Poppy Seed Babka

Poppy Seed Babka Recipe – Something between a cake and a sweet bread in one. Soft sweet yeast dough with cream cheese and poppy seed filling twisted into a decadent wreath. This recipe is so beautiful once baked, a great idea for Easter.

If you like this recipe try our Poppy Seed and Cream Cheese Roll.

Poppy seed babka recipe sprinkled with powdered sugar.

PIN this recipe HERE! Follow Valentina’s Corner on Pinterest for more inspiration!

poppyseed babka recipe-

Babka is popular in Israel, Poland and Belarus with each country having their spin on the recipe. Baka is a sweet yeast dough that has a different filling. Raisins, chocolate or cinnamon are popular fillings for the babka. This recipe I’m sharing uses a cream cheese and poppy seed filling. The dough becomes so soft and melts in your mouth while the filling oozes with creaminess from the combination of poppy seed and cream cheese.

Poppy seed babka recipe sliced and with a glass of milk.

how to make the best babka dough-

  • Heat the sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan.
  • Add in whisked egg and yeast, whisk together. Allow yeast to activate.
  • Mix in flour. Rise 1 ½ hour, until dough doubles in size.

TIP: The amount of flour you need may slightly vary, depending on the brand of flour.  Start with 3 1/4 cups and add a tablespoon of flour more until dough is slightly sticky but not too sticky. We use Canadian flour and I need about 3 1/3 cups flour.

How to make babka dough for this simple poppy seed babka recipe.

how to make poppy seed babka-

  • Combine cream cheese and sugar.
  • Dust surface with flour and roll out the dough to a rectangle. NOTE: The dough will be slightly sticky, keep surface and top of dough floured when rolling out. 
  • Spread poppy seed filling over dough.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture over poppy seed.

TIP: Dough will still be slightly sticky, keep working surface and top of dough generously dusted with flour to avoid dough sticking to rolling pin.

TIP: For the poppy seed filling to spread easier, submerge the closed can of filling into warm water before spreading for a few minutes.

This is the POPPY SEED FILLING I use HERE.

How to assemble the sweet dough with poppy seed and cream cheese.

how to shape the babka-

  • Roll up dough into a log, bring log together to create a wreath. Transfer to a large baking sheet.
  • Pull out on the wreath to stretch the dough.
  • Bring together ends of log and secure seems.
  • With kitchen shears, cut slits in the dough about ½” – ¾” apart.
  • Shape cut slits into a wreath (see pictures and video).
  • Brush with egg wash.
  • Rise for 1/2 hour.
  • Bake until tops are golden.

 How to make the babka. How to cut and form the babka into a wreath.

can I freeze babka?

Yes, this poppy seed babka may be frozen. Fully cook and allow bread to cool completely. Place in a freezer bag and freeze or slice babka and freeze in individual pieces wrapped in plastic wrap.

Thaw babka to enjoy. Reheat for a few minutes if a warm babka is desired, this is the best option ;).

how long should I bake babka?

Babka wreath can take anywhere from 18-22 minutes to bake, depending on your oven and the size of your babka. If at 18 minutes the top of babka is browned but the babka isn’t fully cooked, cover the top of wreath with foil for the remaining of the bake.

Poppy seed babka bread cut into pieces topped with powdered sugar.

I hope you love this babka bread with cream cheese and a poppy seed filling. We enjoy the sweet bread on a regular basis.

Try these other DESSERT recipes:

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Poppy Seed Babka

Poppyseed Babka Recipe is like a cake and a sweet bread in one. Soft sweet yeast dough with cream cheese and poppy seed filling twisted into a decadent wreath. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: babka
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 301kcal
Author: Valentina's Corner

Ingredients

Dough:

Filling:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (12.5 oz) can poppy seed
  • powdered sugar, for dusting, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at to 365°F at step 10.
  • Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, add butter, salt, sugar and milk, heat until very warm but not hot (no warmer than 100 degrees). 
  • Remove from heat and add whisked eggs and yeast, stir to combine. Cover saucepan and allow yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add flour to saucepan and mix to combine. Transfer dough to a large greased mixing bowl and cover (if the saucepan used was large, keep dough in there).
  • Allow the dough to rise 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 
  • Combine cream cheese and sugar.
  • Dust surface with flour and roll out the dough to a rectangle, about 13" x 20" in size. The dough will be slightly sticky, keep surface and top of dough floured. 
  • Spread poppy seed filling over the dough. Spread cream cheese mixture over poppy seed.
  • Roll up dough into a log, bring log together to create a wreath and bring together ends of log and secure seems.
  • Pull out on the wreath to stretch the dough.
  • With kitchen shears, cut slits in the dough about ½” - ¾” apart.
  • Shape cut slits into a wreath (see pictures and video) and brush with egg wash. As you are shaping the wreath pull dough away.
  • Rise for 1/2 hour.
  • Bake until top of babka is golden, about 18-22 minutes. 
  • Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar, optional. 
Nutrition Facts
Poppy Seed Babka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 301 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 213mg9%
Potassium 128mg4%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Show 14 Comments
  • Sarah 06/13/2019, 2:05 pm Link Reply

    Mine didn’t rise much! I don’t know if I did something wrong or if I should give it longer.

    • Valentina's Corner 06/13/2019, 6:37 pm Link Reply

      Sarah, is your yeast good? If it doesn’t rise, it most likely is the yeast.?

  • Irina 05/31/2019, 5:36 pm Link Reply

    It tastes amazing! Thank you for this recipe. The only thing that I can’t find the video to see how exactly to make this wreath.

    • Valentina's Corner 06/02/2019, 12:52 am Link Reply

      Grinning from ear to ear, Irina. If you turn off your AdBlock, the video should play. Thanks for giving our recipe a try. 🙂

  • Lana 03/22/2019, 5:16 pm Link Reply

    Looks so good. How do you store it? Is it better to keep it in a refrigerator or just room temperature in closed container? Does it gets kind of hard on a second day?

    • Valentina's Corner 03/22/2019, 11:25 pm Link Reply

      Hi there, Lana. I can’t wait for you to try this babka, it’s absolutely phenomenal. I’ll add that to the post. Store at room temperature in a closed container. No it will not get hard (but I’ll doubt you’ll have leftovers :0..)

  • Nesa 03/20/2019, 11:10 am Link Reply

    I love poppyseed everything!! And this one is with cream cheese?! That’s a win-win! Can’t wait to try it! ????????

    • Valentina's Corner 03/20/2019, 12:47 pm Link Reply

      Oh, Nesa. You are so in for a treat with this babka recipe. Enjoy it. 🙂

  • Anne 03/11/2019, 10:59 am Link Reply

    Would love to try this recipe. Where can I find cans of poppyseeds? I’m in Alberta, Canada.

    • Valentina's Corner 03/12/2019, 5:14 pm Link Reply

      Hi, Anne. Most large grocery stores carry the poppy seed filling in the baking isle by all the other pie filling. If you call around, I’m sure you’ll find one that carries it. If not, I have a link for Amazon, you can purchase it there. 🙂

  • Natasha 03/01/2019, 5:10 pm Link Reply

    This is an amazing Babka recipe! Love the soft babka dough. Thanks!

    • Valentina's Corner 03/01/2019, 6:28 pm Link Reply

      This dough is seriously melt-in-your-mouth soft and SOO GOOD!

  • Angelica 03/01/2019, 5:02 pm Link Reply

    I LOVE poppy seed rolls. And I’ll be the first to say your recipe is top notch!!!

    • Valentina's Corner 03/01/2019, 6:27 pm Link Reply

      Thanks so much, Angelica. You’re so sweet!! 🙂

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