Czech bábovka is a very popular coffee cake, in English known as a bundt cake. This is an old-fashioned Czech recipe for cocoa marble bábovka, easy to make with no fad crazy ingredients.
Here in the Czech Republic, a bábovka cake belongs to the most popular desserts made at weekends. Marble bundt cake means mramorová bábovka in Czech.
Because of its simplicity, both young girls and men who want to surprise someone with their baking often prepare the bábovka on weekends.
When I was little, my dad usually made the bábovka. He prepared this lovely swirl cake the same way as in this recipe: vanilla part of bábovka generously marbled with cocoa batter.
We were always curious about the two-color pattern inside the bábovka once we cut it open.
Here are all ingredients to make the best homemade Czech bábovka from scratch:
- Plain Greek yogurt, about 10 % fat
- All-purpose flour, in Czech „hladká mouka“
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil
- Cocoa powder, for a nice chocolate flavor
- A little milk
- Vanilla essence or extract
In addition, you will need just 2 mixing bowl and a well dusted bundt cake pan.
Don’t forget that you’ll need a bundt cake pan before we begin. I have one old ceramic pan for years, and it’s battered, but I really like it.
There isn’t any non-stick coating inside. Because of this, I have to carefully grease and dust the pan with sifted breadcrumbs or with coarse flour (Czech hrubá mouka).
After the bundt cake pan is ready, let’s go and make some bábovka batter!
- Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Use a hand-held mixer set to the highest rotations.
- Add vegetable oil, yogurt, vanilla, flour mixed with baking powder and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
- Mix a third of the batter with cocoa powder and a little milk.
- Pour half of the white vanilla batter into the bundt cake pan, add cocoa batter, finish with the white batter layer.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 50 minutes.
Once the bábovka cools down, you just dust it with powdered sugar.
Getting the bábovka out of the mold (bundt cake pan) can be quite tricky. The problem is magnified with old bundt cake pans without non-stick coating.
Whenever you are using a bund cake pan, never skip this step:
Grease and dust the pan carefully before baking. Coarse flour (in Czech hrubá mouka) or sifted breadcrumbs are used for dusting the pan in the Czech Republic.
Once you finished the bábovka, let it cool down for 10 minutes.
Then, invert the cake onto a rack and cover the pan with a kitchen towel, first soaked in cold water, with the water squeezed out.
Leave the wet towel on a bundt cake pan for 5 minutes, soak and squeeze the towel out again if needed. You can then try to take the bábovka out of the mold.
Because of the quick change of temperature, bábovka can be easily separated from the mold.
In the Czech Republic, we generally dust the bábovka surface with powdered sugar. Glazing bábovka is less common. A bundt pan produces beautiful shapes on the surface of bábovka, which means the cake doesn’t need any extra more decoration to amaze.
I recorded a short audio clip on pronouncing the Czech word bábovka. The first word in the audio is "bábovka", the second is "mramorová bábovka", which means marble bábovka.
- Bábovka cakes have one significant problem: they’re often quite dry and crumbly inside.
- I’ve got a solution: this bábovka is moist and mild because of a secret ingredient: Greek Yogurt!
- Greek Yogurt is a plain yogurt high in fat percentage, containing about 10 % of fat. Feel free to substitute the Greek yogurt with sour cream.
🍰 More Czech desserts:
- Žemlovka – apple bread pudding
- Lívance – yeasted pancakes with cinnamon
- Míša řezy – black & white sheet cake
Bábovka – Czech Bundt Cake
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp (22 g) dark powdered cocoa
- ¾ cup (210 g) plain Greek yogurt (around 10 % fat)
- 1 and ½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) vegetable oil
- 3 tsp (12 g) baking powder
- vanilla essence (or extract)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) milk
- powdered sugar (to dust baked bábovka)
- Preheat the oven to 340 °F (170 °C).
- Grease the bundt cake pan properly and dust with sifted breadcrumbs or coarse flour. Set aside.
- Place eggs and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand-held mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until light and airy substance is produced.
- Add oil, yogurt, vanilla, flour mixed with baking powder. Mix on low speed for another 2 minutes. The batter should look creamy and semi-liquid.
- Take ⅓ of batter to a small bowl, stir in cocoa powder and milk using a rubber spatula until combine.
- Spread ⅓ of white batter in the mold.
- Pour the cocoa batter over top of the white batter.
- Finish by spooning the rest of the white batter over the cocoa layer.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer or a tooth stick comes out clean (make a test at the end of baking).
- Set the pan on the cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then flip the pan onto the rack, if necessary, use the „cold-soaked towel dish“ trick (see the section on getting the bábovka out of the mold).
- Once it’s almost cold, dust it with powdered sugar.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
Bábovka is an ideal treat for mornings, Czech like to eat a slice of this bundt cake for breakfast!