Move Over, Cinnamon Babka. This One’s Got Pumpkin Spice.

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

Babka is the perfect show-stopper for breakfast, dessert, or any other occasion. With its glossy top and beautiful swirls, it’s sure to make a statement at your next brunch or afternoon tea or dinner party. Instead of the traditional chocolate or cinnamon filling, you’ll get spiced pumpkin butter instead for a seasonal treat. Plus, you can use leftover babka to make delicious French toast, bread pudding, or other delicious breads.

What is Babka?
A sweet, enriched, yeast bread that’s rolled out and filled with a sweet filling. It’s then twisted into a loaf and baked with a sweet syrup on top. Babka is believed to have originated in Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and is still popular in Israeli cuisine today.

Swirling Babka
Babka has become popular on social media in recent years

Simply Recipes / Micah Siva

A Different Take on Babka

Pumpkin spice babka is traditionally filled with rich chocolate or fragrant cinnamon, but this fall-inspired loaf is perfect for anyone who loves pumpkin spice season. This pumpkin spice babka is as good with your morning coffee (maybe a pumpkin spice latte?) as it is with your fall harvest from Thanksgiving through Sukkot (Jewish autumn festival).

Tips for Making Enriched Dough 

  • Read the recipe carefully and give the dough enough time to rise and bake.
  • Use a stand mixer and remember that the addition of butter, eggs and sugar slows down the formation of gluten, so you will need to knead the dough more.
  • For a higher protein content dough and better gluten development, substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Do a “window pane test” to ensure proper kneading. If the dough can be stretched without breaking and light shines through, you’re good to go.
  • Be patient as the dough rises. Enriched doughs often take longer to rise due to the added ingredients.
  • If you’re not sure how to rise the dough, let it rise gradually in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Chill the dough prior to shaping to achieve a clean, well-formed twist.
Simply Recipes / Micah Siva


For The Dough

  • 3 3/4 cups (475g) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, lukewarm (110°F)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or avocado oil), plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the syrup

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make The Dough:

Combine the bread flour and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Add the yeast, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
Pour in lukewarm milk and oil, eggs and vanilla.
Mix on low for 4 to 5 minutes, until a dough forms.
Increase to medium speed and knead until elastic and a ball of dough forms around the dough hook (6 to 8 minutes).
The dough should be tacky but not stick to the sides.
Cover the bowl and let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the gluten to form before adding butter.

2. Add The Butter And Knead:

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and use the stand mixer at medium speed. Add the softened butter 1/2 at a time to the dough, kneading until it is smooth and does not stick to the bowl. This will take 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and knead until it is fully incorporated. Add another 1/2 cup and knead for another 6-8 minutes. (The longer the dough is kneaded, the longer it takes to develop gluten.)

3. Let Rise:

Take the dough out of the bowl and roll it up into a ball. Gently grease the bowl. Put the dough back in the bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rise in the warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled. Then, put it back in the refrigerator and let it rise for another hour or so (total proofing time of 2 1/2 hours).

Chilled dough is much easier to roll out when rolling out your babka.

 4. Make The Filling:

Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy, then add the pumpkin butter mixture, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix until smooth. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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