Raspberry Cream Cheese Babka

Servings: 12 Difficulty: Moderate Prep time: 2 hours
Bake time: 45 minutes Oven Temp: 375 and 335

Who does not love Middle Eastern breads? This delectable, one-tin wonder puts a playful twist of fresh spring fruit into a traditionally chocolate flavored sweet bread.  A babka is an enriched brioche that is rolled with filling, split, twisted and baked in a tin.  It is fantastic with coffee or tea for breakfast or dessert.

Although I reviewed and tested several babka recipes, the inspiration and guidance for my dough recipe came primarily from Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Babka recipe found at this link: Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Babka.

  • 1 ¾ cups (275 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 package instant yeast (not dry-active yeast)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon (25 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and diced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup raspberry fruit spread (fruit spread has more fruit and less sugar)
  • Tip flour into a stand mixer.  Add sugar, salt and yeast—each to their own side of the bowl.
  • In a separate dish, beat two eggs and add milk to the egg mixture.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and add in the egg mixture.
  • Attach the dough hook and beat for about two minutes on medium-low. The dough will be fairly stiff but form a cohesive ball. 
  • After two minutes, increase the speed of the mixer and add the softened butter, one cube at a time.  If the dough separates from itself, pause the mixer to incorporate all the butter and dough together by hand for a few seconds before proceeding to mix again.
  • Once all the butter is incorporated, beat the dough for an extra 5 minutes on medium or medium-high.  This should help the dough become an elastic ball as the gluten activates.  (Gluten is hampered by fats in egg, milk and butter, which makes these enriched doughs require more work and patience).  Ultimately, when the dough is stretched, it should be translucent rather than tear apart–otherwise known as the window pane test.
  • When the dough is elastic, smooth and cohesive, roll it out onto a floured surface with dimensions roughly 13×16 inches.  More importantly, make sure your dough is not rolled out so thin that it could easily tear.
  • In a clean mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium-high for a few minutes until it is completely smooth.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese.
  • Generously lather the sweetened cream cheese on the babka dough.
  • Add the raspberry fruit spread without blending it too much into the cream cheese.  Not over-blending the cream cheese and fruit spread will preserve more intense color and distinct flavor within the babka.
  • Roll the dough into a log. Roll it fairly tight without squishing out the filling and trim the ends.
  • Use a knife, pizza cutter or pastry scraper to cut the log in half lengthwise, leaving the two halves connected at the top (like a pair of pants).
  • Twist the log halves (pant legs…lol) over one another. Try not to stretch the dough out too long as you twist them.
  • Prepare the tin. Grease a 9×5 baking tin, and place parchment paper on the bottom, extended over the sides.
  • Place the babka in the tin and cover with a clean plastic bag.  Let the babka prove for one-and-a-half hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 335 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. If the top browns too quickly, cover it with foil, but the lower temperature of 335 degrees should prevent this.

Let the babka cool for a bit before slicing into it 😉 Enjoy! 

Thanks for reading!!

The first attempt had
“raw dough” in the middle, and we liked it anyway…sorry Mr. Hollywood!

Coming Soon: Bonus Babka Flavors…

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