While little kids are hunting for Easter eggs, older kids (and, let’s be honest, adults too) delight in traditional Easter treats. One of the most iconic ones for Orthodox Christians is the babka.
Back(ground) in the (pre)USSR
Babka comes from Eastern Europe. In Russian, the word means roughly “old lady” because it’s shaped like the big, puffy, long skirt of a Russian babushka (colloquially, babka). It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Italian panettone. It’s alternately called paskha, the Russian word for Easter.
A babka is usually made with yeast dough, often with vanilla and raisins. It’s customary to top it with some powdered sugar for decoration. Some prefer to glaze it with chocolate since… well, how can you say no to chocolate? Babkas are meant to be tall with one legend saying that a good baker’s babka should be so tall as to barely come out from the oven.
A Nice Jewish Babkale
While they are often confused because they share the same name, the Jewish babka is different in several ways. For one, it’s usually shaped differently, more like challah (obviously) or strudel. Jewish babka weaves together strands of soft buttery dough with a filling that could be chocolate (of course), praline, cinnamon, caramel, or a number of other fun options.
A Very Piper Babka
Our baba will have both the traditional and fun flavors (would anyone expect any less of us?): chocolate, cinnamon, and raspberry. They are already available for sale and will be around through Easter (unless sold out). When you see that braid and the yummy filling poking out of it, you’ll know it’s calling your name. Order one here.
Happy Easter and enjoy that babka!
Danielle and the Pipers
Danielle Butler is an entrepreneur and the owner of The Pie Piper & Doornuts, in Auckland, New Zealand. She's an expert baker and creator. Her specialty is in American dessert pies, cakes and other desserts. Danielle has been featured in magazines like Denizen, New Zealand and Australian Women's Weekly, and has been a guest on radio spots, a judge on baking competitions and guest speaker sharing her knowledge of all things baking and entrepreneurship. She wants to empower people to create their own special moments with friends and family through food. Danielle is passionate about combating food insecurity in our communities.