A sweet taste of Ukraine
This honey babka brings joy whenever we make it
Yesterday was amazing, I hope some of you are receiving copies of the World Central Kitchen cookbook as they get out in the world. I would love to hear what you think! And if you haven’t ordered yet, what are you waiting for??
Today I wanted to share a bonus recipe that we didn’t put in the cookbook, an amazing recipe for a honey babka that our teams have made in Ukraine. For many Ukrainians living under the constant threat of Russian attack, a lack of basic necessities and ingredients makes it impossible to celebrate special occasions with something sweet. So when our teams prepare cake—on Easter, Children’s Day, or just because—people are filled with joy. Sometimes, just mentioning cake is enough to bring someone to tears: “I don’t even remember what cake tastes like,” one woman told our team in southern Ukraine. We started making this cake in our kitchen in Przemyśl, Poland, in the early days of the invasion, and were happy to give fleeing families a taste of home.
You shouldn’t confuse it with the traditional Jewish yeasted babka—the Ukrainian version is dense, a little sticky, and is sweet but not too sweet from the honey. It’s delicious warm out of the oven, but it’s also amazing the next morning with a cup of coffee or tea!
Ukrainian Honey Babka
Makes a 9 x 13-inch baking dish