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5 from 3 votes

Date Walnut Babka

This classic babka recipe is getting a delicious twist. Soft dough filled with sweet dates and crunchy walnuts makes a this a mouth-watering treat.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: middle eastern
Servings: 12
Calories: 264kcal
Author: Shadi HasanzadeNemati



  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all purpose flour you will need more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast 2 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almost 5 tbsp unsalted butter

Date Walnut Filling:

  • 13 oz Baking Date Filling see notes for a homemade version
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp rosewater optional, but it makes it more delicious



  • Mix flour, sugar, instant yeast, cinnamon and ground ginger in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook, then add eggs and water and mix on low until the dough comes together. If the dough doesn't come together, add some more water, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and mix on low until fully incorporated. Then change the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Coat a large bowl with oil, place the dough in the bowl and coat it with oil. Cover and let it sit in the fridge for 6-8 hours (or overnight)

To make the babka:

  • Take a loaf pan and coat it with nonstick spray, then cover the bottom with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rough 10X10 inch square. Spread the date filling on the dough, leave one inch border. Then spread the chopped walnuts and shredded coconut. Brush the borders with water.
  • Roll the dough tight and pinch both ends to seal. Place the roll in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Take the roll out of the freezer, cut it into half lengthwise, leave 1 inch at one end. Lay the cuts next to each other and lift one side over the other, forming a twist, try to keep the cut side outside.
  • Transfer it into the loaf pan, it's ok if it twists a bit. Cover it with a damp towel and let it rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Once heated, bake the babka for 25 to 35 minutes. Check at 25 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center, if there is no dough attached, it's ready. If not baked in the middle but brown on top, cover it with foil and bake it for 10 more minutes.


  • Bring sugar and water to boil and let it boil for 5 - 8 minutes. Add in the rosewater and turn the heat off.
  • Once the babka is baked, brush it with the syrup right away (use all the syrup, it's not too much) and then let it cool. Or just serve it warm!


For filling, I used this baking date filling that I found at a Middle Eastern grocery store but if you cannot find this filling, you can use medjool dates. Make the filling by placing medjool dates in a bowl and pour 1/8 cup hot water on them, let them sit for 30 minutes and then make them into a paste using a food processor. There might be need for more hot water, if so, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time because we don't want a runny mixture. We want a spreadable paste.


Calories: 264kcal