Gluten Free Chocolate Babka

Gluten Free Chocolate Babka

Indulge in our irresistible gluten-free chocolate babka recipe! Learn how to make this luscious treat and satisfy your cravings today. Try it now!
Yeast of Eden mostly sells traditional long-rise bread, but every once in a while, Olaya makes something sweet. In The Walking Bread, the 3rd Bread Shop Mystery, she makes Babka. Because we eat gluten-free in our household, I included the gluten-free version, which is so good!
One by one I pulled the loaf pans filled with Babka dough from the walk-in refrigerator. We’d spent the entire day before making the traditional dough, letting it rise, filling it with the coffee-infused chocolate schmear, shaping it, placing each log into a prepared bread pan, and then sprinkling the crumbly cinnamon-sugar topping on top. We tented each loaf pan before placing them into the refrigerator.
“Why Babka?” I’d asked Olaya after she showed me the baking plan for the Art Car Show. The sheet of paper listing the various baking tasks we’d have leading up to the event lay on the table between us. 
“Babka. Panettone. Challah. Traditional bread. It is my specialty. No matter where it is from, what I want to share with my customers is the old way. I want them to experience bread the way it should be. The slow rise. The rustic experience, or the refined taste. Whatever it is, what I do is make bread the way it was made before bread machines and Wonder Bread.” She tapped her index finger on the paper. “Babka is not a common bread here. Most say it original, is that how you say it?”“
Originated?” I said.
She nodded. “Yes, yes. It originated in Eastern Europe. Russian or Slavic. Originated here with Jewish immigrants. You can find it in big cities. New York. San Francisco. Posiblemente en Houston, even. Not in a small town bakery or bread shop. But the Babka, it is good. The people, they love it. So I make the chocolate krantz cakes for this event.”
And make them she did. We did. Dozens and dozens and dozens of them. 



  • 2 3/4 cups Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder optional; for enhanced chocolate flavor
  • 2 tablespoons Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup diced pecans or walnuts toasted if desired


  • 1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt until well-combined


  • 1/3 cup Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  • To make the dough: Combine all the dry ingredients in your mixer bowl. Add the soft butter, blending on low speed until you have coarse crumbs.
  • Add the oil, milk, egg, and vanilla, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes; scrape the bowl down again. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until visibly puffy.
  • When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper (or waxed paper) and press it gently into an 8" x 16" rectangle.
  • To make the chocolate filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder, and cocoa. Stir in the melted butter. The mixture will look grainy and slick; that's OK.
  • Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2" to 1" border of filling-free dough around the edges. Scatter the chips and nuts atop the filling. If desired, process the chips in a food processor first, to create smaller bits of chocolate and a less chunky filling.
  • You may choose two ways to shape the babka. Either way, use the greased parchment (or waxed paper) to help you; don't try to shape the dough by removing it from the paper. The easiest way to shape is to start with a short end, and simply roll the filled dough into a log, as though you were making cinnamon swirl bread. The dough should release from the paper as you roll. Alternatively (and if you're feeling a bit more adventuresome!), start with a long edge of dough, roll the dough forward into a log, then cut the log in half crosswise.
  • Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. If desired, line the pan with a parchment paper sling, which will help you remove the loaf once it's baked. Gently place the dough log into the lined pan. If you've rolled the long way and cut the log in half, snuggle both halves, side by side, into the pan. This will give you a somewhat more intricate swirl.
  • Cover the pan, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it's puffy and risen about 1" over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • To make the topping: Combine all of the ingredients to form coarse crumbs. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg glaze, then sprinkle with the topping.
  • Bake the bread for 40 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 35 minutes (for a total of 60 to 75 minutes); it should be nicely browned, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center should read 205°F to 210°F.
  • Remove the bread from the oven, and if you haven't used a parchment sling, immediately loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
  • Store the babka for 2 to 3 days at room temperature, well wrapped; freeze for longer storage. For best texture, reheat individual slices briefly before serving; the toaster works fine for this.


*Gluten Free Chocolate Babka, recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour
Make it with regular wheat flour HERE