Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka

Filled with pumpkin puree and chocolate chips and covered with a chocolate chip streusel, this pumpkin chocolate chip babka is a fall twist on everyone’s favorite chocolate babka.

overhead view of sixteen slices of pumpkin chocolate chip babka arranged on a piece of parchment paper

We’re coming right down to the wire with this month’s Babka of the Month.

It’s October – you just had to know that we were going pumpkin with this babka, right?  Right.

Now look, I get it.  Yes, this is another pumpkin chocolate chip recipe.

Three weeks ago we did pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars.

Last week we did chocolate chip pumpkin pie bars.

This week it’s pumpkin chocolate chip babka.

If you’re shaking your head and thinking “Julie, this is just too much pumpkin and chocolate chip for one month” well — move along, please.  I don’t need that kind of negativity around here.

But if, like me, you’re willing to push through and embrace just one more pumpkin and chocolate chip recipe for the season, this one is a true treat!

several slices of pumpkin chocolate chip babka stacked on a fall themed dessert plate placed on an orange cloth placemat

How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka

Babka is a yeast bread, which means we have to let the dough rise.  We’ll do this in two steps: a room temperature rise, and then a refrigerator rise.

First, we’ll make the dough — either with a stand mixer or kneading by hand.  The dough will rise for an hour in a warm, dark place; I use the ‘proof’ setting on my oven for this. 

You can also fill a roasting pan with boiling water and set it in the bottom of your oven along with your dough to trap a little extra warm, moist heat for the same effect. 

Now that it’s getting chillier outside, you might find you need an hour and a half to two hours on the counter.  We’re looking for the dough to almost double — roughly grow to 1.75-ish times in size.

After this first step, we’ll move the dough to the refrigerator.  The yeast will continue to work in the cold and the dough will still rise, but the whole process is slowed down. 

One the dough finishes the refrigerated rise, roll it out into a large rectangle and spread on the filling.  For the filling, mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices.  Spread it on using a spoon or a pastry brush.  Then sprinkle with chocolate chips, roll it up into a log, and twist.

Place the shaped babka into a loaf pan, cover it with a clean dish towel, and set it aside for another hour for a second rise.  Sprinkle some chocolate chip streusel on top (quite possibly the best part), then bake!

After baking the babka, we’ll also brush the finished loaf with simple syrup.  This both makes the final loaf a little shiny and extra sweet.  Delicious!

two paneled photo showing a rectangle of babka dough with pumpkin filling and chocolate chips scattered on top; second panel shows dough starting to roll up into a cylinder

How to Store Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka

Like all my babka recipes, this recipe makes two loaves.  The recipe is easy to halve if you just want one, but if you’re going to make yeast dough, I always figure why not make two loaves at once!

You can use a different filling for one (see all babka recipes HERE), or you can make two of the same and freeze one for later.

Slices of babka can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

An entire loaf of babka can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight at room temperature before enjoying. 

two photos showing two loves of pumpkin chocolate chip babka in loaf pans before and after baking

How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka Ahead of Time

I get it: making babka is a time commitment.  But one of the best things about this recipe? There are lots of places where you can pause and take a break and pick it up again later!

The step where you refrigerate the dough during the first rise? Refrigerate for one hour… or up to 36 hours.

You can also freeze the proofed, unbaked dough and bake it fresh before enjoying if you want fresh baked babka at a later date!  Prepare the babka up through rolling and filling it, twisting it, and placing it into the loaf pan. 

Cover tightly with several layers of aluminum foil, then place the entire loaf pan in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready to bake, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature the next day for 2 hours, and then bake!

overhead view showing two loaves of pumpkin chocolate chip babka bread showing the twisted loaves with chocolate chip streusel on top

Tips and Tricks for The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka

  1. If you’re new to baking babka, visit this “The Best Chocolate Babka” post for step-by-step photos of how to shape babka dough.
  2. Refrigerate the babka dough for the second part of the first rise.  This makes the dough much easier to roll with no need for extra flour.
  3. If you don’t want to make the babka all in one day, refrigerate the dough for up to 36 hours during the first rise.
  4. Make sure to use pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling for the babka filling.
  5. Use a thermometer to determine when the babka is done.  When an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf hits 190 °F, your babka is fully cooked.

a loaf of pumpkin chocolate chip babka sliced and stacked showing the pumpkin and chocolate swirls in the bread

More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes:

2019 Babka of the Month Series

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka: Filled with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, and chocolate chips and covered with a chocolate chip streusel, this pumpkin chocolate chip babka is a fall take on everyone's favorite chocolate babka. #bunsenburnerbakery #bread #yeastbread #babka #chocolatebabka #pumpkinbread #pumpkinchocolatechip

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka

Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Filled with pumpkin puree and chocolate chips and covered with a chocolate chip streusel, this pumpkin chocolate chip babka is a fall twist on everyone’s favorite chocolate babka.



  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces


  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


    1. Prepare the dough. Combine together the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a 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, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg 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; knead by hand for 10 minutes 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 to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator, still covered, and set aside for 1 hour, until dough has almost doubled in size and is firm to the touch.
    4. Prepare the filling. While the babka is rising in the refrigerator, make the pumpkin filling. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices Set side.
    5. Shape the babka. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently punch it down. Cut the dough in half; remove half from the bowl and recover the other half and set aside.
    6. Roll the dough into a roughly 9-inch by 18-inch rectangle. Spread half the filling over the dough, leaving a slight border along the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the top of the dough. Working from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a long cylinder. Fold this cylinder in half, twisting several times, and place dough in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover both loaf pans with plastic wrap or a dish towel and set aside to rise again at room temperature, for another hour.
    7. Make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture has a sandy texture. Stir in the chocolate chips. After the dough finishes rising, sprinkle the streusel topping over both loaves.
    8. Make the syrup glaze. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
    9. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
    10. Bake the babka. Bake the loaves at 350 °F for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the inside registers 190 °F using an instant read thermometer. As soon as the babkas are done baking and come out of the oven, use a long skewer or knife to poke holes all over the bread, pushing all the way down to the bottom. Brush the simple syrup on top, equally dividing between the two loaves. Allow the breads to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.


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.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 11.8gCarbohydrates: 42.4gProtein: 4.4g

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Babka: Filled with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, and chocolate chips and covered with a chocolate chip streusel, this pumpkin chocolate chip babka is a fall take on everyone's favorite chocolate babka. #bunsenburnerbakery #bread #yeastbread #babka #chocolatebabka #pumpkinbread #pumpkinchocolatechip