PHILADELPHIA - We’ve all heard of, and most likely eaten at some point in our lives, pie à la mode — the delicious, age-old combination of popping a scoop of ice cream atop a slice of pie. But a babka à la mode has seemingly never existed, at least not until now.

Essen Bakery, the nationally-recognized bakery owned and operated by four-time James Beard nominee Tova Du Plessis, is known for its famous, best-selling Chocolate Halva Babka. Amy Wilson’s Milk Jawn, one of Philly’s most beloved ice cream brands, recently opened its first brick & mortar location at 1439 East Passyunk Avenue, right next door to Essen. A collaboration between the two was inevitable. Du Plessis and Wilson have already decided on what that will entail, with the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday as the perfect time to work together.

The two have now introduced “Babka à la Mode,” which features Essen’s Chocolate Halva Babka paired with a pint of Milk Jawn’s Tahini Fudge Swirl ice cream. The special ($28) is available for pre-order from Saturday, September 24th, through Monday, September 26th. Rosh Hashanah begins in the evening of September 25th and ends on the evening of September 27th.  Essen is already taking pre-orders for the Jewish holiday, and walk-ins are welcome.

“I knew it was only a matter of time before there would be a babka-ice cream collab once I found out that Milk Jawn was opening just next door,” said Du Plessis. “Their ice cream is seriously my favorite in all of Philly.” “When we found our new location, it was really exciting opening next to someone as revered and popular as Essen Bakery,” said Wilson. “I’m a huge fan of their baked goods, and after trying this combination, I feel like it’s a match made in heaven. We’ve never heard of anyone making a babka à la mode before, but I can’t wait for others to try this. The texture of the babka – especially when you heat it up – combined with our ice cream makes for one of the most delicious bites I’ve ever eaten.”

Pre-orders are available at, and pickups will be made available at Essen in the morning and at Milk Jawn in the afternoon. Customers can specify their pickup time, date, and location when they place their orders. Milk Jawn will be open from noon until 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for pickups.


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