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Cranberry Orange Babka

Cranberry Orange Babka
We didn't slash the top of this babka so that the sweet-tart cranberry orange filling won't ooze out all over the place. It bucks tradition a bit, but you'll thank us later when it's time to wash the dishes. Plus, you can let the dough rise overnight in the fridge, then shape and bake the next day. Watch video tutorial below.
Yield 2 (9×5-inch) loaves



Cranberry-Orange Filling

  • 3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • 1 cup warm water (105°F)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 (0.25oz each) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped (or 1 tablespoon vanilla)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked together with 2 teaspoons water
  • Glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar whisked with 1 tablespoon orange juice to form a thick glaze


  • Make the cranberry-orange filling: In a sauce pot with heat set to medium, simmer cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and salt until cranberries POP and become soft. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture is thick and a jelly consistency. Fold in orange zest and dried cranberries. Cool completely. (NOTE: If refrigerating dough overnight, make the filling the day you will bake the bread.)
  • Make the sponge: In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, 1 cup flour, yeast and salt. Allow the mixture to sit in a warm place for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. The surface should look bubbly and like a sponge.
  • With a dough hook fitted to the mixer and the machine on low, add sugar, olive oil, scraped vanilla bean, eggs and yolks to the sponge.
  • While mixer is running on low, add enough of the remaining 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is smooth and tacky, but not too wet or sticky.
  • Cover and allow dough to rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size. Alternatively, you can cover and refrigerate overnight. (NOTE: If refrigerating overnight, let dough come to room temperature before proceeding.)
  • Grease (or line with parchment paper) two 9×5-inch loaf pans with butter or pan spray.
  • Divide risen dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out 1 piece into an 8×14-inch rectangle.
  • Shmear each rectangle with 1/4 of cranberry mixture. Starting with the long edge, tightly roll the rectangle, jelly-roll style and pinch seam together. Repeat with another dough. Twist 2 rolled logs together, fold in half and place in prepared pan; cover. Repeat with remaining 2 doughs.
  • Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Brush babkas with egg wash and bake for 45-55 minutes until golden-brown.
  • Drizzle babkas with glaze before serving.


Recipe by Joy of Kosher.

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Review & Comments

Jenn | Reply

Can you substitute the olive oil with vegetable or sunflower oil?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Jenn,

You can definitely substitute the olive oil for either of those oils.

Happy Baking!

Terri Eberhardt | Reply

Can I make 1/2 recipe? I would like just one loaf.
Thank you, Terri

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Terri – Yes, divide the ingredients in half to make 1 loaf.
Happy baking!

Julie Blaskie | Reply

5 stars
OMG! What a beautiful bread! This is perfect for gift giving!This definitely shows love in the making! I will make a few this weekend to share at work and for others I need to gift!

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