Preparation info

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Appears in

New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

This breakfast cake, which looks like a marbled brioche, is a classic of New York’s Jewish bakeries.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Resting time: 2½ hours
Cooking time: about 45 minutes



  • 50 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 55 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 35 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 25 g (1 oz) dark chocolate chips

Dry Ingredients

  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ¾ teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 50 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar

Wet Ingredients

  • 90 ml (3 fl oz) lukewarm buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125 g ( oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked


  • 40 g ( oz) cocoa powder
  • 125 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened


The Streusel

Make the streusel by mixing all the ingredients together by hand until crumbly. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

The Dough

Combine the dry ingredients and beat together the wet ingredients, except the egg white. Combine the two mixtures together. Knead until the dough is very elastic (5–10 minutes in an electric mixer, 10–20 minutes by hand). Form a smooth ball of dough, place it in an oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature for about 1½ hours until it has doubled in volume.

The Filling

Combine the cocoa powder and sugars and set aside.

Shaping the Dough

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape approximately 40 cm (16 inches) long. Spread over the softened butter and sprinkle with the cocoa–sugar mixture. Roll the dough up along its length. Bring the two ends together and twist three times. Butter and flour a 21 × 9 cm (8¼ × 3½ inch) loaf (bar) tin and place the dough twist inside. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to rise at room temperature for 1 hour until the dough is well risen.


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Brush the surface of the babka with the egg white and scatter over the streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown.