The Cinnamon Vegan Babka recipe is easy to make and it is just as soft, fluffy, and cake-like as the classic recipe. Twisted with a gooey cinnamon filled and topped with a cinnamon crunch coating!

sliced vegan babka

What is babka?

If you’ve never had babka bread, then you’re in for a treat! Babka originated from Poland and Ukraine within the Jewish communities in the early 19th century. The word, babka, translates to “grandmother” in Polish.

Babka bread is a sweet twisted and braided bread that’s actually more cake-like in texture (which makes it different from Challah! More on that below), and is typically filled with either cinnamon or chocolate. Jewish communities typically enjoy babka for Shabbat, and in some Polish communities, it’s enjoyed on Easter Sunday. Babka was originally created with cinnamon, but when more Jewish communities immigrated to America, chocolate became a more readily accessible ingredient, so babka started being filled with chocolate!

Traditionally, babka was baked in a fluted pan and filled with cinnamon. Babka is also quite popular in Israel, and is made with laminated dough. Since its rise to fame in American, babka is now most commonly enjoyed with a chocolate filling and is baked in a loaf tin- much different from how it was originally created!

However, I wanted to stick to more of the original flavors of babka bread, so I went with making a vegan cinnamon babka, filled with ripples of sweet and warming stickiness and topped with a cinnamon crunch coating!

vegan cinnamon babka on parchment

How do you make babka vegan?

You might have guessed that babka isn’t originally vegan. Instead, eggs, milk, and butter are typically used. However, with a few vegan swaps, we can easily make a babka (that’s of course more closely related to the babka that’s quite popular in western culture) eggless and dairy free. The most non-intuitive swap for this recipe will be the eggs.

For the eggs: We’re swapping in dairy-free yogurt. Most vegan egg replacements don’t contain protein, like eggs do, which actually helps with the rise. But with dairy-free yogurt, we can actually achieve a really similar texture to that of an egg, and the yeast with the sugar and flour will still help to create a beautiful rise!

For the milk: We’re swapping in dairy-free milk, such as oat milk or soy milk. Forager Project has a wonderful soy milk that I’ve been loving using, and I highly recommend!

For the butter: As 21st century vegans, we’re very lucky to have amazing vegan butters on the market that work just like regular butter!

Vegan babka ingredients

Here’s what you need in order to make this amazing cinnamon crunch babka recipe:

  • Flour: You can use either bread flour or all-purpose flour here. Both will work, and whichever is more easily available to you. I have not tested this with gluten free flour just swapped in 1:1, but please see my notes in the recipe card for a gluten-free option.
  • Granulated sugar: To make this babka recipe refined sugar free, you can use coconut sugar. Make sure that your granulated sugar is organic to ensure that it’s vegan!
  • Vegan butter: I recommend using Miyoko’s vegan butter or Flora Plant Butter (as a nut-free option). It will yield the best flavor! You can use coconut oil, but the best results will be with vegan butter.
  • Dairy-free yogurt: For the cake-like texture to this babka recipe, we need to use dairy-free yogurt. I recommend Forager Project unsweetened vanilla yogurt. You can swap in applesauce, but the best results will be with dairy-free yogurt!
  • Cinnamon: But of course!
  • Vanilla extract: You can also use vanilla powder, which I just love!
  • Yeast: We can’t make babka without it! Use dry active yeast for this recipe. You could use rapid rise yeast, but the rise times and bake times might differ.
slice of vegan babka

How to make cinnamon vegan babka (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Making vegan babka is actually easier than you might think! This recipe in particular makes 1 large loaf, but you could easily divide it into two loaves instead.

How to make an easy vegan babka recipe:

  1. Start by blooming the yeast.

    Like most bread recipes, we’ll start by warming the dairy free milk to 110F, then stirring in sugar and flour. Add in the yeast, and cover to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until the yeast has started to look “foamy.” That’s a great sign that your yeast is ready!

  2. Add in the remaining ingredients to your stand mixer, and mix.

    I use a dough hook on my stand mixer, but you can also make this cinnamon babka by hand. Simply mix until the wet ingredients are completely combined.

  3. Next, add in the flour, and knead.

    Mix on medium speed until the flour has completely incorporated into the dough, and the dough looks quite shaggy. Then lightly flour a clean surface, and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, or until you get a smooth ball.

  4. First proof:

    Place the dough ball into an oiled glass bowl and cover. You’ll need a warm area of at least 85F or warmer, and prove the dough until doubled in size. Because this vegan babka dough is higher in fat than a lean dough, the dough takes a bit longer to rise, so you might need an hour or two, depending on how warm your area is.

  5. While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon sugar filling.

    Mix together the cinnamon, sugar, flour, and vegan butter until you get a thick paste. Then set aside until you’re ready to spread onto your dough.

  6. Shape the babka dough:

    Lightly roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Then, much like cinnamon rolls, spread the cinnamon sugar paste right to the edges of your babka dough. Roll length wise (I find this best if you want a tall bread!). Then use a large kitchen knife or scissors, and divide the dough in half, lengthwise (the SAME way you rolled the dough). Next, twist the dough pieces together and bind the ends into one.

  7. Second proof:

    Place the dough into your prepared baking pan, and cover again while your oven preheats.

  8. Bake!

    Once your oven is preheated, place the babka into the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or when the internal temperature is 180F. You don’t want to over-bake the babka, otherwise it will come out dry! Remove from the oven and allow the babka to cool in the pan before removing and serving. Enjoy!

How to make vegan babka
How to make vegan babka
How to make cinnamon babka

FAQ’s

Can I make this recipe a chocolate vegan babka?

Unfortunately, the filling for this vegan babka recipe would be drastically different! However, I do have a vegan chocolate babka recipe in my cookbook, Baked With Love, that’s delicious!

What is the difference between babka and Challah bread?

If you’re unfamiliar with Challah bread and babka, then you might be wondering what’s the difference-they’re both yeasted breads! Challah bread typically resembles more of a brioche bread, and is traditionally braided and shaped to be baked and served on the Jewish Sabbath. It’s sweet and soft! Babka, on the other hand (and like we mentioned earlier!), is more like a yeast-risen cake, and tends to be sweeter, with twists of chocolate or cinnamon filling.

Can I freeze vegan babka?

You can absolutely freeze this vegan babka for later! Simply slice and store the vegan babka in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in tinfoil and plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat a babka slice, simply preheat the oven to 300F, and place your babka onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Then heat for 5-7 minutes!

Can I make this vegan babka recipe gluten free?

I haven’t tried gluten free flour in this cinnamon babka recipe, nor do I think that just substituting it 1:1 would work in this case. That being said, I do have a vegan gluten free cinnamon roll dough that I believe would work for this recipe. I have not personally tried this, so I cannot guarantee it, but the dough is sweet like babka, that I believe you would technically get very similar results! Please let us know in the comments section if you try it!

sliced vegan babka

Overnight option

Want this easy cinnamon crunch vegan babka ready for the morning holiday brunch? Simply make the dough and shape the babka dough right up to when you place the dough in the prepared baking pan. Then cover the baking dish tightly and place the dough into the fridge to chill overnight. An hour before you’re ready to serve the babka, simply take the dough out of the fridge and place it near the oven. Preheat the oven to 375F, and bake for 50-55 minutes.

slice of cinnamon babka

You are just going to absolutely love this cozy cinnamon crunch babka recipe! It’s so fluffy, soft, and sweet like cake…not to mention undetectably eggless, dairy free, and vegan!

More vegan bread recipes:

Amazing Vegan Challah Bread

Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Amazing Vegan Brioche

BEST Gluten Free Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Amazing Cinnamon Crunch Vegan Babka (Eggless!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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sliced vegan babka

Easy Cinnamon Crunch Vegan Babka (Eggless, Dairy Free)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Eastern European
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Cinnamon Vegan Babka recipe is easy to make and it is just as soft, fluffy, and cake-like as the classic recipe. Twisted with a gooey cinnamon filled and topped with a cinnamon crunch coating!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Vegan Babka:

  • 185 grams dairy free milk, heated to 110F
  • 55 grams granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 425 grams bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp (.25 oz) activated yeast
  • 113 grams salted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 65 grams vegan dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Filling:

  • 160 grams coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Crunch Coating:

  • 80 grams granulated sugar
  • 35 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Grease a medium glass bowl with olive or coconut oil, and set aside. Generously grease an 11″ loaf pan with olive or coconut oil as well. Cut a piece of parchment paper and line the loaf pan so that two ends hand off the sides to easily remove the bread once baked. Then set aside.
  3. Bloom the yeast: In a separate large bowl, combine the dairy free milk, 1 tsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp bread flour, and activated yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon, and cover. Place in a warm area to activate for about 10 minutes. The yeast should begin to foam and smell yeast-like (similar to beer). 
  4. Make the dough: Once activated, add in the melted vegan butter, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract to a stand mixer with dough attachment, along with the yeast mixture. You can also mix this by hand if needed. Mix on medium speed until combined. Then sift in the remaining bread flour and mix on medium-high speed until you achieve a shaggy dough. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Knead the dough: Once it starts to form a ball, lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes, until it forms a smooth dough ball.
  6. First proof: Place the dough ball into the medium sized greased bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm area (ideally above 85F) to rest for about 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  7. While the dough is rising: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Then use a fork to mix the vegan butter into the cinnamon sugar mixture until it forms a paste. Set aside.
  8. Shape the dough: Once doubled in size, lightly punch down the dough ball in the bowl to release the air. Lightly flour a clean surface again and roll out the dough to be about 11″ by 18.” Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the dough until it reaches the edges. Then roll the dough very tightly lengthwise. Use a large kitchen knife or kitchen scissors to cut the dough lengthwise in half (the same way that you rolled it). Cross the two halves over each other. Then twist the dough tightly, pinching the ends together. 
  9. Second proof: Carefully place the dough into your prepared loaf pan. Cover the loaf pan with a clean kitchen towel and place by or on top of the oven while it preheats to 375F. This allows the loaf to rest for 30 minutes.
  10. While the dough is resting: Make the cinnamon crunch topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon and sugar together. Then mix in the vegan butter again until you form a thick dough. Reserve the maple syrup for brushing onto the loaf. 
  11. Bake the brioche: Once rested, brush the loaf with the maple syrup. Sprinkle the cinnamon crunch topping onto the loaf. Place a baking sheet under the loaf in case of spillage, and place the loaf pan into the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 180F. Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool for 30 minutes in the pan before carefully removing the loaf to serve.
  12. Slice and enjoy: Tear, share and enjoy!

Notes

Gluten free: I have not personally tried this method for this recipe, but I imagine that my vegan gluten free cinnamon roll dough would work. I cannot guarantee it, but if you’d like to try, you’re more than welcome to! Simply make the dough through the first proof, then follow the remaining directions here from Step 7 on.

Please read through the blog post for full tips & tricks!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 272
  • Sugar: 19.5 g
  • Sodium: 56.9 mg
  • Fat: 9.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 25.1 mg

Keywords: vegan babka, vegan babka recipe, cinnamon babka, cinnamon babka recipe