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Delicious Cinnamon Babka is rich, buttery bread with swirling ribbons of cinnamon sugar, topped off with a sweet syrup topping. Tender, soft, and perfectly sweet, this loaf is a welcome treat for any occasion!

Whether it’s the holidays, a special event, or just a lazy morning at home, a warm slice of sweet bread will have everyone coming back for more! Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread, Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Amish Friendship Bread are some of my favorite bread recipes to make at home. They’re simple enough that even novice bakers can conquer making bread from scratch.

A loaf of cinnamon babka sliced so you can see the cinnamon swirls.

Cinnamon Babka Bread Recipe

From the soft, buttery bread to the sweet cinnamon filling and sugary topping, Cinnamon Babka is a recipe that always yields delicious flavor with the most beautiful presentation. This sweet bread recipe originated from Eastern Europe and is a Jewish tradition.

This bread uses a brioche dough that’s rolled out, layered with a cinnamon filling, rolled, sliced, and then braided and baked in a loaf pan. Chocolate babka is another popular braided loaf that you’ll want to try!

Ingredients in Cinnamon Babka Bread

There are three main components to make this cinnamon babka bread recipe. You start with making the dough, then the filling is mixed together and spread over the dough. Finally, right after the bread comes out of the oven, the top is brushed with a simple syrup. Here are all of the ingredients you will need for making this bread. You can find the exact measurements in the recipe card below.

Dough

  • Flour: I used all-purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Sugar: This sweetens the dough, making this bread perfect for breakfast or even dessert!
  • Instant Yeast: This yeast helps the dough to rise and become soft.
  • Eggs: I always like using large eggs in my recipes.
  • Whole Milk: This helps bind the dough together.
  • Salt: The salt enhances all of the ingredients in the recipe.
  • Butter: I used unsalted butter in this recipe.

Filling

  • Dark Brown Sugar: This adds a deliciously sweet, caramelized filling perfect for this cinnamon babka bread.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works great in this part of the recipe too!
  • Salt: The salt brings out the flavors in the filling.
  • Ground Cinnamon: This classic flavor is what makes this bread so delicious!
  • Butter: I use melted, unsalted butter for the filling.

Simple Syrup

  • Sugar: This adds sweetness to the syrup.
  • Water: When you mix this with the sugar, it makes a syrup for the cinnamon babka bread.

How to Make Cinnamon Babka

Like other homemade bread recipes, cinnamon babka does require some preparation and time. However, this bread is easy to make, and the steps are very straightforward. It’s important to remember that the dough does need to proof overnight, so be sure to plan ahead if you’re making this for a special occasion! Here’s how to make it:

Dough

  1. Combine Ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 4 ¼ cups of flour, sugar, and yeast. Add the eggs, warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees Fahrenheit), and salt. Use the dough hook to mix on low speed until it all starts to combine. If the mixture is too wet and won’t come away from the sides of the bowl then you can add in the additional ½ cup of flour.
  2. Mix in Butter: Add the soft butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, letting the dough absorb it before adding more. After mixing in the butter, mix on medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. It will be quite sticky but have a good stretch to it.
  3. Shape and Proof: Lightly oil a large bowl and form the dough into a ball. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it over to coat it in oil. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Filling

  1. Mix the Filling Ingredients: When you are ready to start forming the cinnamon babka bread, prepare the filling by mixing the brown sugar, salt, four, and cinnamon together. Add the melted butter and mix until a paste forms. Set aside.
6 photos showing how to make the dough, twist it and add the filling.

Baking

  1. Prep the Pans: Spray 2 9×5 inch bread pans with baking spray and set aside. You may line the pans with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on either side if desired.
  2. Roll the Dough: Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions. On a floured surface roll half of the dough into a 12×16 inch rectangle.
  3. Add the Filling: Spread half of the cinnamon filling over the rolled dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one short side of the dough.
  4. Roll the Dough: Starting from the short side opposite the border, roll the dough tightly. Pinch the seam once the whole rectangle has been rolled.
  5. Slice and Twist the Dough: Using a large, sharp knife, slice the log in half lengthwise. Set the two halves side-by-side with the cut side facing up. Twist the halves together 3-4 times, pinching the ends together.
  6. Transfer Dough to Pans: Place the twisted dough gently into one of the prepared pans keeping the cut sides of the dough facing up. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the remaining filling.
  7. Let Dough Rise: Place a clean kitchen towel over the loaves and let them rise in a warm place for 1-½ hours.
  8. Bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the loaves are done rising, bake for 40-45 minutes. The top will be golden brown. The internal temperature of the bread should be 185 degrees Fahrenheit.

Simple Syrup

  1. Make the Simple Syrup: While the loaves are in the oven, prepare the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Brush the Syrup on the Cinnamon Babka Bread: Once the loaves come out of the oven immediately brush the tops of them generously with the syrup.
  3. Cool and Serve: Let the loaves cool for 25-30 minutes in the pan before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The top view of cinnamon babka baked in a pan.

Tips for Making the Best Babka

Cinnamon babka bread is one of those homemade bread recipes that everyone enjoys. It bakes up soft, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful every time!

  • Knead: Instead of using a mixer, you can stir the ingredients together and then knead the dough by hand. It will take a bit more effort and a good 10-15 minutes, but the dough will be soft, smooth, and elastic when it is done.
  • Add raisins or pecans: Once you spread the cinnamon filling over the dough, sprinkle some raisins and/or chopped pecans over the dough before rolling it up.  
  • Coat With Simple Syrup: Don’t skip the sweet syrup topping! This not only adds sweetness but it helps to maintain the moisture in the bread and gives it a gorgeous, shiny top.
sliced cinnamon babka bread on parchment paper.

How Long Does Cinnamon Babka Last?

Trust me, this cinnamon babka bread always goes fast! If you do happen to have leftovers, here’s how to keep it fresh:

  • At Room Temperature: You can store any leftover babka in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • In the Freezer: Loaves of baked babka can be frozen by being wrapped in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil, and into a large ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let it come to room temperature before unwrapping.

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Cinnamon Babka

By: Alyssa Rivers
Delicious Cinnamon Babka is rich, buttery bread with swirling ribbons of cinnamon sugar, topped off with a sweet syrup topping. Tender, soft and perfectly sweet, this loaf is a welcome treat for any occasion!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 16 slices (2 loaves)

Ingredients 

Dough

Filling

Simple Syrup

Instructions 

Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 4 ¼ cups of flour, sugar, and yeast. Add the eggs, warm milk (no warmer than 110 degrees Fahrenheit), and salt. Use the dough hook to mix on low speed until it all starts to combine. Add in the additional ½ cup of flour if the mixture is too wet and won’t come away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the soft butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, letting the dough absorb it before adding more. Once all the butter has been mixed in, mix on medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. It will be quite sticky but have a good stretch to it.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl and form the dough into a ball. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it over to coat it in oil. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Filling

  • When you are ready to start forming the bread, prepare the filling by mixing the brown sugar, salt, four, and cinnamon together. Add the melted butter and mix until a paste forms. Set aside.

Baking

  • Spray 2 9×5 inch bread pans with baking spray and set aside. You may line the pans with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on either side if desired.
  • Divide the chilled dough into two equal portions. On a floured surface roll half of the dough into a 12×16 inch rectangle.
  • Spread half of the cinnamon filling over the rolled dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one short side of the dough.
  • Starting from the short side opposite the border, roll the dough tightly, pinching the seam once the whole rectangle has been rolled.
  • Using a large, sharp knife, slice the log in half lengthwise. Set the two halves side-by-side with the cut side facing up. Twist the halves together 3-4 times, pinching the ends together.
  • Place the twisted dough gently into one of the prepared pans keeping the cut sides of the dough facing up. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the remaining filling.
  • Place a clean kitchen towel over the loaves and let them rise in a warm place for 1-½ hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the loaves are done rising, bake for 40-45 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. The internal temp of the bread should read 185 degrees Fahrenheit once they are fully baked.

Simple Syrup

  • While the loaves are in the oven, prepare the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
  • Once the loaves come out of the oven immediately brush the tops of them generously with the syrup.
  • Let the loaves cool for 25-30 minutes in the pan before removing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 372kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 560IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: European, jewish
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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