Polish Babka With Optional Cheese Filling

"This recipe can be made with a cheese filling. Which can be made while dough is rising. The rising times are not included. There are 3 rising times be sure to do the rising of the dough in a draft free, warm place. The picture posted is with dried cherries, dried cranberries and the optional saffron. I must say this is one of my favorite home made or store babkas bought to date. The filling was so creamy and rich."
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652
photo by SpaceyKacey photo by SpaceyKacey
photo by crunch914 photo by crunch914
photo by Lydiamis photo by Lydiamis
photo by Lydiamis photo by Lydiamis
Ready In:




  • Add yeast to lukewarm (hot will kill the yeast)water and let stand until softened or dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, add salt to egg yolks and beat until thick; then add to sugar and butter mixture.
  • Add yeast and water, lemon rind, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Add flour alternately with milk and beat well to make a smooth batter.
  • Add raisins and knead by hand until batter leaves the fingers.
  • Let rise in a warm draft free place until double (about 1-1/2 hours). Punch down and let rise again until double.
  • Generously butter a fluted tube pan. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs and fill with dough. Brush with mixture of egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle with almonds and let rise again. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 45-60 minutes.
  • Optional:

  • Mix cheese filling ingredients together.
  • Place 1/2 the dough in the prepared pan place the filling mixture on the center of the dough, place the rest of the dough on the mixture. Try to pinch the dough together so filling is encased inside. Or roll out into a log about 20x 10. Then place cheese filling in the center down the long side of the roll, bringing the sides over to encase the filling. Then place into prepared pan and let rise 30 minutes. Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with almonds. Bake 350 for 45-60 minutes.

Questions & Replies

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  1. jamesmeg2013
    I made about 5 of these last year. it seems like for a lot of them that I made the cheese was kind of exploding out of the one side or wasn't uniformly distributed throughout the entire babka. Is there a trick to correct this and prevent it from happening?
  2. Shirley M.
    How long do I let the Babka sit in the bundt pan after removing it from the oven?
  3. Shirley M.
    How long do I cool the bread before removing it from my bundt pan???


  1. SpaceyKacey
    Delicious! I made this for my grandma's birthday and everyone loved it. I used pecans for the topping instead of almonds because those are her favorite, and it turned out amazing.
  2. crunch914
    FANTASTIC!!! The "optional" cheese filling is NOT an option - It's MANDATORY! I added a cup of almonds to the batter along w the cranberries for extra texture. Will make again soon bc it's all gone
  3. LuvMyWeim
    This was delicious! Total bakery quality. I made it with the optional cheese filling and it was fantastic. I only used 8 oz of cream cheese and felt that was more than enough. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it is one that I will be using again and again.
  4. gmhoran
    My husband and I are babka lovers. We loved it. My mom did too. We are used to the bakery style ones. This was just as good. I also skipped the cardamom and it still tasted good. Looking forward to making another one. My mom also said I can make one for her too.
  5. VegInTexas
    This is the ONLY babka recipe that even stands next to what I used to eat as a child. I made one for my parents, myself, my good friend and my sister. All said it was the best they ever had! One comment is that the cheese amount given was too much for how I made it. I found that 8 oz was perfect.



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