Vegan Cinnamon Babka, a fluffy buttery brioche-like dough with swirls of caramelised cinnamon. Easy to make and step-by-step pictures!
This babka is an amazing comforting baked bread which will impress your friends, family and guests!
Secret: This buttery twist bread is basically is a vegan cinnamon roll but shaped in a loaf. Or it’s like a vegan brioche but a sweet cinnamon filling! If you can make either of them, you can make this!
Ingredients for the vegan cinnamon babka
First, we need some pretty simple ingredients including:
- Plain or all-purpose flour
- Vegan butter or margarine
- Plant-based milk
- Cane sugar (for the dough)
- Brown or coconut sugar (for the filling)
- Instant quick yeast
Do I need to activate instant quick yeast before using it?
I keep my yeast in my fridge all year long and this prolongs its shelf life… I’ve used refrigerated yeast up to 1 year past its use by date and it’s worked perfectly ;).
If you use another type of yeast, I’d strongly recommend googling the conversion as most other types cannot be used as a 1:1 substitution!
First rise for the cinnamon babka dough
After you’ve kneaded all the dough ingredients, pop it in a floured or greased bowl and allow it to double in size. Depending on the climate of your home (temperature and humidity), it can take 1 hour up to a few hours for the dough to double. If it’s taking longer than expected, reposition the dough in a warmer spot.
The dough is ‘enriched’ with butter and this inhibits the dough from rising as quickly as other bread doughs. If you make sure the dough is in a WARM spot, the butter will be soft and the dough is encouraged to rise!
You can place the dough in an airtight container in the fridge and allow it to rise overnight. It might not double in size this way but if you let it come back to room temperature afterwards, it’ll eventually get there.
Making the filling for the vegan cinnamon babka
Unlike some cinnamon rolls, we need to combine melted butter with the sugar and cinnamon to make a paste for the filling. Having too much butter (or too much filling) will drown the babka. As much as I looove cinnamon, we don’t really want this!
In the recipe card at the bottom of the post, you’ll find my ‘tried and tested’ cinnamon babka filling ratio.
Assembling the vegan babka
Now for the fun and messy part! Similar to cinnamon rolls, we need to roll out the dough on a floured surface and spread the cinnamon filling on it.
From the long size, roll up the dough to make a log! Try to use two hands to roll the dough up as tightly as possible.
Once you have a ‘log’ of dough, slice it lengthways using the sharpest knife you have. You’ll then have two strands of dough with an exposed cinnamon filling
The easiest way to assemble and twist the dough is to make an ‘X’ shape from the two strands. Twist together the bottom then twist together the top.
I accidentally made my babka MUCH longer than my loaf tin. To fit it in, I ‘compressed’ the length of my babka then squashed it into my 20 cm loaf tin.
Second rise for the cinnamon babka
All the hard work is done at this stage! Allow your babka to rest for the second time. It should rise just a little, say by 20%.
This step can also be done in the fridge overnight! I’d recommend sprinkling a little water on the babka before you cover it and let it rise. The water will prevent the babka from drying out.
Keeping the babka ‘moist’
I’d strongly recommend creating a simple sugar glaze (sugar and water) and pouring it over your babka when it’s hot from the oven. The sugar glaze gives your babka a beautiful and shiny exterior and traps in the moisture from baking. The glaze also adds plenty of moisture to your babka and makes it less likely to dry out!
Check out my other vegan babka recipes:
For simplier vegan baking recipes, see my:
- Vegan Brioche
- Sticky Cinnamon Buns
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Jam Donut Cinnamon Rolls
- Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
You may also like:
Vegan Cinnamon Babka
- 2 3/4 cups (345g) plain or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup (125mL) plant-based milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- 1/2 cup (112g) vegan butter, room temperature
- 3 tbsp (40g) cane or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon (10g) instant dried yeast*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of any good-quality salt
- 1/4 cup (55g) vegan butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (80g) brown or coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons (20g) ground cinnamon
Babka sugar glaze (optional)**
- 1/4 cup (50g) cane or coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp (30mL) water
- Line or dust a loaf tin with. I used a 10x20cm loaf tin but a longer one will be fine.
To make the babka:
- Combine all the dough ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer and mix until it comes together. Knead for 5-10 minutes oruntil the dough becomes soft, stretchy and comes away from the side of the bowl. If the dough is a little dry and hasn't formed a smooth ball, add a dashof milk and knead again. If the dough continues to stick to the bowl, add a little more flour and knead again. Leave the dough in the bowl or stand mixer,cover with a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size (or close to double).
To make the filling:
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until it forms a paste. Allow to cool until it thickens to a spreadable and buttery consistency.
- Dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape (the long side should be a little longer than your loaf tin). Spread the filling onto the dough 1cm away from the edge.
- Starting from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a log.*** Use a sharp knife to cut the login half length ways creating two long 'strips' of dough. Carefully twirl the two halves together.
- Lift the twirled dough into your loaf tin. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise for about 1 hour. It won't double in size but should rise by at least 25%. You can also let it rest overnight in the fridge, as long as you bring the babka back to room temperature before baking.
Baking and sugar glaze:
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Bake the babka for 30-35 minutes or until the outside is golden brown and a skewer can be inserted into the middle and there is no wet dough on it. If the outside is browning too quickly, turn down the oven to 160°C (320°F) and cover the babka with an oven-safe bowl or plate. Remove the babka from the oven.
- While your babka is baking, make your sugar glaze. Add the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. While the babka is still hot from the oven, pour the sugar glaze on top.
- The babka is best eaten the day it is baked. Alternatively, store it an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. Warm up leftovers before enjoying them.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.