What is babka anyway?
Babka may look like a cake, but it’s actually a braided yeast bread originating from Eastern European Jews. It’s often filled and twisted with chocolate or cinnamon, then baked in a high loaf pan. Sometimes it’s topped with streusel, sometimes it’s got extra chocolate on top. No matter what you fill it with, it’s a delicious!
Ingredients for chocolate babka parfaits
- 1 store bought chocolate babka (or other flavored babka)
- heavy cream
- pure vanilla extract
- confectioner’s sugar
- dark chocolate, optional
How to make parfaits
Chocolate babka parfaits would be a lot harder to make if I didn’t use a pre-made babka. Usually I am all about homemade desserts, but in this instance I use a super high quality baked good (my favorite is from Lilly’s — their babkas are available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Stop & Shop, Publix, just to name a few!), and the results are fabulous.
Cut the babka into bite size pieces. Layer babka in small jars or containers with homemade whipped cream and fresh chocolate shavings (optionals, but highly recommended because of the added crunch!). That’s it – seriously, so easy! Even my kiddos can make these!
Can I use something other than babka?
Yes! Technically they wouldn’t be babka parfaits at that point, but of course you could switch it up. Imagine how delicious this would be with coffee cake, strudel, or even donuts! That’s actually a genius idea and I may need to test it out immediately.
But what I really love about using babka is that it’s sweet, but not too sweet. It works well against the homemade whipped cream. Babka is essentially a sweet yeast dough that has added flavors — either cinnamon, chocolate, apple, caramel — endless possibilities. The result, however, is typically not super sweet. Perfect for a girl like me!
Want to up your parfait game even more? Instead of whipped cream, try layering the babka pieces with this dreamy homemade pastry cream! Swoon.
How long will these keep?
Chocolate babka parfaits taste best on the first day, but they can be stored for up to 3 days in a refrigerator. The main problem is that the freshly whipped cream will begin to collapse after this time. You want that to remain light!
However, I have definitely made the bold choice to enjoy one of these for breakfast (don’t judge!) after a few days in the fridge and it was just as delicious as in days prior. An extra sprinkling of chopped chocolate on top would add great texture!
This may not look like much, but man I am telling you that these babka parfaits are epic. Sometimes it’s the simplest desserts that I crave the most.
If you’re looking for a homemade babka recipe, check out Sam at Frosting & Fettuccine’s Cookie Butter Babka. Swoon.
If you make these Chocolate Babka Parfaits, please let me know by leaving a review below!
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For more simple desserts, check out the following:
Chocolate Babka Parfaits
- 1 16 oz chocolate babka (such as Lilly’s, sold at Whole Foods)
- ¾ cup heavy cream cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar sifted
- ¼ cup dark chocolate shaved, optional
- Cut ¾ of the babka into ½” cubes. Set the rest aside.
- Whip heavy cream on high in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar, then continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- In small glass jars, alternate layers of babka and whipped cream for a total of 4 layers. Cut reserved babka into a small dice, about ¼” in size. Place on top, then add chocolate shavings if using, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving to help set the whipped cream. Enjoy immediately!
- Can substitute any flavor of babka — cinnamon would be wonderful!
- Chocolate babka parfaits will keep in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, though are best on the 1st day. The longer they sit, the more likely the fresh whipped cream is to collapse.
- Chocolate shavings are optional, but add wonderful texture to the finished dessert.
- Homemade babka can be used, but I am such a fan of Lilly’s chocolate babka that I never use anything else for this dessert!