Chocolate Babka Bread

Lindt EXCELLENCE is the perfect addition to this delicious sweet bread recipe.

The rich history of this brioche-like cake begins in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Poland – and now it’s a staple on brunch menus across North America. This version incorporates Lindt EXCELLENCE Madagascar Dark Chocolate, walnuts and cinnamon for the ultimate in baked decadence. Here’s how to make it.

Chocolatier Tip: This recipe is best served warm, to bring out the flavour of the chocolate. If you like your babka richer, simply add more chocolate.

30 minutes
12 people


  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup (150mL) milk, warmed
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature, divided
  • 1/4 cup (50g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp 35% whipping cream
  • 1 bar (100g) Lindt EXCELLENCE Madagascar Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (40g) walnut halves (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (65g) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Step 1.

MAKES 2 LOAVES BABKA DOUGH: In bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, 1 tsp sugar and yeast; let stand for 8 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Add milk, 2 eggs and melted butter. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, remaining sugar and salt; sprinkle over egg mixture in mixing bowl.

Step 2.

Using dough hook attachment, mix at low speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl; mix at medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic (dough should be tacky but not sticky).

Step 3.

Transfer to a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 60 to 70 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Step 4.

FILLING: While the dough is rising, freeze chocolate for 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine chocolate, walnuts (if using), sugar and cinnamon; pulse until coarsely ground. Stir into softened butter until well combined.

Step 5.

Grease two 9-by-5-inch (2L) loaf pans. Line with enough parchment to leave overhang at sides.

Step 6.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 15-by-11-inch (38-by-28-cm) rectangle. Using offset spatula or back of spoon, spread filling evenly over dough, leaving 1/2-inch (1cm) border all around. Starting at one long end, roll up tightly into log; cut in half lengthwise to make two logs.

Step 7.

Working with one log at a time, cut in half lengthwise and arrange halves, cut side up, next to each other. Pinch top ends together, then twist halves tightly around each other to create decorative braid (try to keep the cut side facing out to expose layers of dough and filling to create an attractive effect). Repeat with second log. Transfer each braid to prepared loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 35 to 40 minutes or until level with top of pan.

Step 8.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk remaining egg with cream; brush generously over loaves. Bake in centre of oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and instant-read thermometer registers internal temperature of 195°F (90°C) when inserted into centre. Transfer to rack; let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.


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