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.

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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 (TIP: Be sure the seem in UNDER the wreath so it doesn’t come undone. Transfer to a large baking sheet.
  • Pull out on the wreath to stretch the dough as much as you can.
  • Bring together ends of the log and secure seems tightly.
  • With kitchen shears, cut slits in the dough about ½” – ¾” apart. You are just cutting on the outside of the log, NOT on both sides of it.
  • Shape cut slits into a wreath (see pictures and video). Going every other cut, shape the write and lightly push down. So starting with one, twist the cut dough and lay down, take the next one and lay it over the log, etc.
  • 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:

Poppy Seed Babka

Print
4.75 from 4 votes
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 Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients

Dough:

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12.5 oz canned 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

Calories: 301kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 213mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 390IUCalcium: 62mgIron: 2.1mg
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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