Pumpkin Babka

This tender, rich yeast loaf filled with a pumpkin-pecan filling is based on a traditional eastern European bread. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

overhead view of orange loaf of bread Pumpkin Babka on pink background
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Rise Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Stand Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
2 loaves (8 slices each)


  • 4 ½ - 5 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast

  • 1 ¼ cup canned pumpkin

  • cup milk

  • ¼ cup butter, cut up

  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 tablespoon butter, softened

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • ¾ cup finely chopped toasted pecans

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream


  1. In a large bowl stir together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir 1 cup of the pumpkin, the milk, 1/4 cup butter, the granulated sugar, 2 tsp. of the pumpkin pie spice and the salt until warm (120°F to 130°F) and butter almost melts. Stir pumpkin mixture and 1 egg into flour mixture. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (about 3 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (1 hour).

  3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. For filling, in a bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup pumpkin, and remaining 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.

  4. Roll one portion of dough into a 12x10-inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling over dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the long sides. Sprinkle with half of the nuts. Roll up rectangle, starting from the filled long side, and seal seam with fingertips. Using a serrated knife, cut roll in half lengthwise; turn cut sides up. Form an "X" with the pieces and twist the two strands of dough over each other, keeping cut sides up. Pinch ends together. Place dough twist in one of the prepared loaf pans. Repeat with remaining dough portion, pumpkin filling, and nuts. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together remaining egg and the cream. Brush over loaves. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and a thermometer registers 180°F to 190°F. Remove loaves from pans; cool on a wire rack.

Make-Ahead Babka

After shaping and placing in pans, cover and chill dough 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours or until nearly double in size. Brush and bake as directed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

270 Calories
10g Fat
39g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 270
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 203mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 2.3mg 13%
Potassium 140mg 3%
Folate, total 84.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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