This Speculoos Babka is made with a filling of speculoos cream, chopped speculoos cookies, butter and cinnamon. A swirled loaf with a creamy but crispy filling, then soaked in syrup.
Tools & Equipment
- 23cm/9-inch loaf pan
- Stand mixer fitted with dough hook
- Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Sharp knife
- Small saucepan
Recipe tips for making Speculoos Babka
- Room temperature: the butter and eggs should be taken out of the fridge one hour before the start to bring them to room temperature. To warm the milk slightly, place it in the microwave.
- Butter: the butter is added at low speed, therefore it won’t be incorporated perfectly and the dough still looks a bit lumpy. That’ s fine at this point.
- Texture of the dough: if the dough appears too soft after kneading and sticks to the sides of the bowl, add an additional tablespoon of flour until it pulls away from the sides.
- Allow dough to rest: cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to wait, it is no problem to continue directly with the next step of the recipe.
- Roll out the dough: start by forming the dough into a rectangle, this makes it much easier to roll out to the final size.
- Crushing the cookies: just place the cookies in a zip-lock bag, seal it and then smash them with a rolling pin.
- Once the dough is rolled out: spread the filling, roll it up and cut the dough lengthwise. Twist and lift it into the pan.
- When baked, brush the syrup over the babka.
- Storage: It can be stored for up to 4 days at room temperature. Tightly wrapped, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.
Difficulty: medium. Making babka for the first time might be a bit difficult, because cutting and twisting the dough can be a little more complex.
Taste: Christmassy, as the filling is made of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
Texture: Spekuatius Babka is both creamy and crispy.
PROS: Tastes so good and looks amazing.
CONS: a bit challenging and time-consuming.
For the Dough:
- 6g active dry yeast
- 100g whole milk, very slightly warmed
- 15g granulated sugar
- 90g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 4g salt
- 280g flour (550)
For the Filling:
- 100g unsalted butter, cubed
- 50g granulated sugar
- 300g speculoos cream
- 2g ground cinnamon
- 65g speculoos cookies, coarsely chopped
For the Syrup:
- 100g granulated sugar
- 125ml water
- 15g honey
For the Dough:
- Mix the yeast with milk, sugar and 40g flour in the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk. Allow the yeast to rest until small bubbles appear and break the surface, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix in butter, then the egg and salt at low speed. Slowly add the flour until it is incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and knead the dough until smooth, for about 5 minutes.
- Butter a 23 cm/9-inch loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper overlapping the two long sides of the pan for easy removal of the baked babka.
- Roll out the dough to a rectangle of 30x40cm/12x16-inch on a lightly floured surface. In case the dough contracts and resists while rolling out, roll out partially to a rectangle, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then when relaxed, continue to roll out to the final size.
- Spread the speculoos cream over the surface of the rectangle up to the edge. Sprinkle the speculoos cookies all over the cream. Starting at one of the long ends of the rectangle, roll up the dough tightly to form a 40cm/16-inch long log.
- Slice the dough lengthwise in two halves completely using a sharp knife. With the cut sides facing up, fold the end of one half over the other, then take the other half and fold it over the other, making sure that the cut sides are always facing up. Continue to make a rope-like formation by overlapping the two halves of the dough and twisting them together until the dough turns into a large twist.
- Lift the twisted loaf and place it in the prepared loaf pan by squeezing the two ends so that it fits properly.
- Place the loaf pan in a very warm place and let it rise for about two hours until it is puffy and about double its size.
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Bake the babka on the center rack for about 30 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in the center of the babka, comes out clean. Some cookie pieces may stick to it, which is fine.
- Remove the babka from the oven, brush the syrup (at room temperature) over the babka and let it cool completely before lifting it out. Do not remove or slice it while still warm, as it may break.
For the Filling:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and stir until dissolved or almost dissolved.
- Turn off the heat and add the speculoos cream. Wait for one minute, then stir until the speculoos cream is incorporated.
- Add the cinnamon and stir. Set aside.
For the Syrup:
- As the dough rises, make the syrup by heating water, sugar and honey in a small saucepan. Let it boil for 4 minutes and skim the rising foam with a spoon.
- Turn off the heat and set aside.
Recipe adapted from theboywhobakes.