Salted caramel & macadamia Babka – Babka Zana


Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4 rolls or 1 babka cake for 6 people

My love for babka started few years ago when I tried for the first time Jeffrey Cagnes’s recipe ”Chocolate & hazelnut Babka”. Since that time I didn’t stop.

If you have taken a look on instagram to have an idea of the best babka of the moment, you certainly know babka zana. I love their incredible creations and their improbable combinations of flavours.

Few days ago I have received their first book, an amazing book full of a wonderful sweet and savoury recipes. I have enjoyed baking from it, I couldn’t wait to give this “salted caramel & macadamia babka” a try, especially because the filling includes salted caramel and macadamia, my favourite nuts. And guess what, it was wonderful. A fluffy, rich brioche dough with an amazing salted caramel as a filling, and a crunchy macadamia everything in one bite. This babka has a super power to put a smile on your face from the first bite.

I have shared with you their ”Pistachio & orange blossom babka”, it was one of my favourites. – Babka Zana book

How to make this salted caramel & macadamia Babka ?

Salted Caramel & Macadamia babka – Babka Zana.

The babka dough :

Making babka has nothing complicated, in this recipe you’ll have to make the dough, the salted caramel and a simple syrup that you’ll pour over the baked rolls. 

You’ll first need to make the dough. In a stand mixer fitted with the hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt, add the egg then the yeast that you already dissolved in the warm milk 10 minutes before starting. Mix to bring everything into a dough. Then add the butter at room temperature, keep kneading until the butter is completely combined and the dough is smooth. Let it rest 2 hours or until the dough doubled in size.

The recipe calls for salted caramel, so how to make it ? :

In a small saucepan over a medium heat, put the caster sugar and wait until it melts and has a blond brown colour. Add the butter once incorporated add the hot cream, stir to make sure that all the caramel is smooth and all melted. Add the fleur de seul (or sea salt flakes). Set aside at room temperature.

Assembling the salted caramel & macadamia babka / rolls :

Roll the dough out into rectangles, spread the salted caramel over the dough and sprinkle the roasted and roughly chopped macadamia nuts, leaving a border around the edge. Roll the dough into a log and then seal the babka edges. Cut it lengthwise, cut side facing up, then twist the logs to form the babka braid, roll it into a snail shape. Cover the babka and leave to rise for one hour. Bake it at 180C (170C for me) for 15 to 20 minutes.

The syrup :

While the babka bakes, make the syrup. In a small pan, gently heat the sugar and the water, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, brush them generously with the syrup. 

Once baked, the rolls are topped with a teaspoon of salted caramel. I let you imagine how delicious it is.

Salted caramel & macadamia babka – babka zana.

To save yourself some time, you can make everything a day before, then roll, fill and bake the next day. Like any brioche the babka is better eaten same day of baking.

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Chocolate & Tahini Babka - Babka Zana

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4 rolls or 1 babka cake for 6 people

Count 3 hours proving time, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. The dough needs to double in size.


Babka dough :

  • 250 g flour T45, (Strong flour)
  • 12 g fresh yeast
  • 50 g caster sugar, (25g for me- because of the salted caramel and the syrup)
  • 100 g full fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 80 g unsalted butter at room temperature , 20g extra to grease the loaf pan
  • 3 g salt

Salted caramel :

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g liquid cream (35% fat)
  • 0,5 g fleur de sel , (or sea salt flakes)
  • 75 g macadamia nuts, roasted and roughly chopped (50g for the filling and 25g to decorate de rolls with)
  • fleur de sel , ( or sea salt flakes)

Syrup :

  • 40 g mineral water , (30g for me)
  • 40 g caster sugar


The dough :

  • 1)

    First combine the lukewarm milk and the yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes before using it.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the dry ingredients : the flour, caster sugar and the salt. Give it a stir, then add the egg and the milk – yeast mixture.

    Knead for about 10 minutes until the flour is all combined, use a spatula to push down any flour.

    Gradually add the softened butter in small pieces. Knead until all the butter is combined, don’t forget to use the spatula to make sure to scrape the butter from the sides. Keep kneading for about 15 – 20 minutes, you should have a shinny, smooth dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.

    Form a ball, and cover it with a cling film then a clean tea towel, and let it rise for about 2 hours ( I usually put in my oven off of course ) or refrigerate the dough overnight.

    All steps and pictures of how to make the dough are here “ Pistachio & orange blossom babka – Babka Zana “

The salted caramel :

  • 1)

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, caramelise the sugar, once you have a very nice blond brown colour add the butter, then the hot liquid cream, make sure to not burn yourself. Stir until all the caramel is melted. Add the sea salt flakes, and set aside at room temperature.

Assembling the rolls :

  • 1)

    For the rolls weigh your dough in my case I have made 4 rolls each ball was 125g.

    On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin and form a rectangle 3mm in height. Spread the salted caramel and sprinkle with macadamia nuts roasted and roughly chopped. Roll your rectangle lengthwise, using a sharp knife gently cut the log in half along the entire length, cut side facing up, form an X and gently twist it to form the babka braid, then roll it into a snail.

    Place your rolls on a baking sheet covered with a baking paper. Use a buttered cookies rings (10cm), so the babka will not spread while baking. Cover with a clean tea towel and let them rise for 1 hour ( in my oven) until the rolls double in size.

    Preheat your oven 180C (170C for me).

    Using a teaspoon, make a well in a center of the roll. Bake for 15 minutes. (15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven).

The syrup :

  • 1)

    Meanwhile the rolls are baking, make the syrup.

    in small saucepan oven a medium heat, combine the water and the caster sugar, try to dissolve the sugar by stirring without boiling the syrup. Once the sugar is completely dissolved bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

    Remove from the heat and set aside.

Time to taste

  • 1)

    Once the rolls come out from the oven, brush them generously with the syrup. Let them cool down 10 minutes, add the remaining salted Carmel on top of each roll. Serve.

    Enjoy !!



  • Areti

    16/10/2022 at 19:45

    Oh my Goodness this Babka! It was the best I have ever tried! i wish I could eat this every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us Dalila!

    1. 4passionfood

      16/10/2022 at 19:50

      Hi Areti, thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it.
      This babka was definitely the best I ever had.

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