Cheese Babka with Almond Streusel

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As someone who’s favorite cake in the world is fresh babka our of the over, this cheese babka is a feast. I also really love cheesecakes, so this cheese babka allows me to enjoy both worlds. It’s made of a buttery, tender danish pastry filled with cheese and topped with golden, crunchy almond streusel. A great morning pastry and a great snack in the afternoon.

Cheese Babka with Almond Streusel

Photo: Natalie Levin

Cheese Babka with Almond Streusel

For the dough:

  • 500 grams (3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams (2 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 150 grams (1 stick + 3 tbsp.) soft butter
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 ml. (1 cup) sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange

For the cheese filling:

  • 500 grams (2 packs) ricotta cheese
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 30 grams (3 tbsp.) cornstarch

For almonds streusel:

  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) chopped almonds
  • 75 grams (3/4 stick) cold butter cut into cubes
  • 30 grams (3 tbsp.) light brown sugar

For brushing and decoration:

  • 1 beaten egg
  • Icing sugar
  1. Dough: in a bowl of a mixer with a dough hook put flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, milk, salt, vanilla and orange zest and knead on low-medium speed for about 10-12 minutes, until the dough is uniform, flexible and a bit sticky .
  2. Cover the bowl and let rise for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in volume.
  3. Cheese filling: in medium bowl mix cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt into a smooth mixture.
  4. Add the eggs and mix until blended.
  5. Add cornstarch and mix just until incorporated. Refrigerate until assembly of the cake.
  6. Streusel: in medium bowl put flour, chopped almonds, butter and brown sugar and mix with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Keep in the refrigerator until assembling the cake.
  7. Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface divide into 2 parts.
  8. Roll each part into a rectangle about 3-4 mm thick and spread about half of the cheese filling in an even layer.
  9. Roll tightly and cut across the center to create 2 long strands. Braid the two strands together and put in a slightly greased pan.
  10. Repeat with the second part of the dough and the rest of the filling.
  11. Cover the cakes with a damp towel and let rise until almost doubled in volume.
  12. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  13. Brush the cakes with egg and generously sprinkle streusel on top.
  14. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set.
  15. Cool completely at room temperature before serving.
  16. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve.
  • The cheese babka is at its best on the day you bake it.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.
  • You can use pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.
  • You can freeze the cakes, wrapped tightly, for up to 2 weeks.