I already want to make this pecan pie babka again because I love it so much. When I first made babka, I just did it to see what it was all about and I was blown away by how delicious it is. So naturally, I had to make a Fall version! This babka recipe uses pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the filling. I mean come on, how good does that sound?
How to shape babka
Seriously, babka is so easy to make but it looks so impressive. If you make this for Thanksgiving, everyone will be in awe of those nutty swirls! Forget pecan pie, pecan babka is where it’s at.
So how do you get that signature swirl? It’s similar to making cinnamon rolls but instead of making individual slices, you make one big cut down the length of your log to expose all of the layers. You take your two halves and twist them together to showcase the beautiful design on top. This blog post has a great step-by-step guide.
For this recipe, it’s especially easy because the filling is fairly stiff. It can get messy when making a chocolate babka because the filling tends to spill out. You can avoid this by leaving a half inch boarder around the edge of your dough when spreading the filling.
What does babka taste like?
From the ones I’ve tried, it tastes like a rich buttery dough that just melts in your mouth. It’s similar to cinnamon rolls but it’s a little bit fluffier and richer. This is due to the amount of butter added to the dough and since it’s at room temperature, you get a smooth buttery texture as opposed to a flakey one.
Classic babka is filled with chocolate which pairs so well. The chocolate is slightly bitter which balances out the sweetness and creaminess of the loaf. Plus, chocolate adds a great contrast to those beautiful swirls!
There are endless amounts of fillings you could use for babka. There’s chocolate hazelnut, cinnamon sugar, rum raisin, maple bacon, peanut butter banana…I mean the list goes on and on. I’m even getting some more inspiration here!
Baking your pecan pie babka
The trickiest part about this recipe is knowing when it’s done. I had to bake this three different times just to get the bake right! Since the top turns a rich golden brown, you might think the center is done but you should always double check.
One sign is how much it puffs up. The center should have a nice round dome when it’s fresh from the oven. It will even out as it cools. If it starts to sink in the middle, place it back in the oven.
Also peak between each layer. Take a toothpick or fork to gently lift up any loose layers. If the center still looks a little raw and you don’t see those nice stringy crumbs, it will need to bake for a little bit longer.
Poking at it is another test you can use. If it springs back, it’s fully baked. If it takes a bit for it to come back or if it doesn’t spring back at all, then it’s not ready.
I just can’t resist those babka layers. It’s such a gorgeous dessert but takes much less effort than you think. For a classic babka recipe, check out my crunchy chocolate babka.
If you’re in need of even more fall or Thanksgiving recipes, here are some of my favorites:
- Pumpkin cheesecake cookies
- Pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- Apple cider crullers
- Caramel apple muffins
- Pumpkin bread with maple glaze
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make this pecan pie babka. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!