Honey Apple Babka

Honey Apple Babka


RICK FUGE #eatsouth

Full of cinnamon and honey, this apple babka is amazing for a dessert or for a weekend breakfast. The recipe comes from Julie at the Bunsen Burner Bakery, biochemist by day, baking chemist by night.




  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 pounds apples (about 4 Golden Delicious apples), chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water

CREATES: 2 loaves


Prepare the dough. Combine the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a large glass mixing bowl. Mix together using the dough hook or whisk together by hand and set aside for 5 minutes, or until frothy.

On low speed (or by hand), beat in the remaining sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, salt, and cinnamon and mix just until the dough comes together, another 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium low and add the butter one piece at a time, beating after each addition until all butter as been added. Continue mixing with the dough hook or kneading by hand until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough into a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set aside to rise in a warm location for 1 hour, until increased approximately 3/4 in size (room temperature may take closer to two hours). Transfer the bowl to a refrigerator, still covered, and set aside for at 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size and is firm to the touch.

Prepare the filling. While the babka is rising in the refrigerator, prepare the apple filling. Core and chop the apples into small pieces. Pour the honey into a small saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Add in the apples, salt, and cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Shape the babka. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently punch it down. Cut the dough in half; remove half from the bowl and recover the other half and set aside.

Roll the dough into a roughly 9-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling over the dough, leaving a slight border along the edges. Spread half of the apple filling across the dough. Working from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half long-ways down the length of the cylinder to expose the apple filling, creating two logs of dough. Twist these two logs together. Fold in half one more time, twisting again, and place dough in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover both loaf pans with plastic wrap or a dish towel and set aside to rise again at room temperature, for another hour. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Make the honey simple syrup. Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

Bake the babka. Bake the loaves at 350 °F for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the inside registers 190 °F using an instant read thermometer. As soon as the babkas are done baking and come out of the oven, use a long skewer or knife to poke holes all over the bread, pushing all the way down to the bottom. Brush the simple syrup on top, equally dividing between the two loaves. Allow the breads to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.