Chocolate Hazelnut Babka Buns

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka Buns
Chocolate Hazelnut Babka Buns

These chocolate hazelnut babka buns always remind me of my childhood in Eastern Europe! They’re like a trip down memory lane with a healthy twist. I made a few changes to the original recipe so they would be as nutritious as possible. I wanted to make something sweet and healthy that I could snack on at work during the cold and rainy mornings we’ve had recently. So here’s how these buns are different:

First of all the original babka (that I grew up with) is in the shape of a bread loaf. We only had it twice a year during the Christmas and Easter holidays. So perhaps that’s why I feel so nostalgic about it now.

For this recipe, I chose to roll the dough and cut it into individual buns before baking. If you (like me) want to snack on them at work, it’s a lot easier to grab a bun and go as opposed to slicing a loaf.

Another change I made is in the dough composition. I love baking with oat flour as much as possible because it’s so nutritious and tasty. However, this is a yeast leavened recipe and gluten is crucial (and oat flour is gluten free). So I compromised and used a blend of regular flour, oat flour, and quick cooking oats. The oats add texture and extra nutrients. But don’t expect to find them in a traditional recipe.

I also used vanillated sugar in the dough recipe because that’s what we used growing up. If you don’t have it, you could use vanilla extract or vanilla paste. But if you wish to buy vanillated sugar, you will find it in grocery stores that carry European produce. Alternatively it is also available online on Amazon.

The filling of the tradition babka loaf I grew up with was also different. It was made from finely crushed walnuts, cocoa powder, sugar, and some butter. For this recipe I wanted something a little different. So I used a mix of dark chocolate and hazelnut flour.

This recipe will yield 8 buns that are fairly large and filling. The perfect, most comforting snack!

See more snack recipes here.

And finally, here’s how to make the chocolate hazelnut babka buns:

Chocolate Hazelnut Babka Buns

Servings 8 buns


For the buns:

  • 2 cups (300 g/ 10 ½ oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) oat flour
  • 1 cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) quick cooking oats
  • 1 stick (115 g/ 4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
  • 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 ½ fl. oz.) milk, warm
  • ½ cup (100g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. vanillated sugar
  • 1 packet (8 g) instant yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. flour for dusting the work surface
  • 1 egg, beaten for brushing the dough

For the chocolate hazelnut filling:

  • ¼ cup (60 ml/ 2 fl. oz.) milk
  • 1 cup (90 g/ 3 oz.) hazelnut flour
  • 90 g (3 oz.) dark chocolate


For the buns:

  • In a mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, oat flour, quick cooking oats, salt, and whisk them together. Add the granulated sugar, vanillated sugar and instant yeast, and whisk again. Add the egg yolks, warm milk, and mix well. Add the soft butter piece by piece, mixing after each addition, until all butter is incorporated, and mixture resembles a soft and sticky dough.
  • Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place and let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

For the chocolate hazelnut filling:

  • In a small pot over low heat mix together the milk and the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted set it aside. Add the hazelnut flour and mix well. Let it cool to room temperature.

For the buns:

  • Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Flatten it out with your palm and roll it out into a 25 x 30 cm (10 x 12 inch) rectangle. Spread the filling, leaving 25 mm (1 inch) border along one of the long sides. Tightly roll the dough and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges as best as you can. Cut 8 equal sections and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Brush the buns with beaten egg. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Once baked, let them cool in the baking pan for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.