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Bittersweet Chocolate-Pumpkin Babka

Pumpkin and chocolate are a delicious, but underrated combination. If more people tasted these two together, coffee shops would be changing their signature fall drink flavors to combine these two ingredients (pumpkin mocha--you heard it here first!).


This pareve babka makes a perfect breakfast bread or Shabbat dessert. 

Make ahead note: If you don’t have time to bake today, try a refrigerator rise. After making the dough, rub it with a little oil and place in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, remove from the fridge, place dough in a greased bowl or on a parchment lined pan, and let come to room temperature. Then shape, fill, and bake!

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 3 BabkasServings



  • 1½ cups hot water at 100°F
  • 4½ teaspoons yeast or 2 (¼-ounce) packages yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Filling:

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Cinnamon Glaze:

  • 1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt



1. Combine water, yeast, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover with a towel and let stand for 30 minutes, until the surface looks like a sponge.


1. To the sponge add oil, honey, egg yolks, whole eggs, and flour and mix to combine.

2. Add flour, a little at a time until dough is not sticky, but still has a bit of tackiness to it.

3. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and rise for 2 hours. Or lightly oil the dough and transfer to a resealable bag and store overnight in the refrigerator (see note under photo).

Chocolate Filling:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.

Pumpkin Filling:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.

Shaping and Filling:

1. Lightly grease 3 loaf pans with oil.  Separate risen dough into 3 equal pieces. If using refrigerated dough, let it come to room temperature before shaping.

2. With a rolling pin, roll one piece of dough into a 16-inch square. Sprinkle 1/3rd chocolate filling on half of the square. Shmear the other half with 1/3 of pumpkin filling. Roll dough up tightly into a rope, being sure to seal the ends.

3. Slice rope lengthwise and wrap the halves around each other at least 6 times. Fold rope in half and place in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow babkas to rise for 1 hour. 

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

5. Bake babkas at 350°F for 40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove babkas from the pans and cool on the rack for 10 minutes more. Drizzle with cinnamon glaze, slice, and serve warm.

Cinnamon Glaze:

1. Whisk together sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle over cooled babkas.