Blueberry Babka Braid


I've been doing a fair amount of baking thanks to the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders. This babka braid looks complicated but isn't very hard. It's a fun way to use up frozen blueberries! Store leftovers in an airtight container, or wrap tightly before freezing.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
1 large braid



  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Blueberry Filling:

  • 2 ⅓ cups frozen unsweetened blueberries

  • cup white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon orange juice

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 egg

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 tablespoon pearl sugar (Optional)


  1. Combine milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add remaining sugar, butter, and eggs to the milk mixture. Stir until mostly combined, but it won't be smooth.

  3. Measure flour, cardamom, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour in wet ingredients and attach dough hook. Mix until dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Cover the stand mixer with a clean dish towel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Uncover the dough and knead on medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Continue to knead on low speed until dough is soft, elastic, and shiny, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Meanwhile, make the blueberry filling. Combine blueberries, sugar, and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a low boil. Smash the blueberries with a potato masher. Continue to simmer until the mixture has thickened enough to spread, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in extracts. Chill until completely cool.

  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down and divide into 2 pieces. Roll 1 piece into a 9x18-inch rectangle, squaring off with a bench scraper as you roll to make it is as even as possible. Spread 1/2 of the blueberry filling over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border. Roll up the dough into a tight roll, starting from the long edge closest to you. Pinch seams to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

  7. Place logs side by side on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.

  8. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper to each log in half, lengthwise, so you have 4 filled strips of dough on the baking sheet.

  9. Place 2 strips across each other to form a plus sign. Arrange the remaining 2 strips to form an interlocking cross. Fold the end of the strip closest to you over the strip to its right. Repeat 3 more times, moving clockwise. Fold remaining strips over to the left, moving counterclockwise. Repeat folding step until only short ends remain; join ends and tuck them carefully under the braid.

  10. Cover the braid and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes.

  11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) towards the end of the second rise.

  12. Beat egg with a pinch of salt and brush some over the braid. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.

  13. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

Cook's Notes:

I love cardamom with blueberries but you can try cinnamon, or omit the spice and use lemon zest instead.

If you're short on time, you can put the dough in the fridge for the first rise, 8 hours to overnight. Then roll out, fill, and roll into logs. The dough is easier to shape when chilled! Skip step 7 if you go this route.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

394 Calories
12g Fat
62g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 394
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 158mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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