Kosher Baker Demonstrates The Power Of Cinnamon Babka


“That smells so good, I want more,” explained WUSA9′s, JC Hayward, in reference to Paula Shoyer’s Cinnamon Babka recipe she prepared Thursday.

Former attorney turned pastry chef, Paula Shoyer, visited WUSA9 to reveal her delicious Cinnamon Apricot Pull-Apart Babka recipe found in her book, The Kosher Baker: 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy.

With Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, right around the corner, Shoyer’s Apricot Pull-Apart Babka recipe is perfect for the celebration as it is sweet, which symbolizes the hope for a sweet year, and round, which signifies the continuation of life.

Shoyer owns and operates Paula’s Parisian Pastries Cooking School in Chevy Chase, Md., where she teaches classes in French pastry and Jewish cooking both locally and around the country.

See Shoyer’s recipe for Cinnamon Apricot Pull-Apart Babka, which serves 10-12 people below.


1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 ounce (2 envelopes) active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon, divided

5 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough

1 cup (2 sticks) parve margarine, softened

3 large eggs



1 1/2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/2 cup (1 stick) parve margarine

Spray oil, for greasing pan


To make the dough: Place the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a large mixing bowl and let sit 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, flour, margarine, and eggs. Combine by hand with a wooden spoon or by using a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic and let rise 3 to 4 hours, until the dough has increased in size at least 50 percent.


Meanwhile, for the filling, combine the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.


Place the remaining stick of margarine in a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a large Bundt pan with spray oil.

Divide the dough into 4 parts. Place a large piece of parchment on the counter and sprinkle generously with flour. Place one part of the dough on the parchment and roll out as thin as you can, less than 1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or glass, about 2 inches in diameter, to cut circles of the dough as close to each other as possible. Reroll all the scraps and cut out circles. Place 1/4 teaspoon of apricot preserves in the center of a circle and sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar. Close the dough around the filling and squeeze with your hard to form a ball. Do not worry if some jam squeezes out. When you have all the balls made, dip each into the melted margarine and roll in the cinnamon-sugar. Place around the bottom of the Bundt pan. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough and place the balls evenly around the pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden on top. Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan and then turn onto a rack. To serve, I turn it back over onto a serving plate so it looks like a crown. To eat, each person pulls off the balls.  Store covered in plastic at room temperature for up to four days or freeze up to three months.