Slices of babovka with the cake in the background
Recipe

Babovka recipe: Czech coffee cake

Samantha Tatro

Contributing writer

Traditional Czech food is all about homemade goodness, from dumplings and indulgent sauces to game meats -- and baked goods are especially beloved by Czechs everywhere. The babovka, a type of Czech coffee cake, is often served next to coffee and tea for guests and family. It's the type of simple and delicious cake that makes for a great centerpiece. 

Growing up abroad, my mom often made babovka as a special treat for us to devour. Likewise, whenever we visited family in Czech Republic, we often had a slice when visiting family. Now, it's the cake I make for my own guests (and, secretly, for my breakfast throughout the week). 

Slices of babovka with the cake in the background

Every Czech grandmother has their own special recipe for the beloved babovka, but this is my tried-and-true recipe for the classic. It's easy, it's delicious, and it's going to be gone within days. Don't forget to sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top to top it all off, and serve with coffee and tea, of course! 

Note: you may want to use a round or bundt cake tin for this recipe.

Prep: 15 min
Cook: 45 min
Total: 60 min

Ingredients

  • 1 mug sugar (though I sometimes use half - its up to you!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 mug oil 
  • 2 mugs flour
  • 1 mug milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 mug cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • pinch lemon zest

We're going to make this recipe with a mug - and if that sounds strange to you, just trust that just about every Czech grandmother does it this way. This recipe is very forgiving, so don't worry about being exact. Just use the same mug for every measurement to keep it even.

Directions

  1. 1
    Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. 2
    Mix all the ingredients together (except lemon zest and cocoa)
  3. 3
    Divide the batter in two bowls. 
  4. 4
    In one bowl, add the lemon zest
  5. 5
    In the other bowl, mix in the cocoa. 
  6. 6
    Pour the vanilla batter in a greased mould first, then add the cocoa mixture on top. 
  7. 7
    Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  8. 8
    After baking, pop it out onto a plate while warm. You can add a little powdered sugar on top as well. 

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Samantha Tatro

Author - Samantha Tatro

Samantha Tatro is a Czech-American third culture kid who grew up living and traveling abroad. Many years later, after living in California and working as a journalist, she decided to take the leap and move abroad again…this time to Prague, Czech Republic. Samantha started her blog, Undiscovered Path Home, to help couples and solo female travelers find the courage to visit countries – and locations – off the beaten path. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, NBC News, The Adecco Group, and more.

Last Updated 15 October 2022

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