Rum Baba Cooking Recipe – Baba Recipe

Rum Baba Cooking Recipe - Baba Recipe

Rum Baba Cooking Recipe – Baba Recipe

The rum baba is originally from Lorraine in France and dates from the eighteenth century. It was brought to Naples by French chefs and became a popular Neapolitan specialty. It was named in honor of Ali Baba from the tale One Thousand and One Nights.

Makes 12 babas

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • Babas
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (1 ¾ oz./50 g) butter
  • 1 ⅔ tablespoon (1 oz./25 g) fresh yeast
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 cups (10 oz./300 g) cake flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz./25 g) sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt


  • Scant ¼ cup (50 ml) water
  • 1 cup (7 oz./200 g) sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Scant ¼ cup (50 ml) rum

Apricot glaze

  • 5 tablespoons apricot jelly
  • 3 tablespoons hot water


  • Butter and flour for preparing the dariole molds
  • Generous quantity of Chantilly cream for serving
  • Generous quantity of rum for serving


  • Twelve 2 in. (5 cm) diameter dariole (truncated cone) molds
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 pastry brush

Rum Baba Cooking Recipe - Baba Recipe 1

Cooking Method

Prepare the baba dough.

  • Remove the butter from the refrigerator so that it is at room temperature, then work it with a spatula until it is soft.
  • Dissolve the yeast in the milk in a bowl and stir in ½ cup (1 ¾ oz./50 g) of the flour.
  • Cover with a dish towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  • Beat the eggs with the sugar and mix into the softened butter, along with the zest of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt.
  • Put the rest of the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and mix in the risen dough and egg mixture.
  • Knead thoroughly until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  • Butter and flour twelve dariole molds (truncated, cone-shape molds).
  • Half fill them with the dough, and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in volume (1 hour 30 minutes approximately).
  • Toward the end of this time, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • When the dough has risen again, bake the babas for approximately 20 minutes; test the cooking by inserting a wooden toothpick, which should emerge dry.
  • Unmold them and cover with a dish towel.

Make the syrup.

  • Boil the water with the sugar and the zest of the orange and lemon.
  • Strain and add the rum. Immediately immerse the babas in the rum syrup, remove, and let cool on a rack.

Make an apricot glaze.

  • Melt the jelly in 3 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Brush the babas generously with this glaze.
  • Serve with Chantilly cream and pass round the bottle of rum for diners to add for themselves.

Chef’s notes

If you have prepared the babas in advance, keep them in the fridge. Do not add the Chantilly cream until they are to be served.
You can replace the rum in the recipe with limoncello, a lemon liqueur that is typical of the region.

Did you know?

This dessert is now so anchored in Neapolitan tra¬dition that the word “baba” is used as a synonym for “beautiful”.