California Fig Chocolate Babka Recipe

We love making this California Fig Chocolate Babka recipe for French Toast, but you could eat it as toast at breakfast too.

If you’ve wondered how to make babka, this version of the popular bread with a ribbon of chocolate and California Figs running through it is a great place to start. Babka sometimes has one slice of the bread without any filling, but in our book every bite should have filling! By reserving the extra 2 tablespoons of the chocolate fig spread, you can ensure that flavorful swirl is in every slice. Bake a loaf of this babka recipe to serve at breakfast as toasted or French toast. You can even serve it for lunch as a peanut butter jelly sandwich—but make sure to wait and slice the bread once it’s completely cool, otherwise it will be gummy inside.

California Fig Chocolate Babka Recipe

Course Breakfast
Servings 1 9x4-inch loaf

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4 ounce packet)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to 110°F
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate Fig Filling

  • 1 (6-ounce) bag Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs, stemmed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites

Egg Wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch fine sea salt

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and warm milk. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes until mixture is foamy.

  2. Add remaining sugar, egg yolks, and egg. Whisk together until well incorporated.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add half of flour mixture to mixing bowl. Attach dough hook to stand mixer and mix on low speed until dough resembles a shaggy mess, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Add remaining flour mixture and continue to knead at medium speed until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl, about 4 minutes.

  4. Transfer dough to a greased large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 70 to 90 minutes, until dough has doubled in volume.

  5. Punch down risen dough. Recover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 4 hours), until dough is cold.

Make the Chocolate Fig Filling

  1. Place stemmed figs and water in a small heavy-bottomed saucepot. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow figs to soften, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain figs and discard water.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine warm figs, chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt. Process until mixture resembles jam. Scrape down bowl as necessary to ensure thorough mixing. Allow mixture to cool slightly before adding egg whites. Pulse 2 to 3 times until egg whites are just incorporated. Transfer to an airtight container and keep chilled in the fridge until assembly.

Assembly

  1. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough to an 18x14-inch rectangle. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of chocolate fig filling. Spread remaining filling over dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges, so that it doesn’t ooze out. Beginning at the longer end, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seams closed.

  2. With dough seam side up, spread the reserved filling over the seam. Bring one end of dough over to the other end and then pinch the ends together, thus sandwiching the filling, to create a log. You’ll see some filling on the outside.

  3. Gently twist the log, left hand going one way and right hand going the other, until it resembles a figure eight with swirls of filling peeking through. Place twisted roll in a greased 9x4-inch loaf pan. Gently press dough to distribute it to the edges of the pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature until dough is level with the lip of the loaf pan, about 70 minutes.

Egg Wash

  1. Whisk together egg, water, and salt until well combined.

Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush the top of the risen dough with egg wash. Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating loaf midway through baking. Bake until the top of the bread is golden brown and the internal temperature of bread registers at least 190°F. Allow bread to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow it to cool to room temperature on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Allow bread to completely cool before slicing with a serrated knife.

Recipe and photo by Maryanne Cabrera.

California Fig Swirl Chocolate Buns

Sticky sweet California Fig Swirl Chocolate Buns are a great addition to a festive brunch.

The combination of chocolate, California Figs, walnuts and orange zest gives these breakfast buns an unexpected and luscious filling. Top them with an orange glaze and these chocolate buns, once baked, are pretty to look at and full of fruity fig flavor.

The dough, akin to brioche dough but easier to make, is a dream to roll out; just give it a five-minute rest under a tea towel if it starts to shrink as you roll it to allow the gluten to relax. If your kitchen is cold, make use of your oven as a proof box. Turn the oven to its lowest setting and then turn it off. Once the oven has cooled down a bit, place the dough bowl in the oven to rise. Repeat with the rolls for the second rising when you are getting ready to bake them.

You can either make and bake the chocolate buns on the same day, or refrigerate them overnight and bake them in the morning. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to such a treat?

Prep these California Fig Chocolate Swirl Breakfast Buns the night before and bake them off in the morning for a special treat at breakfast.

California Fig Swirl Chocolate Buns

California Fig Swirl Chocolate Buns are perfect for Christmas but these breakfast buns can make any morning more festive.

Course Breakfast
Servings 12

Ingredients

Dough

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (4 ounces / 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Filling

  • 4 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces 60 percent chocolate chips (about 3/4 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, thoroughly beaten with a fork

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. Lightly oil a large bowl. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line the bottom and the 2 long sides with baker’s parchment. If the room is cold, set the oven at its lowest temperature. When it is heated, turn it off.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a hand whisk, whisk the eggs, butter, milk, sugar and salt until blended. Add half the flour and the yeast. With the paddle attachment at medium-high speed, beat for 1 minute.

  3. Switch to the dough hook. Set the mixer on low speed and gradually add the remaining flour. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

  4. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the oiled bowl. Turn the ball so it is coated lightly with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until doubled. If the room is cold, let the dough rise in the turned-off oven.

Make the Filling

  1. In a food processor, combine the figs, walnuts, orange zest, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar and salt. Process until figs and nuts are finely chopped.

  2. In a saucepan over low heat, stir the chocolate and butter together until melted. Add the fig mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.

Assemble and Bake

  1. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 14-inch square. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Beginning with the edge nearest you, roll the dough into an even cylinder. Pinch the seam to seal and turn the log so the seam side is down.

  2. With a paring knife, mark the log into 12 even pieces. Slide a 12-inch strand of unflavored dental floss or thread under the log. Cross the ends and pull tight to cut the log into 12 slices.

  3. Place the slices, cut side up, in the baking pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough is puffy and soft and the rolls are almost touching. (For overnight rolls, do not let rise. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before baking.)

  4. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. Brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. (The internal temperature should be 190ºF to 205ºF.) Let cool slightly before glazing.

Glaze

  1. In a bowl, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, butter, salt and orange juice until smooth.

  2. Spread the glaze on the rolls and serve warm.

Recipe and photos by Sally Pasley Vargas

California Fig & Caramelized Onion Savory Scones

For these flaky savory scones, be sure to allow yourself enough time for the onions to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes. Freezing the scones before baking helps keep them from spreading, yielding loftier breakfast treats studded with California Figs. These are the best savory scones and are best eaten the day they’re baked but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

These are the best savory scones - the trick is caramelizing the onions low and slow and pairing them with sweet California Figs.

California Fig & Caramelized Onion Savory Scones

Course Breakfast
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon to caramelize the onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup stemmed and diced Blue Ribbon® Orchard Choice® or Sun-Maid® California Figs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re deep brown and fragrant, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  3. While the onions are cooling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar until just combined.

  4. Slice the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and scatter over the top of the flour mixture. Using your fingertips and working quickly, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small, coarse peas.

  5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and large egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the figs, Parmesan, caramelized onions and thyme.

  6. Scrape dough onto a clean, well-floured counter top and pat into a 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick.

  7. In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon water with the egg yolk and brush the egg wash over the top of the dough circle. Slice into 6 even wedges (or, for smaller scones, 8). Lay each wedge onto the prepared baking sheet.

  8. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  9. Bake scones for 30 minutes or until they’re golden brown on top and around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe and photos by Megan Gordon.

Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Make breakfast fun with Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies. You will love making this breakfast cookie recipe because it will bring joy to the breakfast table!

Cookies for breakfast? Why not! These Chocolate Breakfast Cookies are chalk full of wholesome ingredients including hearty oats and California Figs. Feel free to use either almond flour or almond meal in this breakfast cookie recipe. You could use dark sweet Mission dried figs or slightly nutty golden dried figs. Serve these sweet morning treats at a brunch with our slightly savory California Fig & Camembert Muffins for two ways to enjoy figs first thing in the morning.

Take breakfast on the go with Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies. This breakfast cookie recipe is easy to make and a family favorite.

Fig Pecan Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

Course Breakfast
Servings 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (140g) almond flour
  • 6 tablespoons (72g) coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup (36g) Scottish oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) light olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (160g) stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs
  • 1/2 cup (55g) chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup (50g) chopped bittersweet chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper or silpat liners.

  2. Whisk together the almond flour, coconut sugar, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

  3. Whisk together the oil, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl.

  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, and then fold in the figs, pecans, and chocolate.

  5. Use a 1 1/2-tablespoon scoop to measure out the dough and roll it into balls. Arrange the balls of dough on the cookie trays (I bake 12 cookies per large baking tray), slightly flatten each ball, and bake until they’re golden on the bottom, about 8 to 12 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through.

  6. Let the cookies cool completely on the trays before removing with a thin metal spatula.

  7. Store the cookies in an airtight container layered between parchment paper for up to 2 days, and then store them in the fridge for up to 5 days more. (Serving Tip: After they’ve been refrigerated I like to heat them in in a toaster oven before serving.)

Recipe & photos by Faith Gorsky