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Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

Chocolate Cinnamon Babka
A light and fluffy sweet bread filled with swirls of rich dark chocolate and cinnamon. Toast a slice for breakfast with some butter or cream cheese. This chocolate babka would also make great French toast.
Yield 2 loaves




  • 1 cup warm tap water (110-115°F)
  • 1 tablespoon Red Star Quick Rise Yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting your worktop)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Egg wash: 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (beaten together)


  • Make the filling: Combine the butter, cocoa powder, sugar and chocolate chips in a pan; whisk over a medium heat until everything has melted and come together. Set aside. (NOTE: cinnamon will be added later.)
  • Grease two 9 x 5-inch baking loaf tins with butter and set aside.
  • Make the dough: In a stand mixer bowl combine the warm water and yeast. Whisk briefly to dissolve the yeast. Add the sugar, dried milk and egg; using paddle attachment, beat on low speed to combine. Add 2 cups flour and beat on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no visible lumps. Let the mixture rest, covered with a towel, for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and salt; mix on low speed to combine. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, mixing well until fully combined.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes.
    (NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
  • Form the dough into a ball and place back in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, turn dough out onto a well-floured worktop and using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle shape about 12×15-inches.
  • Spread the chocolate filling over the dough covering it well. Evenly distribute the 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon on top of the chocolate filling. Starting on the short end, cut the dough in half – you will now have two 6×15-inch pieces. Take the long edge of each piece and roll it towards you into a log. Pinch seams to seal.
  • You will have two long tube shapes side by side. Take each piece and twist them tightly against one another, tucking in the ends. Cut the ‘braided’ loaf in half and place each half in the prepared loaf pans.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Make the topping: In a small bowl combine the ingredients and make a crumble with your hands. Brush egg wash over top of loaves; generously top with the crumble topping.
  • Cover lightly with some plastic wrap and let rise for 20 -30 minutes until the bread has risen to about the level of the baking pan. (You can let the bread sit on top of the stove to capture some of the heat from the oven.)
  • Place pans on sheet pan to catch any spills. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread turns a deep golden brown. Remove from oven. Let sit 10 minutes in pan, the take loaves out and finish cooling on wire rack before slicing.


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Review & Comments

Natalie | Reply

4 stars
The bread is tasty but my chocolate mixture was rock hard by the time I needed it (not spreadable) and the top mixture got too weird when baking

T. Marie | Reply

Is there a way to substitute the dry milk powder?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

You can use milk (whole is best) in place of the water, and take out the milk powder.
Happy baking!

nedra zeis | Reply

I can barely read the print out of this recipe because it is in grey print
Could you print your recipes in dark (black) ink…………Thank you

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Nedra,
Thank you for your comment. We will find out if there are printing options that we can modify. In the meantime, try changing your printer to a darker print setting. Hopefully that will help.
Happy baking!

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