Cheese Babka Recipe -
Cheese Babka Recipe
  • READY IN 6+ hrs

Cheese Babka

Recipe by  

"Polish cheese babka like my grandmother served every Easter."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 Bundt-shaped loaf Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    40 mins

    6 hrs 40 mins


  1. Sprinkle the yeast and the pinch of sugar over the warm water; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, milk, and 3 eggs in a bowl with 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Beat together the farmers' cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, sour cream, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and dried lemon peel in a bowl until smooth. Set the filling aside. Lightly oil a 10-inch fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt®).
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread the cheese filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope. Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan. Cover loosely and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. Bake the babka until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert the babka onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Allow the babka to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
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  • Cook's Notes
  • Use a farmers' cheese that resembles very dry cottage cheese; do not use the slicing cheese that is also called farmer cheese or Amish farmer cheese.
  • If you have a silicone Bundt® pan, it will work wonderfully in this recipe.

Reviews More Reviews

Apr 11, 2011

The smell of this baking is enough to drive you crazy. So delicious. I will say - be patient with the rising times - mine took much longer than stated - but that might have been that it was pretty chilly here. I also used the zest of one fresh lemon - I had no dried. I am not Polish and I had never made a Babka before - this will be the start of a whole new tradition.

May 05, 2011

After searching for a cheese babka for Easter and finding that all the stores and bakeries were out of them, we decided to make this on Easter Eve! My husband put all of the dough ingredients into the bread machine and ran it on the dough cycle while I was at work. When I got home, I removed the dough and got started. The dough was very sticky, so I would probably add some additional flour next time. For the filling, I subbed cream cheese for the farmers cheese and I also didn't need the whole 2 tbl. of melted butter, but otherwise I followed the recipe and it came out fabulous. On Easter, my family all said they hoped I would make it every year and never buy one again. This definitely was equal or better than any babka we've purchased...even from the Polish bakery. It wasn't too difficult to make and was so worth it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It will now be a family Easter tradition for us. (Mine came out a little dark. My oven runs low, so I upped the temp to 375. Next time, I'll leave it at 350 and I think it'll be perfect.)


24 Ratings

Apr 16, 2012

I reviewed this recipe on March 30, but decided to update the review after making it several times and each time it gets better than the last. Doubt it is as authentic, but it is sure scrumptious. We have now become Cheese Bapka addicts, thanks to this wonderful recipe, and no longer have to order it from New York. We incorporated the following changes to the recipe and it is right on the mark for us and is picture perfect, like Kristina’s photograph. As others have indicated, dough is a bit sticky and we added about ¾ cup of flour. We added additional vanilla to the dough and also the filling. We rolled the dough out on a huge cutting board covered with parchment paper which made the dough much easier to roll. We used cream cheese, instead of Farmer’s Cheese (as suggested by one reviewer), and it was just as good or better. We also did not spread the cheese mixture all the way to the other end and the mixture stayed contained in the dough and spread throughout to the end when rolling it. Next, we did not twist the dough and none of the cheese leaked out to the side of the pan during cooking time. We baked for 30 minutes perfect; moist and delicious.

Aug 24, 2011

I love this Babka.. I am Ukrainian and it is a staple at holidays. I even made my own farmers cheese (also a recipe I found on this site...thanks!) and it turned out delicious!

Aug 11, 2011

This was a beautiful bread. The top side was even more gorgeous than the bundt side. The dough was very sticky - I had to add another cup of flour before and at least one cup during the kneading process (almost 2 more cups than recipe called for). I also had to sub cream cheese for farmer's cheese - my store just didn't have it. The dough was tender and soft and sweet and wonderful. And the house smelled fabulous as well. Great recipe. Will make again.

Apr 24, 2011

My dear 91 year old mother in law from Slovakia used to make this but never wanted to share her recipe. I recognized the ingredients and made it. It was easy to do and tasted absolutely delicious, just like she used to make. So good on Easter Sunday with ham and easter eggs. Thanks for sharing

Apr 02, 2012

Amazing recipe! My parents are Polish & Ukranian and both raved that this recipe reminded them of their grandparent's babka. The bread was extremely moist & flavorful! I added some raisin as well. My only problem is that my dough did not rise (double in size as directed) - even after over 2 hours. It still tasted great, but I'd like to see dough rise as it should. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe!

May 24, 2011

So Moist!! My first time making babka, a little tricky but worth the time and effort...everyone loved it!!


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  • Calories
  • 513 kcal
  • 26%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 44 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 134 mg
  • 45%
  • Fat
  • 28.2 g
  • 43%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 19.1 g
  • 38%
  • Sodium
  • 769 mg
  • 31%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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