You’re going to fall in love with this gluten-free babka recipe. It’s soft and doughy and complete with chocolate swirls galore! I make my babka extra chocolaty and delicious and use a top-secret ingredient to ensure I get the perfect texture each and every time. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
You have stumbled upon a real gluten-free treat. I’m going to show you how to make the best gluten-free babka of your life. You’re going to send me fan mail after you eat this delicious, gooey, and sweet chocolate babka.
You may have heard of babka before, particularly if you’re a Seinfeld fan. Remember the episode with the chocolate babka? Here’s a snippet to refresh your memory.
Babka is a sweet braided bread mostly commonly enjoyed by Jewish people, although many cultures enjoy it too.
The bread is made with yeast-leavened dough that is prepared similarly to cinnamon rolls. Instead of brushing the dough with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, you use a different filling like Nutella, cinnamon, fruit, or even cheese. The dough is then rolled up, cut in half, and braided before baking.
But have no fear because I’m going to show you how to make your own warm chocolate gluten-free babka, and it all starts with Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix.
About Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix
Making a gluten-free babka requires the right tools, and it all starts with Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix. This mix comes with all the dry ingredients you need to make this tasty treat.
You cannot use another flour blend because, as mentioned, Lorraine’s is a “mix”, not a flour blend. That means it comes complete with the flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, and yeast already in the mix.
Please note that Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour, a flour blend I use often, is not recommended for sweet bread recipes. In fact, Bob’s Red Mill says that it doesn’t recommend it’s 1-to-1 flour for yeasted recipes at all.
I first found Lorraine’s Gluten Free on my quest to make the perfect gluten-free cinnamon rolls. I tried making cinnamon rolls time and time again with no success… but that was until I discovered Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix. This mix helped me to make the best sticky and gooey gluten-free cinnamon rolls ever. It’s truly a game-changing mix!
How to Make Gluten-Free Babka
Here’s how to make gluten-free babka at home in a few simple steps:
Step #1: Prepare the Dough
To make the sweet dough, add Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix to the mixing bowl of your standing mixer, along with the three included yeast packets. Whisk it all together.
Add 1 1/4 cups warm whole milk, 3/4 cup of melted butter, and 2 large eggs (at room temperature) to the dry ingredients and mix everything together slowly at first, then on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
Form the sticky dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it 1.5 to 2 hours to rise in a warm place in your home. The dough should near double in size.
Once the dough has risen, place it in your fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Cold dough will stiffen and be easier to work with.
To save time, you can alternatively allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place it in your fridge to slowly rise overnight. The dough will be ready for you to work with it the next day. I prefer this method because it saves me time and I think the slow rise makes the babka taste better in the end.
Step #2: Prepare the Dough
Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix will make two loaves of babka, so be sure to divide the risen dough in half before moving forward with the rest of the recipe. You can use the second half of the dough to make a second loaf or use it to make cinnamon rolls, soft pretzels, fried donuts, or monkey bread.
Roll out the dough into a large 8×10″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread a generous layer of Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread on top of the dough. (Yes, Nutella is gluten free, I tested it!) If the Nutella is stiff, microwave it for 30 seconds to make it more malleable. You can also sprinkle chocolate chips, hazelnuts, or other toppings on the Nutella, or simply leave it as is. I like to add chocolate chips for an extra chocolatey babka result.
Gently roll up the dough into a long log as pictured below.
Slice the log of dough down the middle with a sharp knife to form two halves. The chocolate will go everywhere and it will be messy, but that’s okay.
Now gently braid the dough, folding one side over the other side. Pinch and squish the ends together to seal them in place, then place the braided dough inside a greased parchment paper-lined 9×5 loaf pan.
Step #3: Bake the Babka
Bake the babka in a 350º F preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Check the babka after 20 minutes to make sure the top isn’t browning too quickly. If it starts to brown before the inside is cooked through, tent the babka with foil and continue baking.
Allow the babka to sit in the pan to cool before slicing and enjoying.
Store leftover babka in a sealed container on your countertop. You can also freeze the babka. Simply defrost it on your countertop and warm it before serving.
Why We Love this Babka
We love this babka for many reasons:
It’s Gooey and Chocolatey: Every slice is sweet and gooey, and the chocolate oozes everywhere. This babka is the definition of gooey … and I may have added extra Nutella and chocolate chips to mine. I can’t help myself!
No Fuss: There’s no fussing with measuring out dozens of ingredients to make the flour blend, Lorraine’s does all the measuring for you. Just dump the Sweet Dough Mix into your bowl and go!
It’s Babka: I mean, when was the last time you had babka?!? And what’s not to love about babka?!?
FAQs & Substitutions
Can I make it dairy free? Yes, you can use dairy-free milk, butter, and chocolate chips. You can even find dairy-free chocolate spread (use this brand, or make your own chocolate spread by combine melted chocolate chips with nut butter).
Can I make it egg free? The dough requires two eggs, and I have not tested it with an egg substitute. If you want to try it egg free, either use an egg replacer or two flax eggs (each flax egg is 3 tbsp warm water + 1 tbsp flaxseed meal).
How many loaves does this recipe make? This recipe makes two loaves of babka. Once you make the sweet dough mix, divide it in half. Each half will be for one loaf of babka. A lot of times I’ll cut the dough in half, use one half to make one babka, and the other half to make a half batch of my gooey cinnamon rolls or copycat gluten-free Krispy Kreme donuts.
Can I use different gluten-free flour? No, this recipe only works with Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix. Remember, this isn’t a gluten-free flour, it’s a complete mix that includes all the dry ingredients you need for this recipe. Use the code GOODFORYOU for 5% off your order at Lorraine’s Gluten Free.
Gotta sweet tooth? Try some of these recipes too:
- Copycat Gluten-Free Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Gluten-Free Pop Tarts
- Gluten-Free Apple Bread
- Gluten-Free French Toast Sticks (Dairy Free)
- Gooey Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
- Gluten-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- Gluten-Free Soft Pretzels
- The BEST Gluten-Free Monkey Bread (Dairy Free Option)
- 1 9×5 loaf pan
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk warm, temperature between 105 – 110 F
- 3/4 cups butter melted
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 package of Lorraine’s Sweet Dough Mix You'll need to make the full package of the Sweet Dough Mix, but you'll only need half of the dough. See notes for what to do with the reserved dough.
Filling (per loaf)
- 1/2 – 1 cup Nutella or hazelnut spread
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or chocolate chips
- Add 1 package of Lorraine's Sweet Dough Mix to the bowl attached to your standing mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment). Add the 3 included yeast packets into the flour mixture and lightly whisk to combine.
- Add the warm milk, melted butter, and eggs to the mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds, then mix the dough on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Set your timer.
- Lightly grease a clean bowl. Gather the dough, scraping the sides with a spatula, and shape it into a round mound. Place the dough inside the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours in a warm place. After the dough has risen, chill it for at least 2 hours so it stiffens and becomes easier to work with. (Alternatively, allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes at room temperature, then place it in the fridge to chill and slow rise overnight).
- Preheat your oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf baking pan.
- Divide the dough in HALF. You only need HALF of the dough to make one loaf of babka. See notes for ideas on how to use the rest of the dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, add one of the halves of the dough and roll it into an 8×10" rectangle. Spread the Nutella on the top and add chocolate chips and/or nuts. Roll the dough into a long log.
- Cut the log in half using a sharp knife, then braid the two halves of the log together, folding one half over the next until it's fully braided.
- Bake the babka for 35-45 minutes until lightly brown on top and cooked through. If the top of the babka is browning after 25-30 minutes, tent the top of the loaf pan with foil and continue baking.