Super Easy Vegan Babka Recipe

For those of you who've never had it, babka is a delicious Eastern European Jewish yeast risen cake that is filled with various, traditionally, either cinnamon or chocolate, and then twisted together to make a delicious dessert. If you've never had babka before, think of a fluffy cinnamon bun, except its made into a giant loaf. And sometimes its with chocolate filling instead of cinnamon. Sounds delicious, right?

If you look up babka recipes, though, the long and involved recipe and ingredient process is enough to turn off anyone, especially someone who's never had it before and isn't sure if its worth the effort. And they're heavy on the butter and eggs and dairy, so less frugal and also not vegan or good for people with allergies.

Fortunately, thanks to some advice from friends, I've learned that you can make babka super easily, and it can take as little as only two "ingredients".

The recipe is quite flexible, and even the technique is pretty flexible. No, this recipe is not gluten free. It is vegan though and frugal, and a hit. I made this for my son, Lee, when he wanted a treat, as well as for a recipient of a Secret Santa game we're playing in our community.
I do have a gluten free vegan babka recipe to share with you, but that'll have to be for another day.

Here's how you do it.

Super Easy Vegan Babka Recipe

Basic bread dough
Chocolate spread or other filling

1. If you don't have a good bread recipe that you like to use, here's a decent vegan one, but I'd add sugar to this recipe. I've gotten good enough at making bread that I don't usually follow a recipe at all but just wing it. When I was making the bread dough for this recipe, I threw together yeast, sugar, salt, oil, flour,  and water, and kneaded it till I got a nice dough. Any standard dough recipe would work.

2. Roll out your dough so it is a really wide rectangle and quite thin.

3. Now it's time to fill it. If you have chocolate spread, that's the easiest. To keep this vegan, you need a vegan chocolate spread which I can buy locally super cheaply, and that's what I used this last time. You can also use nutella but that isn't vegan. You can also spread it with oil and then sprinkle on a mix of cinnamon and sugar or cocoa powder and sugar. Feel free to get creative with the fillings. I've seen babka recipes with caramel and pecan filling, or with jam.

4. Now it's time to roll it up. You can get creative here depending on the proportions of your dough, the proportions of your cooking pan, etc. Traditionally you'd roll it up so you have a long snake, and then twist them together and place them in a loaf pan to bake. I didn't have a loaf pan, so I just decided to fold mine over on itself a few times, each time making sure that I wasn't putting two layers together without filling, and if I was, adding filling in between. I also rolled out the dough a few times that was folded over, so the layers got even thinner.

5. If you want to let it rise, you can. I prefer babka more dense, so I don't let it rise before putting it in the oven (but it does rise there), but if you want fluffier, you're more than welcome to let it rise first.

6. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, dpending on the size. It might look like it's done before it really is, because the outside cooks before the inside. If you take it out and cut it up and its still doughy inside, simply return to the oven for more time.

7. Slice up to serve and enjoy!

This was a big hit with everyone I fed it to. And it's super easy. I hope you like it as much as they did!

Ever have babka or anything like it before? What is your favorite babka flavor?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. This looks yummy so I'm really looking forward to the gluten free vegan babka recipe you'll hopefully post another day!

  2. OOOH. Thanks for sharing. A local bakery (here in Canada) recently started baking and selling babka. I had never heard of this treat before. Oh. My. Word.

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