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apple cinnamon babka on parchment paper on top of a round wood cutting board

Apple Cinnamon Babka

Tara Kringlen
Fall flavors abound in this swirly apple cinnamon babka. A rich brioche dough gets slathered in apple butter and cinnamon sugar and then is rolled, sliced and braided into this beautiful babka.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Eastern European
Servings 20 slices (from 2 loaves)
Calories 274 kcal


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 tsp
  • 1 cup whole milk warmed to about 100-110 degrees
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 tablespoon unsalted butter very soft and cubed

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon

Apple Butter Filling

  • 1 ½ cups purchased apple butter

Sugar Syrup

  • cup sugar
  • cup water


Babka Dough and Assembly

  • 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 and mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Add the softened butter gradually and mix on medium 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 of the apple butter leaving a small border on one long edge. Then sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar on top, 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 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Immediately after taking it 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.

Cinnamon Sugar

  • Combing the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix until combined.

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.


  • 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.


Calories: 274kcal
Keyword apple cinnamon, babka, brioche dough, cinnamon babka, rich dough, yeast bread
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