The ultimate sweet bread— braided challah stuffed with a swirled cinnamon-walnut filling.

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

My Dad always says on the ski slopes— if you’re not falling, you’re not learning.

That phrase continues to motivate me, both on and off the slopes. For example, some days I have big flops in the kitchen. Cakes don’t rise, pies don’t set, and genius ideas don’t pan out. These fails are always frustrating, but it’s a good reminder that I still have stuff to learn.

Plus, those flops make the successes so much sweeter. Pulling this beautiful loaf of cinnamon-walnut stuffed challah bread from the oven after a few failed attempts has been a highlight of my week.

I mean, look at that loaf!

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

This recipe is directly inspired by the chocolate “babkallah” in the holiday issue of Bon Appetit. It is a babka shaped like challah and it completely blew me away.

I imagine the chocolate variation is amazing, but I may never find out because the combination of cinnamon and walnuts in this loaf is all I could ever want. Imagine the best sticky bun, or cinnamon roll, or flavored challah you’ve ever had, and then you’re pretty close to what this is.

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

It needs no embellishment, enjoy slices just as they are, and at any time of day— breakfast, dessert, and everything in between.

That being said, this bread would make a killer french toast. If slices stick around that long.

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

What is enriched yeast bread?

Enriched breads refer to those that are higher in fat than other breads due to more eggs, butter, and/or milk . Because of their higher fat content the dough is very soft and delicate, and often molded and baked in pans. Braiding also helps the enriched dough hold its shape during baking.

Examples of enriched yeast breads are challah, brioche, and babka/baba.

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread |

Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread
The ultimate sweet bread— braided challah stuffed with a swirled cinnamon-walnut filling.
Yield: 1 large loaf
For the dough:
  • ½ cup (118 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) honey
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons, 7 grams) active-dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
For the filling:
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (160 grams) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups (226 grams) Diamond of California Chopped Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To prepare the dough:
  1. Combine the milk, honey and butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Warm just until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes, or until it is between 120-130 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (you can also use a large bowl and mix by hand), combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, cinnamon and yeast. Add the milk mixture and mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
  3. Add the remaining flour a few tablespoons at a time, letting it incorporate into the dough before adding more. When all the flour has been added, the dough should be very soft, but still clear the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add a few more tablespoons of flour. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 more minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
  4. Carefully place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Gently punch down the dough to release gases and knead a few more times by hand.
To assemble the stuffed challah:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Mixture should be crumbly.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Working with each piece individually, place dough on a well-floured surface and roll into an approximate 12x6-inch rectangle. Sprinkle one third of the walnut mixture on top of the dough. Starting at one long end, tightly roll up the dough and carefully transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, seam side-down. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces of dough.
  3. When you have finished rolling up all 3 pieces of stuffed dough, braid them together on the sheet pan, tucking the ends under. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled again, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make an egg wash with 1 large egg and a teaspoon of water and brush on the loaf. Bake until golden, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before transferring from sheet pan.
  5. Bread is best the day it is baked, but will keep in an airtight container for a few days.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Diamond of California as part of a long-term culinary ambassadorship. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are always 100% my own.

To find more great holiday recipes using nuts visit the Diamond Nuts website. You can also find them on facebook, twitter, youtubepinterest, and instagram.

You may also like these posts:

Keep in touch! Subscribe to Completely Delicious and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This page contains affiliate links, which provide me a small percentage of all purchases made through them.


15 Responses to Cinnamon-Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread

  1. Dying for this. Challah is the best, but this cinnamon version is KILLER!

  2. Good thing you succeeded with this recipe because it looks fab.

  3. What a gorgeous loaf. This wouldn’t last long at my house.

  4. This looks really really good. The braiding reminds me of Christmas bread that I used to make and braid. So pretty!

  5. Love any breakfast with Challah bread! This looks fantastic!

  6. I bet even the failed attempts tasted delicious…This looks incredible! Walnuts and cinnamon are a fantastic combination.

  7. Babkallah?? Amazing. This looks so delicious!

  8. I need this for breakfast. And then I need another loaf to turn into bread pudding or French Toast.

  9. Jen says:

    I just made this today and it looks to die for!! My first real Challah!! It’s still cooling and we’ll slice it up after dinner. I added some “fig butter” from Trader Joe’s in one of the tubes. We’ll see it adds or detracts but holy moly I’m excited to see! Thanks for a great and easy to follow recipe!

  10. RACHEL says:

    Looks great!

    Do you need to add warm water to the yeast rise first? I am worried that yeast will not activate.

  11. Sean says:

    Love this! This was our first attempt at a challah recipe and it turned out wonderful! We added just a little more cinnamon (we love cinnamon) but that’s it. Already added this to our recipe collection. Wonderful with morning coffee (lunch coffee, or evening coffee!)

  12. Donalie Guin says:

    I rarely use yeast because it scares me. Today I searched for a yeast bread stuffed with nuts. This was my first challah but it won’t be my last. It’s so light. The bread is barely sweet giving contrast to the sweet nut mixture and a great taste. The braid and golden brown crust make it look as good as it tastes.

  13. Kitty says:

    I made this last night and we had it for breakfast this morning. It turned out really well. Great appearance, smell, and taste. Thanks for this recipe. I will definitely be making this again.

  14. Madison says:

    I made this recipe this past weekend and it turned out beautifully!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *