Babas Au Rhum

This is a post from December, 2006, but it is such a gorgeous holiday dessert I decided to post it again. As I said in the original post, I have made these for years and my family thinks they are fabulous. You can substitute fruit juice for the rum.Happy Holidays!As the legend goes, the Baba Au Rhum was named for a Polish king who dipped his stale bread in rum to improve the taste and it was said that he named his concoction after Ali Baba, a folk hero during the 1600’s. My near perfect recipe for Babas was lost in a move and I sought to recover the taste and texture I remembered from several years ago. It was a struggle-two unsatisfactory batches were made, one in the bread machine and one in the mixer. The mixer by far had the best texture, but still wasn’t my recipe. Cooks Illustrated Baking Illustrated cookbook came to the rescue. Here is my adaptation.Babas Au RhumFor the batter3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour1 envelope rapid dry yeast1/4 cup sugar1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup water, room temperature4 large eggs2 teaspoons grated zest from 1 lemon2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and softenedSyrup1 1/4 cups water1/2 cup sugar1/2 dark rumGlaze1/2 cup apple jelly, heatedHave all ingredients for the batter at room temperature. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. In a mixer bowl, combine the water, eggs and lemon zest and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until well mixed, scraping the sides of the mixer bowl. With mixer running, add butter a tablespoon at a time until batter is smooth.Pour the batter into 2 lightly greased popover pans, filling each about halfway and let rise at room temperature about two hours. When ready to bake, place in a preheated 375 degree oven on the middle rack. Bake 15 minutes, rotating pans at halfway point. Babas should be a golden brown. Transfer pans to a wire cooling rack. After about 5 minutes, remove babas from pan and continue to cool.Combine the water and sugar in a pan, stirring to dissolve sugar and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and add the rum.Using tongs, take a cooled baba and dip into the rum syrup, turning to coat, leaving the baba in the syrup no more that 5 seconds. Repeat with remaining babas. Brush the melted apple jelly on top of the babas. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.Makes 12Can be frozen for two weeks. Glaze with apple jelly before serving.


  1. scotbrit
    December 15, 2006 / 5:21 pm

    Those look good enough to eat…I’ll have to try them soon.

  2. Peter
    October 15, 2009 / 6:05 pm

    Why would you put up such a scrumtuous sounding recipe for Baba au Rhum and block us from copying to our printer?I wrote it longhand anyway.

  3. Lynnylu
    October 15, 2009 / 6:57 pm

    Peter,Sorry you had to write the recipe in longhand. Look at the very bottom of the post-there's a "print friendly" button. Maybe I should move it to just below the actual post. I regret putting the "no right click" because it has fouled me up, also. Hope you like the Babas. Thanks for commenting

  4. Valley
    March 22, 2010 / 12:15 am

    Doing a Julia Child themed dinner for 50 in April. How could these be adapted to cook in muffin tins to freeze? (Or would they be as tasty)

  5. Lynnylu
    March 22, 2010 / 12:36 am

    Valley, I have made these in muffin tins, baked them, soaked them in the syrup and then placed them back in the muffin tins covered with aluminum foil and frozen. They will freeze well for about two months. Enjoy!

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