Tuesday 18 October 2022

Vegan Caramel Pecan Babka

Soft vegan brioche-style bread filled with a silky caramel and crushed pecans

I've made a traditional babka before which is filled with chocolate or a cinnamon sugar. Making enriched doughs like a babka requires the use of eggs and butter which is what makes the dough so soft and well buttery, but I wanted to make one suitable for vegans and those who don't eat eggs or dairy. I'll admit it's a little harder to achieve the right texture that eggs or butter would do, but this is pretty close and it's still a beautifully soft bread. I thought caramel and pecans was perfect for an autumnal bake providing a sweet and crunchy flavour. I'll be looking to make similar breads to this one experimenting with different flavours so keep checking back on the blog if you love making bread. 

If you love caramel and pecans....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!


Prep: 30 minutes + 12 hours overnight rise + 1-2 hours proofing
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 8


  • This recipe is best started the day before, allowing the dough to have the right amount of fermentation, but if you are short on time this can still work with 1-2 hours of fermentation before shaping. 
  • This dough gets very sticky because of the vegan butter so it is very tempting to want to add lots of flour to help bring the dough together. Doing this would not allow you to strengthen the gluten which is vital in the kneading process. The best way to knead is to pick the dough up and slap it onto the counter. Trust me it works, don't worry about the noise, keep picking it up and slapping it, folding it onto itself to keep it in the a round shape. Eventually you'll find it easier to work with and then you can add a little flour to help shape it. 


  • 280g Strong white bread flour
  • 10g Caster sugar
  • 5g Fast action dried yeast
  • 2g Salt
  • 140ml Soya milk, lukewarm
  • 80g vegan butter, softened
  • 50g Pecans, chopped
  • 300g Caramel sauce + more on top
  • 2 tbsp soya milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  1. In a large bowl add the flour, salt sugar and yeast and mix together.
  2. Add the warm soya milk and mix into a rough dough. Gradually knead in the softened butter. The dough will be really sticky and quite messy but keep kneading and lifting and folding the dough onto itself to help.
  3. Don't add anymore flour to the dough to help and this will change the final texture. 
  4. Eventually the dough will be smooth and springy. Tighten into a ball and then place back into the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight or at least 12 hours - it will double in size.
  5. If short on time, leave the dough at room temperature until doubled in size. 
  6. When ready to use, bring the dough to room temperature (if in the fridge)  whilst you make the caramel if not already. Use this recipe. 
  7. Lightly flour your work surface and degas the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 30cm x 40cm. 
  8. Spread on the caramel leaving about 1cm gap around the sides. 
  9. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans all over and press down gently into the caramel to keep them from falling out.
  10. From the longest side of the dough, roll up into a log. 
  11. Cut the dough down the middle, lengthways so there are two thin logs.
  12. Turn the logs up so that the filling is facing upwards. Shape into a plait and make sure the ends are pinched together to stop separating. 
  13. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and then fit the plaited dough into the tin. You will need to tuck the dough under itself in order for it to fit. 
  14. Cover lightly with clingfilm or tea-towel and place in a warm place to proof until doubled in size or for about 1-2 hours. The dough should look puffy and if you press a finger into the dough it should spring back slowly and leave a small indentation. 
  15. When the dough is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 160℃. Combine the soya milk and apple syrup in a small bowl and then brush this onto the babka.
  16. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown all over.
  17. Leave to cool about ten minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle on more caramel and chopped pecans to finish. Slice and serve. 
  18. This is best kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Enjoy!



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