Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Chocolate Babka with Mascarpone

Ditte Isager

Yield: Makes 1 babka


Babka is an Old World Jewish favorite that has become an almost mythical bakery item because it is so difficult to find these days. Daniel Leader’s grandmother was a great baker who regularly turned out rugelach, mandelbrot, macaroons, and honey cake. She made a fabulous chocolate babka that he remembers with a mixture of nostalgia and regret, since he enjoyed it so much but never asked her to teach him how to make it. When he finally got around to coming up with his own babka recipe, he tried to make it just as wonderfully chocolatey and crumbly as hers. Babka is often made with cream cheese, but Daniel likes mascarpone for the hint of nutty flavor that it gives to the dough, but you may use regular cream cheese in its place if it’s more convenient.

This recipe is excerpted from Simply Great Breads.



  • 2⁄3 cup room temperature milk (70°F to 78°F)
  • 2 Tbs. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 tsp. fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 20 oz. (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. instant yeast
  • 5 oz. (1-1⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into bits
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream


  • Combine the milk, mascarpone cheese, 1⁄2 cup of the sugar, eggs, 1 of the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Add the flour and yeast and stir a few times until a rough dough forms. Mix on low speed for a few minutes with the dough hook.
  • With the mixer running, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until it is all incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead until it comes together in a sticky but cohesive mass, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, until it is all incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead until it comes together in a sticky but cohesive mass, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Combine the chocolate and the remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Deflate the dough by gently pressing down on it with your palms. Turn it onto a lightly floured countertop and roll it into a rough 16 by 8-inch rectangle, with the long side facing you.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate and sugar mixture over the dough. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough into a snug log. Pinch the outside edges to seal.
  • Fold the log in half and twist it once in the center (giving it a shape like an awareness ribbon). Gently place the folded and twisted dough into the prepared pan. Lightly drape with plastic wrap and let rise until increased in volume by 50 percent, 1 to 2 hours (alter-natively, refrigerate the dough overnight and bring to room temperature before letting it rise and baking it).
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly beat the cream and the remaining egg yolk together in a small bowl. Brush the top of the babka with the egg wash. Bake until the top of the babka is deep golden brown and baked through, about 40 minutes. Overturn the loaf onto a wire rack, and re-invert. Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Chocolate Babka will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 1 month. To defrost, place on the countertop for several hours, and reheat in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes before serving.


Best-quality European chocolate, such as Callebaut, is essential for this babka.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • User avater
    AnaDMorrow | 04/26/2019

    Woo what a great dish. Easily made dish.

  • leduffy | 09/09/2018

    As the other commenter mentioned, the picture doesn’t match the instructions. Also, 40 min was no where near enough time to fully bake this loaf. I would have appreciated a little more guidance on checking doneness other than a time range and color. I didn’t know the middle was raw until I cut into it after letting it cool completely as instructed. Now what? Ugh. I did eat the ends which were fully baked. It was a bit bland but not bad.

  • kcherry6 | 01/06/2012

    I made quite a few of these loaves to give away this holiday season, and I have gotten great feedback all the way around! Everything about this recipe worked. It does look like they shaped the loaf in the picture differently than the instructions though (you end up with a double swirl by following the instructions) and I think it looks even better than the one pictured. This is definitely a keeper.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial