Apple Pie Babka

Recipe by Susan Reid

This babka-inspired twist bread has pockets of apples and spice tucked into each and every bite. It’s a luxurious loaf laced with the flavors of fall that’s sure to make your kitchen smell wonderful while it bakes. The smiles will be even bigger with the first slice. 

45 mins
50 mins to 1 hr
5 hrs
1 large loaf
Apple Pie Babka - select to zoom
Apple Pie Babka - select to zoom
Apple Pie Babka - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Stir together the dough ingredients, starting with the lesser amount of water; mix until combined, adding more water if the dough feels dry.  

  2. Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes. Then mix and knead until it's soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover, and let rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until puffy. 

  3. To make the filling: While the dough is rising, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and ClearJel. Stir in the butter, boiled cider, and apples. 

  4. To shape the loaf: On a lightly floured sheet of parchment, roll the dough out to a 11" x 17" rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1” border bare on all sides. Scatter the nuts evenly over the filling.  

  5. Starting with a short end, roll the dough gently into a log, then pinch the seam and ends to seal. 

  6. Cut the dough in half lengthwise. Keep the cut sides facing up while you twist the two pieces together, then tuck the ends underneath. Place the loaf in a greased tea loaf pan or a 9" x 5" pan

  7. Cover and let rise until the loaf is 1" above the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. 

  8. Toward the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F. When ready to bake, uncover, brush lightly with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. 

  9. Bake the tea loaf for 40 to 50 minutes or for a 9" x 5" pan, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, tenting with foil for the final 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.  

  10. Storage information: Store well wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.