Vanilla or Chocolate? Why Not Both?

January and February in my family come with a slew of birthdays, my mom, my cousin, my boyfriend, me, and my grandma all have birthdays in the coming two months! What better time than now to kick off a birthday cake flavor series of challah?


Every year for her birthday my mom gets herself a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. This is her favorite cake flavor (although I am partial to chocolate cake and chocolate frosting)! While birthdays look different this year and I will not be able to share the cake with her, I thought I would make a challah to mimic her favorite cake flavors.


Happy birthday Mommy! Here’s to celebrating in person next year!



Chocolate Dough

¼ Cup butter, melted (or margarine)

1 Egg

3 Teaspoons yeast

¼ Cup cocoa powder

1 Cup water

⅔ Cup sugar

3-4 Cups flour

1 Teaspoon salt


Whisk egg, salt, melted butter, sugar, water, cocoa powder, and yeast in a large bowl.

Add the flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture. Using a strong spatula to mix at the beginning and using your hands to mix once it gets too difficult with the spatula.


Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes. (If you don’t knead the dough well enough, the challah will not hold its shape when it is braided.)


Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to prove. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.


Vanilla Dough

¼ Cup butter, melted (or margarine)

1 Egg

3 Teaspoons yeast

1 Cup water

⅔ Cup sugar

2 Teaspoons vanilla

3-4 Cups flour

1 Teaspoon salt


Whisk egg, salt, melted butter, sugar, water, cocoa powder, and yeast in a large bowl.

Add the flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture. Using a strong spatula to mix at the beginning and using your hands to mix once it gets too difficult with the spatula.


Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes. (If you don’t knead the dough well enough, the challah will not hold its shape when it is braided.)


Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to prove. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.


Once proofed, turn both of the doughs out and cut into 6 equal pieces. Each loaf will require 3 vanilla logs and 3 chocolate logs. Roll out the 3 logs of each flavor placing a chocolate and vanilla log next to each other. This should create 3 logs of side by side flavors.


Braid the 3 logs as normal. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Let proof again for 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaves. Bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes.




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