Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns 

Breakfast, Chocolate, Desserts, Holiday

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

I’m currently eating a cannoli mid-flight, making my way back to Los Angeles where Amelia and Joshua are waiting for me.

The past few months have been filled with lots of traveling and me going from one place to the next. This homebody is V excited to stay put for a while.

I’ve been wanting to make some form of babka for a long time because the spiral chocolate vibes make me super happy.

Initially I wanted to make something similar to these wreaths (aren’t they beautiful?!) but then I tried it and this dough, while delicious, spread (thanks to maybe too much butter). But, they work great when formed into a knot and baked up in a muffin tin! Second (or third time, can’t remember) was a success.

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

f you think chocolate and caraway is a very random weird combination, you’re sort of right. I found out how much I love the two together when I smothered homemade nutella on a piece of rye toast and Billy and I were like OMG CARAWAY + CHOCOLATE = EMOJI HEART EYES.

The caraway seeds are slightly floral with anise flavor vibes. That with chocolate is so so good.

I hope at least a few of you bake this up for xmas morning because I can’t think of anything better…except for maybe the recipe I’ll be posting later this week.

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns

Inspiration from Hint of Vanilla & advice on forming the buns from Vanilla Bean Blog

Chocolate Caraway Babka Buns 

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Serving Size: 10 babka buns


Babka Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup nonfat powdered/dry milk, *optional, see note
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water or warm milk
  • 8 tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter

Chocolate Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg yolk, whisked

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  • To make the Babka Dough: In a stand mixer, with the dough hook, mix together all of the dough ingredients to form a mostly smooth, shiny dough. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. Knead this dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  • Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the greased bowl, using a spatula because the dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours. If you want to to make this for Christmas, you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the fridge and continue with the recipe the next morning. Or, you can continue with it immediately.
  • To make the Chocolate Filling: Place all of the filling ingredients to the bowl of a stand-up mixer and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • On a liberally floured surface, dump the dough out and form it into a rectangle. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. With the first piece of dough, roll it out into a 4 1/2-inch wide by 7 1/2-inch wide long rectangle. Don't be shy to break out a measuring tape. Spread a few teaspoons of the filling evenly onto the rectangle and stop about 1/4-inch before you reach the edge. Roll the rectangle tightly, in a horizontal fashion, into a log. Transfer the log to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Transfer the baking sheet of logs to the freezer (this will help when we cut and form them) for about 5 minutes.
  • Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Remove from the freezer and trim off just a teeny bit of the edges on both sides of the roll. Cut the roll in half, lengthwise, so the striations of the dough and filling are visible. Kitchen scissors work best! With the cut sides facing up, place the left side of the log over the right and then repeat with the right over the left until you've braided or twisted the two together. (The photos in this post are great reference.)
  • Shape the braided dough into a circle, making sure the "ends" go past the circle and overlap one another. Tuck the long end under the up through the center hole. Trim off the excess dough.
  • Transfer to the cavity of a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining logs. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise 1 hour, until the rolls have very much risen out of the muffin tins. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Gently brush the tops of the buns with egg wash and transfer to the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes and then carefully move to a cooling rack. You might need the assistance of a butter knife and run it around the bun in order to release it.
  • If you want to make the cream cheese frosting, add the ingredients to the bowl of a stand-up mixer and mix until combined. Serve alongside the buns.


*I've made this dough with and without the powdered milk. It is very optional. If you have it, use it; it'll result in a softer bun but if not, no biggie!
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Nancy September 12, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    5 stars
    Made them but rolled them differently. They rose to awesomeness. Smell even better. Opted out of the cream cheese frosting and just sprinkled powder sugar instead. Prefect. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Reply Rachita February 7, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Will white whole wheat flour work instead of the all-purpose?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme February 10, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      unfortunately no, there’s different hydration levels so all-purpose can’t be substituted.

      • Reply Stephanie Newman December 24, 2019 at 2:48 pm

        I’m really struggling with this recipe. Made it twice and has not risen at all. Is it not supposed to? I feel like it should.

        • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 25, 2019 at 8:50 am

          hmm…are you using active dry yeast or instant?

  • Reply Dena December 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I also have a question about the cocoa. I have the trader joe’s raw cacao. It should work as the same but was wondering what you thought?
    My daughter and I made an ancient Egypt honey caraway bread for a school project she was working on and it was really nice (hard dough though because it was an ancient recipe). We’ve been into caraway ever since. Thanks!

  • Reply jennifer lakind November 5, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Yield says 10 but recipe says cut into 8. What do you do?

  • Reply linda October 31, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    What type of cocoa did you use, natural or Dutch processed? I like the overnight option. Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 31, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      I just natural. So just plain baking cocoa. You’ll be fine with either!

  • Reply Zach December 13, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    In step #4, do you first “punch down” the dough before removing it from the bowl to roll out and work with?

  • Reply Angie April 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Beautiful Babka Buns!! They sound delicious. They look like a lit of work, but if I feel ambitious, one day I’m going to give them a try.

  • Reply Michelle Eldridge April 11, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    These came out superbly. Very easy to make. Is there a way you could show us how you do the twisty part and the tie part? Guess I didn’t roll it long enough.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 12, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Ahh I wish I took photos of that part. It’s definitely sort of tough. Glad they still worked out and were delicious!

  • Reply Quite Chefy December 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    These look absolutely lovely, and I bet they taste twice as nice. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Reply Megan | Hint of Vanilla December 15, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Eeee! These looks amazing and what a flavour combo – I would never have thought the two would go together but now I’m so curious! Thanks so much for the inspiration credit, I appreciate it 🙂

  • Reply Chrissy December 14, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Perfection! What happens if I lick my screen?

  • Reply irma December 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    hello ive been wanting to make themese since i sawthem on hintofvanilla blog and seeing your version made me wonder… how come didnt you baked them like in a normal pan but in a muffin tin? ive read about your post on instagram and im scared to try them now 🙁

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      Oh don’t be. This is a developed and very final recipe. I baked them in a muffin tin so they’d hold their shape. I found it easier. Also this dough recipe has a decent amount of butter in it, resulting in a very soft bun. So they will spread if they’re baked on a baking sheet BUT they’ll still turn out. Mine just sort of spread a bit and weren’t that photogenic. I think these are much prettier but either way, the recipe will work!

  • Reply Eden Passante December 14, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Wow these are beautiful and I’m sure they taste equally as good!!

  • Reply Mollie December 14, 2015 at 11:48 am

    These look GORGEOUS! And delicious of course too 🙂

    xoxo Mollie

  • Reply laura December 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

    These look AMAZING! AND sound fairly easy to make. I’m in such a holiday baking mood, I might try these tonight!