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Tea Infused Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka

Tea Infused Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka

Cranberry Cheese Cream Babka Recipe

Delicately sweet cranberry vanilla tea is wrapped into this twisted, sweet babka bread along with cream cheese for a perfect treat.

A brioche-like sweet bread made with yeast, babka is typically filled with chocolate or cinnamon. This sweet bread has been a favorite of mine for many years, especially since Jerry and Elaine visited a bakery on the Dinner Party episode of Seinfeld!

Celestial Seasonings has always had a place in our cupboards, from Sleepy Time to Red Zinger, and now this warming rooibos based tea, Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland tea. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been mesmerized by their story book type drawings that are completely nostalgic.

Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, I feel like a bright-eyed child waiting for Santa, and have been baking up plenty of treats to share with friends and family including this babka beauty.

I have gently infused warm milk with the tea as the key to unwrapping the holiday seasons’ flavors, and then I added a cranberry and cream cheese filling to compliment the flavor of the tea. What I ended up with, is a brioche-like, braided babka that is lovely served hot out of the oven, or even toasted with a spread of creamy butter, plus a nice cup of herbal tea.

Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka

Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka


Recipe Notes:


Tea Infusion:

Ensure the milk is not too hot when steeping the teabags. Overheated milk can curdle and may affect the flavor infusion.

Yeast Activation:

If your yeast doesn’t bubble or thicken after resting in the warm milk, it might be expired or the milk may have been too hot. Always check the expiration date and temperature before proceeding.

Dough Consistency:

The dough for babka is meant to be slightly sticky. Avoid the temptation to add too much additional flour as it can make the babka dense.

Filling Temperature:

Let the cranberry filling cool down completely before spreading onto the dough to prevent it from becoming too soft and difficult to manage.

Cream Cheese Softening:

Ensure your cream cheese is at room temperature to achieve a smooth texture when mixed with sugar.

Babka Browning:

Babkas can brown quickly due to the sugar content in the dough and filling. Monitor it during baking, and don’t hesitate to cover with foil if it’s browning too fast.

Serving Suggestion:

This babka is perfect when served slightly warm. You can also drizzle a simple icing made of powdered sugar and milk on top for added sweetness.

Storage:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze slices and reheat them in the oven when ready to enjoy.


Cranberry Cheese Cream Babka Recipe


Step by Step Guide to Making Tea Infused Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka


1. Preparing the Dough:


Infuse the Milk:

In a small saucepan, warm the milk and 1 Tbsp of sugar until it simmers, ensuring sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and steep the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland Teabags for at least 10 minutes for a rich flavor. After steeping, discard the teabags.

Temperature Check:

Ensure the milk temperature is between 95 – 115°F. If it’s too cold, gently warm it up again.

Activate the Yeast:

Sprinkle yeast over the warm milk and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it bubbles and thickens.

Mix the Dough:

In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, flour, eggs, vanilla, salt, sugar, and softened butter. Use the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer or a wooden spoon to mix until all ingredients are well combined. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Let it Rise:

Transfer the dough to a buttered/greased bowl, ensuring it’s coated on all sides. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.


2. Preparing the Cranberry Filling:


Cook the Cranberries:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine both types of cranberries, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and cranberry juice or water. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it turns into a jam-like consistency. Let it cool.

See Also
Gingersnap Cupcakes

Toast the Walnuts:

In a dry skillet, toast the walnut pieces for 3-5 minutes, then cool. Add the toasted walnuts to the cooled cranberry mixture and set aside.


3. Preparing the Cream Cheese Filling:


Mix the Cream Cheese:

Mix the softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup of sugar until well blended. Set aside.


4. Assembling the Babka:


Preparation:

Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into an 18″ x 15″ rectangle.

Layering:

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a ½ inch border along one short side. Layer the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese, creating a marbled effect.

Roll and Cut:

Starting from the short end covered with filling, roll the dough and seal the edge. Slice the roll in half lengthwise, and place the two halves side by side with the cut side facing up.

Twist:

Begin twisting in the middle, ensuring the cut side remains up, sealing at the end. Repeat for the other half.

Transfer:

Carefully place the twisted dough into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Let it rise for 1 – 1½ hours or until it rises above the pan’s edge.


5. Baking:


Preheat:

Set the oven to 350°F.

Bake:

Uncover the risen babka dough and bake for 45-55 minutes. If the babka is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil during the last 20 minutes of baking. The babka should be golden brown once done.

Cool:

Allow the babka to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Afterwards, remove it, peel away the parchment, and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.


Cranberry Cheese Cream Babka Recipe

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Cranberry Cheese Cream Babka Recipe

Tea Infused Cream Cheese Cranberry Babka


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  • Author: Stacey M Doyle
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x

Description

Delicately sweet cranberry vanilla tea is wrapped into this twisted, sweet babka bread along with cream cheese for a perfect treat.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Dough:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland teabags
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice or water
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Instructions

1. Preparing the Dough:

  • Infuse the Milk: In a small saucepan, warm the milk and 1 Tbsp of sugar until it simmers, ensuring sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and steep the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland Teabags for at least 10 minutes for a rich flavor. After steeping, discard the teabags.
  • Temperature Check: Ensure the milk temperature is between 95 – 115°F. If it’s too cold, gently warm it up again.
  • Activate the Yeast: Sprinkle yeast over the warm milk and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it bubbles and thickens.
  • Mix the Dough: In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, flour, eggs, vanilla, salt, sugar, and softened butter. Use the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer or a wooden spoon to mix until all ingredients are well combined. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  • Let it Rise: Transfer the dough to a buttered/greased bowl, ensuring it’s coated on all sides. Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for 1½ – 2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.

2. Preparing the Cranberry Filling:

  • Cook the Cranberries: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine both types of cranberries, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and cranberry juice or water. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it turns into a jam-like consistency. Let it cool.
  • Toast the Walnuts: In a dry skillet, toast the walnut pieces for 3-5 minutes, then cool. Add the toasted walnuts to the cooled cranberry mixture and set aside.

3. Preparing the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • Mix the softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup of sugar until well blended. Set aside.

4. Assembling the Babka:

  • Preparation: Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into an 18″ x 15″ rectangle.
  • Layering: Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a ½ inch border along one short side. Layer the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese, creating a marbled effect.
  • Roll and Cut: Starting from the short end covered with filling, roll the dough and seal the edge. Slice the roll in half lengthwise, and place the two halves side by side with the cut side facing up.
  • Twist: Begin twisting in the middle, ensuring the cut side remains up, sealing at the end. Repeat for the other half.
  • Transfer: Carefully place the twisted dough into the parchment-lined loaf pan. Let it rise for 1 – 1½ hours or until it rises above the pan’s edge.

5. Baking:

  • Preheat: Set the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake: Uncover the risen babka dough and bake for 45-55 minutes. If the babka is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil during the last 20 minutes of baking. The babka should be golden brown once done.
  • Cool: Allow the babka to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Afterwards, remove it, peel away the parchment, and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.

Notes

  1. Tea Infusion: Ensure the milk is not too hot when steeping the teabags. Overheated milk can curdle and may affect the flavor infusion.
  2. Yeast Activation: If your yeast doesn’t bubble or thicken after resting in the warm milk, it might be expired or the milk may have been too hot. Always check the expiration date and temperature before proceeding.
  3. Dough Consistency: The dough for babka is meant to be slightly sticky. Avoid the temptation to add too much additional flour as it can make the babka dense.
  4. Filling Temperature: Let the cranberry filling cool down completely before spreading onto the dough to prevent it from becoming too soft and difficult to manage.
  5. Cream Cheese Softening: Ensure your cream cheese is at room temperature to achieve a smooth texture when mixed with sugar.
  6. Babka Browning: Babkas can brown quickly due to the sugar content in the dough and filling. Monitor it during baking, and don’t hesitate to cover with foil if it’s browning too fast.
  7. Serving Suggestion: This babka is perfect when served slightly warm. You can also drizzle a simple icing made of powdered sugar and milk on top for added sweetness.
  8. Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze slices and reheat them in the oven when ready to enjoy.
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Baking, Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Polish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 295
  • Sugar: 18g
  • Sodium: 135mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 52mg
View Comment (1)
  • I have a question. I’d love to try making this divine-looking bread. However, the active dry yeast you call for isn’t rapid rise, correct? Given that your letting it rise twice for an hour and a half. I never hey a second rise with rapid rise. So, you used regular yeast? Thanks!

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