This delicious almond butter chocolate babka is made of rich sweet dough and creamy filling. It’s so cozy and homey. A perfect Christmas treat that everyone will love.
With just a few days left until Christmas, we’re still deciding who’s going to host this year’s Christmas dinner. It’s usually us or my parents, but we haven’t decided yet this year. In any case, I’m making my favorite holiday dessert.
When it comes to Christmas desserts I’m all about sweet bread. My favorites include Italian panettone, walnut chocolate star bread, our traditional walnut roll called ‘potica’ and this year I found a new one – almond butter chocolate babka. Do you see a pattern here? Sweet dough, nuts, and chocolate.
And I’m sharing the recipe with you today.
This almond butter chocolate bread is a product of another amazing collab with my friend Tereza from Tereza’s Choice. We had so much fun during our day together creating this babka and taking photos. Although I erased all of the images in the middle of the shoot, I managed to get them all back with the help of my brother. Cheers to him! I think I need to bake him a babka just to say thanks 😀
Back to the recipe!
We used the same dough recipe as in my walnut chocolate star bread recipe. I honestly think this is the best egg-free sweet dough I have ever made.
For the filling, we used Tereza’s almond butter with cinnamon and vanilla. Yes, she has her own line of products and I love them. But don’t worry, you can use regular almond butter and add spices yourself in case you don’t have access to her spiced almond butter. It’s all in the recipe.
The filling is actually pretty simple. Melted chocolate (mix of semi-sweet and milk), almond butter and spices. That’s all. And I can honestly say, using nut butters as a filling for sweet breads is one of the best things there is.
We made a version with chopped almonds on top and dried cranberries inside and a plain one without the almonds and cranberries and they both turned out super delicious!
Spiced Almond Butter Chocolate Babka
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp vanilla seeds or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter melted
Almond Butter Chocolate filling
- 50 g milk chocolate
- 50 g semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- OPTIONAL: dried cranberries (soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
- chopped almonds for topping
- 1 TBSP milk or butter or 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
In a small bowl mix 2 TBSP sugar, half of the milk and yeast. Cover and wait for it to activate and start foaming.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, vanilla seeds (or extract), ground cardamom and sugar at low speed to combine all the ingredients. Add the rest of the milk and melted butter and mix until the dough comes together. Lastly, add activated yeast. Continue mixing until a soft smooth dough forms. You can do this by hand, as well. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes or until double the size.
Almond Butter Chocolate filling
Melt both milk and semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Add almond butter, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Roll out the dough to about 20x50cm (4x10inch) or 2-3 mm thick.
Spread over the filling. Sprinkle cranberries on top if you wish. Roll along the ling edge and cut in half to get two rolls of the same length.
Cut each roll in half lengthwise and swirl one half over the other (see photos above).
Place the two babkas into two bread tins lined with baking paper and lightly brush with milk (or butter or egg wash). Bake in the preheated oven until deeply golden and puffy, about 20 to 25 minutes.