Mama Living Abroad

Snowflake Pull-Apart Chocolate Babka

snowflake babka on a white paper
snowflake babka on a white paper

Sweet, tender, and comforting, this pull-apart chocolate babka is basically a chocolate babka shaped into a snowflake. This is one of those cakes that I have absolutely no problem embarrassing myself by pulling and eating piece after piece every year. Snowflake Pull-Apart Chocolate Babka will make a great addition to your party spread or brunch menu! Top it off with powdered sugar, and you might not be able to stop at just one piece.

Making babka takes less than an hour of actual work! The rest of the time is the proofing and baking. That can range between 4-12 hours! I highly recommend reading all of my tips and tricks for the best results!

Ingredients Overview:

Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but you could use bread flour or a combination of bread and all-purpose. Remember that bread flour has a higher protein content; you might need to add more liquid to form the dough. I strongly recommend sifting the flour; it will result in a more delicate dough with a more significant volume.

Yeast (active dry yeast): Active dry yeast needs to be bloomed in liquid before being used to make dough. However, it is not necessary to bloom newly purchased yeast. Instead, it can be added directly to the dry ingredients.

Sugar: For the sweetness of course. But sugar also feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.

Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature.

Milk: The high-fat content of whole milk will make your cake more soft and tender. No skim milk in this recipe, please. 

Butter: Unsalted and cut into small pieces. 

Salt: To balance the flavors; don’t skip!

Chocolate spread: Store-bought or homemade. I used Nutella.

How to Make Snowflake Pull-Apart Chocolate Babka

Step 1: Make the dough: Put the small pieces of butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and cover the butter with a paper towel. Microwave the butter until it’s smooth and melted. Add the cold milk and stir well. 

Place sifted flour, yeast, and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined. Add the eggs and milk mixture, and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together (2-3 minutes). Add salt. Add a few drops of milk or water if the dough is very dry. Occasionally scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed until the dough is completely smooth, elastic, shiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It may look soft and might be sticky – that’s ok. 

Step 2: Let the dough rise: Lightly dust your work surface and hands. Then, use your hands to push and pull the dough against the work surface in a circular motion to create a nice round of dough. Place the dough into a greased bowl and grease the top. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 2-4 hours or until nearly double in size. This dough is rich with fat, so it takes longer than other doughs to rise. 

IMPORTANT! Although it’s possible to leave the dough at room temperature for the first rise, it’s highly recommended to place it in the fridge for 6-8 hours so it sets properly and is easy to work with. Place the dough into a greased bowl and grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes in it with a sharp knife or a toothpick so the yeast can “breathe.” 

If you take the fridge route, the dough may not look like it has risen much, and that’s OK! Also, if the dough is hard to handle, leave it at room temperature to soften for 30-60 minutes before rolling and shaping.

Step 3: Shaping:  Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut the dough in three. Work with only one piece of dough at a time. Place a clean towel over the dough you aren’t working with so it won’t dry out. 

Roll one piece of dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2- 3/4 inch thick. I used pastry silicon mat with measurements, and it was extremely helpful. 

Place one circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread 1/2 of the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Place another circle of dough on top and spread with the remaining 1/2 of the filling. Finish with the 3rd dough round.

Place a 2-inch wide glass or a round cookie cutter in the center of the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four triangles, then cut each triangle in half, creating 8 triangles. Now cut each triangle in half again to make a total of 16 triangles (see photos for a guide). Remove the glass.

Lift the edges of 2 wedges that are next to each other and twist them away from each other. Pinch the ends to seal and repeat with the remaining pairs of wedges.

Step 4: Second rise: Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rest and puff for 45 minutes to an hour.

Step 5: Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Whisk 2 tablespoons of milk with the egg and brush the snowflake. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until babka is golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and generously sprinkle powdered sugar.

How Do I Know When Babka is Done?

When it’s ready, the babka will be a deep golden brown on top. A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf should come out without any wet dough sticking to it (melted chocolate is okay). If you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read between 190°F to 200°F in the center of the loaf. Let the babka cool to room temperature before slicing.

How To Store Babka?

Store the cooled babka wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container on the counter for up to two days. This cake will start drying out after 24 hours, but the good news is that it freezes well.

How To Freeze Babka? 

Once the babka is completely cooled, wrap it in a few layers of plastic wrap, then in foil. Store it in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw the wrapped babka at room temperature. Before serving, warm the babka in a 325°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through.

More Jewish Recipes You’ll Love 

Round Spiral Challah

Black and White Cookies

Tzimmes Cake

Crispy Potato Latkes

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snowflake babka on a white paper

Snowflake Pull-Apart Chocolate Babka

Snowflake Pull-Apart Chocolate Babka will make a great addition to your party spread or brunch menu!
Kosher, Dairy
Tried my recipe?Mention @mamalivingabroad or tag #mamalivingabroad!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Jewish holiday foods, Jewish Traditional Food
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 5 hours
Servings: 1 cake

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 stick (110 grams) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole (full-fat) milk
  • 3 1/2 cups (500 grams) sifted all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting and kneading
  • 1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • butter or natural oil for greasing the dough
  • 1 cup chocolate spread like Nutella

For brushing

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk or water

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the milk and stir well.
  • Place flour, yeast, and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Add the eggs and milk mixture, and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together (2-3 minutes). Add salt. If the dough hasn’t come together, add a few drops of water or milk. Occasionally scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. Continue mixing for about 10 minutes on medium speed until the dough is completely smooth, elastic, and shiny, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

The first rise:

  • With floured hands, transfer dough to a large bowl and grease the top with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and leave in the fridge for at least half a day or overnight (if placed a long time in the fridge the dough can become hard – that’s normal; leave it at room temperature to soften for 30-60 minutes or until it’s easy to work with). Alternatively, place at room temperature for 2-4 hours or until almost doubled in size.

Assemble the snowflake:

  • Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut the dough in three. Work with only one piece of dough at a time. Place a clean towel over the dough you aren’t working with so it won’t dry out. 
  • Roll one piece of dough into a 10-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. I used pastry silicon mat with measurements, and it was extremely helpful. 
  • Place one circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Place another circle of dough on top and spread with the remaining 1/2 of the filling. Finish with the 3rd dough round.
  • Place a 2-inch wide glass or a round cookie cutter in the center of the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four triangles, then cut each triangle in half, creating 8 triangles. Now cut each triangle in half again to make a total of 16 triangles. Remove the glass.
  • Lift the edges of 2 wedges that are next to each other and twist them away from each other twice. Pinch the ends to seal and repeat with the remaining pairs of wedges

Second rise:

  • Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rest and puff for 45 minutes to an hour.

Bake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Whisk 2 tablespoons of milk with the egg and brush the snowflake. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until babka is golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and generously sprinkle powdered sugar.

7 comments

  1. I made this beautiful bread to give to neighbors for Christmas. I used a cinnamon and sugar filling because they have a nut allergy. I got so many compliments and thank you’s! It was a big hit with everyone in my house too. Thank you Rachel!5 stars

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Hi, I’m Rachel.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m happy you’re here. I am the food blogger behind “Mama Living Abroad.” In this space, I am sharing flavorful recipes that I love to make and have my family and friends approve.

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