2 ratings

Cinnamon Babka

A holiday loaf baked with love
Cinnamon babka
Courtesy of West of the Loop

Cinnamon babka is decadent and sure to impress dessert bread. This recipe makes enough dough for two loaves, so share with family and friends. 

Recipe courtesy of West of the Loop

Ready in
24 h 30 m
24 h
(prepare time)
30 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


Dough must be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least 8 hours and up to 24.


For the dough

  • 4 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons instant yeast
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 extra large eggs OR 3 large eggs and one egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 Cup raisins (optional)

For the syrup

  • 2/3 Cups water
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • Splash orange blossom water (optional)


For the dough

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and orange zest.

Add the eggs and water and mix on medium speed until the dough begins to come together, about three minutes.

Add the salt and then start adding the butter a small amount at a time.

Continue to beat on medium speed (do not be shy) while gradually adding the butter a few cubes at a time.

Allow the butter to be fully incorporated before adding more.

Occasionally, scrape down the sides with a spatula, and if the sides look greasy, dust them with some flour. The entire process of adding the butter should take around ten minutes. At the end, you should have a smooth, shiny, but not greasy, dough.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray or apply a light coating of oil.

Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24.

The dough will not double in size but will be noticeably risen.

Divide the dough in two equal halves.

Spray two loaf pans with nonstick baking spray.

On a well-floured board using a well-floured pin, roll out one of the dough halves into a rectangle approximately 14x11 inches with the long side closest to you.

Turn the dough and add more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking.

Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with half the melted butter, leaving a one-inch border around the edge.

For the filling

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Sprinkle half the mixture over the melted butter.

If using raisins or chopped nuts, sprinkle a half-cup of them in an even layer over the cinnamon sugar.

Carefully roll the dough up, as tightly as possible, starting at the end closest to you.

Moisten the final edge with a little water and seal the roll together.

Pat the dough into a long, even cylinder. Trim off the ends and set them aside.

Using a serrated knife, cut the cylinder in half length wise. The layers may unravel a bit.

Holding the layers together as best you can. Again, do not worry if the layers fall apart a little. The final product will still be beautiful.

Carefully transfer the twist to one of the prepared loaf pans - a large pastry scraper comes in handy here.

Repeat the process with the second half of the dough.

Brush both loaves with any of the remaining melted butter. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for at least one hour and up to ninety minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes until browned and crusty and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the syrup

While the loaves are baking, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Remove from heat.

If desired, add a splash of orange blossom water for added flavor.

As soon as the loaves come out of the oven, brush them with the sugar syrup.

Pour some of the syrup down the sides of the pans. It may seem like a lot of syrup but try to use most of it.

Allow the loaves in cool in the pans and absorb the syrup before removing them to a rack to finish cooling.

Slice and serve!