"Did your Austrian Granny ever say to you 'Do you want me to make a cinnamon raisin babka or a chocolate babka?' and you just froze in a state of panic? How do you choose? What if you want both but Granny starts yelling “Stop being greedy, Schatzi!” That is why I think this babka is total perfection. If those two babkas had a babka baby it would be this magnificent creature - juicy raisins, a crumble of sugar and cinnamon, and chocolate that is just so... 'chocolate-y' (according to my sweet treat connoisseurs and Granny’s great grandkids, Ethan and Gemma). And you want to know what I think is the best part? It is so moist you won’t be tempted to just scoop out the chocolate and raisin bits and leave the cake part behind! Not like I’ve ever done that..."
- Jess from Brooklyn, NY
Babka is a sweet loaf, both fluffy and rich, kind of like a light textured coffee cake with a dense filling swirled throughout. Its origins date back five hundred years or so to the Jewish communities in eastern Europe. By the late 19th Century, babka looked like what we know today: a sweet, swirled loaf, longer than it is tall. The grandmothers of the shtetls in eastern Europe (where babcia is the word for grandmother) probably made babka with leftover challah bread dough wrapped around nuts or jam. These days, the nuts have been replaced with fillings like cinnamon or, most popularly, chocolate—an addition that first showed up in the Jewish communities in New York’s lower east side in the mid-1900s.
The master bakers at Zingerman’s Bakehouse have given babka a flavor update worthy of the new millennium. Rich with butter, swirling with chocolate and cinnamon, and studded with golden sultana raisins, our modern babka bursts with chocolatey sweetness. If you have memories of dry, lifeless babka from your childhood, forget ‘em.
Wrapped in tissue and gift boxed.
"Someone sent me your chocolate cinnamon babka for Christmas. OMG! It was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten!"
Nancy, Cape Coral, FL
"Bar none, Zingerman’s Bakehouse makes the BEST babka I have ever eaten!! It was incredible.”
Susana Trilling, author of the cookbook Seasons of My Heart
"In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the beloved deli and bakehouse Zingerman’s makes an updated take on classic babka. The layers consist of chocolate ganache, ground up chocolate brownie crumbs, and rum-soaked raisins, and the loaves are crowned with a crunchy, cinnamon-sugar crumb."
Leah Koenig, Tablet Magazine