As a vegan, I don't miss much, but whenever someone mentions babka, I start to salivate.
According to Wikipedia, there is a Christian version, who knew?
Babka is a spongy, brioche-like yeastcake made mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. It is traditionally baked for EasterSunday in Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania, and for the major holidays (Christmas, Easter, New Year,Pentecost) in Romania. Traditionally it does not have any filling, and is glazed with a vanilla- or chocolate-flavored icing and decorated with almonds or candied fruit, sometimes with rum added.
I am only familiar with the Jewish version:
Another version of babka is associated with the Eastern European Jewish tradition. This babka is made from a doubled and twisted length of yeast dough and is typically baked in a high loaf pan. Instead of a fruit filling the dough contains cinnamon and/or chocolate. The babka is usually topped with streusel. A similar cake called a kokosh is also popular in Jewish bakeries. Kokosh also comes in chocolate and cinnamon varieties, but it is lower and longer than babka, is not twisted, and not topped with streusel.
Babka is definitely making a comeback. Ever since Christmas, I have seen it in Trader Joe's recently, not a vegan version of course. I hear the TJ's version is quite good, but a vegan version, wow!
Here's a link if you want to try and make it yourself: vegan chocolate babka