Cheese Babka


by Estee Kafra, Spice It Right!

This recipe was not supposed to be included in this book. However, when I printed it in Binah magazine I got overwhelming responses from all over the world. During my first two years as food editor, no recipes got as many rave reviews as Roizy’s Kokosh and this cheese babka. If you haven't already made it, don’t be left out of the loop!


2 oz. fresh yeast (or 2 Tbsp yeast)
1 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
10 cups flour (approximately)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups warm milk

3 pkgs. firm cream cheese (8-oz. each)
2 lbs. farmer’s cheese
5 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups sugar

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

1 egg for brushing


Place yeast, sugar and 1 cup warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add remaining dough ingredients, alternating wet and dry, and mix very well for at least 5 full minutes to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and blend very well, using a dough hook, immersion blender or just the back of a fork (with a strong arm holding it!)

Mix ingredients for crumb topping as well, by simply crumbling butter, flour and sugar with your fingers to create a crumbly consistency. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Once dough has risen, take challah (without a brachah) and divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts (depending on the size of your pans and how large you want your cakes to be). Roll each piece of dough out on a floured surface to about 1/4 of an inch thick, and smear with filling. Use up all the filling amongst the cakes.

Roll each piece of dough up in Jelly-roll fashion, rolling gently so as not to squeeze out all the filling. Bend it to fit into a well greased, round pan, shaping it like a spiral or knotting it.

Brush the top of each babka with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with crumb topping. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to wire rack to cool completely.


Yield:  3-4 Babkas

 Recipes: Desserts, Babka, Cheese, Dairy, Kosher