Prep 12 h
Cook 1h : 20m


    For the dough 

    1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 tsp)

    3 tbsp granulated sugar

    2/3 cup milk

    5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (or vegetable oil)

    1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

    2 ½ - 3 cups all-purpose flour (or as per requirement)

    1 tsp kosher salt

    4 egg yolks


    For the filling

    1 cup white sugar

    1 cup crushed walnuts (it should resemble uncooked polenta)

    3 tsp ground cinnamon

    ¼ cup finely grated orange peel

    ½ tsp kosher salt (iodine-free salt)

    2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

    1 egg white, beaten until a meringue consistency.

    Raisins (optional)


    For the Streusel (the crumbly bits on top)

    ¼ cup caster sugar

    ¼ cup all-purpose flour

    2 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

    ¼ tsp salt

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Ingredient Substitution Guide


For the filling: Fold all ingredients except the grated orange in a mixing bowl until smooth. Set aside

For the streusel: Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until they have a crumbly consistency.

For the dough:

1. Activate the yeast by mixing 1 teaspoon of sugar, yeast and 1 cup of lukewarm water. Allow it to rest until it froths.

2. In the meantime, place flour, sugar, in a an electric mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture when ready. Mix with a dough hook and on low speed until well combined. Add eggs and water, and mix on medium speed until dough comes together. This should take approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add salt, then butter or oil, and mix until incorporated. Continue mixing until dough is smooth, elastic, and forms a ball.

4. Place dough in a large bowl. Brush it with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in the fridge for at least half a day or overnight.

 5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle. Roll it very finely. Make it no thicker than 1 cm.

6. Position dough so that a long side is closest to you. Spread the cinnamon filling over the rectangle. Sprinkle orange rind, and raisins, if using.

7. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade (a log), starting from the long side closest to you and ending at the other long end.

8. Turn it over, ensure that the seam is on the bottom and you have a smooth surface on top.

9. Cut along the centre of the long roll. It should fall away to reveal layers.

When you cut along the centre of the long roll, it should fall away to reveal layers. Image Credit: GN/Stefan Lindeque

10. Criss-cross the layers in the middle and then twist over them.

11. Once twisted, fold into a round and the place in a baking tin. Allow to rise for at least two hours.

Babka dough twisted and folded in round, ready to bake Image Credit: GN/Stefan Lindeque

12. Then brush with egg white and sprinkle with streusel. Bake at 175⁰C for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Babka dough glazed with an egg wash and sprinkled with streusel Image Credit: GN/Stefan Lindeque
Freshly baked babka hot out of the oven Image Credit: GN/Stefan Lindeque

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Last updated on November 28, 2021 at 17:55