Blueberry-Lemon Babka

Blueberry-Lemon Babka

By: Sarah Gabriel

My name is Sarah, and I am a Smithfield resident working in education. I also started a food blog in 2023 as a side project. I love cooking, baking, and learning more through different food and ingredients. So much to explore, so little time! When I’m not cooking, you might see me running around the streets of Smithfield training for my next race.


For the Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2tsp yeast
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature & slices into tablespoons

For the filling

  • 1 cup blueberry preserves
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 2 tsps cinnamon


  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • With the dough hook attachment, mix in eggs, milk and vanilla until it comes together.
  • With the mixer on low, add the salt then the butter, one tablespoon at a time until it’s fully incorporated. Run the mixer at medium speed for 7-10 minutes until the dough is completely smooth. Add another 1-2 tbs of flour if the dough gets too sticky.
  • Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or 3-4 hours if you’re shorter on time. It won’t double in size, so if it doesn’t look like it has grown a ton, that’s okay!
  • When the dough is ready, roll out on a floured surface to a 10×12 rectangle
  • In a small bowl, mix together the blueberry preserves, cinnamon, and 1 tbs lemon zest. Spread a thin layer of filling over the top of the dough, leaving half an inch border around the perimeter of the rectangle.
  • Starting at one of the shorter ends, roll the dough tightly away from you (like cinnamon rolls). Use a sharp knife to cut down the length of the center of the dough log so you now have two pieces.
  • Twist the two pieces around each other, top-to-bottom, like a two-stranded braid, and then into the prepped loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 1.5-2 hours.
  • When you’re dough is ready, preheat oven to 350 °. Bake on the middle rack for 40 minutes, or when the internal temperature reaches 180°. I ended up sticking my thermometer in 2 or 3 spots since the preserves were probably hotter than everything else.
  • Leave in the pan to cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.
  • Let it cool a little before slicing, and enjoy!
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