Birthday Cake Babka
Those are a few of my favorite things *cue Julie Andrews*!
Babka: It all started a long time ago growing up watched Seinfeld. I LOVE Seinfeld. I could watch it over and over and never get bored of it. My favorite episode is “The Dinner Party” where the gang is headed to a party and stop to pick up wine and babka on the way. I watched the episode again as an adult few years ago and became obsessed with babka, I made it a few times and loved it. I have a special place in my heart for babka now, and I always think of Elaine and Jerry when I make it.
Funfetti: Every American child of the 90’s knows THE cake growing up was Funfetti. It was the cool cake! The frosting is what got me hooked. It wasn’t how it is now, it was a great, white vanilla frosting with these beads of color in it. I loved it, and that’s saying something because your girl is not a frosting person!
Orange cake: I love a great citrus cake. Since high school I have always asked for an orange or lemon cake for my birthday. I love the tangy citrus flavor paired with a nice chocolate frosting. Ugh, I am salivating just thinking about it! It has become a Sariah Birthday staple.
So. This babka, it’s not just any babka. It is a Birthday Cake Babka! Specifically, a Sariah Birthday Cake Babka, my birthday is next Monday, but I’m generous so I’m willing to share. ;) It has orange, it has rainbow sprinkles, it has white chocolate and it is AMAZING. C isn’t really supposed to be eating sweets right now because he’s training for a race, but he couldn’t help himself. He loved it! I know you guys will love it too! Let me see your babkas by using #sebbakes
- 1 medium orange
- 1/ 4 cup castor sugar (50g)
- 1/ 2 cup milk (120mL)
- 1 packet of yeast (7g)
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (beaten)
- 1/ 2 cup unsalted butter (110g)
- 1 1/ 2 tsp almond extract (you can use vanilla as well)
- 2 cups flour divided (240g)
- 1/ 3 cup basic rainbow rod sprinkles also known as Hundreds and Thousands (54g)
For white chocolate ganache filling:
- 1/ 2 cup whipping cream (120mL)
- 1/ 2 cup unsalted butter (110g)
- 3 tbsp castor sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/ 2 cup white chocolate chips divided (260g)
- 1 cup icing sugar (1250g)
- 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest off of the medium orange. Be sure to avoid the white outer layer on the orange and get mostly orange zest. Put this and castor sugar into a blender and blend until zest is fine and well incorporated with sugar.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine sugar mixture, milk and yeast using a spatula. Let sit about five minutes.
3. Add eggs, butter, almond extract, and one cup (120g) of the flour into your bowl. Using a dough hook, mix ingredients on medium low until combined. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with the spatula as needed.
4. In a separate bowl combine the salt, sprinkles and remaining flour. * Once mixed together add it to the wet mixture and knead on medium high for about five minutes.
5. Remove dough from your stand mixer bowl and grease the inside of the same, or a new, bowl and insert the dough. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator overnight, or at least for four hours.
6. Make the white chocolate ganache by putting whipping cream, butter, sugar and salt into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir regularly and keep over heat until it begins to simmer.
7. Put one cup of white chocolate chips (about 260g) into a heat proof bowl and pour the warmed cream mixture over top. Stir until combined and chill in the refrigerator until spreadable, about two hours, alternatively you can chill the ganache overnight alongside the dough.
8. Once your dough is done in the refrigerator turn it out onto a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out into a thin rectangle. ** Remove ganache from your refrigerator and spread across the rectangle, I used my clean hands, but use what you like. When your ganache is spread evenly across the rectangle sprinkle the remaining 1/ 2 cup of chocolate (about 86g) across the ganache.
9. Roll the dough starting from one of the longer sides and moving towards the other, keeping dough tight as you go.
10. Using a sharp knife cut off about two inches on both ends to create a clean line. Using the same knife make one, long cut down the middle of your dough, lengthwise, like the “hotdog” method we were taught in elementary school.
11. Starting from the top, overlap each side to create a twisted braid in your dough. Once twisted pinch together the ends of both sides to seal them together. Place dough into a greased loaf pan. Let rest one to two hours, covered.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 177 degrees Celsius. When preheated, bake babka for 45-50 minutes.
13. Combine the icing sugar and orange juice and drizzle on top of babka. Let cool in the pan and then enjoy!
* This is an important step not to skip because it will cause the sprinkles not to get too wet too fast, causing bleeding within the dough.
** There is no specific length or thickness you need to roll it to. The dough is likely to crack a bit on the edges so roll until you feel comfortable, just know that you will be filling this dough and rolling it up like a cinnamon roll so the thinner you make it the more spirals you will be making. Also, the sprinkles might bleed a little bit at this point, but it is nothing to worry about.