Ola Rokita

Hi! I am Ola and I want to share with you my simple baking recipes that can change your life and how you feel.
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Pistachio and Coconut Babka

Ola Rokita18 April 2021Comments (0)

Babka with Pistachios

Oy Babka! The ultimate in flavor and texture is pistachio and coconut Babka. The crunchy, moist, and velvety texture, paired with bursting nutty flavor makes this yeast cake a celebration in your mouth.

Treat yourself to a homemade Babka

When it comes to yeast cakes, nothing beats a Babka. I also like this dessert because it’s not too sweet and perfect as a morning or afternoon treat with coffee or tea.

Pistachio and coconut Babka is more than just dessert

I enjoy cutting a chunky slice of my babka and indulge as I sip my mid-morning cappuccino to get my day going. Loaded with protein, vitamins, and nutrients like B6, magnesium, and potassium, Babka filled with pistachios and coconut is not just empty calories. I also reduce the overall amount of sugar to minimize the calories. There is so much flavor going on in this combo that you don’t need to compensate with the extra sugar.

Babka reminds me of home

In Poland, Babka is a staple dessert. Any bakery, even the small ones located inside the gas stations along the highways sell Babka. The most popular variety are the ones filled with sweet cheese, apples, or poppy seeds, so this recipe is unique for Polish standards.

When I lived in Italy, I developed a great appreciation for pistachios. Then, my trip to Brazil made me fall in love with anything coconut. As such, this recipe brings two of my favorite flavors into a single dessert. It quenches all my cravings while bringing memories of my favorite places.



Pistachio and Coconut Babka requires nimble hands

The dough recipe can generate up to three Babkas, depending on the size of the baking pan you’re using, or the proportion of the dough compared to the amount of the filling you prefer to have. But, you can comfortably make at least two hefty Babka loafs out of the dough. The loaf pan I use is 1 lb. or 0.45 Kg. (8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.75″ high ) (22 cm x 11 cm  x 7 cm high).

Before you set out to make your Babka, make sure you have a clean large surface to work on for rolling out the dough flat. Also, when twisting the cut-open strands, don’t fret if the pistachio filling starts falling out.

Making Babka can get a little messy, so if the extra filling falls out, simply scoop it up with your hands and sprinkle it on top. In the end it’s the taste that counts, not the extra misplaced nuts.


Pistachio Babkas


For an authentic Babka flavor, I use wheat flour from Poland, type 550 “Luksusowa”. It makes the dough perfectly velvety, with a slight wheat-like taste. Alternatively, you can also use all-purpose flour or, the Italian 00 flour.

Either way, once you try this Babka flavor, you’ll be wanting it each time.


Babka Dough


  • cups flour (+ one tbsp for dusting the working surface)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • cup whole milk
  • 6-7 tbsp cane sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast


  1. In a small pot, add milk, egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar. On a low heat, warm up the ingredients until lukewarm, about 110° Fahrenheit (45° Celsius). Make sure you don't overheat the ingredients past 120° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius).

    Heat up milk with eggs
  2. Add the yeast and using a whisk stir all the ingredients together. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes to let the yeast start working.

    add yeast
  3. In a small pot, melt the butter over a low heat, just until it melts. Avoid burning the butter. Then set it aside to cool off.

    melt butter
  4. In the meantime, in a stand-mixer bowl, add the flour, lemon zest, salt, and vanilla, and mix all of them together using a dough hook.

    mixing dough
  5. Once the dough is uniform, elastic and peals easily off the walls of the bowl, reduce the speed of the stand mixer, slowly add the melted butter, and continue mixing on a low speed until the butter starts being absorbed by the dough. Increase the speed to medium, and continue mixing for about 3-5 minutes.

  6. Set the dough aside to rest on the kitchen counter for about 45 to 60 minutes covered with a clean dish towel until it doubles in size.

    yeast dough
  7. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling (See instructions below)

  8. Once the dough has rested, divide it into two or three portions, depending on how large you want your babkas to be (you can make up to three).

  9. Preheat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit or 160° Celsius and line two to three loaf pans with parchment paper.

    lined loaf pan
  10. On a well floured large surface area, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough flat, about 18" x 10" or 46 cm x 25 cm, and about 0.4" or 1 cm thick.

    Rolled out dough
  11. Using a spoon, spread the pistachio and coconut spread, leaving a 1.0" or, 2.5 cm border all around.

    spread the filling
  12. Fold the left and right hand-side edges and then roll it into a long log.

    roll babka
  13. Cut the log in the middle and then twist the two strands. Fold it in half, and gently place it inside the perchment lined loaf pan. Repeat the steps for the second, or third babka.

    cut the roll
  14. Let the formed babkas rest covered with clean dish cloth for about 45-60 minutes.

    Pistachio Babkas
  15. Bake for about 28 - 35 minutes maximum at 325° Fahrenheit or 160° Celsius.

  16. Cool for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

    baked pistachio and coconut babka


Pistachio and Coconut Filling


  • 2 cups raw pistachio nutmeats (unsalted)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 8 tbsp unslated butter


  1. Over a low heat using a small saucepan melt the butter just until it becomes fluid. Avoid burning it. Then set it aside.

  2. Chop the pistachios and stir them into the butter.

    chop pistachios
  3. Add the shredded coconut and sugar and mix it all together.

    add coconut
  4. All set. Now use the pistachio and coconut filling for your babka.

    pistachio and coconut filling

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