High as the Sky Basic Babka

  • Cooking and Prep: 3.5 h
  • Serves: 16
  • Contains:

There is such a plethora of rich dishes served on a Yom Tov that no one needs extra calories or fat. For Kiddush (before shofar), try this cake that is delicious, more nutritious, and much less fattening than the standard offerings. Just don’t tell!

Ingredients (16)

Main ingredients

Start Cooking


  1. Dissolve the teaspoon of sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast and let it stand until foamy, about 8–10 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

  2. Meanwhile heat the soy milk until it is hot (this can be done in the microwave).

  3. Place the flour, sugar, dough conditioner, and salt in a food processor bowl with the steel blade. While it is running, add the eggs, yeast mixture, soy milk, and oil through feed tube. Process for 1–2 minutes, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The batter will be very sticky and globby. (Alternately you can prepare the batter in your mixer, with the dough hook or similar attachment.)

  4. Spray a bundt or tube pan with oil spray. Spread half of the batter in the pan.

  5. Combine the cinnamon, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Sprinkle half over the batter.

  6. Drop the remaining batter (it’s quite runny; you can basically pour it) by spoonfuls to cover the cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle this with the remaining cinnamon mixture.

  7. Sprinkle the surface with sliced almonds, if desired.

  8. The babka will look very low. Cover the babka with a towel and let it rise until it is doubled, about 2 hours.

  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). 

  10. At this point, the babka should reach the top of the pan. Do not allow it to over-rise or the top of the cake will sink during baking and the texture will be too holey.

  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden. Let it cool for 15–20 minutes in the pan; then remove the babka from the pan to cool completely.

  12. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar and soy milk or nondairy topping, adjusting the consistency if necessary by adding sugar or soy milk to achieve a thick glaze. Drizzle this over the babka.


This cake freezes well, however, due to its low fat content it dries out very quickly. Therefore you may want to cut it before freezing, and remove it slice by slice. It is recommended to leave the babka at room temperature and to not refrigerate. If you find, despite these precautions, that it dried out and everyone is making faces, you can refresh it in the microwave. It is delicious toasted, as well.


Photography: Daniel Lailah. 

Styling: Michal Leibowitz

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