Chocolate Babka shaped into a braided wreath for the most decadent holiday breakfast (or dessert, or snack)! |

Chocolate Babka Wreath

A rich brioche dough, a fabulous chocolate filling, split, braided and shaped into a wreath for the most decadent holiday breakfast!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Resting time 11 hours
Total 12 hours
Servings 14 servings (1 babka wreath)
Calories 433 kcal
Author Michelle


For the Dough

  • cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • Grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ¾-inch cubes

For the Chocolate Filling

  • ounces dark chocolate
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

For the Simple Syrup

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
US Customary - Metric


  1. Make the Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, use your fingers to rub together the sugar and lemon zest until all of the sugar is moistened. Add the flour and yeast and mix on low speed to combine, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and water and mix on low speed briefly, then increase to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough comes together (it will appear very dry and shaggy at first, that's okay).
  2. Add the salt, then add the butter a few cubes at a time, mixing until it is completely incorporated into the dough. Continue mixing on medium speed for about 10 minutes, until the dough is completely smooth, elastic and shiny. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat it, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Make the Chocolate Filling: Place the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring after each (it will take around 2 minutes). Whisk in the powdered sugar until thoroughly incorporated, then set aside to thicken, about 30 minutes. (The mixture should have the consistency of a soft ganache.)
  4. Assemble the Babka: Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 15 x 11-inch rectangle. Use an offset spatula to spread half of the chocolate mixture over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Brush a little bit of water along the long edge of the rectangle farthest away from you. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle, starting from the long side that is closest to you. Press to seal the dampened end, then use both hands to even out the roll. Rest on its seam.
  5. Trim about ¾ inch off both ends of the roll with a serrated knife. Using the same knife, gently cut the roll in half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam. With the cut sides facing up, gently alternate crossing the pieces over each other to create a braid. Repeat steps #4 and 5 with the second piece of dough and remaining chocolate filling.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently transfer the two babka braids to the prepared pan and shape them into a circle, braiding together the ends for a continuous effect. Cover with a wet tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1½ hours (the cake will not double in size, but will rise by about 20 percent).
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the tea towel and bake the babka until a skewer inserted into the center of the dough comes out clean and all of the exposed chocolate swirls are firm to the touch, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Make the Simple Syrup: While the babka is baking, make the simple syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and set aside.
  9. As soon as the babka comes out of the oven, brush all of the syrup evenly all over the babka (it will seem like a lot, but just keep brushing!). Slide the parchment paper from the baking pan to a wire cooling rack. Allow the babka to cool completely before serving. The babka can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrapped in plastic wrap and foil and frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes

If you'd like to bake this chocolate babka as traditional loaves, do the following:


Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Babka Wreath
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 168mg5%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 525IU11%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.