Polish Yeast Babka with Raisins {Babka Drożdżowa z Rodzynkami}

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Polish Yeast Babka with Raisins {Babka Drożdżowa z Rodzynkami}

Babka drożdżowa z rodzynkami [babka droh-dgova z roh-dzyh-nkah-mee] is a treat that we would mainly enjoy around Easter. This soft and sweet bread-like cake is best right after cooling, sliced and served with butter. It never last more than a few hours in my home which makes it hard to make ahead of time (for a holiday for example). I will have to hide it, if I want to have some left for Easter dessert.

This babka, unlike my other babka recipes is made using yeast. This gives it a distinct tangy flavor, and creates large air bubbles in the cake. Lemon zest adds a nice touch. It is an absolute one of a kind dessert, and I guarantee that, once you try a home-made version of it, it will stay in your dessert repertoire for good.

Polish Yeast Babka with Raisins {Babka Drożdżowa z Rodzynkami}

Polish Yeast Babka with Raisins {Babka Drożdżowa z Rodzynkami}

  • Yields: One Bundt Pan
  • Prep Time: 30 min + raising time (2-5 hours)
  • Cook Time: 40-45 min

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup / 175 ml warm milk
  • 1.5 oz / 40 g fresh yeast or 0.7 oz / 20 g / 3.5 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup / 150 g of granulated sugar
  • 11 tbs / 150 g of butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup / 100 g of raisins
  • 1 tbs of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup / 2 fl oz / 60 ml of water or favorite high volume alkohol (rum, whiskey, brandy, etc)
  • 4 cups / 500 g of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg + 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Additional butter to grease pan
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5-6 tsp of hot water

Instructions

  1. Place yeast, warm milk and sugar and 1/2 cup of flour in a mixing bowl and mix until dissolved. Cover and set aside for 15 min in a warm spot in the kitchen.

  2. Place raisins in a small bowl and add water (or alkohol). Melt butter and set aside to cool.

  3. Right before step 4, place raisins on a strainer and add corn starch. Shake it around to cover raisins and get rid of excess corn starch.

  4. After 15 minutes of yeast/sugar/milk/flour mixture raising, add raisins, remaining flour, butter, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt and mix to form dough. Transfer onto a clean, floured surface and knead for 15 minutes. I'm using my KitchenAid with the hook attachment, and letting it do the work*. Add another tablespoon of flour, if dough is too wet.

  5. Grease bundt pan with butter, place dough in pan, distribute evenly. Cover with a towel and set aside for at least 2 hours in a warm spot. The dough has to (at least) double in size. May take 2-4 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 350℉ / 180℃. Place babka in the middle rack and bake for 40-45 min. When done, let rest for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. PLEASE NOTE: this cake tends to burn quickly. To prevent it, place a piece of aluminium foil (loosely) on top of cake after 10 (or so) minutes of baking, and keep covered.

  7. To make icing, place powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add a few drops of lemon juice and keep adding 1 tsp of hot water at a time. Mix until combined, it should create a paste. Adjust the amount of water and sugar for the desired thickness of the icing. Pour over cake once cake has cooled off.

Notes

Yeast dough needs a bit extra care. Take your time to properly knead it and let it rise. I've waited for 4 hours for it to get to the right size. Best to commit the day to it, and let it take rise properly.

Let me know how it turns out for you!

Happy cooking and smacznego!

Anna

*check out the list of my favorite things to see what equipment I use and recommend.


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19 Comments

  1. Hi. Just want to say THANKYOU. I have had this cake every year of my life until my nini passed away about 4.5 years ago. I made the cake yesterday to surprise everyone for Xmas eve tonight! It tastes almost exact except I had to keep adding flour as it was sticking to my bench. So it’s slightly drier. I’m So excited!

  2. There is something wrong with this recipe. This does not rise like it is supposed to. Cake is DENSE. I made it twice in 2 days thinking I did it wrong the first time. I tempered the milk to make sure it was the right temperature for the yeast, I followed everything to a tee. This recipe is hard and dense and not like babka bread. The flavor is great but that is about it. A friend of mine made it today as well and hers came out just as dense. Something is off. I proofed the yeast and everything. It comes out like a lead brick. What could be the problem? I have tried other things from here and they were ok.

    1. Sorry to hear this didn’t turn out for you. Shouldn’t be dense at all. For me it comes out really soft. Maybe your yeast is old… did the cake rise well?

  3. Hi Anna, I just made this yesterday for our lock down Easter celebrations as my husband is stuck in Poland with his family and I’m in Ireland with my elderly mum. Anyway, thanks so much for a well explained recipe, it did take the 4 hours to rise but I didn’t worry cause you had prepared me! I used spelt flour as I prefer it when I can and it came out very well. Maybe a bit on the dry side but very very tasty. I soaked the raisins in Soplica the night before!! I also used quick action yeast so skipped first step and just added yeast into the dry ingredients. I also put in the zest of a whole orange instead of the lemon and the kitchen smelled fantastic all day!
    I’m delighted with my first Polish babka! Happy Easter!

  4. I made this today and it was a lot of fun to make. Not only was it fun but it tastes great! Mine proofed for a little over 2 hours and then all of a sudden it took off and startled me. I tossed it into oven and watched the magic happen. Such a great recipe, thank you!!

    Tomorrow I will be following your video and making sauerkraut!

  5. I was hoping you had a video for this. (Im a visual learner). Maybe in the future you can make a video for yeast babka with raisins.

  6. I made this babka and poppyseed rolls today from your recipes and everything came out great. Thank you for sharing your recipes! Also, I just watched your video on pizza in Poland and I think I will try pickles on the next pizza I make! Be well and happy Easter.

  7. I made this for Easter and everyone LOVED IT! I am making another one today – just because. Why wait for a holiday!
    A cousin of mine told me about your programs. I am so happy! Thank you.
    I love learning about Poland. Both my grandmothers came to the US from Poland in the early to mid 1900’s but never wanted to talk about it. I am thankful that my family made a lot of the food that you are making. What wonderful memories. Now I can actually write down the recipes, since they never did, and pass them on to my grandchildren.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  8. My babka came out dry and dense. Tertible ! What dud I do wrong?! I used King Arthur’s all purpose flour. I used active dry yeast. It proofed correctly, I used a dough hook and ran it till dough came away from bowl. Only about 2 minutes. I notuced dough was very firm, not supple, when I set it to rise. It took 3 hours to rise to top of pan. I did not let it rise beyond the pan rim. Can you suggest what I may have done wrong?

  9. Love your recipes, can’t wait to try this one!
    Can I use sultanas instead of raisins? (I live in Australia). Thanks!

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