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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 Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Valentina's Corner




  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 12.5 oz canned poppy seed
  • powdered sugar, for dusting, optional


  • 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.