Babka Wreath Grazing Board: Perfect Holiday Appetizer



Babka Wreath Grazing Board with Cheese & Spiced Cranberry Jam: The Perfect Holiday Appetizer

Are you looking for an impressive and delicious appetizer to serve at your next holiday gathering? Look no further than the Babka Wreath Grazing Board with Cheese & Spiced Cranberry Jam. This show-stopping dish combines the rich flavors of babka, a sweet Eastern European bread, with the creamy goodness of camembert cheese and the tangy sweetness of spiced cranberry jam. It's a feast for the eyes and the taste buds, and guaranteed to impress your guests.

The Art of Making Babka

Babka is a traditional Eastern European sweet bread that is typically made with a rich dough and filled with a variety of ingredients such as chocolate, cinnamon, nuts, or fruit. To start making the babka wreath, you'll need to weigh the flour and yeast into a large bowl or stand mixer. Add sugar, salt, and most of the egg, reserving a little for glazing later. Mix the ingredients until they start to clump together and then knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes soft and elastic. Alternatively, you can continue to mix the dough in a stand mixer for 5 minutes.

Once the dough is ready, clean out the bowl and lightly oil it before returning the dough to the bowl. Cover it with a tea towel and let it prove for 2 hours until it doubles in size. Alternatively, you can prove the dough overnight in the fridge for a more intense flavor.

The Spiced Cranberry Jam

While the dough is proving, you can prepare the spiced cranberry jam. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and a touch of water. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring often, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Once the jam is ready, remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Assembling the Babka Wreath

If you've chilled the dough overnight, make sure to remove it from the fridge at least 1 hour before baking to bring it to room temperature. Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a floured work surface and stretch it into a rectangle. Dust it with more flour and roll it out until the rectangle is approximately 65 x 25cm in size.

Next, spread the herby garlic butter all over the surface of the dough. The herby garlic butter is made by mashing softened butter with garlic, parsley, rosemary, and sage. Once the butter is evenly spread, roll up the dough tightly into a spiral starting from one of the longer sides.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough in half lengthways, exposing the garlic butter filling. Transfer the two pieces to a large baking tray lined with baking parchment. Pinch the two pieces together at one end and twist them together into a long plait. Bring the ends together to form a wreath shape, making sure it's about 40cm in diameter. Tuck one end under the other to hide the join.

Baking the Babka Wreath

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the dough all over with the reserved beaten egg to give it a beautiful golden color when baked. Unwrap the wheel of camembert and place it in the center of the wreath. Bake the babka wreath for 35 minutes until the bread turns golden brown and the cheese is oozy and melty.

The Finishing Touches

Once the babka wreath is baked to perfection, carefully slide it onto a serving board. Cut off the top of the camembert to reveal the creamy center, and spoon the spiced cranberry jam over it. To add a touch of freshness and garnish, sprinkle some extra rosemary sprigs on top. This stunning appetizer is best enjoyed when served warm, allowing the cheese to ooze and mingle with the flavors of the babka and cranberry jam.

Creating a Grazing Board

To turn your Babka Wreath Grazing Board into a complete feast, consider adding a variety of complementary ingredients. Arrange an assortment of cured meats, such as prosciutto and salami, around the wreath. Add a selection of artisanal cheeses, such as aged cheddar and brie, along with some crusty bread and crackers. Fresh fruits like grapes and figs can add a burst of color and sweetness to the board. Don't forget to include some olives, pickles, and nuts for added texture and flavor.

Tips for Assembling the Perfect Grazing Board

  • Start by placing the babka wreath with the camembert and spiced cranberry jam in the center of the board.
  • Arrange the cured meats in loose folds or rolls around the wreath.
  • Place the cheeses in different sections of the board, allowing guests to pick and choose their favorites.
  • Add small bowls or ramekins for olives, pickles, and nuts.
  • Fill any empty spaces with fresh fruits and herbs for a vibrant and inviting display.


The Babka Wreath Grazing Board with Cheese & Spiced Cranberry Jam is a visually stunning and delicious appetizer that will impress your guests. With its combination of rich babka, creamy camembert, and tangy cranberry jam, it's a perfect addition to any holiday gathering. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to create a show-stopping appetizer that will have everyone asking for seconds.

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