Cropped from the cov­er for Now for Some­thing Sweet by the Mon­day Morn­ing Cook­ing Club, image by Alan Ben­son 2020

Image by Alan Ben­son 2020, cour­tesy of the publisher

Cin­na­mon Streusel Babke


MMCC’s Natanya and Lisa were togeth­er at a friend’s 50th and spent far too long stand­ing way too close to June Edelmuth’s renowned cin­na­mon and sug­ar-swirled babke, peel­ing off lay­er after lay­er of doughy deli­cious­ness. June has become known all over Syd­ney for this leg­endary cake; the recipe comes from her Russ­ian grand­moth­er Min­ka and is now a cher­ished MMCC favourite.


565 g (3¾ cups/​1 lb 4 oz) plain
(all-pur­pose) flour, plus extra

150 g (⅔ cup/​5⅓ oz) cast­er (superfine) sugar

1 tea­spoon salt

60 ml (¼ cup/​2 fl oz) warm water

10 g (1½ sachets/​3½ tea­spoons) active dried yeast

1 tea­spoon white (gran­u­lat­ed) sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

155 g (5½ oz) unsalt­ed butter

80 ml (⅓ cup/​2¾ fl oz) pure (35%) cream

60 ml (¼ cup/​2 fl oz) milk


100 g (3½ oz) unsalt­ed but­ter, melt­ed and lukewarm

80 g (½ cup/​2¾ oz) sultanas
(gold­en raisins)

Cin­na­mon sugar

25 g (2½ tablespoons/​1 oz) ground cinnamon

375 g (1⅔ cups/​13¼ oz) cast­er (superfine) sugar

Streusel top­ping

90 g (⅔ cup/​3¼ oz) plain
(all-pur­pose) flour

45 g (1½ oz) unsalt­ed but­ter, at room tem­per­a­ture, chopped

55 g (¼ cup/​2 oz) cast­er (superfine) sugar

Also need­ed

50 g (1¾ oz) unsalt­ed but­ter, melted

Com­bine the flour, cast­er sug­ar and salt in the bowl of a stand mix­er and make a well in the cen­tre. In a sep­a­rate bowl, com­bine the warm water, yeast and white sug­ar and allow to stand for 10 min­utes or until frothy, to ensure the yeast is active. In a sep­a­rate bowl, mix togeth­er the eggs and the yolk.

In a small saucepan, warm the but­ter, cream and milk togeth­er until the but­ter is just melt­ed; do not allow the mix­ture to boil. Set aside until it is luke­warm. Pour the yeast mix­ture into the well then add the eggs and the milk mix­ture. Using a wood­en spoon, stir to com­bine then grad­u­al­ly incor­po­rate the flour until you have a rough dough. Using the dough hook attach­ment, knead on low – medi­um speed for 10 min­utes or until you have a smooth dough that starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Cov­er the bowl with bak­ing paper and plas­tic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 3 hours or until dou­bled in volume.

To make the cin­na­mon sug­ar, com­bine the cin­na­mon and sug­ar in a bowl and set aside.

To make the streusel top­ping, rub togeth­er the flour, but­ter and sug­ar with your fin­ger­tips to make a fair­ly fine crum­ble. Set aside.

Line a round 30 cm (12 inch) cake tin or a deep square 25 cm (10 inch) bak­ing dish. When the dough has risen, punch it down by throw­ing the dough onto a light­ly floured bench­top. Do not knead or add more flour, as this will tough­en the dough. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece to a large rec­tan­gle, about 6540 cm (25½ x 16 inch­es). Brush with half the melt­ed but­ter, sprin­kle with half the cin­na­mon sug­ar and scat­ter over half the sul­tanas. Roll up length­ways to form a log. Repeat with the remain­ing dough.

Cut each log into 5 cm (2 inch) sec­tions. Place these in a cir­cu­lar fash­ion into the pre­pared tin, start­ing from the out­side, cut side up, leav­ing about 1 cm (½ inch) between each one. Once the pieces are all in place and even­ly dis­trib­uted in the tin, press down gen­tly with your hand so they are all the same height. Brush with the extra melt­ed but­ter and then sprin­kle even­ly with the streusel top­ping. Cov­er with a light tea tow­el and allow to rise for
a fur­ther 2 hours or until almost dou­bled in volume.

Pre­heat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 3). Bake for 1 hour or until a skew­er insert­ed into the cen­tre comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Serve warm or cov­er with a light tea tow­el until cool. If you wish, reheat it lat­er, wrapped in foil.

Serves about 20

The sis­ter­hood is com­prised of Lisa Gold­berg, Mere­lyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin and Jacqui Israel from Sydney’s Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. They think of them­selves as their own lit­tle melt­ing pot, which is reflect­ed in their heart-warm­ing and gor­geous books. They live in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, but come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds. Mere­lyn comes from Perth, with Hun­gar­i­an her­itage. Jacqui start­ed her life on the Syd­ney north shore with an Eng­lish back­ground. Lisa is from Mel­bourne, of Pol­ish stock. Natanya is a Syd­ney girl with Shanghai/​Russian roots. More ideas, more cook­ing and more love!

In 2006 it all began when they start­ed to meet every Mon­day morn­ing – to chop and stir, mince and roll, roast and bake, fry and boil. They tast­ed and ate, laughed and debat­ed, argued and agreed. They culled and vet­ted, test­ed and re-test­ed, and argued and laughed some more. The end result – a curat­ed and fine-tuned col­lec­tion of bril­liant heir­loom recipes and sto­ries to share with the world and pass on to the next gen­er­a­tion. Over a chop­ping board and hot stove, with many cups of tea and the odd piece of cake, a unique bond began to form. They start­ed out as a group of indi­vid­u­als and are now a sis­ter­hood. They want to con­tin­ue to col­lect, test, curate, share and pre­serve those trea­sured recipes from the old­er gen­er­a­tion for their own gen­er­a­tion, and for the future.