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

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

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

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

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

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

How to shape babka on

How to shape babka on

How to shape babka on

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

How to make Nutella babka on

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

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

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

  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 

  2. 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

  3. 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!! 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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 

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

  6. 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. 

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

  9. 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 

    1. 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.

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

  11. 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?

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

  12. 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 🙂

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

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

  13. 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!

  14. 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! 🙂

  15. 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!

  16. 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 😀 

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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?

  21. 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? 

      1. 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!

      2. 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.

  22. Hello there!
    Greetings from India. I’ve been meaning to make a Babka for so long now and this seems like the perfect opportunity.
    Is there any way I can half the recipe?

    1. If you halve all of the ingredients, you should be OK. But for best results, I suggest making the recipe as written then freezing the 2nd loaf for another time.

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