Cakes & CookiesDavid Scott AllenDessertProvencal RecipesTaste

Celebration Recipe Baba au Rhum

David’s inspiration for this festive cake was the movie Babette’s Feast, and a family gathering at Christmas time. Baba au Rhum is not complicated to make, however, it is a yeast-based dough so you need to allow enough time for the dough to rise. David’s Cocoa & Lavender post includes several beautiful photos for this dessert that David says he will make many more times. The recipe for Baba au Rhum is below.

Baba au Rhum #TastesofProvence @CocoaandLavender

Baba au Rhum

A soft spongy cake soaked in aromatic aged rum and topped with fresh whipped cream.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8 people


  • 1/3 cup milk heated to 105-110°F
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour divided
  • 6 tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • zest of 1 orange in strips
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 2-3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • glacé fruits (I used red and green cherries for Christmas)


  • In a large stainless steel bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup flour.
  • Cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise until spongy - about 20 minutes.
  • Coat a 6-cup Kugelhopf pan with baking spray.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons flour.
  • Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
  • Whisk butter and egg mixture into the yeast sponge.
  • Beat in remaining flour to make a thick dough-like batter.
  • Spoon batter evenly into the prepared mold. Set aside in a draft-free place to rise until dough reaches the top of the mold - about 45 minutes.
    baba au rhum @CocoaandLavender
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • While the baba rises, combine remaining cup of sugar with 2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Add orange zest and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup rum.
  • Bake baba about 40 minutes, until nicely browned on top.
  • Remove from oven and unmold.
  • Place cake in a pie plate and pour syrup over it. Using a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the cake with the syrup that has accumulated in the pie plate. Not all the syrup will be absorbed.
    baba au rhum @CocoaandLavender
  • Transfer cake to a wire rack placed over the pie plate to catch drips.
  • Strain jam through a mesh sieve into a small saucepan; heat until quite warm.
  • Brush the jam onto the cooled baba.
  • Mix cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla extract; whip until very stiff, then chill.
  • Just before serving, fill the center of the baba with whipped cream; I piped it in from a pastry bag, but dolloping it on top is just fine.
  • Decorate around base with glacé fruit.
  • To serve, slice the cake and drizzle with some of the remaining rum as each portion is plated.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Please share this with friends and family.

All rights reserved. Perfectly Provence articles and other content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten (including translations into other languages) or redistributed without written permission. For usage information, please contact us.
Syndication Information
Affiliate Information
As an Amazon Associate, this website earns from qualifying purchases. Some recipes, posts and pages may have affiliate links. If you purchase via these links, we receive a small commission that does not impact your price. Thank you in advance for supporting our work to maintain Perfectly Provence.
Previous post

The French Riviera in Two Days

Next post

Another French Encounter at a Spa in Provence

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.