Baba au rhum

by mimithorisson

I first discovered baba au rhum (rum baba cake) when I was a child visiting my grandmother in the South of France. Out of all the pastries, I was most fascinated by this one because it was ‘interdit’ (not allowed). Drenched in rum, dressed in whipped cream with a cherry on top, I had to wait a few more years before expressing my food independence.

Invented for an exiled Polish king who thought his marble cake was too dry and who’s favourite book was ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, the baba au rhum is today a national treasure in France. The pâtisserie Stohrer (51 rue Montorgueil 75002 Paris) is the birthplace of the baba. It really is one of the most special pâtisseries in the world.

I like to use a tube baking mold/pan with a ‘swirl’ pattern because it looks old-fashioned and perfect for this timeless cake.



120 grs plain flour
150 grs caster sugar
10 grs baking powder
50 grs melted butter
3 eggs (separated)
3 tbsp warm milk

Cream topping:

250 ml whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
30 grs caster sugar

Rum syrup:

150 ml water
120 ml dark rum
150 grs caster sugar

For coating the cake:
40 grs apricot jam

Pre-heat oven, 180 degrees celsius

Cream egg yolks and sugar. Add the warm milk, melted butter, sifted flour and baking powder. Mix well.

Whisk egg whites till stiff, and gently fold into first batter.

Pour into buttered and floured cake mold.

Bake for 25 minutes. When ready, leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Prepare the rum syrup. On a medium to light heat, heat the water and sugar till it starts boiling. Add the rum and lower heat for 2 minutes. Set aside until cool.

Whisk cream and vanilla until stiff, gradually adding the sugar.

Brush the cooled cake with the apricot jam to create a glossy cake.

Slowly pour the cool rum syrup in the center of the cake and wait till fully absorbed. Add the whipped cream in the center and on top of the cake.

Serve with more rum syrup if desired.