Babkas have a pretty good reputation. The traditional yeast cake was doing fine even before “Seinfeld” catapulted it to TV fame by devoting an entire episode to it. But now Israeli cookbook author Orly Ziv has shown us how to combine this heavenly cake with a favorite Israeli snack – halva. The results are amazing.

In just 10 easy steps, you can recreate this wondrous loaf of sweetness, oozing with chocolate and just a hint of sesame-flavored halvah. Turn yourself into a baker par excellence – you can do it!

Halvah crumb chocolate babka

PrintPrep45 minutes Cook Time30 minutes Yield2 loaves


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 1 cup chocolate spread
  • 1 8-ounce halva block


  • Line two 8” loaf pans with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Mix yeast, warm water and sugar in a small bowl and allow to proof for 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients and add yeast mixture (mixing and kneading the dough can be done with the dough hook on an electric mixer). Knead until completely smooth.
  • Cover and allow to rise for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Divide dough into two balls. Roll out one at a time into a large rectangle about ½” thick.
  • Spread chocolate spread carefully over dough, and then crumble half of the halva block over chocolate.
  • Roll up tightly (lengthwise). Slice in half, and twist the halves to form a loaf.
  • Place in parchment lined loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  • Allow babkas to rise half an hour, then bake for 30-35 minutes. Test bottom and center for doneness, the babkas vary in density and can take up to 40 minutes to be fully baked.
  • Mix hot water and sugar to create glaze. Brush generously and repeatedly onto hot babka loaves. Crumble halva over tops and press into sides (optional).
  • Cool on wire racks. Slice and serve warm.

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