Vegan Mofo: Chocolate Cinnamon Babka

I was uncertain how the babka would turn out, but ah, perfection!

I remember watching an episode of Seinfeld where an entire episode was dedicated to the mishaps associated with Jerry and Elaine just, just missing the last chocolate babka available at a New York pastry shop. Babka? I had never heard of such a delicacy! Bread and chocolate? I so wanted it!

I searched for babka recipes and they all seemed super eggy. To me, anything involving egg yolks seems way too intimidating to try to de-egg. So, when Vegan Mofo stepped into my life, I finally had freaking good reason to give it a go! I wanted to challenge myself to veganize a recipe that seemed, at least to me, unveganize-able. There are a few babka recipes, like Vegan Dad's, that have already been veganized, but I'm stubborn and needed to chart my own course into babka waters.

The top chocolate roll exploded, but it all worked out in the end.

If you are unfamiliar with babkas, here's a little snippet from Wikipedia:

"...Babka is associated with the Eastern European Jewish tradition. This babka is made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough and is typically baked in a high loaf pan. Instead of a fruit filling the dough contains cinnamon or chocolate. The babka is usually topped with streusel. A similar cake called a kokosh is also popular in Jewish bakeries. Kokosh also comes in chocolate and cinnamon varieties, but it is lower and longer than babka, is not twisted, and not topped with streusel."

Dough was to fragile and thin. The chocolate just ripped through it. Doesn't look so pretty, huh?

I used this recipe from Epicurious with the following changes:

  • Egg and Egg Yolk: I used 6 ounces of vegan coconut greek yogurt. I really think it needed to be about 4 ounces though. And I used 1 egg replacer of Ener-G. I used 1 TB of powder instead of 2 tsp.
  • Milk: Coconut milk from a carton. This is also what I used as the egg wash.
  • Flour: I'm not sure if I miscalculated, but the dough seemed too wet. It was very hard to roll. I think adding another 1/2 cup of flour to the recipe would help it hold up better. But again, I may have miscalculated.
  • Butter: Earth Balance buttery sticks!
  • Cinnamon: After I sprinkled the sugar on, I sprinkled some cinnamon on too!

Notes: The dough should be more wet than bread dough, but not too wet. In the final rolling, I could not faltten it with a rolling pin and it ended up being very hard to twist into a figure 8 (my chocolate just kept ripping through the fragile dough). And on that note, I would shave the chocolate to help avoid that problem. Keep everything floured as much as possible when you are handling the dough!

Oh my little babka! Look how swirly and buttery you are!

The end results were a nicely flavored, never-miss-the-eggs, cakey yet dense, buttery delicacy. Would I make it again? Maybe... seriously, it was tons of work. But if you like a challenge, go for it. I think in the future, I might try a cheater version with prepared bread dough and using the same rolling/filling technique. It wouldn't be the same, but would probably involve a whole lot less swearing and cursing!


  1. Babka? Fuck yeah. I could nosh on some babka right about now.

  2. As soon as you said babka I pictured that episode, "you can't beat a babka!"

  3. Wow! I've never heard of babka, but I LOVE bread and chocolate so I'm sure that's amazing!!

  4. I love that episode! My friend and I searched high and low for a chocolate babka after seeing it, with tasty success but it wasn't vegan. This looks great.

  5. You are one brave baker! And it looks like all your efforts paid off into one tasty concoction :)

    And you introduced me to babka, so go you.

  6. I love chocolate and cinnamon together. This looks absolutely wonderful, too!


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