Cream Cheese and Basil Babka

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Buttery brioche, with creamy cream cheese and sweet smelling basil combined in a beautiful braid. Baked to perfection! This savoury cream cheese and basil babka is a delight!

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A babka traditionally is a sweet braided bread of jewish origin. Prepared with a yeast leavened dough that is rolled out and spread with a filling like chocolate, Cinnamon. Further then rolled up, braided and baked. The layers on slicing are beautiful..

Inspired by the traditional babka, I’ve made my own savoury version with a brioche dough, it is super soft, filled with creamy homemade cream cheese and freshly plucked sweet smelling basil.

What is Brioche?

Brioche is a type of bread that has a high egg and butter content which gives it a rich and tender crumb. It is light and fluffy depending on the proportion of butter and eggs in it.

The brioche gives the babka a tender crumb that literally melts in your mouth!

Fluffy cream cheese and basil babka is sure to outshine the chocolate kind.

Fresh Basil

How do you shape a babka?

The shaping of the babka is what gives it those distinct layers on the inside. Here’s how to braid the loaf. The more rolls, the more will be the number of layers!

Storing Babka

Wrap the babka in plastic wrap, in an air tight container and store it in the fridge. It can stay upto a week.

Like this recipe? Try my other Bread Recipes..


Cream Cheese and Basil Babka

Recipe by thecrumbstoriesCourse: SidesCuisine: Jewish


Prep time


Resting Time




Baking Time


Total time





Buttery brioche, with creamy cream cheese and sweet smelling basil combined in a beautiful braid. Baked to perfection! This savoury cream cheese and basil babka is a delight!


  • For Cream cheese and basil Filling
  • 200 g Cream Cheese

  • 10-12 Fresh Basil Leaves

  • ½ tsp Dijon Mustard

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • ½ tsp Black Pepper

  • ½ tsp Lemon juice

  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

  • For brioche dough
  • 250 g All Purpose Flour (Maida)

  • 25 g Caster Sugar

  • ½ tbsp Yeast

  • 1 Large egg / 40 ml Whole milk

  • 50 ml Whole Milk

  • 30 ml Water

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 75 g Unsalted Butter, softened

  • To top
  • 1 tbsp Onion seeds


  • For brioche dough
  • Take 30 ml of luke warm water, add in 1 tsp of sugar and the yeast. Let it sit covered for 5 mins.
  • In a stand mixer bowl (attachment – dough hook) or mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining caster sugar and add in the yeast mixture.
  • Add in the milk and egg (More milk for a vegetarian option) and knead the dough.
  • Once it all comes together, add in the salt and butter and continue kneading till a window pane is seen. This should take about 10 minutes in a stand mixer and 20 minutes or so by hand.
  • Once the window pane test comes through, shape the dough into a round.
  • Now place it in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let it rise for one hour.
  • For Cream cheese and basil Filling
  • In a blender, combine the cream cheese and basil. Blend it well.
  • Add in the garlic powder, salt, dijon mustard, pepper, lemon juice and mix it in well.
  • Now, add in the Parmesan cheese and combine.
  • Place it in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
  • Assembling
  • Once the dough is double in size or after 1 hour of letting it rest, punch down the air from the dough and place it on a clean surface dusted with flour.
  • With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle.
  • Now spread the cream cheese filling on the dough all over and sprinkle the onion seeds.
  • Now roll the dough tightly into a log.
  • With the help of a serrated knife, cut the log lengthwise into two parts.
  • Place the two parts in a ‘ x ’ and twist the two parts around each other to form a braid.
  • Place the braid in a greased and lined loaf pan.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle some onion seeds on it and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  • Once baked, let it cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Slice to see the beautiful layers inside!

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  1. What are the calories in a serving

  2. Tried the recipe. So delicious! Must try