Blueberry Babka with Almond Streusel
Filled with homemade blueberry jam (no pectin!) and topped with a crunchy almond streusel, this blueberry babka is the perfect anytime treat! Think babkas are too hard? These step-by-step instructions will have you twisting your homemade dough in no time!
It’s time for our next installment of 2019’s Babka of the Month series, and I’m prettty excited about this one.
As someone who loves fruit desserts the absolute most, I can’t believe it took me into the second half of the year to get to my first fruit-filled babka! Blueberry and almond is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and it works so well with the rich babka dough.
It’s also perfect for this time of year — hello, blueberry season! Fresh local blueberries are abundant around here this time of year, but if you’re not so lucky, this recipe works just as well with frozen blueberries, too.
And out of all the babkas I’ve made thus far, it’s my 15 month old’s favorite – she’s been signing “more” like crazy after each bite! (I guess the blueberry-loving apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)
How to Make Blueberry Babka with Almond Streusel
Whew! Here we are again, with some instructions on how to make a babka.
We’ll use the same basic babka dough I use in all my recipes, but we’ll add a little almond extract to play up the almond flavor.
Because babkas are a yeast bread, there is indeed some “waiting around for the dough to rise” time. While you can make this, start to eating, in one day, it’s also easy to break it up into two (or more!) days — which I’ll indicate below.
The first step is to make the babka dough, using either a stand mixer or kneading by hand. Rise in a warm, dark place for 1 hour, then move the dough to the refrigerator to slow the rise. The dough can remain in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1 to 36 hours.
While the dough is rising, make the blueberry jam filling. Once the dough is ready, roll out the dough, spread the jam on top, and roll into a log. Form the babka, place it in a loaf pan, and allow it to rise again until it fills the pan (1 to 1.5 hours).
During the second rise, make the almond streusel. Immediately before baking, cover the dough with the almond streusel and bake for 50-ish minutes.
As usual, this recipe makes not one, but *two* loaves of babka, because if you’re going to go through the effort to make babka, you may as well make a double batch.
If you only want one, it’s an easy recipe to halve, but the second loaf is perfect to tuck away in the freezer for later (which is what I did with this loaf — babka FRENCH TOAST is in my future!) or hand off to a neighbor (my usual babka-baking plan).
Homemade Blueberry Jam Filling
For this babka, I made my own easy-peasy homemade blueberry jam. No pectin or other unusual things necessary — just blueberries (fresh or frozen), sugar, and some lemon juice.
If this is more work than you’re interested in, go ahead and use store bought jam. I am all about whatever makes your life easier!
If you’re going to go the homemade route, we’re just going to combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a sauce pan and cook away. How long it cooks will depend on whether you use fresh or frozen, and how juicy your blueberries are.
Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Mash the blueberries with a potato masher (or the back of a spoon) to break them open and continue to simmer until thickened. You’re looking for a spreadable consistency – something you can scoop up and spread across the dough with a knife, rather than pour.
Once the mixture is as thick as you’d like, cool it (pop in the fridge to speed this along if you’re making the babka in one day) and you’re ready to go. We’re not filtering out the blueberry skin or anything – we’ll spread the whole mixture over the dough.
You may or may not use your full batch of blueberry jam for the babka, depending on how thinly you roll the dough and how thick your final jam is.
Almond Streusel Topping
Having made a few babkas, I’ve learned that I definitely like my babkas with some sort of crunchy topping. I love the contrast between the soft bread, sweet filling, and crunch on top!
So for this blueberry babka, we’re making an easy almond streusel to sprinkle on top of the bread before baking.
Mix together brown sugar, flour, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in some cold butter with a pastry cutter (or two forks… or smush with your fingers) until the mixture is clumpy and has the consistency of sand.
If you’re not an almond person, swap out the sliced almonds for old-fashioned rolled oats — similar crunchy topping, without the nuts!
How to Store Blueberry Babka
Store your babka in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature.
For longer storage, the fully baked babka can be frozen. Cool completely after baking, then wrap in a layer of aluminum foil and place inside a freezer-safe storage bag. Store in the freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw overnight and enjoy the next day at room temperature, or pop a slice back into the oven (or toaster) for 5-10 minutes for a warm, crispier slice of blueberry almond babka.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Blueberry Almond Babka
- New to babka? Check out my “The Best Chocolate Babka” post for step-by-step photos of how to roll, twist, and shape your babka dough.
- Refrigerate the dough for the second hour of the first rise. When the dough is cold, it rolls out easily with no need for extra flour.
- Don’t have time to make your babka in one day? The one hour refrigeration can be extended up to 36 hours. When you’re ready to finish making the babka, leave the dough at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before rolling.
- Make sure the blueberry jam is fully cooled before spreading on the dough — we don’t want to heat up the dough because it makes it harder to shape.
- Use a thermometer to determine if the babka is done. When an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf hits 190 °F, the babka is done.
More Blueberry Dessert Recipes:
- Blueberry Pie Ice Cream
- Blueberry Rhubarb Pie
- Almond Blueberry Breakfast Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Blueberry Pie Quick Bread
- All Fruit Dessert Recipes »
2019 Babka of the Month Series
Babka can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap fully cooled loaf in aluminum foil and place inside a plastic freezer bag. A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
FOR THE DOUGH:
FOR THE BLUEBERRY JAM:
FOR THE ALMOND STREUSEL:
Nutrition Information: Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263 Total Fat: 10.7g Carbohydrates: 37.9g Protein: 4.4g
Babka can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap fully cooled loaf in aluminum foil and place inside a plastic freezer bag.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.