• Babka, also known as bobka, is a Ukrainian, leavened sweet bread made using a sweet dough, often containing cinnamon and raisins, and traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday.

    Recipe and styling by Leila Saffarian

    Photograph by Dylan Swart

    Cinnamon babka

    Serves: 6 - 8
    Cooking Time: 4 hrs 45 mins



    • 200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
    • 60ml (¼ cup) cake flour
    • 10ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
    • pinch of salt
    • 25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 egg white
    • DOUGH

    • 125ml (½ cup) milk, heated
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
    • 240g (2 cups) cake flour
    • 50g (¼ cup) sugar
    • 12,5ml (2½ tsp) instant yeast
    • pinch of salt
    • 100g unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten



    For the filling, combine the ingredients in a bowl and reserve 15ml (1 tbsp).


    For the dough, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.


    Using a food processor fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of the mixer. Slowly add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed and add the butter, a cube at a time, until incorporated.


    Mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave until slightly risen, about 1 hour.


    Place the dough in the fridge until firm and doubled in size, 1 hour.


    Grease a 20cm round springform cake tin. Punch down the dough and roll out on a floured work surface to a 50 x 35cm rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, except the reserved 15ml (1 tbsp). Roll the dough up lengthways and coil into a circular shape in the prepared tin.


    Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to double in size, 1 hour.


    Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining filling. Bake in a preheated 200°C oven until the bread is golden and cooked through, 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 2 hours.


    For a loaf shape, simply place dough in a loaf tin. Before rolling, take a small round of dough, roll out and use a knife or cookie cutter to cut decorative shapes/leaves.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com