Baba au Rhum (Rum Babas)

These used to be a very popular dessert, but have gotten out of fashion. That really is a shame, because they’re delicious and quite versatile. Instead of the citrus zest, you can add rum soaked raisins (add to the dough after the first rise) or 125gr chocolate chips. You can vary the soaking syrup to include cinnamon.
All recipes have been uploaded separately as well, some with additional explanation.


For the Babas:

  • 25ml dark rum
  • 3gr dried yeast
  • 100ml milk
  • 250gr strong bread flour
  • 3gr salt
  • 25gr sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100gr soft butter
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lime zest

For the Soaking Syrup:

  • 150gr sugar
  • 2 oranges – juice of
  • 1 lemon – juice of
  • 1 lime – juice of
  • 3 tbs brown rum – or to taste

Makes 12


Beat together the ingredients for the babas until it became a glutenous thick batter. It takes about 10 minutes with my freestanding mixer. I use a batter paddle attachment instead of a dough hook, because the dough is so soft.
Leave in a warm but not hot spot (approx. 30°C) until doubled in size.

If using inclusions like rum soaked raisins (leave them to soak overnight) or chocolate chips, add them now. Divide the batter over 12 savarin moulds. Leave covered – be careful the cover doesn’t touch the batter – until doubled in size.
Bake for 25 minutes on 180°C. Leave to cool.

Juice the orange, lemon and lime, then add water until the total is 500ml.
Add the sugar to the citrus juice in a sauce pan. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

Leave the syrup to cool to 40°C.
Lay the babas close together in a deep baking tin or other container. Stir the rum into the syrup (use more if you want and depending on when you want to serve these, for dessert they probably are allowed to pack a bit more of a punch than for brunch) and pour it over the babas. Cover the tin/container. Leave to soak for 20 minutes, turning the babas every 5 minutes.

You can brush them with neutral glaze – thinned a bit with some water – and serve filled with a blueberry compote, topped with cream.

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