Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Babka Recipe (video)

a close up of a slice of pumpkin chocolate babka bread

The most delicious and easy pumpkin chocolate babka bread recipe! This soft and fluffy pumpkin bread is swirled with a rich chocolate filling and glazed with a sugar syrup! Traditionally, babka is made with brioche bread. It’s typically a lengthy, two-day process of making the bread. With my simple version, you can have this babka ready to enjoy the same day! This pumpkin bread is perfect for the holidays to share with family and friends, and to enjoy with coffee! My recipe makes 2 loaves.

My Chocolate Babka Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube video tutorial for step-by-step instructions for making this easy pumpkin chocolate babka bread! Make sure to check out how I roll and shape the bread! Want to stay up to date on new recipes? Subscribe to my website emailing list on the homepage and to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

This easy pumpkin chocolate babka is made with simple, pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand! Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this festive and pretty pumpkin bread!

  • Whole Milk: I recommend using whole milk for this recipe, as it will make the bread richer tasting. Heat the milk just until it’s lukewarm, between 120 and 130F.
  • Dry Active Yeast: this is my preferred type of yeast to use for this bread recipe. You can use rapid or fast rise yeast, too. It will proof the dough much quicker in the first round of proofing.
  • All-Purpose Flour: plain, regular flour works great for this recipe. You can also use bread flour for this recipe; use the same amount.
  • Eggs: have the eggs at room temperature for best results. Cold eggs can bring down the temperature of the yeast dough.
  • Pumpkin Puree: I like to use canned, unseasoned and unsweetened pure pumpkin puree. It adds a light hint of pumpkin flavor to the bread!
  • Butter: use unsalted butter for best results. This way, you’ll be able to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Allow the melted butter to cool before adding it into the batter. If the butter is too hot, it can damage the yeast.
  • Ground Cinnamon: adding a little bit of this warming spice to the dough and the filling gives the pumpkin babka a special twist!
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: for making the chocolate filling. You can also use bittersweet or baker’s chocolate for the filling recipe.
  • Cocoa Powder: another ingredient for making the filling. Using a combination of chocolate chips and cocoa powder makes the filling extra rich!
  • Castor Sugar: also known as super fine baker’s sugar. This is the ideal type of sugar to use for the chocolate filling since it dissolves easily. You can however use regular sugar for this recipe, too!
a loaf of twisted chocolate babka bread on a table

Making the Pumpkin Yeast Dough

You’ll want to start making this easy pumpkin chocolate babka with the yeast dough. I love this light and fluffy pumpkin bread! It’s super soft and easy to make! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Start by warming your milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. It needs to be between 120 and 130F to activate the yeast. Anything too hot will kill it! Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow this mixture to stand for 5 minutes before adding anything else.
  2. Next, add in the melted and cooled butter, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Whisk everything together for a few minutes, until the eggs are well beaten. Start adding the flour into the batter gradually, whisking at first until the batter is smooth.
  3. Continue adding the flour in increments, switching to a spatula or wooden spoon once the dough starts to come together. Once a dough ball forms, sprinkle the remaining flour over your work surface and turn the dough out.
  4. Knead the dough for 4 to 6 minutes until it’s elastic and smooth. The pumpkin dough should be extra soft and just slightly sticky. If all 5 cups are not needed, save the rest for dusting for later. Return the dough back into the mixing bowl.

The First Proofing

For this pumpkin chocolate babka, the dough will need to proof twice. First, before it gets filled. Then again once it’s been rolled and filled.

  • For the first proofing, fill a large pot of water with steaming hot, not boiling, water about a third of the way full. The mixing bowl should not touch the water!
  • Place the dough bowl over the top, cover it with a clean tea towel and set the dough into a warm corner of the kitchen. The dough needs to proof for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until its doubled up in size.
slices of pumpkin chocolate bread on a wire rack, with chocolate chips

Easy, Chocolate Filling

While the dough is proofing, I take the time to prepare the easy chocolate filling. It’s made with butter, chocolate and cocoa powder.

  1. To make the filling, place the butter into a medium sized saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Once the butter starts to melt, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips, cocoa powder and fine sugar. Stir everything together and heat the mixture just until the chocolate is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove the chocolate filling from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Place the filling into the refrigerator to chill while the dough is proofing. It will be easier to spread and work with once it’s been chilled.

How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Babka

Now that you have the dough and the filling ready, it’s time to assemble the pumpkin chocolate bread! For a visual tutorial of this process, make sure to watch my YouTube video tutorial in the post above!

  1. Once the pumpkin dough has proofed and doubled in size, gently punch it down, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half and work with just one piece at a time. Do not knead the dough again. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 17×14-inches in size.
  2. Using a pastry brush, apply the beaten egg around the rim of the rectangle. This will help seal the dough. Add half of the prepared chocolate filling, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges.
  3. Gently begin rolling the dough into a log, lengthwise, and pinching it along the edges. Pinch the sems together tightly, forming a closed log. Next, begin splitting this log in half using a sharp, serrated knife. Leave about 1 ½-inches at the end where the dough is sealed.
  4. Next, twist the two halves of the split log together, forming a twisted log shape. Using a bench scraper, gently lift and transfer the twisted dough into a 9-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process for the second half of dough.
a loaf pan on a table, filled with twisted pumpkin dough and chocolate

Proofing & Baking the Babka Bread

And now for the second proofing! When you’re making this bread, you’ll have plenty of time during the second proofing to do other things around the kitchen! There are two ways of proofing the pumpkin bread loaves:

  1. Cover the bread loaves lightly with clean tea towels, set the bread next to the stove top and allow the dough to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
  2. To create a proofing oven: Make sure the oven is off. Fill a large pot with boiling water and place it on the bottom of your oven. Arrange the oven rack about two-thirds of the way up and place the prepared loaves into the oven. Close the oven, trapping the steam inside. The warm steam will keep the bread moist and it will proof faster. Make sure to remove the bread before turning on the oven to preheat!!

For baking my easy pumpkin chocolate babka, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 190F and 200F. Remove the bread out of the oven and cool it in the pans for about 30 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to gently lift the bread out of the pans and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

sliced, swirled chocolate bread on a table

Adding the Sugar Syrup

While the pumpkin chocolate bread is baking, it’s the perfect time to make the simple sugar syrup. This simple topping is what gives babka bread that shiny and glossy finish! Simply combine the sugar and water in a small saucepot without stirring. Heat the syrup over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and comes to a simmer. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool.

As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush the syrup over the top of the bread. Be extra generous with the syrup and apply multiple coats! If desired, use a toothpick to poke small holes into the bread, which will allow the syrup to sink inside.

How to Store Babka Bread

Fresh and warm babka bread is simply the best!! It’s going to be extra soft and fluffy when it’s freshly made! I recommend enjoying this pumpkin babka within 24 to 36 hours, when it’s still fresh. Once the bread has cooled completely, wrap it well with plastic wrap to prevent drying, and keep it stored at room temperature. The bread will become hard and cold in the refrigerator so keep it out of the fridge!

a loaf of pumpkin chocolate babka on a table

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this delicious pumpkin bread recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – the best recipe ever for cinnamon rolls! This pumpkin version is topped with a cream cheese icing!
  • Russian Easter Bread – I love this soft and fluffy bread! It’s dotted with dried fruit and topped with royal icing. It’s great year-round, not just for Easter!
  • Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Bundt Cake – if you need an extra easy dessert, this bundt cake recipe is for you! Simply garnished with chocolate syrup!
  • The Best Pumpkin Donuts – my favorite for the season!! These fluffy, fried yeast donuts are covered in cinnamon sugar.

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a pinnable image of swirled chocolate bread with text overlay, 'Pumpkin Chocolate Babka' Tatyana's Everyday Food

Supplies & Tools

Needs some supplies or tools to make this pumpkin chocolate babka at home? You can get them here online (Amazon Affiliate Links):

  • 9-inch Loaf Pans – these are great for any bread recipe!
  • Wooden Rolling Pin – this basic rolling pin is honestly all you need to make a variety of breads and recipes!
  • Digital Thermometer – my favorite! I have several of these in my kitchen! Instant and accurate reading.
  • Baker’s Sugar – this super fine sugar, also known as castor sugar, is also great for making pavlova!
Print
a close up of a slice of pumpkin chocolate babka bread
5 from 3 votes

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Babka Recipe (video)

1 hr 30 mins prep + 3 hrs Proofing Time
20 servings (2 loaves)
An easy and delicious recipe for pumpkin chocolate babka! A soft and fluffy pumpkin bread filled with chocolate and glazed with sugar syrup!

Ingredients 

For Pumpkin Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, unseasoned
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

For Chocolate Filling:

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup super fine sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Sugar Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

For Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg, well-beaten

Instructions

Making the Pumpkin Dough:

  • Begin with the pumpkin dough. Start by warming your milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. It needs to be between 120 and130F to activate the yeast. Anything too hot will kill it! Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow this mixture to stand for 5 minutes before adding anything else.
  • Next, add in the melted and cooled butter, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Whisk everything together for a few minutes, until the eggs are well beaten. Start adding the flour into the batter gradually, whisking at first until the batter is smooth.
  • Continue adding the flour in increments, switching to a spatula or wooden spoon once the dough starts to come together. Once a dough ball forms, sprinkle the remaining flour over your work surface and turn the dough out.
  • Knead the dough for 4 to 6 minutes until it’s elastic and smooth. The pumpkin dough should be extra soft and just slightly sticky. If all 5 cups are not needed, save the rest for dusting for later. Return the dough back into the mixing bowl.
  • For the first proofing, fill a large pot of water with steaming hot, not boiling, water about a third of the way full. The mixing bowl should not touch the water!
  • Place the dough bowl over the top, cover it with a clean tea towel and set the dough into a warm corner of the kitchen. The dough needs to proof for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until its doubled up in size.

Making Chocolate Filling:

  • While the dough is proofing, prepare the chocolate filling. To make the filling, place the butter into a medium sized saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Once the butter starts to melt, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips, cocoa powder and fine sugar. Stir everything together and heat the mixture just until the chocolate is completely dissolved.
  • Remove the chocolate filling from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Place the filling into the refrigerator to chill while the dough is proofing. It will be easier to spread and work with once it’s been chilled.

Shaping the Bread:

  • Once the pumpkin dough has proofed and doubled in size, gently punch it down, then turn it out onto a lightly floured worksurface. Divide the dough in half and work with just one piece at a time. Do not knead the dough again. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 17×14-inches in size.
  • Using a pastry brush, apply the beaten egg around the rim of the rectangle. This will help seal the dough. Add half of the prepared chocolate filling, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges.
  • Gently begin rolling the dough into a log, lengthwise, and pinching it along the edges. Pinch the seams together tightly, forming a closed log. Next, begin splitting this log in half using a sharp, serrated knife. Leave about 1 ½-inches at the end where the dough is sealed.
  • Next, twist the two halves of the split log together, forming a twisted log shape. Using a bench scraper, gently lift and transfer the twisted dough into a 9-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process for the second half of dough.

Proofing & Baking:

  • Cover the bread loaves lightly with clean tea towels,set the bread next to the stove top and allow the dough to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours,or until doubled in size.
  • To create a proofing oven: Make sure the oven is off. Fill a large pot with boiling water and place it on the bottom of your oven. Arrange the oven rack about two-thirds of the way up and place the prepared loaves into the oven. Close the oven, trapping the steam inside. The warm steam will keep the bread moist and it will proof faster. Make sure to remove the bread before turning on the oven to preheat!!
  • For baking my easy pumpkin chocolate babka ,preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 190F and 200F. Remove the bread out of the oven and cool it in the pans for about 30 minutes. Then use the parchment paper to gently lift the bread out of the pans and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Syrup:

  • While the pumpkin chocolate bread is baking, it’s the perfect time to make the simple sugar syrup. This simple topping is what gives babka bread that shiny and glossy finish! Simply combine the sugar and water in a small saucepot without stirring. Heat the syrup over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves and comes to a simmer. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool.
  • As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush the syrup over the top of the bread. Be extra generous with the syrup and apply multiple coats! If desired, use a toothpick to poke small holes into the bread, which will allow the syrup to sink inside.

Storing the Bread:

  • Fresh and warm babka bread is simply the best!!It’s going to be extra soft and fluffy when it’s freshly made! I recommend enjoying this pumpkin babka within 24 to 36 hours, when it’s still fresh. Once the bread has cooled completely, wrap it well with plastic wrap to prevent drying, and keep it stored at room temperature. The bread will become hard and cold in the refrigerator so keep it out of the fridge!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1301IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg