pumpkin chocolate babka

Pumpkin Chocolate Babka Recipe

Hey everyone, it’s Sierra! Today I have for you a delicious recipe for pumpkin chocolate babka that is perfect for the fall!

I’ve been working on this recipe for almost a month now, and I’m finally ready to share it! Kevin introduced me to babka, and I just knew I had to learn how to make it. To make this recipe my own, I decided to play around with different fillings, eventually settling on a pumpkin spice puree and chocolate ganache filling. If you love pumpkin spice, this pumpkin chocolate babka is the dessert for you! Don’t forget to read the Tips section just before the recipe block to find out how to bake the perfect babka.

pumpkin chocolate babka

What is Babka?

Babka is a cross between a bread and a cake made by braiding rolled-up dough into a loaf. You start by rolling dough into a large thin sheet, spreading a filling (traditionally cinnamon or fruit jam), and then rolling it up to form layers. When Kevin saw me making this, he was surprised by how similar the technique was to making Chinese scallion pancakes. The rolled-up dough is then braided to fit into a loaf pan.

The way the dough is rolled and braided is what creates the amazing patterns inside the babka when you cut it open.

pumpkin chocolate babka

Recently, it has become common to add a streusel on top of the babka for additional flavor and texture. For this recipe, I made a pumpkin spice streusel to bring even more amazing pumpkin flavors to this babka.

pumpkin chocolate babka

What’s in the Filling?

Traditionally, babka was filled with cinnamon or fruit jam, but nowadays, there are a lot of popular fillings, ranging from chocolate and Nutella to apples. For my pumpkin babka recipe, I decided to do a pumpkin spice puree and chocolate ganache filling.

This was inspired by my love for pumpkin as one of my favorite fall flavors (I mean, who doesn’t love fall and pumpkin together?), and I wanted to create a recipe where it was highlighted. The puree is very simple, since you can easily find canned pumpkin puree at any grocery store, and I just combined it with sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. The pumpkin puree filling by itself would not have yielded these beautiful swirls inside the babka, but combined with the ganache, it both looks and tastes amazing!

pumpkin chocolate babka


As I made many iterations of this pumpkin chocolate babka, I learned a lot of lessons along the way. Here are some helpful tips so you can get it perfect the first time!

  • It’s important to use room temperature eggs and butter. The right temperature will make a dough that’s not too sticky or too dry. If you don’t have room temperature ingredients, you can soak the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes. For the butter, the best way is to microwave for 10 seconds then let it sit to become softer throughout since the microwave will soften only the outside.
  • If you have a stand mixer, use it! It will make your life a lot easier than doing it by hand or with a hand mixer. Make sure to use the dough hook!
  • If you live in a cool environment, you can let the dough rise in the oven with the oven light on. Depending on how strong your oven light is, it could take 2 hours or more for the dough to double in size.
  • On the refrigeration step, you can refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours, but you should refrigerate for at least a minimum of 4 hours. To save time, make the filling during this time.
  • After the dough is rolled into a coil with the filling inside, be sure to place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes! It will make the following steps much easier and ultimately result in a more aesthetic babka.

Let’s get started on this amazing pumpkin chocolate babka!

pumpkin chocolate babka

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Pumpkin Chocolate Babka

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sierra Park Course: DessertCuisine: JewishDifficulty: Intermediate


Prep time




Baking time



This pumpkin chocolate babka brings an exciting new twist (get it?) to this Jewish bread. Filled with decadent chocolate ganache and pumpkin spice puree, this delicious dessert will get you in the fall spirit!


  • Bread Dough
  • 1/2 cup milk (60g)

  • 3 g yeast (half a packet)

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (260g)

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 2 yolks, at room temperature

  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature (70g)

  • Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream (90g)

  • 9 tablespoons dark chocolate (135g)

  • Pumpkin Filling
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

  • Cinnamon Streusel
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (42g)

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (45g)

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Chopped pecans (optional)

  • Syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water (60g)

  • 1/4 cup sugar (48g)

  • Equipment
  • Mixing bowls

  • Stand mixer (optional)

  • Small pot

  • Rolling pin

  • 1 lb loaf pan


  • Warm up the milk in the microwave. Let it cool for a minute or so until it’s warm (not hot). Add the yeast and whisk gently. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, until it starts bubblingpumpkin chocolate babka milk and yeast
  • In the meantime, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon powder, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg and yolks together
  • Mix the vanilla extract, egg mixture, and the milk with yeast into the dry ingredients until there are no dry particles in the mixture pumpkin chocolate babka dry ingredients egg and milk
  • Cut the butter into 2-inch cubes, and add incrementally, 1/3 of the total butter at a time. Make sure all the butter has been incorporated before adding the next batch. This step will be easier if the butter is fully at room temperaturepumpkin chocolate babka dough with butter
  • By the time all the butter has been fully incorporated, the dough should come together without sticking to the side of the bowl. If it’s sticking too much, incorporate 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it is no longer sticking. Butter all sides of a medium-large sized clean bowl and place the dough in itpumpkin chocolate babka dough
  • Cover it with a kitchen cloth and let it proof for 1-2 hours, until it doubles in size. If you live in a cool environment, proof the dough in your oven by turning the oven light on and closing the door
  • After the dough has doubled in size, press on the dough gently with your hands to release the air in it. Refrigerate covered with the kitchen cloth for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hourspumpkin chocolate babka proofed
  • Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • In the meantime, prepare the chocolate ganache filling. In a bowl, add dark chocolate, chopped into the size of chocolate chips. Heat up the heavy cream in a small pot. Whisk gently time to time, until the heavy cream starts to bubble.
  • Take it off the heat immediately and pour into the bowl of chocolate. Let it sit covered for 30 seconds and mix well until there are no obvious chocolate pieces left. Let it cool to room temperature. The filling can be made a day before, but make sure the ganache comes to room temperature before using in the doughpumpkin chocolate babka cream and chocolatepumpkin chocolate babka ganache
  • Pumpkin Filling
  • In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, dark brown sugar, cinnamon powder, and pumpkin spice until evenly mixed. Set it aside. The filling can be made a day before, but make sure it comes to room temperature before using in the doughpumpkin chocolate babka pumpkin puree
  • Assembling the Dough
  • Take the dough out from the fridge and place it on a floured workspace. With a rolling pin, roll it out into a 10-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Spread half of the chocolate filling evenly to cover the entire doughpumpkin chocolate babka dough rolledpumpkin chocolate babka ganache layer
  • Spread the pumpkin filling on top of the chocolate layerpumpkin chocolate babka pumpkin layer
  • Finally, evenly cover the pumpkin layer with the rest of the chocolate filling. It’s okay if the pumpkin layer starts to get mixed into the chocolate layerspumpkin chocolate babka ganache layer 2
  • Using one of the long edges, roll the dough gently into a coil. Place the coil into the freezer for 10 minutes, bending it in a U shape if needed. This will make the next few steps much easierpumpkin chocolate babka dough coil
  • In the meantime, line the loaf pan with parchment paper. After freezing briefly, bring the roll back to the workspace and straighten it out so that the seam faces upward. With a pastry cutter or knife, cut the dough in half lengthwisepumpkin chocolate babka dough cut in half
  • Place each half face up. Cross the two halves in the middle (forming an X shape). Braid the two halves by twisting them together pumpkin chocolate babka dough braid startpumpkin chocolate babka dough braided
  • By now, you have an intricate braid with layers of chocolate facing upward. With the pastry cutter, cut right in the middle of the braid into two equal halves of the same length. This length should approximately match the length of the loaf panpumpkin chocolate babka braid halved
  • Place one braid on top of the other, and cross the middle. Gently braid, putting one side underneath the otherpumpkin chocolate babka final braid
  • Gently place the babka dough in the loaf pan, making sure all of the dough is completely inside the pan. Proof for another 50 minutes (the size shouldn’t double this time but it should look puffed up)pumpkin chocolate babka in loaf pan
  • Cinnamon Streusel
  • In the meantime, melt the butter in a small bowl. Add flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix together. Optionally, chop pecans and add to the mixture as wellpumpkin chocolate babka streusel
  • Syrup (optional)
  • Add water and sugar in a pot. Heat up in medium low heat until the sugar dissolves and simmers. Take it off the heat
  • Bake the Babka
  • After proofing, preheat the oven to 350°F. Just before going into the oven, crumble the streusel onto the babka, making sure the entire top surface is coveredpumpkin chocolate babka pre bake
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean in the middle (it’s okay if there’s chocolate on the toothpick). After the babka is done, you can poke holes all over the babka immediately and pour the syrup over the surface. This will make your babka more moist and delicious
  • Let it cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in the fridge for up to a week

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This pumpkin chocolate babka brings an exciting new twist (get it?) to this traditionally Jewish bread. Filled with decadent chocolate babka and pumpkin spice puree, this delicious dessert will get you in the fall spirit!

Like this recipe? Don’t forget to rate and share it with your friends!

One Comment

  1. Wow. This pumpkin chocolate babka looks amazing! I am pinning to try soon!

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