Cheese Babka – #TwelveLoaves

Cheese Babka is a Polish bread traditionally made for Easter. This loaf is filled with cream cheese and brightened with lemon zest.
Prep Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Servings 12
Author Hostess At Heart



  • 1 .25 ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted

  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk

  • 3 eggs

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour divided


  • 1 1/2 cups farmers cheese or cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel I used fresh

  • 2 tablespoons butter melted


  • In a small bowl sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over the warm water and stir to dissolve.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Combine the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk,eggs and 1 cup of flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add remaining flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round and place it in a large greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with a plastic dough and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the farmers' cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg, vanilla extract and lemon peel. Beat together until smooth. Set aside. Lightly oil a bundt pan.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle.  Spread the 2 tablespoons over the surface of the dough and then the cheese over the butter.  Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, starting from the long end; twist the dough 6 to 8 times to form a rope.  Pinch the seams and ends closed and arrange the rope of dough in the greased pan.  Cover loosely and let rise, 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes; invert onto a wire rack and remove the pan.  Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.


Recipe adapted from
Prep time includes inactive time.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 408IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
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