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Polish Babka | Traditional Easter Bundt Cake

A slice of Polish Babka is being cut.
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Easter is celebrated across the world! Today we are sharing a recipe for Traditional Eastern European Easter Bundt Cake that is both easy to make and impressive to look at! Polish Babka is a cross between enriched bread and a cake, that is typically made with lemon icing dripping down the sides! Serve a slice of this Polish Easter bread at breakfast or with your afternoon tea!

What is Polish Easter Babka?

Polish babka recipe is renowned across the world, especially in the Eastern European countries, where this delicious sultana-studded bread is made every spring in anticipation of Easter! Traditionally, this enriched bread is made with egg yolks, however, there are numerous recipes for this bread! This particular Polish Babka (Babka Wielkanocna) recipe came from a dusty drawer in my parents’ house! Written down on a piece of paper, in handwriting that we did not recognise, it felt very special and mysterious. And now, with a few minor tweaks, we are sharing this recipe with you all!

Easter Bundt Cake is placed on a white cake stand and a slice is being cut.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Use Strong Bread Flour in this Polish Babka Recipe?

Yes, absolutely! Since it is a cross between bread and a cake, it works equally well with both types of flour. Plain flour produces more fluffy, lighter bread, whilst strong flour makes this babka more bready and easier to slice.

What Other Fruit Can You Put in Polish Babka?

Traditionally, this Easter Bundt Cake is made with either sultanas or raisins, but it takes really good with chopped up dried apricots too! My grandmother used to make it with pieces of prunes too!

How to Make Sure The Cake Doesn’t Stick to the Tin?

First, generously grease your bundt cake tin with butter. I actually like to melt my butter, then using a pastry brush, get the butter in all the nooks and crannies of the bundt cake tin (especially useful when you’re using an intricately designed tin). Place the tin in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then brush with butter again. This time, before fridging, spoon 2 tsp of dried breadcrumbs and swish them around so they stick to the bottom and sides of the tin. Tip out any excess. Place the tin in the fridge for the butter to solidify. This method never failed me!

What Can I Substitute Rum With?

Use spiced or dark rum, brandy or cognac. For a non-alcohol option, use orange juice!

Step-By-Step Polish Babka Recipe:

In a bowl of your stand mixer, mix the flour, yeast, salt and caster sugar. Pour the milk in, add the vanilla bean paste and the eggs. Fitted with either a dough hook or a K-beater, run your mixer for approx 6-8 minutes until the dough forms (it will be thin and sticky).

With the mixer still running, bit by bit, add the slivers of soft butter and keep on mixing until all the butter is incorporated.

Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm spot to prove for 1.5-2hours, until the dough doubles in size.

In the meantime, place the sultanas and rum in a small saucepan and heat for a minute. Take the pan off the heat just before the rum boils, cover and leave to soak whilst your dough is proving.

Generously grease your bundt cake tin with butter. Spoon 2 tsp of dried breadcrumbs and swish them around so they stick to the bottom and sides of the tin. Tip out any excess. Place the tin in the fridge (this will solidify the butter and prevent your Easter Bundt Cake from sticking to the tin).

Once doubled in size, place the bowl back in the stand mixer. Drain the sultanas and discard the leftover rum. Squeezing any excess rum out of the dried fruit, add them to the dough hand run the mixer on low speed to incorporate the fruit into the dough.

Scrape the Easter Babka dough into the prepared bundt cake tin. Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave for 1.5 hours to prove again. It should double in size.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The skewer inserted should come out clean.

Once baked leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a wire rack and leave to cool down completely.

In the meantime, mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to make thin(ish) icing. Spoon the lemon icing all over the Polish Babka and leave for an hour to set before slicing!

lemon icing being poured over the Polish Babka.

Looking for Other Ideas for Easter Bakes?

Why not try some of our favourite Easter-themed recipes:

A slice of Polish Babka is being cut.

Polish Babka | Traditional Easter Bundt Cake

Easter is celebrated across the world! Today we are sharing a Traditional Eastern European Easter Bundt Cake that is both easy to make and impressive to look at! Polish Babka is a cross between enriched bread and a cake, that is typically made with lemon icing dripping down the sides! Serve a slice of this Polish Easter bread at breakfast or with your afternoon tea!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proving Time: 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert, Sweet Bread
Cuisine Polish
Servings 16 portions
Calories 182 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 320 g plain flour
  • 7 g fast-action yeast typically 1 packet
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100 ml milk lukewarm
  • 3 eggs small
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100 g butter soft, cut into thin slivers
  • 80 g sultanas or raisins
  • 30 ml rum

For the Icing:

  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl of your stand mixer, mix the flour, yeast, salt and caster sugar. Pour the milk in, add the vanilla bean paste and the eggs. Fitted with either a dough hook or a K-beater, run your mixer for approx 6-8 minutes until the dough forms (it will be thin and sticky).
  • With the mixer still running, bit by bit, add the slivers of soft butter and keep on mixing until all the butter is incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm spot to prove for 1.5-2hours, until the dough doubles in size.
  • In the meantime, place the sultanas and rum in a small saucepan and heat for a minute. Take the pan off the heat just before the rum boils, cover and leave to soak whilst your dough is proving.
  • Generously grease your bundt cake tin with butter. Spoon 2 tsp of dried breadcrumbs and swish them around so they stick to the bottom and sides of the tin. Tio out any excess. Place the tin in the fridge (this will solidify the butter and prevent your Easter Bundt Cake from sticking to the tin).
  • Once doubled in size, place the bowl back in the stand mixer. drain the sultanas and discard the leftover rum. Squeezing any excess rum out of the dried fruit, add them to the dough hand run the mixer on low speed to incorporate the fruit into the dough.
  • Scrape the Easter Babka dough into the prepared bundt cake . Cover with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave for 1.5 hours to prove again. It should double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. The skewer inserted should come out clean.
  • Once baked leave it in the tin for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a wire rack and leave to cool down completely.
  • In the meantime, mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to make thin(ish) icing. Spoon the lemon icing all over the Polish Babka and leave for an hour to set before slicing!

Nutrition

Sodium: 130mgCalcium: 20mgVitamin C: 1mgVitamin A: 207IUSugar: 11gFiber: 1gPotassium: 93mgCholesterol: 46mgCalories: 182kcalTrans Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 4gFat: 6gProtein: 4gCarbohydrates: 28gIron: 1mg
Keyword Easter Babka, Easter Bread, Easter Bundt Cake, Easter Cake, Polish Babka, Polish Babka Cake, Polish Babka Recipe, Polish Bundt Cake, Polish Easter Babka, Polish Easter Bread
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6 Replies to “Polish Babka | Traditional Easter Bundt Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    What a beautiful cake – tastes as good as it looks, moist and really easy to make.

    1. Thanks, Kate! So glad you liked it 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    How special to have your family recipe for Polish Babka! Thank you so much for sharing this treasure. Love the lemon glaze on top, too. Another winner from Somebody Feed Seb!

    1. Thanks for the amazing feedback, Liza! Glad you like it 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely love all Easter breads and cakes and this one is such a delicious change up from the Italian Easter bread my family usually makes. Love the flavor and texture!

    1. Gina, I would love to try your Italian Easter bread – send me the recipe, if you can! 🙂

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