Bábovka / Czech cake

Bábovka is a traditional Czech dessert cake that is similar to a marble cake or pound cake. It is made with a batter that is flavored with cocoa powder, and sometimes also vanilla or rum, and is baked in a loaf pan. The cake is typically moist and has a tender crumb, with a slightly crisp top that is dusted with powdered sugar.

Bábovka is a popular dessert in the Czech Republic and is often served as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee. It is also commonly enjoyed at family gatherings and for visits. I think in my childhood it was the most baked sweet at home, maybe like every second weekend.

There are many variations of bábovka, some of which include the addition of ingredients like raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips. The cake can also be baked in a tube pan, resulting in a more traditional, cylindrical shape. Regardless of the variations, bábovka remains a beloved and timeless dessert in the Czech Republic.

Where to eat bábovka in Prague

Unfortunetaly, this is real homemade sweet which is not very often offered in restaurants. But in some cafes, they do babovka time to time. Walk through Prague and keep your eyes opened! Anyway, in Cafe Louvre they have bábovka on the breakfast menu.

How to make Czech Marbled bábovka – recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, and mixing until just combined.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Divide the batter in half, and stir the cocoa mixture into one half of the batter.
  6. Spoon alternate spoonfuls of the light and dark batters into the prepared loaf pan, using a knife to swirl the batter together.
  7. Bake the bábovka in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Let the bábovka cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.

I hope this recipe for marbled bábovka makes with butter turns out great for you! Enjoy!