This blueberry cream cheese babka is a simple bread recipe that brings flavor and color to every slice. Filled with a sweetened blueberry cream cheese spread. Every soft and fluffy slice is perfect for snacking.
I love blueberry recipes with cream cheese. Something about that rich and tangy flavor from the cream cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweet and tart cooked blueberries.
You're going to love how easy this blueberry cream cheese bread is to make. You may even be impressed by how fast it disappears once you start slicing it up and serving it to the family. This is one bread that's hard to resist!
Why This Recipe Works
- It's great any time of the day. This recipe has a sweetened cream cheese and blueberry filling to help counter any tartness so that every bite is perfectly sweet and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or simply snacking on throughout the day.
- It's good warm and cold. Eat this blueberry cream cheese swirl bread warm from the oven or chill it in the fridge for a refreshing treat on a hot summer's day.
- It's not too sweet. The flavors are subtle but wonderful. The chewy crust, soft interior, and blend of flavors swirled about are all so perfect, but nothing is too sweet, so it's great for toasting and adding toppings to or eating as is too.
For the bread dough, you will need:
All purpose flour- You will need flour for the gluten structure in the dough.
Active dry yeast- Use yeast to help the bread dough expand and rise. Yeast adds a great amount of flavor too!
Salt- This is a natural flavor enhancer.
Water- Used to moisten the dough. Make sure that it is warmed to 110F to activate the yeast. Too hot will kill the yeast, and too cold won't get it to work properly.
Canola oil- For the necessary added fats. Vegetable oil may be used instead.
Granulated sugar- To feed the yeast so that it activates and works properly.
For the filling, you will need:
Cream cheese- You will need some softened cream cheese for the filling. This is what adds richness and tangy flavors to every slice.
Granulated sugar- Use sugar to sweeten the filling.
Vanilla extract- A flavor enhancer.
Blueberry jam- Use your favorite blueberry jam or preserves for the blueberry filling. You can use homemade or store-bought filling.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make blueberry cream cheese babka with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add in the water, canola oil, and sugar.
Stir together the dough mixture until shaggy.
Then turn it onto a clean counter and knead it for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover.
Let rise for about an hour until doubled in size.
Add the filling ingredients to a mixing bowl
Cream together until well mixed. Set aside.
Turn your proofed dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll out your dough until it reaches a rectangle size of about 10 inches by 12 inches, if not bigger.
Spread the filling over the bread rectangle, leaving an inch of space along the edges.
From one of the long ends to the other, roll the dough tightly into a log. Pinch the seam along the side of the log to help hold them in place.
Using a sharp knife, slice down the center of the log making it into two strands. Keep one end uncut so that the strands are connected on one side. If desired.
Braid the two strands together by lifting one, placing it over the other, and repeating until completed. Pinch the ends to hold them in place.
Pick up the braided blueberry bread and place it in a greased bread pan with the braid on top and the ends tucked underneath. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size in a warm place. (about 1 hour).
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When the bread has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and then bake the bread in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
Allow your bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice the bread and serve as desired.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Making this blueberry cream cheese breakfast bread is as fun as it is to eat but the filling can be a tad difficult due to the fact it likes to slide around. You can apply the filling as thick or as thin as you like but the thicker it's spread, the harder it can be to keep the rolled bread and the braids intact as you work with the dough.
I find the best ways to help are to keep the bread uncut or pinched at one end of the dough log when you slice it in half to make two strands. This helps to keep it from slipping all over the place (at least somewhat) as you fold each strand over one another.
The ends of the bread get tucked underneath the braided section when placing the dough into the bread pan so only the pretty braided top shows as the ends stay well hidden.
🍞 How to Knead Bread Dough
Kneading your dough with an electric mixer using dough hooks is simple and easy, but my favorite method is to do it by hand because you're far less likely to overwork the dough when doing it this way.
Knead the dough by hand by placing it onto a floured surface and using two hands to roll it out into an oval, pull back half, so it's sandwiched together, and repeat.
Smoosh the dough as you roll it back out into an oval, and bring it back. Every few times, rotate the dough about 90 degrees so that you can get all of the dough worked into the process.
When the dough is smooth and elastic, it's finished. This takes about 10 minutes by hand, faster if you're quick, but there are a few good ways to tell when you are finished.
- The dough should not tear easily. This means that if you stretch a chunk of the dough between your fingers, it doesn't tear apart like paper and creates jagged edges.
- The dough should be elastic. You should be able to poke the ball of kneaded dough with your finger and watch the dough quickly try to bounce back and fill in the hole you made.
🥖 How Long to Proof Dough
The time needed to proof dough truly varies from person to person. It depends upon the weather, climate, wind drafts, temperature of ingredients, age of the yeast, and more.
On average, it can take anywhere between 1 hour to 3 hours for the dough to proof properly, but some people can see it happen in as little as 30 minutes.
The goal is not waiting to a specific time but instead looking for a specific response from the dough. We want the dough to be doubled in size, and whether that takes one hour or more, we shouldn't jump straight into the next step before completing this one.
You should expect that it will take about 1 hour for your dough to double in size and proof, but here are some tips for getting it there.
- Cover the bowl of dough with greased plastic wrap. This helps to prevent the dough from drying out and helps to trap the heat. The cooking spray on the plastic wrap helps to prevent it from sticking to the dough.
- Store it in a warm location. I like to preheat my oven to 200 degrees F for 2 minutes and then turn it off. Then I place the bowl in the oven and let it rise until doubled.
Other locations to place your dough include:
- Inside your closed microwave
- Inside a closed oven with just the oven light turned on
- On a hot and sunny day, your kitchen's countertop can work well too
After the bread has been completely cooled, I recommend keeping it stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This will help to keep the filling fresh. You can always warm a few slices on a plate in the microwave if you decide you like it better warmed too.
Yes, you can freeze this bread recipe! After the bread has cooled, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then place in a gallon sized freezer bag or an airtight container for up to 4 months. Thaw on the counter at room temperature before slicing and serving.
If you don't have blueberry jam on hand but find yourself with blackberry, strawberry, or another flavorful variety, feel free to use them. I would try to stick with jams and preserves as they'll spread and mix easier than a jelly would.
More great bread recipes to try
Blueberry Cream Cheese Babka
- 2 ½ cups All purpose flour ($0.20)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast (one packet) ($0.54)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt ($0.15)
- 1 cup Warm water (about 110 degrees F) ($0.00)
- 3 Tablespoons Canola oil (vegetable oil okay!) ($0.09)
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated sugar ($0.01)
- 4 ounces Cream cheese, softened ($0.98)
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar ($0.06)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.01)
- ¼ cup Blueberry jam ($0.44)
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt.
- Add in the water, oil, and sugar.
- Stir and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a large rectangle about 10x12 (or bigger).
- In a mixing bowl cream together the filling ingredients until well mixed.
- Spread the filling over the flat bread, leaving a few inches of space along the edges.
- From one end of a long side, roll towards the other side, creating a tight log of rolled dough.
- Pinch the end seam together to hold it in place.
- Using a sharp knife, slice down the center of the log, making two strands and revealing the layers inside.
- Braid the two strands together by lifting one piece and placing it over the other and repeating, alternating sides as you go. Once finished pinch the ends of the braid together to hold them in place.
- Pick up your braided dough by the center and lift it into a greased 8x4 bread pan. Place the ends of the braid underneath so that the pretty center can rest at the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (about an hour).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the bread has risen, bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice and serve.