Baba au rhum

Baba au rhum

Vanessa Levis

A delectable French dessert cake made of yeast dough containing currants and soaked in rum-flavoured syrup. Large babas are baked in a tall, cylindrical mould and small ones in individual baba, dariole or pudding moulds.


Quantity Ingredient
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dark rum
15g compressed yeast
or 7g dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons caster sugar, plus a pinch extra
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
125g butter, softened
whipped cream, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups water
330g sugar
4 tablespoons dark rum

Glaze (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
1 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dark rum


  1. Soak the currants and sultanas in the rum, covered, overnight.
  2. If using compressed yeast, cream the yeast with the milk and a pinch of sugar and stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, the remaining sugar and the salt into a large warmed bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture or the dry yeast, if using. Sprinkle a little flour from the sides over the liquid, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and butter to the flour–yeast mixture and beat vigorously until the dough is smooth and elastic. Drain the fruit and mix into the dough.
  5. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in bulk.
  6. Pipe or spoon the baba dough into 6–8 buttered individual baba moulds (about 10 cm across the top of the tin), filling them one-third full. Let the dough rise for 30–40 minutes or until it reaches the tops of the moulds.
  7. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  8. Place the babas in the oven, then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 200°C. Bake for 15 minutes or until well browned.
  9. Remove the babas from the moulds and cool on a wire rack until lukewarm.
  10. To make the syrup, combine the water and sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 10 minutes without stirring, then remove from the heat and add the rum. Cool until warm.
  11. Place the rack of babas over a tray and slowly spoon the warm syrup over the babas so they absorb as much as possible. As the syrup collects in the tray, re-spoon it over the babas.
  12. To make the glaze, heat the jam and water together, stirring until the jam melts. Stir in rum, then rub mixture through a sieve. Brush over the babas. Serve with whipped cream.
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