Hazelnut, Pecan & Chocolate Babka Rolls

Babka Rolls-7

Last summer when I was in New York I was on a quest with my friend, Rhiannon.

It was a noble quest: to eat as MUCH as possible. My lovely friend Katherine helped out on one of the many ‘eat-days’, touring us around the city. We had Dough doughnuts, Babka from Arcade Bakery, creme brûlée chocolates from Kee’s Chocolates and ice cream from Morgenstern’s.

Babka Rolls-4

One of the last stops was at Breads bakery – I’d heard many many good things about their chocolate babka so, after some encouragement (‘You can get a student discount here!'<– a guy in the store guarding a stack of babkas) I bought a WHOLE CHOCOLATE BABKA.

Do you want to guess what happened next? Or should I just come out and say it.

Babka Rolls

I ate the WHoLe BabKA IN 3 DAYS. I’m not kidding. I mean, Rhiannon had like 1 slice of it. I ate the rest. Me. All me.

When I got home I started craving it like a mad woman. I made a cardamom-cinnamon-brown-butter one to quell my hunger. But again, the need for yeasty, chocolate bread struck. I waited until the weekend and, roughly following Ottolenghi’s recipe for ‘Krantz cake’ I baked up some lil babka buns. I ate TWO for breakfast and it. was. great.


Hazelnut, Pecan & Chocolate Babka Rolls

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Servings: 6 big buns!



  • 80 g (5 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) milk (I used oat milk)
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs , , separated
  • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant dried yeast/fast-action dried yeast (see notes)


  • 50 g (~3 tbsp) chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 40 g (~3 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) dark chocolate
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 50 g pecans , , finely chopped


  • Make the dough: In a small pot melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the milk and sugar. Add 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (save the white in the fridge for glazing the buns) and stir together.
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast - make a well in the centre of it. Pour in the butter mixture and stir together to make a soft dough.
  • Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead gently for about 6 minutes, dusting with flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and less sticky. Oil the large bowl you used and place the dough into it. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Now make the filling: melt together all the filling ingredients (except the pecans) over a low heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside at room temperature to cool as the dough continues to rise.
  • Once the dough is risen tip it out onto a floured surface. Dust it with more flour and gently roll it out into a roughly 25 x 35 cm rectangle.
  • Transfer the rectangle of dough to a floured cookie tray. Cover the entire surface with a thick layer of the chocolate mixture (it should be pourable but not super runny - if too thick, gently warm it up a bit. If too thin, put it in the fridge to cool for a bit) and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Place the tray into the fridge for 10 minutes so that the filling can firm up.
  • Remove the tray from the fridge and fold the dough into thirds like a business letter so you end up with a roughly 25 x 10 cm rectangle. Cut the dough into six (25 cm long) strips. Twist each strip along its length and then coil it up (see .gifs at above recipe)(this doesn't need to be precise!).Line the baking tray with baking paper and place the buns onto it. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Remove the cling film from the buns. Take the egg white which was leftover from making the dough and whisk 1 tbsp of water into it with a fork - use this to glaze the buns with a pastry brush.
  • Bake the buns for 17-20 minutes, until dark golden-brown.
  • Eat warm or leave to cool on the tray before storing in an airtight container at room temp.


- Adapted from Ottolenghi
- I use 'fast action dried yeast' which doesn't require dissolving in liquid before use. If your yeast DOES require activation before use: warm the milk in the small pot (before you melt the butter) until it's just lukewarm. Take off the heat, add the yeast and stir to dissolve then set aside for 5 minutes until frothy. Decant the milk/yeast mix into a separate bowl and continue with the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!



35 thoughts on “Hazelnut, Pecan & Chocolate Babka Rolls”

  1. Your styling is so beauttiful, Izy! And Babka reminds me so much of our Swedish cinnamon rolls. This looks so incredibly tasty. It seems like its only a wee bit of cardamom and chocolate that separates the two. I’d really like to make this for the weekend.

  2. I’m so obsessed with babka at the moment. Actually, all breads fascinate me, but this version with the swirls and hazelnut, I’m into it.

  3. Oh Izy! These photos are just gorgeous! Not to mention that is like all my favourite things rolled into a bun. Will have to try these out! X

  4. These look fantastic, I love any kind of sweet bread, especially when it contains chocolate…the gifs demonstrating the shaping technique are very cool too 🙂

  5. Don’t feel bad! We often eat ALL of the treats we bake! And how could you resist this lovely goodie? Looks ahhmazing!

  6. These gifs are BRILLIANT. Also, I loved on Insta when you said you ate two of these. Sign of a good recipe right there. <3

  7. I made this recipe over the weekend and it was delicious! I couldn’t get the dough to rise, though. I made two separate batches, one with instant yeast and one with active dry. I went ahead and baked it anyway, because the dough was tasty, but help! Could it be that we’re missing a step that involves mixing the yeast with warm water?

    • That’s strange! I use ‘fast action dried yeast’ as it’s called here in the UK. You don’t need to dissolve this type of yeast in liquid before adding it. I’m not sure what the difference between the naming system for UK/US yeast is though. Perhaps your yeast requires activation in liquid before adding to the dough (or it could just be old) – I’ll add a note to the recipe about this!

    • Yeah Mine did not rise either! I followed the notes about proofing the yeast in the milk but this did not help.Hmmmm… I’m now looking for a different recipe for the roll part. Ugh hate to waste the filling.

      • Did the yeast foam up when it was in the milk? If it didn’t it could be that the yeast was old. Otherwise I have no idea why the dough wouldn’t rise!

  8. I have been dying to make babka so I definitely want to try these out! They look absolutely amazing!

  9. These look amazing! and those .gifs are literally GOALS!
    can’t wait to try out this recipe!

    Jules.- thekiwidiaries.com

    • I used ‘fast action dried yeast’, as it’s called here in the UK. It doesn’t require being dissolved into liquid before you use it

  10. Gorgeous rolls! I live in NYC and that is a very impressive goal. I will likely be doing the same thing when I play tour guide for my bestie. The top of my list for bakeries is AB Biagi. Can’t wait!

  11. You hit a lot of my favorite NYC spots! And now I’m determined to try a Doughka at Dough…

  12. So I made this recipe twice yesterday. First I proofed the yeast in the warm milk and the second time I added the yeast in with the flour. The dough did not rise either time. I threw out the first one but decided to just finish making the second one anyway. It turned out perfect! I now think this dough is not supposed to rise and puff up but is more like the consistency of pie crust dough. (When I study your pictures it looks that way there too). The buns are beautiful and look exactly like the photos.

    • Yeah probably but id say let them sit at room temperature for an hour or 2 the next day so they can rise before you bake them

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