Cinnamon Apple Babka

Cinnamon Apple Babka is a traditional babka cake with a cinnamony apple filling. This popular Eastern European treat can be found in bakeries across the United States and Canada

The “babka flavors” is a sweet, cinnamon-spiced cake that has been made in Eastern Europe since the 16th century. It’s made with an enriched dough and can be filled with fruit or chocolate.

Last Friday, I posted a summary of my incredible trip to Israel, and now I’m sharing something just as exciting: Uri Scheft’s delicious cinnamon apple babka recipe. The whole recipe (along with a slew of other fantastic bread recipes:)) can be found in his book, Breaking Breads. But today, we’re celebrating the arrival of Fall with a cinnamon apple babka that will fulfill all of your fall fantasies.

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What exactly is babka?

This delectable delight, pronounced ‘Bahb-kah,’ is a thick bread with a chocolate or cinnamon sugar filling…or a cinnamon apple filling if you’re loving all the Fall tastes like we are. Babka is an Eastern European pastry that has long been a favorite of Jewish bakers. However, in recent years, it has grown in popularity in the United States, and can now be found at most bakeries and grocery shops throughout the Christmas season.

Although the babka is relatively dry, the filling is usually fairly melty and gooey—especially when served fresh from the oven! It is really a one-of-a-kind cake-like bread, and I strongly advise you to try it at least once in your life to see what all the hype is about. If apples aren’t your thing, try this equally delectable cinnamon chocolate babka instead.

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What is the best way to make cinnamon apple babka?

Uri Scheft, the master of bread making, explains how to make a gorgeous, twisting babka that tastes like it came directly from the bakery in this cinnamon apple babka recipe. The apple cinnamon filling is what spicy, buttery, caramel fantasies are made of, and his babka dough is infallible. It’s the ideal accompaniment to the delicate dough.

  1. Make that your yeast is still alive and well by dissolving it in warm milk. The yeast should continue to bubble and froth, indicating that it is still active. While this step isn’t required, I usually feel better if I double-check.
  2. Wait patiently! Listen, I’m not the most patient person I know (particularly when it comes to desserts), but it’s critical to allow your dough to prove and activate the yeast. Make no attempt to hurry any of the processes!
  3. Work smart: Making a handmade babka isn’t a fast procedure, so prepare ahead of time where you can. You can prepare the apple filling up to 5 days ahead of time, and you can always make your dough ahead of time and freeze it so you always have a babka on hand.

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Don’t be put off by the lengthy instructions for the apple babka you’re going to make. The instructions are lengthy solely because they are comprehensive. There’s no room for speculation here.

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How do you keep cinnamon apple babka fresh?

We consumed ours in about 10 minutes, so I’m not sure whether this is an issue, but if you do have some self-control, you can preserve this babka covered at ambient temperature or in the fridge for up to three days. When you want a piece, just reheat in the oven or microwave.

Cinnamon apple babka is best served warm and fresh, and this recipe produces two tiny loaves; if you don’t think you’ll finish both, you may freeze the prepared dough for up to three months. Simply take it out of the fridge the night before to thaw, prove, and bake!

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This cinnamon apple babka is for you if you’re searching for a fun activity, want to release tension by kneading bread (highly advised), or want to make something that’s as tasty as it is gorgeous.

Good baking and a happy Sunday!

XX

Print

  • Uri Scheft is the author of this piece.
  • Time to Prepare: 24 hours
  • Time to prepare: 25 minutes
  • Time allotted: 24 hours and 25 minutes
  • In a 9 x 5 standard loaf pan, make 2 babkas. 1x
  • Uri Scheft is the author of this piece.
  • Time to Prepare: 24 hours
  • Time to prepare: 25 minutes
  • Time allotted: 24 hours and 25 minutes
  • In a 9 x 5 standard loaf pan, make 2 babkas. 1x

Scale:

1x2x3x

  • Uri Scheft is the author of this piece.
  • Time to Prepare: 24 hours
  • Time to prepare: 25 minutes
  • Time allotted: 24 hours and 25 minutes
  • In a 9 x 5 standard loaf pan, make 2 babkas. 1x

Ingredients

for the dough to make the babka

  • vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) room temperature whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) dried active yeast
  • 2 1/4 cup (280 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (220 grams) sifted pastry or cake flour
  • 2 big room-temperature eggs
  • granulated sugar, 1/2 cup (75 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter (80 grams) at room temperature

for the apple cinnamon filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (45 grams)
  • granulated sugar, 1/2 cup (100 grams)
  • 4 peeled golden apples, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, lengthwise halved to reveal seeds
  • cinnamon (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 lemon’s zest
  • 1 lemon’s juice

for the egg wash and the streusel

  • a single huge egg
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 3/4 cup sliced almonds (275 grams)

for the straightforward syrup

  • 1 tablespoon (160 grams) granulated sugar + 3/4 cup
  • water, 1/2 cup (120 grams)

Instructions

for the babka

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the dough hook, whisk the vanilla into the milk. Lightly stir the yeast into the milk with a fork or your fingertips. Then add the flours, eggs, sugar, salt, and lastly the butter in little pinches in this sequence.
  2. Mix on low speed until the dough is thoroughly incorporated, approximately 2 minutes, pausing the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required, and to remove the dough off the hook as it gathers and break it apart so it combines evenly (it will not be smooth; see photo on page 29). If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until it comes together; if the dough is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour at a time until it comes together. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Stretch and fold the dough: carefully flour your work surface and turn the dough out on top; gently flour the top of the dough as well as the inside of a big mixing bowl. Stretch the top piece of the dough away from you, tearing the dough. Then fold it over the dough in the centre. Repeat the stretch, rip, and fold with a quarter turn of the dough. Continue doing this for approximately 5 minutes, or until you can stretch a tiny piece of dough extremely thinly without it tearing. Then, in a circular motion, press and drag the dough against the work surface with your hands to form a lovely circle of dough. Place the ball in the floured basin, cover with plastic wrap, and leave aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Chill the dough by pressing it into a 1-inch-thick rectangle on a piece of plastic wrap. Before continuing, cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

filling for apples

  1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. After the butter has melted, add the sugar and simmer, stirring periodically, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved and begun to caramelize. Add the apples, cinnamon, and vanilla bean and simmer, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the apples become juicy, their moisture evaporates, and the apples begin to caramelize. Remove the vanilla bean from the apples and toss in the lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl. Set the bowl of apples aside to cool fully (it’s a good idea to chill the apples in the refrigerator for 30 minutes–the apple filling may be kept for up to 5 days).

put the babka together

  • Remove the chilled babka dough from the wrapper and place it on a lightly floured work area. Divide the dough in half, place one half in the refrigerator, and roll the other half into a 5 x 28 inch rectangle with the long side facing you (it should be just short of 1/4 inch thick). Pull the corners together to form a rectangle.
  • Half of the apples should be equally distributed over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border at the bottom, and then roll the dough from the top down into a tight cylinder. Holding one end in each hand, pick up the cylinder and gradually extend it. Slice the cylinder crosswise into two halves using a bread knife. Repeat with the remaining dough piece to make a total of four filled segments.
  • Take two pieces of dough, overlap one over the other to make an X, then twist the ends together like screw threads so that each side of the X has at least two twists. Carry on with the remaining pieces in the same manner.
  • In a loaf pan coated with butter or lined with parchment paper, place each twisted babka. Cover the pans with a dry kitchen towel and put them aside in a warm, draft-free location for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on how warm your room is, or until the dough rises 1 to 2 inches beyond the lip of the pan and is extremely soft and jiggly to the touch.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F once the loaves have proofed.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and salt to make the egg wash. Brush each babka with egg wash before liberally sprinkling almonds on top. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown, lightly tenting them with aluminum foil if they get too dark.
  • Make the simple syrup in the meantime: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring periodically. Turn the heat off and put the syrup aside to cool.
  • Remove the pans from the oven and brush the babkas with the simple syrup while they are still warm. Remove the babkas from the loaf pans after they have totally cooled, slice, and serve.

Notes

* You may alternatively use fresh yeast in the amount of 20 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons).

Watch This Video-

The “cinnamon babka filling” is a sweet and spicy filling that can be used in place of the classic cinnamon sugar topping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What nationality is babka?

A: The answer is Russian.

Who makes Trader Joes cinnamon babka?

A: Trader Joes does not currently make a Babka, but they do have cinnamon rolls.

What is the significance of babka?

A: Babka is a type of cake that originated from Eastern Europe. It is usually made with yeast dough, filled with fruit and nuts.

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