Bread/ Dessert

Sourdough Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

Sourdough Chocolate Cinnamon Babka is the perfect holiday bread! Swirly and delicious!

I had never actually heard about Babka until Oct 2011 when I hosted the Daring Bakers Challenge to make Povitica! Shelley and her sister Ruth asked if Povitica and Babka were similar. After some research I discovered that they were very similar – a holiday enriched bread made with swirly patterns with Easter European heritage. However, they have different fillings and the swirls are made with completely different techniques. Ever since then, I have been thinking of babka. So when Shelley suggested that we make Babka this month for Sourdough Surprises, I was all for it!

Swirly, Chocolate filled bread - Amazing babka!

Babka, as it turns out, is not nearly as labor intensive as povitica to make, but it is just as fun to roll, twist, and flip your dough around. And it is filled with butter and an unbelievable amount of chocolate. Add a fantastic sourdough tang to it, and you have one heck of a bread. No really, it is so very delicious. This might be one of mu favorite loaves of bread to make ever!

You have GOT to see how the amazing swirls in this Sourdough Chocolate Cinnamon Babka are made!

Sourdough Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

by The Gingered Whisk
Prep Time: 16 hours 35 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
Keywords: bake bread dessert chocolate cinnamon sourdough
Ingredients (1 loaf)

    Sourdough Brioche:

    • 250 g flour
    • 125 g sourdough starter, 100% hydration
    • 15 g sugar
    • 5 g salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 100 g milk
    • 150 g butter, room temperature

    Chocolate Cinnamon Filling:

    • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 4 TBSP butter, room temperature

    Egg Wash:

    • 1 tsp heavy cream
    • 1 egg white


    • 4 TBSP butter, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

    To make the Dough:

    Cut the butter into cubes and set aside.
    In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the flour, starter, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk (do not add the butter yet!) and mix until you form a stiff batter.
    Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
    Mix on medium speed for another 10-15 minutes, until the batter starts to resemble a soft dough, but without the same degree of elasticity.
    Using a rubber spatula, fold/massage/smear in the butter until no lumps remain.
    Place the dough into a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a cool place for 15 hours.

    To Make the Filling:

    In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients (chocolate, butter, cinnamon and sugar) using a fork to evenly mix everything together.
    Remove 2 TBSP of this filling and place it in a separate bowl.

    To Make the Topping:

    In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping with a fork until well mixed. It should be crumbly.


    Generously butter a 9×5 loaf pan.
    Generously sprinkle your work surface with flour and turn the dough out on top (at this point the dough may be very very sticky, and you might need to work a little bit more flour into the dough – this is fine, just be careful to only take the dough a touch past extremely sticky. Keeping your counter and rolling pin well floured helps.
    Roll the dough out into a 16 inch square about 1/8 inch thick.
    Brush the edges with the egg wash.
    Evenly spread the chocolate filling over the dough (keeping the reserved 2 TBSP for later).
    Roll the dough up tight like a jelly roll.
    Pinch the edges together to seal.
    Twist the log of dough 5 or 6 times along the length.
    Brush the top of the roll with egg wash.
    Carefully take the 2 TBSP of chocolate filling and place it on top of the left half of egg roll, pressing them in slightly.
    Fold the right half of the roll over the left half, sealing in the chocolate (think about a 1 slice of bread sandwich).
    Pinch the edges together and fold them under.
    Twist the roll twice and place it into the prepared loaf pan.
    Brush some of the egg wash over the top of the loaf and sprinkle on the topping.
    Preheat the oven to 350F.
    Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
    Bake the loaf 55 minutes.
    Lower the oven temperature to 325F and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until deep golden brown.
    Cool in the pan, on a wire rack.
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    Please stop by and check out the other amazing sourdough babka’s that were made this month, and link up if you have one! 🙂 And if you are interested in seeing what your sourdough starter can make besides bread, why don’t you pop on over to and check us out!

     (slightly adapted from Double Helpings and Martha Stewart)

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  • Reply
    Jessica Kuligowski
    January 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Looks like we all learned quite a bit from this challenege ;-). Yours looks nice and yummy!

  • Reply
    shelley c.
    January 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    That looks so decadently ooey, gooey chocolatey and delicious!! I wish I Could taste it through the screen 🙂

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I remember your povitica, Jenni, and thought about shaping it the same way. Yours looks fantastic! I really liked this challenge 🙂

  • Reply
    PsychoTwin (Kelster)
    January 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Look at all that chocolate!! Now I need another slice of mine.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    So chocolatey! Now I desperately wish I still had some babka left 🙁

  • Reply
    Renee Goerger
    January 20, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Wow does this look incredible!

  • Reply
    Robyn Fuoco
    January 20, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    This looks so delicious, what a chock full of chocolate loaf! It's a dessert masquerading as bread!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Yum! Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Looks Lovely! Yum!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    I was a little bit intimidated by the challenge this month, but very glad I ended up doing it. Great choice! Also – I love the look of your blog. So cute!

  • Reply
    Lynn Huntley
    January 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    I had to go out of town, (unexpected) so I wasn't able to participate in this months challenge:( I am looking forward to next months challenge….so bring it on!! Looks like everyone did a super job and I'm so jealous! I bet they all tasted fantastic!! See you next time~

  • Reply
    January 21, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    That povitica was really labor intensive. Babka felt easy by comparison! But really, can you ever go wrong with chocolate swirled bread??

  • Reply
    Domestic Bella
    January 24, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    oh em gee. This looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I just died..this babka looks so gooey, flaky and wonderful! I WILL get a SD starter going at some point in 2013..I'm dying to play!

  • Reply
    Trésors de famille
    April 13, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    First time in my life I cook a babka. I chose your version because it looked so yummy on your pictures. The result is fantastic. Thank you, thank you…. all my family will go crazy when they'll taste it. I love using my sourdough with different recipe and this one is a big success!!! So buttery and light at the same time. Besides learning what was a babka, I learned that I could leave my dough in the fridge for proofing. I didn't know that.

  • Reply
    Shira K
    July 15, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    I am new to sourdough baking so pardon my ignorance, but is the 125g of starter "fed" or "unfed"? Thanks. This looks delish!!

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