    1. Hi Shauna, when it’s golden brown on top and sounds hollow when gently tapped. To be more certain, most bread recipes are done when the internal temperature reaches about 190°F (88°C).

  11. Hello, do you have a trick to heating buttermilk? I wanted to use it in the yeast but when i tried to heat it in the microwave it split and went bad… how do you warm buttermilk to be an appropriate temp to yeast?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shauna, You can use the microwave or stovetop to heat the milk. If using a microwave heat the milk in 10-15 second increments until you reach the right temperature and use a thermometer to check it between heating. I hope this helps!

      1. Thank you, i will try it again! I was sure you could not warm it after that disaster!

  12. The recipe is great but I added 1/2 tblsp of vanilla extract along with the zest of ~ 1/2 a medium orange & it reminded me of the babka I grew up eating in NY!

  13. Hey there! I followed this recipe pretty closely, but for some reason, the bottom of the babka was pretty burnt. Can you help me understand what might have gone wrong?

    1. Hi Zach, this could be fixed for next time using a lighter colored loaf pan (I love using USA Pan brand loaf pans– not sponsored, just a genuine fan!) or reducing the oven temperature and extending the bake time.

  14. IHi—looks amazing—but where is the video?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jess, The video is displayed under the words “Quick Shaping Video.” Give the video right below a few seconds to load. It’s a faded horizontal image. Click on the play button in the center to play it. Make sure any ad blockers are temporarily paused on your browser.

  15. This recipe is easy to follow and it turned out well. My only recommendation would be to put 3/4 c of Nutella in each Babka. I found a full cup to make it hard to actually taste the dough itself (and for the dough nearest the Nutella to not fully cook).

  16. Hi Sally, I don’t have a hand mixer with a dough attachment, so could I just mix this by hand? will it be really difficult/impossible? thank you in advance!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Grace, If you do not have a stand-mixer you can knead the dough by hand!

  17. Hi sally quick question, have you ever experimented with swerve sugar replacement? Do you think I could do this for this recipe? Thank you

    1. Hi Lindsay, I’ve never baked or tested with swerve sugar replacement.

  18. Hi Sally,
    I have made this recipe in the past and it is fabulous. I would like to make some as holiday gifts. Would it be okay to freeze this unbaked so that people can cook it in their own ovens and have it fresh, or is it better to freeze it baked? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel, for best taste and texture (especially since you will be gifting this), I recommend baking and then freezing.

  19. I made this recipe for Christmas morning and it was delicious! I slightly over baked them, but that was my mistake for not paying close enough attention. I froze the other half of the dough and was wondering if I could use it to make cinnamon rolls? If I follow your guide for over night cinnamon rolls but amend it by 1) halving the filling and frosting because I’m guessing my dough will only make 6 rolls 2) skipping the over night bit and just let them rise at room temp after they’re rolled in the pan…do you think that would work? Any advice would be great! 🙂

    1. Hi Bronwyn, I’m glad you tried this Nutella babka recipe– definitely one of my favorites. You could use the other half of dough for cinnamon rolls. I would halve the cinnamon roll filling/frosting and just let them rise after shaping in the pan since your dough already rose once. A 9-inch pan should be the best size.

      1. Thanks! I gave it a try and it worked really well, in fact, I think I liked the cinnamon rolls better than the Nutella babka.

  20. I love your recipes – They always come out so great! With the Babka, is there a way to form in a smaller loaf pan?

    1. Hi Mary, I’m sure you could turn this 2 loaf dough into a 4 loaf dough. I’m unsure of the best measurements for rolling though– perhaps 5×9 inch rectangles. I fear anything smaller would just be too small. Let us know if you test anything.

  21. Can I halve this recipe to make one loaf, or would I have to make more adjustments?

  22. Hi Sally,
    Was wondering if I could use bread flour for this recipe? Or is it not recommended?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christy, We recommend all-purpose flour for best results, but you can use bread flour in a pinch — expect a chewier texture.

  23. Hi! Does it matter if I use almond milk?

  24. Today will be my second time making this… It’s seriously so delicious!

    I’ve also been craving cinnamon rolls so I think I’m going to try turning one loaf in to cinnamon roll shape and see what happens.

    Could I still put the crumble on top or should I put that in the middle do you think?
    Would a cream cheese frosting be overkill?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kathy, the crumble would be delicious on top, and cream cheese frosting never hurt! Hope you love them.

      1. Kathy Beltran says:

        I did try it!
        I still liked the bread more. I think I over baked them as rolls and they spread more and weren’t as soft.
        But it could work for sure!

  25. This bread is really tasty but the brioche is much drier than I am used to. I really feel that there is not enough butter in this dough. I did however enjoy learning a new technique in brioche dough making. I typically add my butter at the end, but it makes for a pretty long process. Adding the butter at the beginning made the dough come together very quickly, but now I wonder if that contributed to the dryness. I’ll have to try this with my normal recipe and see what the outcome is.

  26. Can i keep the doughs together and baked i a bigger loaf tin?
    If not can this be made in a round tin or bundt tin?
    Or can i make on a tray?

    1. Hi Jerrie, I’m sure you could use this dough and twist/wrap in a bundt pan or tube pan but I haven’t tested it to be certain of the bake time. Let us know if you try it.

      1. Jerrie cheesecake says:

        Made this in a bundt pan and baked according to the recipe, came out great!

  27. Hi thanks for recipe, I’m excited to try it out this weekend. Could I use baking shortening to replace the unsalted butter?

    1. Hi Cenadra, for best flavor and texture, I strongly recommend butter instead of shortening. Keeping that in mind, you could make the substitution if needed.

  28. I would love to try this recipe but would like to use the discard after feeding my sourdough starter
    Any idea how many grams of starter I should use?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lynda, we haven’t tried this recipe with sourdough starter so unfortunately we can’t give you a confident answer. If you give anything a try, we’d love to know how it goes!

  29. Help. My dough was very dry. No elasticity. Four and a fourth cups of flour to only 1 and a half eggs seems wrong to me. Maybe it’s the flour I used or maybe I simply mismeasured. Any thoughts? If it’s too dry this time, I’ll try another time before rating it.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kay! How are you measuring your flour? Make sure you are Properly Measuring your Ingredients, especially your flour. Spoon and level instead of scooping or you will end up with too much which will dry out your dough. Hope this helps for next time!

  30. Laurie Lehman says:

    I made this yesterday and yep messy after the cutting and twisting. I love this dough – so soft and easy to work with. My only question is why not a second rise? I feel like the loaves did not rise much when baking and feel they were kind of compacted. I was curious and found a babka recipe on King Arthur site and their recipe had a second rise in loaf pan. Can you explain why your recipe is different? Also did your final loaves rise?

    1. Hi Laurie, the shaped loaves slightly rise during that 20-30 minute rest period. With this dough, I found that if they rose for much longer, they easily deflated in the oven. However, feel free to extend the time if you’d like to try it. I wouldn’t rise for longer than 60 minutes though. Hope this makes sense and helps!

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