Chocolate Swirl Babka Muffin Buns # Baking Partner's Challenge

Babka, as most of you know, is a traditional Easter coffee bread from Europe. Apparently, babka is also the word for grandmother in Polish...  which is why a traditional babka bread was usually baked in a fluted round mold with a center tube and was said to resemble a women's full skirt from centuries past. The babkas as we know them today are elaborately flavored and heavily downsized... They are strueseled, swirled in chocolate and cinnamon and baked in ordinary loaf pans.. This version, nevertheless delicious, is believed to have descended from the Eastern European Jewish tradition.

Babkas had been in my to-do list forever. But I never got around making it. The task seemed colossal. I needed some coaxing and the final nudge came from amy Bollar of Three Sides of Crazy. This month she challenged the Baking Partner's to bake a somewhat simpler version of the chocolate-babka... the Chocolate Swirl Babka Muffin Buns. The recipe she suggested was from Portugese Girl Cooks. That recipe had a struesel topping which looked somewhat messy on a muffin bun. So on my first go I baked one strueseled babka loaf and two swirled babka buns. While the two swirled buns made a pretty impressive sight, something about the loaf was not quite right. As a result I made a second batch of babka buns on Easter Sunday...

and everything fell in place....

There are a few places where I went astray from the given recipe.. 

One. I did not use eggs. I substituted it with sour cream. The substitute worked so well that I began to  wonder why use eggs in brioche at all...

Two. Dare I say, the chocolate and cinnamon mixture did not seem decadent enough. So I sprinkled it some candied orange peel and an extra handful of chocochips. As expected the combination of chocolate cinnamon  orange and extra chocolate was awesome.

Three. Now this one is just an observation.... On my first go I baked the muffins in ramekins. For whatever reason husband and I both thought that the ramekin-baked ones had a softer and fluffier texture. So if you like bake your buns in ramekins and prepare to be delighted !

Chocolate Swirl Babka Buns #Eggless #BreadMachine

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Prep time: 3 ½ hours                             Cook time: 20 minutes                                  Total time: 4 hours
Yield: 12

For the dough
  • ½ cup whole milk, luke warm
  • ¼ cup light sour cream (as a substitute for 1 large egg)
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsps active dry yeast
For Filling
  • 1 ⅓ cups semisweet chocochips
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsps candied orange peel (optional)
  • 2 tbsps semisweet chocochips (optional)
For glazing
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Put all the ingredients for the dough in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and set the machine for the dough cycle.
  2. In case the dough has not doubled by the end of the cycle, let it stay in the bread machine pan for a little longer. My dough took an extra 40 minutes beyond the dough cycle to double up.
  3. While the dough doubles prepare the chocolate filling. Pulse the chocochips, sugar, salt and ground cinnamon in your mixer grinder until the chocolate is finely chopped and is almost powdery. Add the butter and pulse again. The mixture will look somewhat crumbly. Keep it aside.
  4. Once the dough has double, cut out a long sheet of parchment paper and turn the out on it. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 20×12 inch rectangular sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the prepared filling evenly on the rolled out dough, leaving at least half an inch along the edges. Sprinkle the candied orange peel and extra chocochips (if using) in the empty spaces in between. Using a spatula, press the filling into the dough, then tightly roll the dough back over the filling from one short end to the other. Pinch the open ends in case the filling seems to come out. I did that.
  6. Using sharp knife cut the log into 12, one inch pieces. (As I mentioned above I just cut out 2 one inch pieces and tried baking the remaining log as a babka loaf. Avoid doing what I did and cut the log into 12 pieces. )
  7. Glaze 12 muffin cups or 12 ramekins of ½ cup or ¾ cup capacity. Place the cut out dough into the prepared muffin cups/ramekins, cover loosely with a plastic cling wrap and allow to rise for another one hour.
  8. Meanwhile center the rack and preheat oven to 350 °F.
  9. When the dough is ready to be baked, brush the dough surfaces with a mixture of milk and heavy cream and transfer the muffins cups/ramekins into the preheated oven.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and brown.
  11. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Thanks to Tamy and Swathi for the treat ! We really enjoyed it !

These babka muffin buns are being yeast-spotted. Also sharing them  at the following parties..


  1. Very tempting dish. Love to grab it

  2. Muffins came out perfect tanu.i love the pot and ramekins one

  3. Beautiful muffins looks very nice. Glad you liked it.

  4. So beautiful! I love the sound of these and Jessica from Portuguese Girl Cooks always has the most delicious looking recipes. It's wonderful to hear that these turned out as delicious as they look...

  5. Babka is very popular here in my country
    You've done a wonderful job!!
    I love the idea of making little babka, and I also like your recipe.
    Saving the recipe :)

  6. Your muffins are so mouthwatering in appearance and I can't wait to try them. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  7. My mouth is watering! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the story too. happy weekend!

  8. These sound delicious, and they're beautiful too!

    Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings : )


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Best, Tanusree

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