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Cranberry Orange Babka

In Partnership With Red Star

We didn't slash the tops of this babka to keep the sweet-tart cranberry orange filling from oozing out all over the place. It bucks tradition a bit, but you'll thank us later when it's time to wash the dishes.

Plus, you can make the dough and let it rise overnight in the fridge, before shaping and baking the next day. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 2 LoavesServings


Cranberry Orange Filling

  • 3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  • 1 cup warm water (105°F)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (14 grams) RED STAR® Platinum Yeast™
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • Egg wash: 1 egg whisked with 2 teaspoons water
  • Glaze: ½ cup powdered sugar whisked with 1 tablespoon orange juice


Cranberry Orange Filling:

1. In a sauce pot with heat set to medium, simmer cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and salt until cranberries POP and become soft. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly until the mixture is thick and a jelly consistency. Fold in orange zest and dried cranberries. Cool completely.


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together water, flour, RED STAR® Platinum Yeast™, and salt. Allow mixture to sit in a warm place for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. The surface should look bubbly and like a sponge!

2. With a dough hook fitted to the mixer and the machine on low, add sugar, evoo, scraped vanilla bean, eggs and yolks. 

3. Add flour, ½ cup at a time until the dough is smooth and tacky but not too wet or sticky.

4. Cover and allow dough to rest for 1 to 2 at room temp until it doubles in size. Alternatively, you can cover and allow it to slowly rise in the refrigerater overnight. 

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.

6. Divide risen dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out each piece into an 8- x 14-inch rectangle.

7. Shmear each rectangle with ¼ of cranberry mixture. Roll the rectangle, jelly-roll style and pinch seam together. 

8. Twist 2 pieces together and place into prepared 9 inch loaf pan. 

9. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. Twist them together and place into a greased 9 inch loaf pan. 

10. Allow babkas to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

11. Brush babkas with egg wash and bake at 350°F for 45 to 55 minutes until browned.

12. Drizzle babkas with orange glaze before serving.