Chocolate and Cinnamon Babka Buns

Chocolate and Cinnamon Babka Buns

I am a huge fan of chocolate babka, which is a sweet, yeast dough rolled and wrapped around a chocolate and cinnamon mixture that when cooked, delightfully melts in your mouth. I first learned about babka from the show Seinfeld and I was intrigued. My second babka experience happened on a trip to New York. Passing by a bakery one day, I was awestruck by the rows and rows of muffins, croissants, danishes and breads, but what stood out above everything else was a chocolate babka bun. I didn’t order one, but looking at it I was hooked into the challenge of making my own. I have made this Chocolate and Cinnamon Babka Buns recipe many times and everyone loves it! It’s a great recipe and it never fails to bring a smile to all who participate in devouring it.


for the dough:
½ cup warm 2% milk (120°F)
¼ teaspoon plus ¼ cup
granulated sugar
1 package RapidRise yeast (2¼ tsp.)
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional for dusting
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and soft, plus additional for bowls and muffin tins

for the chocolate filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, softened

for the egg wash:
1 egg
2 teaspoons heavy cream or milk

for the streusel topping:
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts or pecans coarsely chopped


make the dough:
In a bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast and ¼ teaspoon sugar over milk and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add ½ cup flour to yeast mixture and beat at medium speed until combined. Add egg, vanilla, salt and remaining ¼ cup sugar, beat until combined. Reduce speed to low, then mix in remaining 1½ cups flour, ½ cup at a time. Add butter and mix until incorporated, about 5 minutes. Dough will be very sticky and stringy. Butter a large bowl and place dough in it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.

make the filling:
Place chocolate, ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons softened butter in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Generously butter jumbo muffin pan.

make the egg wash:
Whisk together egg and cream until smooth.

make the buns: Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a well floured surface. Roll dough out into an 18″ x 12″ rectangle with short side nearest you. Sprinkle filling over the dough. Brush some of the egg wash along the shortest edge furthest from you. Starting with the edge nearest you, tightly roll the dough back over the filling, roll the dough into a snug log, pinching firmly along egg washed seam to seal.

make the streusel topping:
Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork.

With a sharp knife gently cut off 2-inch segments and place each in the prepared muffin cup. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle topping evenly over the top. Loosely cover pan with buttered plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can check if they are done when it reads 185-190° in the center of each bun. Transfer buns to a rack until cool. Remove from pans and serve.

makes 6 babka buns

These can also be made in regular muffin tins, giving you 12. The cooking time will need to be cut back to 15 to 20 minutes.

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