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’m going to try this for Father’s Day. We all love nutella and this bread is perfect. I don’t foresee a problem but would it be ok if I baked this and then froze it? It would only be for a short time but just wanted to make sure since looking at 2 loaves. Thanks~

    1. Yes! You can freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 5.

  2. I made this yesterday but used Great Value (Wal-Mart) crunchy graham cracker & marshmallow spread instead of Nutella….so delicious!! However, I had a lot of trouble getting the yeast to activate in milk. I tried twice before I gave up and activated it in warm water. Thoughts on this? Thank you for posting this recipe!

    1. Hey Hannah! That spread sounds so good! How long did you let the warm milk/yeast sit? Sometimes it helps to add a little sugar into the yeast/milk to help activate it. It could also be the type of yeast. What type/brand are you using?

  3. You’re the best sally! I really praise God for people like you who’s not hesitant to share her talents and skills most esp in this area in baking. I have not taken any culinary or pastry school but your step by step explanation helps me a lot. In Filipino, iba ka! Ginalingan! Heheh the Lord bless your hands even more all for the Glor of His Name!

  4. Hi, Sally.

    If I want to just make a plain brioche, do I just follow this recipe minus the Nutella? Still producing two loaves? TIA. 🙂

  5. Hi Sally, this looks absolutely amazing. I recently got into bread making and my daughter loves brioche so definitely giving this a go. I’ve got several kilos of soft white bread mix to use up. Could I substitute the all-purpose flour for that? TIA!

    1. Hi Angela, I’m not sure what is in your bread mix but I’m guessing it’s not just flour so I wouldn’t recommend using it here.

  6. After reading the comments where it did not taste pumpkin enough, I went ahead used a large can of pumpkin and spread what was left on top of the butter and before the brown sugar cinnamon layer, then rolled it up. Let me tell you it was absolutely the best rolls I have ever ate.

  7. Hey after placing the babka in the loaf tin, do i need to prove it again till it doubles in size before i bake it ?

    Thank you 🙂

  8. I’m not sure how I missed this post in January! I love bread making and especially love brioche and challah breads. I’m definitely making this version. I feel like Nutella is misunderstood but it’s so delicious in everything. I also recommend making an apple cinnamon version – diced granny smith apples, melted butter, brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. I might be baking bread this weekend! 🙂

  9. I would love to make Babka for the Jewish Holidays coming up. Instead of nutella, I’d like to do a cinnamon raisin filling. What ratio of raisins/cinnamon/sugar would you use? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Amy! I haven’t tried a cinnamon raisin filling recently, but I would start by following this recipe for the filling:
      It looks delicious! You could definitely leave out the nuts if you’d like.

    1. YUM! I think mixing pure pumpkin puree with a little sugar and spices would be a delicious filling! Let me know what you end up trying!

  10. Hi Sally! Do you think I could make the babka in a bundt pan? Would I have to adjust the bake time? My whole family loves this recipe so much!

    Was thinking of trying it with apple butter on the inside or Dulche de leche!

    1. Oh Molly, apple butter babka or dulce de leche would be SO good! A bundt pan could work, yes. The bake time may be a little longer, but keep a close eye on it.

  11. I baked this beauty this weekend after several weeks of coming back to the web page and salivating over the pictures. What a simple and AMAZING recipe! I followed the recipe exactly as written. This turned out wonderfully flaky and tender and the Nutella filling just brought it over the edge. Only difference is that I baked it for about 35 minutes– maybe my oven is a little hot. I will definitely be trying out different filling variations!!

    I’ve also always been a little nervous to make dough and recipes requiring a dough base but this recipe gave me the confidence. Love it! Recommend a hundred times over!

    1. I’m so happy that you found time to try this out! Now that you have more confidence working with dough I can’t wait to see what you make next!

  12. Hi Sally! I made this recipe last night, WOW!! I posted some pictures. I also just learned that my husband isn’t a huge nutella fan, do you think I could use the ganache recipe instead of the nutella? I plan on using a variety of different fillings and making several of these and freezing them for Holiday gifts! Thank you Sally!

    1. Hi Kelly! I’m so glad that you loved the Nutella babka!! 🙂 Thank you so much for reporting back about it. You could definitely try a ganache instead of the Nutella. Make sure the ganache has cooled down and thickened. Here is a good recipe for ganache:

    2. There is something called Chocolate Tahini made by Soom, which is available on Amazon. It has lovely complex flavor and not sickly sweet like Nutella. That might be an option instead of the Nutella.

  13. Just made this and it is incredible! As mentioned, a stand mixer is best for his recipe . I don’t think I would have been able to pull this off without my stand mixer . this recipe can get a bit messy , especially the forming part . ( Nutella messiness – I’m not complaining ! ). Although my babka didn’t look exactly as the video – I winged it and it came out amazing . At first everything looked like a hot Nutella mess but it came together really well . I made one with the crumble topping and one without. You will not regret making this !!! So good . Thanks sally !

  14. I tried these and they were oh SO delicious! The dough was so soft and tender and with Nutella, it was fabulous! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  15. If I make the dough and freeze half away, would I be able thaw and make it later? I don’t to make two loaves at once. I first thought of halving the recipe but the egg proportion wouldn’t work. Thanks.

    1. Yes! After dough has risen two hours in step 4, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and divide the dough in half. Continue with half of the dough and for the other half freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 5.

      1. Great! Thanks! Can’t wait to try it. I have been hesitant to try yeasted recipes until recently.

  16. I made this today for my cousin’s birthday (nod to Seinfeld), and it turned out perfectly!! I used a different chocolate filling in place of the Nutella. Loved the dough so much, I’m going to try a cinnamon filling soon.

      1. I wasn’t able to find the video on the site actually, and I looked on your YouTube page as well.

    1. Hi Christine! The Make Ahead Instructions include the best way to prepare the babka the day ahead of time.

  17. I have made this twice now. I had to make it a second time because my husband was nearly finished the second loaf and I hadn’t had any. The first time I made it with the filling as listed, then the second time I did one loaf with the chocolate hazelnut spread, and the second with the strawberry roll filling from your book and some white chocolate. I added a few white chocolate chunks to the top too, and limited the crumble. Amazing recipe as always!

  18. Hi Sally,

    I would love to make this recipe but only have one loaf pan. Do you have any suggestions about how I could do this with only one pan? I’m not sure if leaving the second loaf out to rest for an extra 50 minutes (on top of the 10-20 it’s already resting) while the first one bakes would be too long.


    1. Hi Rachel! Stick the 2nd shaped babka in the refrigerator while the other one bakes. It won’t over-rise in the refrigerator during that time.

      1. Hi Sally,
        I just wanted to tell you that I made this for Father’s Day for my dad, who is a real babka connoisseur and, in his words, it was “unbelievably terrific.” He said it’s the best babka he’s ever had. Thanks for helping make my dad happy on Father’s Day! 🙂

  19. This recipe came out perfectly (as usual with your recipes!) and the video and pictures were very helpful! This one is a keeper and I’m already looking forward to trying it again and trying different fillings too!

  20. I made myself a baking bucket list and Nutella babka was the first thing I checked off it! Sally this bread is amazing. I ate half of a loaf to myself throughout the day today and I DON’T EVEN FEEL BAD. I left off the cinnamon crumbles because I didn’t want anything to take away from that Nutella flavour. YUM! My 19 month old loves it too 🙂 I wouldn’t make it regularly because it’s a bit TOO addicting but what a lovely treat! I’m not sure how you got your loaves so neatly into the pans though because mine were just giant Nutella messes lol

  21. I would never classify myself as a baker and don’t even own a dough mixer. I was looking for an interesting bread recipe and since I’ve never had Nutella before I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve made this recipe 3 times and I absolutely love it.

  22. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe! I let the dough sit in the fridge for 2 days and then made one nutella-filled loaf and one cinnamon-filled loaf. They were both fantastic, I am thrilled with how it all came together. Thank you for having such delicious, approachable recipes! I have been able to successfully tackle my hesitation with yeast and dough because of you!

    1. Hi Lacey, you’d just have to mix the dough ingredients by hand in a large mixing bowl until it forms a soft and uniform dough. I recommend a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. In step 3, knead the dough by hand on a floured work surface for a few minutes.

  23. This babka tasted great! When it was warm it was perfectly moist and soft, but the next day at room temp it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It still tastes good, but I guess I was expecting more of a brioche texture. Wonder if you have any suggestions for making the dough softer?

    1. Hi Sarah! I wonder if the babka was simply over-baked? That’s easy with such a large loaf (laoves). I recommend lowering the oven rack, slightly lowering the oven temperature, and tenting foil over the top of the babkas halfway through bake time to prevent the tops from getting too dark/dried out. They may take a bit longer to bake. I hope this helps!

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