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Cranberry Vanilla Babka

Thanksgiving is coming! What better way to celebrate our gratitude than by baking this Cranberry Vanilla babka?

Whether your family gathers around the breakfast table to devour this delightfully fluffy bread during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, or after you've stuffed yourself full of turkey and mashed potatoes, I guarantee you that this bread will be a hit!


½ Cup milk, warmed

2 ½ Teaspoons instant yeast

1 Egg

1 Egg yolk

¼ Cup sugar

½ Teaspoon kosher salt

2 Cups flour

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

7 Tablespoons butter at room temperature


1 Bag frozen cranberries

2/3 Cup granulated sugar

Juice of 1 orange

Whisk egg, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until smooth and slightly pale in color. Whisk in warmed milk and yeast until combined.


Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix in the flour and lemon zest until almost fully mixed. Add butter about 1 tablespoon at a time (make sure it’s at room temperature!) and mix until incorporated. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky.


Turn out the dough and knead for just a few minutes until very smooth. Transfer to a greased bowl and let rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours until doubled.


Prepare the cranberry filling by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the cranberries begin to break down. Place in fridge to cool.


Once the dough is done proofing, place on a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle. The dough should be as thin as you can get it. This ensures the most swirls inside the bread.


Using an offset spatula spread the filling over the dough in a thin layer. Starting on the edge closest to you begin to tightly roll the dough away from you until you run out of dough and are left with a log of dough. Pinch the ends together to ensure no filling leaks out while baking.


Fold in half and twist together to form a log.


Place the twisted babka in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise for another half an hour while you make the topping.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

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