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Pistachio Cranberry Babka

Pistachio Cranberry Babka

This Babka features a pistachio and cranberry filling, and is a perfect bread for any celebration!

Course Bread, Dessert
Cuisine jewish
Keyword babka, cranberry, holiday, pistachio, thanksgiving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 15 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 250 kcal
Author camila


Babka Dough

  • 3/4 cup milk 170 grams, 6 oz
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams, 3.5 oz
  • 3 tsp instant yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 538 grams, 19 oz
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 113 grams, 4 oz

Cranberry Jam

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries you can use frozen too
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice

Pistachio Filling

  • 1/2 cup pistachio paste homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4 cup finely ground pistachios
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  • 1/4 cup water 56 grams, 2 oz
  • 6 tbsp sugar 75 grams, 2.6 oz


Day 1

Babka Dough

  1. Start by making the Babka dough the night before you are going to bake your bread.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the milk, sugar, yeast, flour, cardamom, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Mix with a spoon or with the paddle attachment until incorporated.
  3. Switch to the dough hook.
  4. Knead dough for about 30 seconds on medium speed. Start adding butter, one tablespoon at a time with the mixer running.
  5. It is going to look very messy, but don’t fret! Just keep kneading on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  6. You may add one or two tablespoons of flour if dough seems extremely wet.
  7. Move dough to a bowl coated lightly with neutral oil. Place dough in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

Cranberry Jam

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat and let mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring every so often.
  3. Cranberries will start to pop and mixture will become thicker.
  4. Remove from the heat, transfer to a heat-proof bowl and let it cool. Place it in the fridge, covered and let Cranberry Jam chill.

Pistachio Filling

  1. If you want to make your own pistachio paste, simply place about 1 cup of shelled pistachios in the bowl of a food processor. Process nuts until very finely ground. Start adding water by the teaspoons, to help mixture become like a paste.
  2. If you are using store-bought pistachio paste, check if it already has sugar in it, if so, you might want to reduce the amount of brown sugar in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so. Taste the filling and if it needs more sugar, just add as necessary.
  3. To make the filling, simply mix all ingredients together until incorporated. You can use an electric mixer to make it easier to incorporate butter, pistachio paste, pistachio nuts, and sugar.

Shape Dough

  1. Spray your loaf pans with neutral oil, or line them with parchment paper.
  2. Remove dough from the fridge.
  3. Divide into two pieces.
  4. Roll each piece out into a 18x11” rectangle.
  5. Divide pistachio filling between the two rectangles. Use a spatula to spread filling evenly on the surface of each rectangle, leaving a 1" edge along one of the shortest sides.

  6. Spread half of the cranberry jam over each rectangle. Use a spoon to slightly smooth it out.
  7. Roll each rectangle into a log, rolling from the shorter side with the 1" edge.

  8. At this point, I put my logs in the fridge because I wanted the filling to solidify a little bit to make it less messy to braid the babka.
  9. Split each log in half lengthwise. Refer to pictures above in the post for reference.
  10. Each strand of dough should have the open side facing up. Also be careful not to let the filling spill out.
  11. Braid both strands together, by going over and under. Pinch ends together, and tuck them under.

  12. Place loaves in prepared loaf pans.
  13. Let dough rise for 1-2 hours. Depending on how hot your kitchen is, it might rise faster.
  14. The babkas will be ready to be baked when they have almost doubled in size, and when you touch the surface of the dough with your finger, the dimple springs right back up.
  15. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  16. Before baking I like to brush my loaves with a very light egg wash. I mix 1 yolk with one teaspoon of water and gently brush over my babkas. I don’t like a very thick egg wash for this kind of bread, but a little bit will make it golden and pretty.
  17. Bake babkas for about 30 minutes. Start checking at 15 minute mark, cover loaves if they are browning too fast on top.
  18. To check, insert a toothpick and it should come out clean.
  19. While babkas bake, make the syrup.
  20. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Set aside.
  21. Take babkas out of the oven. Immediately brush with the syrup, dividing it evenly between the two loaves.
  22. Let loaves cool down before cutting. Though I love them when they are still a bit warm and all. Irresistible!


  1. The babkas will be the most delicious the fresher they are, which means the first day, and a few hours after baking specifically.
  2. However, they will keep well for a few days. I would put them in the fridge, in a sealed zip loc bag after the first day. Just take them out of the fridge a little bit before consuming so they can soften up and come to room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Here is my recipe for Pistachio Paste.


Nutrition Facts
Pistachio Cranberry Babka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.