Royal Chocolate Babka

chocolate babkaOne of the things that stands out in French boulangeries is the lack of yeast cakes. You can find amazing pastries, wonderful breads but less work with yeast in cakes

About two years ago, yeast buds began to appear in Paris, some of them in places where there were Israeli interns. At the same time, the trend also came from the United States (led by Breads Bakery New York) and Paris was suddenly filled with chocolate Babkas.

chocolate babka

As part of this interesting awakening, I tasted a few Babkas in the city and for the most part I was disappointed, they were too dry and not rich enough in filling. 

chocolate babka

So i decided I have to bake my own Chocolate Babka, a recipe that I took with me from Israel when I moved to Paris, exactly 10 years ago. The smell that filled the house brought back memories and the neighbors enjoyed a Royal Chocolate Babka.

chocolate babka

Royal Chocolate Babka
2 round Babka loaves 20 cm

100 grams butter
150 grams milk
550 grams all-purpose flour (sifted)
25 grams fresh yeast
70 grams sugar
2 eggs (M)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

140 grams butter
40 grams cocoa powder
130 grams sugar
100 grams dark chocolate
150 grams praline paste or hazelnut-chocolate paste 

1 egg + 2 tbsp milk – mixed together

100 grams sugar
100 grams water
2 tbsp Cognac
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. On a Bain-Marie or in a microwave melt butter. Pour milk into the bowl with the melted butter and set aside.
2. Combine and mix the flour, yeast, sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla and keep mixing,
3. Stir in the melted butter and the milk, keep mixing and add salt.
4. Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes till it’s smooth and elastic.
5. Remove the dough from the mixer, divide into 4 equal parts, shape each part into a dough ball. Place in a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent dehydration.
6. Leave in fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Dough will not fully double, that’s fine!
7. Prepare the filling: Melt together butter, cocoa powder, sugar and chocolate. After dissolving, add praline or chocolate spread and mix. Cool to room temperature.
8. Roll out the first dough ball into a 28×25 cm rectangle (keep the rest of the dough balls chilled).
9. Spread 1/4 of chocolate filling evenly over the dough rectangle.
10. Roll the dough up with the filling into a tight log and refrigerate for 10 minutes (it will be easier to cut).
11. Reapet with the rest of the dough balls till you have 4 filled logs.
12. Cut the edges of the logs so that you get 4 equal length logs.
13. Gently cut the log in half lenghtwise and lay them cut sides up. You got 8 strips, 4 for each Babka.

Braiding the Babka
14. First option – free style. line a 20-cm round pan with parchment paper, place 4 strips in curved shapes inside the pan.
15. Second option – Royal braiding 🙂 For your comfort, I marked the strips with numbers (see the pictures).

chocolate babka
Place strip 1 on strip 2
Place strip 3 on strip 4
Place strip 5 on strip 6
Place strip 7 on strip 8

chocolate babka

Repeat the operation in the opposite direction:
Place strip 2 on strip 7
Place strip 8 on strip 5
Place strip 6 on strip 3
Place strip 4 on strip 1
Push the remaining edges under the loaf in order to get a round loaf.

chocolate babka

chocolate babka

16. Place the loaf in the center of a 20 cm round pan lined with parchment paper. The cake should not fill the entire pan, it should be left some space for rising.
17. Cover the 2 loaves with a damp tea towel and leave to rise another 1 hour at room temperature.
18. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees
19. Remove towels, and brush the loaves with the egg and milk mixture.
20. Place each loaf on the middle rack of your oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, 
21. While babkas are baking, make syrup: Bring sugar and water, cognac and vanilla to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
22. As soon as the babkas leave the oven, brush the syrup all over each till it becomes glossy and moist.
You can keep the Babkas for a few days at room temperature, I love to eat it very fresh, warm if possible.

chocolate babka



  • 30 August 2020

    Ohhhh wowww Thank you Sharon for your wonderful recipes.
    I love so much Babka and now I have the perfect recipe 🙏
    It’s a very huge challenge 😉
    I love so much your Blog & Instagram

  • 30 August 2020

    Hello! Thank you for sharing this recipe! Can I sub instant yeast for the fresh yeast?

      • 30 August 2020

        Yes, thanks so much!

      • 28 November 2020
        Sandra Palencia

        Been dying to bake this for ages. I am using dried instant yeast. Should I have activated it before adding to the flour?

        Many thanks x

          • 29 November 2020
            Sandra palencia

            Many thanks. Will let you know how it turns out x

  • 30 August 2020

    Thanks a lot Sharon!!! Super excited to try this soon !!!!

  • 30 August 2020
    Stefphan Gambill

    Thank you! I’ll be making/eating this and dreaming of a time when Americans are allowed to Paris again! 🙏🏽🤤

    • 05 September 2020
      Karishma Jain

      Is there any alternative for eggs here

  • 30 August 2020
    Lory fleischer

    A big fan of yours. I always look forward seeing your posts, refined of the fine.

  • 07 October 2020

    Love your recipes ❤

  • 29 October 2020

    היי שרון אהובה! (אני קוראת לך האופה היפה 3>)
    תמיד ידעתי שעוגה בעיצוב כזה נקראת קראנץ’ KRANTZ…
    אם לא, מעניין אותי לדעת מה ההבדל בין קראנץ לבאבקה. תודה!!

      • 29 October 2020

        …הבנתי- בעצם כל עוגת ‘בורג’ (ולא משנה איזה ‘בורג’ בדיוק) שעשויה מבצק שמרים רגיל, היא בבקה
        נשיקות מישראל 🙂

  • 01 November 2020

    Hi Sharon,
    What do you mean by praline paste or chocolate hazelnut paste – something like Nutella?
    Thank you!

      • 10 November 2020
        Simina Milesi

        Brilliant! Thank you! ❤️

  • 16 November 2020
    stamatis pappas

    i love your receipes. sharon. my love from athens greece

  • 26 November 2020
    Siswahju Winoto

    This is the best Babka for me. It’s still moist even on the next day. And since I don’t have hazelnut, I made my own pistachio praline. Yummy!

  • 18 December 2020
    Lucía Navarro Loperena

    I don’t know what happened!!! I followed the exact recipe and first I felt like the dough was too dry, so I added 1 tsp more of milk, and I think it did the work. Then I thought, well maybe this dough is on the drier side and I’m more used to working with wetter doughs, let’s give it a chance.
    I knead by hand because I don’t have an stand mixer and since I started kneading it felt really stiff. I kept kneading and the stiffness just didn’t go away! I kneaded like 2 and a half hours, 😭
    I know it’s not the recipe but if you have a some tips it would really help!

  • 18 February 2021

    Amazing babka, thank you for the recipe, it’s the best!

  • 28 March 2021
    Michelle Cervone

    Is it OK if the dough stays in the fridge longer than 8 hours? Would 24-48 hours be too much? I would like to make up the dough and bake them later in the week for Easter (after work). Also, how do you wrap this? I am worried plastic will not be appropriate. All the best and thank you for this lovely, well-written recipe.

      • 30 March 2021
        Michelle Cervone

        Thanks. Please disregard my second message. I should have checked first.
        All the best, Michelle

    • 05 April 2021

      What kind of sugar did you use for the filling. ?
      I’ve used white castor sugar ( the soft one) because i thaught it would dissolve better..

      Tried 2 times And its still kind of grainy 🙁

        • 07 May 2021

          I love all your recipes !! with yeast you mean baking powder? and I have almond butter, can I use it instead of the praline?

  • 27 April 2021
    Maxime D

    Hello Sharon !

    Je vois que la recette est faite pour 2 babkas. Est-ce réellement le cas ? Ou est-ce une erreur de votre part ? 🙂

    Merci beaucoup!

  • 04 May 2021

    Hey! Can we freeze the dough instead of refrigerating it so that we can use when we want ?
    Thankyou 🙂

  • 12 July 2021

    Hi Sharon,

    Beautiful recipe, does the dough have to be left for 6 hours, is it possible to make in a smaller time frame.

  • 26 August 2021

    Is it ok to omit the cognac? I don’t have any liquor

  • 06 April 2022

    Hi Sharon!
    I would ask you how much protein must have the flour for this recipe? Thank you 🙂

      • 07 April 2022

        Thank you for your reply! I’m italian and we don’t have all purpose flour, so i think that probably is what we call “Farina 0” and France call type 55?

  • 08 May 2024

    does this spring a lot in the oven? I would like to do this recipe but was thinking of doing half and braiding it more like a challah loaf, wondering if this will impact it adversely versus the thicker round loaf. i can envision it being less moist, coming out kind of flat and hard unless i make it shorter and more stout. wondering if i should just do the whole recipe as one loaf in such case.

      • 12 May 2024

        Hi Sharon, thanks for your response and thank you for the recipe. I halved the recipe and did one braided 4-strand loaf, which ended up about 29cm x 10.5cm post-bake. Some other notes, I made the praliné paste with walnuts, I used instant dry yeast at a 1:2.5 ratio according to your suggestion, added about 1tsp orange zest to the dough for an aromatic touch (perhaps a riff on panettone), kneaded in kitchenaid with dough hook 9 minutes on speed 2, and the “overnight” rest was about 16 hours in the refrigerator. The dough barely rose, was quite stiff and hard when cold and took some work rolling out, but I trusted that is how it is supposed to be! It softened up during the final 1 hour proof and the loaf sprung well during the bake. In all, it came out dangerously good. Thanks again!


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