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Easter Babka


This delicious recipe for Easter babka comes from the "Martha Stewart Living" television show.

  • Yield: Makes 3 cakes

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, March 2008


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl
  • 2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur
  • 9 cups sifted unbleached flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar mixed with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon water, for glaze


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, scald milk. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool to lukewarm.

  2. In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water; let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy.

  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, yolks, and sugar until thick. Add salt, zests, vanilla, and liqueur. Stir to combine. Stir in milk mixture, then yeast.

  4. Add flour, a cupful at a time, until dough is moist but not sticky, mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands. Stir in almonds and raisins.

  5. Knead dough on a floured board, adding more flour if dough is too sticky, until dough comes away from your hands, about 6 minutes. Place dough in a very large buttered bowl.

  6. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again until doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9- or 10-inch kugelhopf or angel-food cake pans. Sprinkle pans with a tablespoon of confectioners' sugar, if desired. Divide dough into 3 portions; arrange in pans and cover loosely. Let dough rise to tops of pans, about 30 minutes.

  8. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until cakes are golden brown and tops make a hollow sound when tapped with knuckles. Cool for 5 minutes in pans; turn out onto racks and cool for 20 minutes more.

  9. Spoon glaze onto babka, allowing it to drip over sides.

Reviews Add a comment

  • dqueenbee
    3 APR, 2012
    I chose this recipe because it seemed closest to what I remember my grandmother making at Easter. I had a bit of trouble though when mixing the dough. It was far stickier than I expected. I ended up adding about 3 more cups of flour to be able to get it out of the bowl and then about 1 cup more while kneading. I wonder if the instruction for measuring the flour should be "9 cups of flour, sifted" rather than "9 cups of sifted flour". Two very different measurements. Any one else encounter this?
  • DZN
    5 APR, 2010
    May we please have the recipe for the crumb topping that was in the video and also in the original recipe? It was delicious.
  • GFT
    2 APR, 2010
    Thanks for the memories - it was absolutely superb watching a previously televised episode which included your mother. My wife has mastered your mother's Stollen, so now I look forward to the Babka. Our very best wishes to you and your family this Easter season.
  • burrumbe
    2 SEP, 2008
    Hi Martha, it sure made me very sad to watch this video with your mother, it's going to be one year since she passed away. I had a recipe similar to this one, but, the put on top kind of strussel. I lost the recipe and that's when I run into this clip. Good for you Martha!