Date Babka Christmas Tree
Updated: Jan 20
Merry (almost) Christmas friendsssssss!!!!! If you have yet to decide what the centerpiece for your Christmas table is going to be this year - I've got you covered!
Introducing to you my very merry delicious Date Babka Christmas Tree!
I don't really celebrate Christmas (but I do love the excitement everyone is in during Christmas time). And I've never really put up a Christmas Tree in my house either. But, I wanted that to change this year. Soooooo, this is my first ever tree -- and it's edible -- how exciting!!!
I'm not gonna take up too much of your time today going into what Babka is and all that because I know most of ya'll are rushing to get those last minute cooking/baking done for the big day.
Butttt, if you're interested, I've got some for you over here - we made a Pumpkin Babka a while ago and this recipe is based off of that, with few adjustments to the ingredients and quantities. And you could easily replace the date filling in this recipe with Pumpkin - if that's your jam.
And with that, I'm going to let you get to the recipe. I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, delicious but most importantly SAFE Christmas and a holiday season! Lots of love, Dulanji!
Date Babka Christmas Tree
Prep Time: 2 hours (excludes rise time)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes (excludes rise time)
Serves: 5 Babka Wreaths (the biggest being 11'' x 11'')
1 1/2 milk (microwaved to 40 seconds)
4 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs (divided: 2 eggs for the dough, 1 egg for the egg wash)+ 2 egg yolks
1/2 cup melted butter
6 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
5 tbsp butter
4 cups crushed dates
2.5 tsp baking soda
2 cups water (room temp)
4 tbsp granulated sugar
3 cups quartered dates
Follow steps 1 through 3 from this Pumpkin Babka recipe.
Note: the dough ingredients and the steps in this Date Babka recipe and the Pumpkin Babka recipe are the exact same, just doubled in quantity so we can make all the layers for this Christmas Tree. If you wish to only make 1 Babka - please follow the ingredient quantities listed under the 'Dough' section on this Pumpkin Babka recipe as is (without doubling)
While the dough rises, make your filling by mixing crushed dates, sugar, baking soda and water. Set aside until the dough has risen.
Line 3 large baking trays with parchment paper.
Once dough is doubled in size, punch down to release air. Then, cut the dough in half and transfer it to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 16'' x 11'' rectangle. Leave the other half in the same bowl.
Spread butter over the rolled dough followed by the date filling made in Step 2 (the date filling should have turned into a paste at this point - if not, set it aside for a few more minutes). Sprinkle some of quartered dates on top.
Starting with the short side, roll the dough up tightly (it should look like a Swiss Roll once done). Then, leaving ½-inch of dough connected at the top, cut the roll lengthwise in two. Twist / braid the strands together and pinch at the end to seal. Finally, bring the 2 ends together so it looks like a wreath. Carefully place the Babka in one of the prepared pans.
Cover Babka loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area (counter top is okay) until the dough rises a bit more (about 45 minutes).
This Babka is the first (bottom) layer of your Christmas tree. If you do not wish to make the entire Christmas Tree, stop here and skip to Step 10.
To make the second layer (from the bottom), take the dough that you set aside in Step 3 and cut it in half. Repeat Steps 3 to 7.
Note: Except for the 1st layer, you can place multiple babkas on the same tray but make sure to leave enough space between them as they will rise further in the oven - this is why we prepared 3 baking trays so we have more real estate to work with.
To make the remaining 3 layers, repeat Step 8 until all the dough has been used.
Now, time for an egg wash. Beat the remaining egg and gently brush over the Babka.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
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