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loaf of babka swirled with blueberries

Blueberry Cream Cheese Babka

Tara Kringlen
Buttery brioche dough rolled up with sweetened cream cheese and homemade blueberry preserves.
4.74 from 26 votes
Prep Time 55 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Eastern European
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 354 kcal

Ingredients
  

Blueberry preserves

  • 3 cups blueberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup sugar

Babka Dough

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • cup sugar + 1 teaspoon sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast about 2 ¼ teaspoon
  • 1 cup milk warmed to about 100-110 degrees
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 tablespoon unsalted butter very soft and cubed

Sugar Syrup

  • cup sugar
  • cup water

Instructions
 

Blueberry Preserves

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened and crushing some of the blueberries with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate the preserves while the dough rises.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer until combined. Set aside until ready to fill the dough.

Babka Dough

  • Whisk together flour, ⅓ cup of sugar and salt in a bowl. Warm milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds or until a thermometer reads 100 to 110 degrees. Add the milk and 1 teaspoon sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir to combine. Let stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to foam.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until combined and then increase speed to medium low and mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Add the softened butter by the tablespoon and mix on medium low about 4 minutes until butter is incorporated and dough comes together but is sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the dough is about doubled (or let rise in the refrigerator overnight). Punch down the dough and scrape out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 halves and shape into a rectangle.
  • Starting with one disc, roll the dough out on a floured surface to a 12 x 16 rectangle. Spread with half the cream cheese mixture leaving a small border on one long edge. Then spread with half the blueberry preserves again leaving a border on a long edge.
  • Starting with the long side without the border, roll the dough into a tight log. If the dough is very warm or sticky, you can refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with (if you didn't refrigerate overnight).
  • Trim off about an inch from each side. Slice the dough down the middle lengthwise into 2 long halves with the layers exposed. Place the end of one of the halves over the top of the other half, pressing together lightly (see pictures above) and then braid the 2 pieces over one another to the bottom, again pressing together lightly. Repeat the last 2 steps with the other dough disc.
  • Line two, 9 x 5 loaf pans with parchment paper leaving an overhang on the long sides. Carefully place the braided dough into each loaf pan, squeezing the ends slightly to fit if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Immediately after taking out of the oven, brush each loaf with half the sugar syrup, using it all.
  • Cool a few minutes in the loaf pan and then transfer the babka using the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Syrup

  • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir, cooking on medium high until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Notes

  • Make the blueberry preserves first and be sure to refrigerate them so they have enough time to thicken up!
  • After cooling the babka completely, wrap in plastic wrap or foil. It will keep for about 3 days on the counter or up to 5 refrigerated.
  • Freeze the babka loaf by wrapping in a layer of plastic wrap, then foil and then placing in a zip-top bag. The babka will keep for 1-2 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 
  • To make the dough over 2 days, instead of the first rise, place it into the refrigerator overnight and then proceed with the recipe. 
  • You can use purchased blueberry preserves instead of the homemade preserve if you need to save time!

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal
Keyword babka, blueberry, cream cheese frosting
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