There are not many things I really can’t resist as fresh Danish yeast cakes straight from the oven. Although I keep a strict nutrition diet daily, it’s almost impossible for me to say no to a freshly-baked Danish cake, especially if it’s filled with cinnamon (or poppy seeds, for that matter).
One of my favorites is cinnamon babka, and on cold weekends it’s absolutely a MUST next to my coffee in the morning. The following recipe if for one of the most delicious cinnamon babkas you’ll ever try – guaranteed! It’s super soft, rich and fragrant, and is the perfect cake for cold winter days.
Super Soft Cinnamon Babka
For the dough
- 500 grams (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 8 grams (2 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) soft butter cubed
- 75 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 240 ml. (1 cup) milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For cinnamon and pecan filling:
- 120 grams (1 stick) soft butter
- 250 grams (1 cup) dark brown sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 100 grams (1 cup) chopped pecans
- 1 beaten egg
- 1-2 tbsp. cold water
- Pinch of salt
For the syrup:
- 125 ml. (1/2 cup) water
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
Dough: in a bowl of a mixer with a
dough hook put flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt and knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky.
Cover the dough in plastic wrap and allow rising overnight in the refrigerator.
Cinnamon and pecan filling: in medium bowl, mix butter, sugar and cinnamon until combined. Set aside until use.
Divide the cold dough into 2 equal pieces.
On a floured surface, roll each part into a rectangle about 1/2 cm thick.
Spread about 1/2 of the filling and sprinkle some chopped pecans over.
Roll tightly and cut lengthwise into 2 long strands. Braid the 2 strands creating a cake and put in a lightly greased loaf pan.
Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and filling.
Cover the cakes and let rise in warm place until almost doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
Mix the beaten egg, water and salt and gently brush the cakes.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and set.
Syrup: in a small pot put water and sugar and heat until boiling and sugar has dissolved.
Brush the cakes with syrup and cool at room temperature.
- The cinnamon babka is at its best on the day pf baking, but you can freeze it (well wrapped) for up to a month. After thawing it's recommended to warm the cake slightly in the oven.
- You can fill the cake with any other filling you like. You can use walnuts, almonds or cashews instead of pecans the same amount.