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Cocoa Rugelach Cake or Babka?

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 90 Minutes*
  • Yield: 1 9" cake 1x
  • Category: Breakfast/Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This delicious cake doesn’t know if it’s a round babka or a giant rugelach. Whatever it it, it sure is good!


Units Scale

3 t active dry yeast

1 c whole milk at room temperature

3 1/2 T sugar

1/3 c melted butter

34 c bread flour

pinch of salt

1 1/2 T cardamom

1/2 T cinnamon

1 egg, plus 1 beaten egg for brushing


2/3 c softened butter

3/4 c cocoa

1 1/3 c powdered sugar

About 1/2 c cookie crumbs (I used vanilla wafers. Oreos would work. Or your favorite chopped nut.)

Pinch of salt

1 t vanilla

1/2 c Nutella

Sugar Syrup

1 c sugar

1/3 c plus 4 t water


Place the yeast and room temperature milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix well. Add the sugar and melted butter and mix again. (If milk is cold, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds.)

Add salt, cardamom and cinnamon to flour and combine. (In Denver I only used 3 c of flour, NOT 4. )This will depend on how dry it is where you are. You don’t want the dough to wet OR to dry. It should be soft and smooth and not stick to your hands OR crumble.

Add the egg and knead until the dough separates from the bowl.

Form dough into a nice ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover, and let rise 30-40 minutes.

While dough is rising, prepare filling. In the mixing bowl place all filling ingredients and mix well using the mixing attachment. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. The filling should be spreadable with your hands. I used my fingers and it spread really well. Much easier than a utensil. Spreading too cold of a filling with tear the dough and that would not be good.

Line the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan with parchment paper.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface. I just rub the dough into flour on all sides and that is usually enough so it doesn’t stick to your counter surface. Roll into a 16 x 16″ square. Spread the filling using your fingers.

Fold the dough into thirds by grabbing the top edge and folding to the middle. Then grab the bottom edge and fold it to the top edge to make a nice rectangle. Roll this into and 8 by 16″ rectangle.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise so you have 2 4 x 16″ rectangles. Now make a notch every 2.5 inches along one side of each strip and use that marking to cut triangles. If you are challenged like me, here is a photo:

Now roll up each triangle into a crescent shape, making sure the tip is underneath. Place each rugelach into pan overlapping on one another.

Cover and let rise for about 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Brush the rugelach with the beaten egg. Bake 45 minutes or until the inner temperature of the cake measures 190 degrees. Otherwise you may end up with raw dough inside of the cake. (I use an instant read thermometer for this. ) If the cake starts to get too golden, cover with a piece of parchment paper.

While the cake is baking prepare the sugar syrup by placing the sugar and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Set aside until ready to use.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush with the warm syrup. Use all of it!

Cool before serving.


Adapted from The Nosher.

*Does not include rise times.