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.

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

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.

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

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!

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 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. Again, simple ingredients.
  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.

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

How to make Nutella babka on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

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

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.

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

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!

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
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

Description

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


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, (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

Instructions

  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. Shape the babka: 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 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. 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.

Notes

  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

248 Comments

  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?
    Thanks!

    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?
    Thanks!

    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.

1 3 4 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

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

×