Vegan Pumpkin Babka

This vegan sweet bread swirled with cinnamon-spiced pumpkin puree is as healthy as delicious. Each delightful slice has half the calories and five times fewer sugars than the classic babka cake recipe.

Vegan Pumpkin Babka Recipe


Nutrition per serving
Net Carbs24.7 g9%
of which Sugars3.1 g3.4%
Fibers1.7 g6.1%
Fats6.4 g9.9%
of which Saturates0.5 g2.6%
of which Omega 30.5 g49.4%
Proteins3.2 g7%
Calcium42 mg4.2%
Vitamin A135 mcg19.3%
Vitamin C3 mg3.8%
Iron3.6 mg24%
Potassium180 mg5.1%
Sodium12 mg0.5%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Kcal170 8.5%
Macro split
  • net carbs 69%
  • sugars 9%
  • fats 18%
  • saturates 1%
  • proteins 9%
  • fibers 5%
*RDA based on a 2000 kcal diet;
**Nutritional data sources: USDA, food labels.
170 per serving
2h 10m

We made this super healthy, vegan pumpkin babka recipe for all the babka lovers that are on a plant-based or weight-loss diet.

Classic babka, also known as krantz cake, is a traditional sweet braided yeast bread of Jewish origin, very popular in Eastern Europe, Israel, and the United States. Most recipes include a fat-rich brioche dough made with eggs, butter, milk and swirled with chocolate filling.

Although tasty, classic babka is unsuitable for those with egg or milk allergies or following a vegan diet. Plus, it's so calorie-loaded that eating a single slice can be as filling as consuming a full meal.

Our vegan pumpkin babka is a real game-changer as we made the yeast bread without eggs, and we used almond milk instead of cow milk. Also, we swapped butter with a much smaller amount of oil to keep the fats low. The leaving action of the yeast and the stretchiness of gluten ensure the dough is fluffy and spongy, while the oil adds richness and flavour.

While most pumpkin babka recipes include pumpkin puree in the dough, we use it as the filling instead of chocolate. We roasted pumpkin chunks in the oven to get a lovely caramelised flavour from the naturally occurring sugars. Then, we mashed them with a splash of maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Prefer the chocolate filling? Check out our vegan chocolate babka recipe.

The result is a low-fat and low-sugar babka. Compared to the classic one, each slice has over half the calories and a third of the fats. Not to mention it comes with zero saturated fats and five times fewer sugars. Awesome!


Measuring System
All-Purpose Flour220 g
Instant Dry Yeast7 g
Almond Milk165 mL
Wholemeal Flour100 g
Canola Oil70 mL
Pumpkin (peeled and deseeded)380 g
Maple Syrup40 mL
Ground Cinnamon1/2 tsp
Starch (Corn, Potato, or Arrowroot)20 g

Step 1

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, and chop it into chunks.

Roast them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper for 40 minutes at 180 °C (355 °F) in static mode.

The pumpkin is ready when it's soft enough to mash with a fork.

roasted pumpkin

Step 2

Meanwhile, let's work on the dough.

Combine the yeast with 15 g of plain flour and 30 mL of lukewarm milk in a small bowl.

Leave the mixture undisturbed for 5 minutes, and you'll see the yeast slowly rising and bubbling (1).

Next, mix the remaining 205 g of flour with the wholemeal flour, the remaining 135 mL of lukewarm milk, oil, and the prepared yeast mixture (2).

blooming the yeast
babka cake dough ingredients

Step 3

Work the ingredients with a spatula or dough hooks until they come together. Then transfer the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes.

To knead the dough, press it down and forward with the heel of your hand, then fold it back, turn sideways, and repeat.

The babka dough should be soft, smooth, and pliable, similar to bread dough.

kneading babka cake dough

Step 4

Now, roll the dough into a ball, transfer it into a lightly greased bowl, and wrap it in cling film.

Let it prove for 50 minutes in a warm place until doubled in volume.

For example, you could wrap it in a wool blanket and place it next to a radiator.

proved babka cake dough

Step 5

While the dough proves, let's make the pumpkin filling.

Mash the roasted chunks with a fork or blitz them in a blender into a puree.

Then, tip in the maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and starch and mix well until smooth and creamy.

babka pumpkin filling with maple

Step 6

Once the dough is ready, transfer it onto a large sheet of baking paper and roll it out into a rectangle, leaving 1 cm (0.4 inches) free on the edges.

As we'll use a 13 x 23 cm (5 x 9 in) loaf tin for baking the cake, we made a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 in) baking paper rectangle as a guideline to make sure our babka fits into the tin.

Then, spread the pumpkin filling over the dough with the help of a spatula, once again leaving 1 cm (0.4 inches) free on the edges (1).

Starting at the long edge, roll up the dough into a tight log, helping yourself with the baking paper (2).

babka dough with pumpkin filling
babka dough with pumpkin filling roll

Step 7

Now, position the roll seam side down in the middle of the paper and slice it in half lengthwise.

Separate the two halves and turn them so that the filling faces up. Then, overlap one length over the other to make an X (1).

Weave the two lengths on one side of the X into a braid, and then do the same on the other side (2).

Then repeat, but this time tuck the ends under to close off the braid (3).

how to braid babka
how to braid babka
how to braid babka

Step 8

At this point, you can gently compress the babka if necessary to make sure it fits into the tin.

Use the baking paper to lift the braid and ease it into the loaf tin.

Then, let it prove covered for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Before baking, you can optionally brush the cake with a vegan egg wash. Check the tips section below for more info.

proved babka with vegan egg wash

Step 9

Bake the pumpkin bread for 45-50 minutes at 180°C (355°F) in static mode.

Finally, transfer the babka onto a wire rack to cool down completely before serving.

You can optionally brush it with maple syrup for a glossy finish and extra flavour.

baked pumpkin babka


To make the vegan egg wash, whisk 1 tbsp of almond milk with 1 tbsp of maple and 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a bowl. Then, brush the mixture over the surface of the cake with a pastry brush.

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