Vegan chocolate babka – squidgy, sweet and spectacular!

Gooey, rich and full of sumptuous chocolate filling, this vegan babka is surprisingly easy to make, and is an indulgent treat for anyone – vegan or not!

When I made my vegan yeasted hamantaschen, I promised to create a recipe for a vegan babka, and here it is. Just look at that swirly goodness!

Vegan chocolate babka on a board.

Eggless and dairy-free

Babka is often parve, so there was no problem in making it without milk or butter. However it uses a rich dough that typically contains lots of eggs. In order to eliminate them from the recipe, first I had to work out what purpose they served, so I could replace them with something suitable.

In a typical cake, eggs act as a binder and create a protein network when cooked which helps to hold the cake together and give it structure. This is why vegan cakes can sometimes be more crumbly than their non-vegan counterparts.

Vegan chocolate babka.

However in the kind of slow-fermented yeast-risen dough used for babka, the gluten in the flour develops into a protein matrix, so the eggs are less important to the structure. In babka, eggs mostly add fat, which makes the dough richer, and also some flavour. 

Out they went, and I replaced them with extra oil, plus a few drops of vanilla. You’d never even notice they’d gone!

Sliced vegan chocolate babka.

Rich, dark chocolate

I whipped up a rich dark chocolate filling using plenty of high quality cocoa and brown sugar, plus a touch of cinnamon. I also added some dark chocolate chips to make this vegan chocolate babka really indulgent! If you wanted to cut corners you could easily substitute vegan chocolate spread.

Swirls of chocolate in a Vegan chocolate babka.

I have to admit that the work of developing, testing and honing this vegan chocolate babka recipe wasn’t a complete chore. In fact, I can’t think of another recipe that generated so many willing taste-tasters! Of course, in the name of research I had to make sure to try all the variations myself, too.

I think I’ll be creating vegan babka a bit more frequently in future!

Gooey, rich and full of sumptuous chocolate filling, this vegan babka is surprisingly easy to make, and is an indulgent treat for anyone - vegan or not!

Want deliciously easy, family-friendly recipes like this one delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up. (Of course, I’ll never pass on your email address to anyone.)

Sliced vegan chocolate babka.
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Vegan chocolate babka

Course Brunch, Cake
Cuisine jewish
Keyword chocolate, vegan
Servings 2 loaves
Author Helen

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 200 ml plant-based milk - I used oat (scant 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 400 g plain (all purpose) flour (approx. 3⅔ cups)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

For the filling

  • 115 g vegan spread or margarine (½ cup)
  • 100 g caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 50 g dark brown sugar (¼ cup)
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

For the syrup

  • 75 ml water (⅓ cup)
  • 100 g caster sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Instructions

To make the dough

  • Microwave the plant-based milk for about 1½ minutes until 'hand hot'. Whisk in the dry active yeast and 1 tbsp sugar. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour and 2 tbsp sugar. Once the yeast mixture has started to foam (2-3 minutes), add it to the flour together with the oil and vanilla. Fit the dough hook to the mixer and set the motor running on a low speed.
  • Let the mixer run for 8-10 minutes, stopping the motor to scrape down the bowl as needed. The dough is ready when it forms a very soft, smooth, glossy ball that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Leave to rise until doubled in size. This will take 1-2 hours in a warm place, or can be done overnight in the refrigerator.

To make the filling

  • Mix together all the filling ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips. Beat well until thoroughly combined. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the syrup

  • Put the water, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Cover and set aside.

To shape, bake and finish the babkas

  • Line 2 loaf tins with non-stick liners or baking parchment.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, gently squash out the air, and knead lightly for a minute or two. Cut the dough into 2 parts.
  • Roll the first piece of dough out to give a rectangle of thickness 4mm (about ⅛ inch) - the dough will shrink back as you roll it so be patient and keep moving/turning as you roll.
  • Spread half the filling over the dough, then sprinkle over half the chocolate chips. Roll up as tightly as possible, starting from a SHORT side.
  • Slice the roll lengthwise and gently twist the two pieces together. Place into one of the prepared tins.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough and filing to make the second loaf. Cover the tins with a clean tea towel and set aside to rest/rise for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Bake the babkas for 15-20 minutes. Quickly remove from the oven, brush with two layers of syrup, and return to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. The babkas should be risen and lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and brush on 3-4 more layers of syrup - be generous as the syrup helps the babka to be really sticky and gooey! Cool in the tins for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

If you’re not vegan, you might also enjoy this cinnamon babka, or this British-Jewish Chelsea Bun babka. Other vegan treats to try include moist vegan carrot cake, or vegan Norwegian waffles.

Slices of Vegan chocolate babka .

13 Comments:

  1. Do you have a recipe for a lemon version? Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Super easy to follow and quick. Very delicious.

  3. Priya Lakshminarayan

    OMG that looks delish! Thankfully I have all the ingredients at hand right now..making this

  4. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  5. 5 stars
    About to enjoy another slice right now with my coffee – SO good!! Thank you!

  6. This is gorgeous! Perfect for a chocolate lover like me. <3

  7. This looks so delicious, and is just screaming my name! I can’t wait to make this for my family and I, we’re going to LOVE it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *