| Recipes |

Cinnamon Babka Straws

Recipes Reproduced from Totally Kosher
Recipes and Photographs copyright © 2023
by Chanie Apfelbaum; Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House

When my first cookbook, Millennial Kosher, came out in April 2018, my babka straws stole the show. In no time, my inbox was flooded with hundreds of photos of babka straws. I was spellbound! I’ve been getting requests for a cinnamon version ever since, and it’s finally here! And just to make it extra, you’ve got not one but three topping choices!


Cinnamon Filling
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Crumb Topping (Optional)
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Babka Twists
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (Pepperidge Farm recommended)
  • 1 extra-large egg plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten, for egg wash
Cream Cheese Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Simple Icing (Optional)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk (any variety) or water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 839)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, flour, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon water, and salt.

If making the crumb topping option: In a second small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, oil, vanilla, and salt. Mix with a fork until coarse crumbs form.

To make the babka twists: Working with one sheet of puff pastry at a time, lightly roll out the dough to form a 10x12-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, spread half of the cinnamon filling on the lower half of the dough with a knife. From the long side, fold the uncoated half of the dough over the coated side.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1-inch-thick strips. Transfer each strip to one of the baking sheets, spaced an inch or so apart. As you set them down, twist the ends in opposite directions a few times, lightly stretching the dough as you twist, to give the straws a spiraled look. Refrigerate the straws for 10 minutes. While they are chilling, repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining cinnamon filling. Refrigerate the second sheet when it’s ready.

Remove the baking pans from the fridge. Brush the straws with the egg wash and sprinkle with the crumbs (if using). If you prefer the cream cheese or sugar glaze, omit the crumbs. Bake about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

If making one of the glazes, make them now. To make the cream cheese glaze, in a medium bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

To make the icing: In a medium bowl using a spoon, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth, adding more milk if needed.

Drizzle the desired glaze over the straws once they’ve cooled.

You can freeze the babka straws before baking and store them in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 2 months. Transfer the frozen straws to the baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake until puffed and golden. Alternatively, freeze after baking. Thaw and rewarm in the oven at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes to crisp up before serving.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 839)

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