About this Recipe

The balance of flavors between the cranberries and chocolate make this a favorite dessert within the Idell household.


Servings: 8

Preparation: 3 hours

Cook time: 25 minutes



Cranberry Chocolate Babka









2 tbsp / 19g instant yeast

¾ cup / 170g lukewarm milk

6 tbsp / 85 butter

6 tbsp / 85g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

3 ½ cup / 425g all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt


1 ½ cups / 225g dark chocolate, coarsely grated

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

¼ cup / 55g butter


Cranberry Filling

1 cup white sugar

1 cup orange juice

1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries



1.   In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

2.   Whisk the yeast into lukewarm milk and set aside for about 5 minutes.

3.   In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth.

4.   Add the yolks to the bowl, one at a time, mixing constantly for 30 seconds between each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.

5.   Add the flour and salt and continue to mix until it all comes together.

6.   Now mix in the milk and yeast mixture and let it mix until it forms a soft dough.

7.   Knead by hand for another 2 to 3 minutes. You will have a soft, supple and golden dough.

8.   Let this rise for about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight, making sure to remove it from the fridge two hours before baking.

9.   For the filling: mix the chocolate, butter and cinnamon together in a bowl.

10.        Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a sheet with a thickness of ⅛ to ¼ inch. Make sure to keep it dusted well with flour at all times, else it might stick.

11.        Spread the chocolate mixture over it.

12.        Roll the sheet of dough and then pinch the seams to seal it. Roll it to a length of about 24 inches. Either you can keep it this big if you’d like a big loaf, or cut it into half for two medium loaves.

13.        For the gorgeous twisty shape, cut the log down the middle lengthwise, making sure to keep the top end attached. Twist over each other to get the braided look.

14.        Now you need to let if prove for another 2 hours, but I skipped this step because I overlooked it. Turns out, you too can totally skip it, if you’re short on time.

15.        Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 175 °C and bake for 15 to 20 minutes for medium sized and 20 to 25 minutes for the large loaf.

16.        The babka tends to brown quickly because of the high(er) sugar content, but you shouldn’t worry. It tastes fab!

17.        Cool for an hour (painful) or eat it right away (delightful!)

18.        The bread stays good for 2-3 days in an airtight box.




    My first ever Babka loaves - cranberry orange streusel and dark ...