Everything Bagel Babka

Filled with swirls of cream cheese and classic everything bagel seasonings, Everything Bagel Babka is the perfect garlicky, oniony, salty, cream cheesy swirled anytime snack!  Enjoy a slice on its own, top with more cream cheese, or use in french toast or for an egg sandwich for an extra special treat!

a loaf of everything bagel babka on a wooden board with one slice removed showing the everything bagel seasoning swirls

When you think “classic Jewish babka” you probably think of something sweet… right?  Chocolate babkacinnamon babka — these are the typical sweet fillings in the rich, eggy, buttery bread.

Except, well… I’m going to say something that might be controversial.  I think the best babkas… are savory babkas.  There, I said it.

For this month’s Babka of the Month, we’re going savory again.  I was head-over-heels for March’s Pizza Babka… and this Everything Bagel Babka is just as good.

Everything Bagel is, obviously, the best flavor of bagel.  (I’m clearly not the only one who feels this way — people go nuts over Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” sesame seasoning!) 

a loaf pan containing a freshly baked loaf of swirled everything bagel babka with a golden crust

So let’s take the sesame seed/poppy seed/garlic/salt/onion everything bagel blend… but put it in a babka.  With a cream cheese swirl in the middle, because obviously an everything bagel needs cream cheese.  Obviously.

The rich, dense, butter and egg-filled bread characteristic of a babka.  A layer of cream cheese.  And a giant sprinkle of everything bagel seasonings, both rolled up inside the bread and coating the outside.

Everything bagel babka is my new favorite bread.

overhead view of a sliced everything bagel babka with one piece on a small decorative plate next to a brick of cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning

How to Make Savory Babka Dough

We’re going to use my same basic babka dough I’ve used in all my recipe thus far, full of milk, eggs, and butter.  It kneads beautifully, is soft and easy to roll out, and bakes with just the right amount of chew.

But since we’re going savory, we’re cutting down the sugar and adding some everything bagel flavorings right into the dough: a little extra salt, some garlic powder, and some onion powder.

There’s no mistaking that this is a savory bread, despite all the richness from the eggs and butter!

rolled out babka dough with a layer of cream cheese and a generous covering of everything bagel seasoning

Everything Bagel Babka Filling

A babka just isn’t a babka without a layer of swirly filling, right?  Right!

So for our everything bagel babka, we’re going to fill it with the most natural pairing: cream cheese!  Spread a layer of softened cream cheese across the top, sprinkle on (a very, very generous handful of) your everything bagel seasoning, and roll it on up.

I stuck with classic here, but there are lots of other fillings you could use.  Flavored cream cheese (like a smoked salmon cream cheese – which would both be delicious and pretty with the salmon-colored swirl!).  Chives or capers or scallions. 

You could make it a whole meal and roll some pastrami right up in there!  (Someone remind me to do this ASAP.  A schmear of mustard, thinly sliced pastrami, a sprinkle of caraway seeds.  YES PLEASE.)

an unbaked swirl of everything bagel babka dough in a loaf pan

How to Serve Everything Bagel Babka

Just slice and eat is my personal favorite way.  No fuss, easy, and ready whenever you bake a fresh loaf!

Also delicious but still low maintenance: spread with a little extra cream cheese, sprinkle with more of your favorite everything bagel seasonings, and a few chopped chives.  {This was my cream cheese loving 4 year old’s favorite way to eat it.}

Or if you want to get faaaaancy… turn it into everything bagel babka french toast.  Savory french toast is delicious!  Or top it with a fried egg for a breakfast egg sandwich.  So long, boring bread — our egg sandwiches are made with EVERYTHING BAGEL BABKA now.

a slice of everything bagel babka on a small decorative plate spread with cream cheese with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and bright green chives

Tips and Tricks for the Best Everything Bagel Babka

  1. New to babka?  Check out my “The Best Chocolate Babka” recipe for some step-by-step photos of how to twist and shape a babka.
  2. Refrigerate the dough for the second hour of the first rise — or longer (see next tip).  When the dough is cold, it rolls out perfectly. 
  3. Busy day? Split your babka making up into two days.  Instead of rolling out the dough after the refrigeration step during the first rise, wrap your babka dough in plastic wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator.  Bring back up to room temperature 10-15 minutes before rolling the dough.
  4. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature and soft enough to spread before adding a layer to your dough.  If the cream cheese is still cold, it will clump in spots, which will create a curdled texture while baking.  We want one smooth, thin layer across all of the dough.
  5. Use a thermometer to determine if the everything bagel babka is done.  Take out the guess work and use an instant read thermometer: when the center of the babka loaf hits 190 °F, it’s done!
  6. Allow the babka to cool before slicing.  The babka will hold together better if the cream cheese swirl cools to room temperature first.
  7. Store your everything bagel babka in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Because of the cream cheese swirl, this bread should be stored in the refrigerator.

More Savory Bread Recipes:

Everything Bagel Babka

Everything Bagel Babka

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Filled with swirls of cream cheese and classic everything bagel seasonings, Everything Bagel Babka is the perfect garlicky, oniony, salty, cream cheesy swirled anytime treat!

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 6 pieces

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried mince garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough. Combine together the milk, yeast, and 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a large glass mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside for 5 minutes, or until frothy.
  2. On low speed, beat in the remaining sugar and egg. Add in the flour, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix just until the dough comes together, another 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter one piece at a time, beating after each addition until all pieces have been added. Continue mixing with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, whisk together ingredients by hand until combined and knead until dough is soft and smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set aside in a cool, warm place to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and set aside, still covered, for an additional hour, or until the dough has doubled in size and is firm to the teach.
  4. Shape the babka.  Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently punch it down.
  5. Roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 12 inches long. Spread the softened cream cheese over the dough, leaving a slight border along the edges. Sprinkle the remaining filling ingredients overtop (or use 1/4 cup of pre-made everything bagel seasoning). Working from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Place this cylinder seam-side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, until cream cheese filling and dough are firm.
  6. Once chilled, use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half lengthwise down the cylinder to expose the filling, creating two long logs of dough. Twist these two logs together keeping the filling side up and place the dough in the prepared loaf pan. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap or a dish towel and set aside to rise at room temperature for an hour..
  7. Bake the babka. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Once at temperature, bake the loaves for 45 to 55 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the inside registers 190 °F using an instant read thermometer. Allow the babka to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Everything bagel babka can be stored wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351 Total Fat: 21g Carbohydrates: 33.5g Protein: 7.5g
Everything Bagel Babka: filled with swirls of cream cheese and classic everything bagel seasonings, this savory babka is the perfect garlicky, oniony, salty, cream cheese swirly, breakfast, dinner, or anytime snack! #bunsenburnerbakery #babka #yeastbread #everythingbagel