This Recipe uses:
- All-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Chantilly cream
- (Optional) Mixed berries
A Baba au rhum is a traditional French cake soaked in a rum-based syrup and topped with chantilly cream. If you are looking for an easy French dessert with a touch of liquor that is going to impress, what could be better?
Sometimes called a rum baba, it was actually believed to have been created by a King. Or rather a former one. Ex-Polish King Stanislas (whose daughter Marie happened to be married to French King Louis XV) was in exile in the Alsace-Lorraine region, when he decided to take their traditional gugelhupf cake was rather dry.
A few years after Stanislas, in 1735, Parisian pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer, who was a relative of the pastry chef of King Stanislaus, decided that rum from the Americas (where France had colonies) would be better suited. And with that, a classic was born.
It is not clear where the word “baba” (pronounced “bah-bah”) comes from, but it may refer to the Polish dessert “babka“. The word baba in Polish means “grandmother”, so in essence it is “grandmother’s cake”.
The cake itself is a rather basic cake, usually baked in individual portions like a cup cake. Chantilly cream comes from the nearby town of Chantilly, which is about 30 minutes north of Paris.
Cooking without alcohol
Now, obviously a baba au rhum gets its name from the rum liquor that the cake is soaked in. But if you don’t drink alcohol or have small children, you may want to serve a baba au rhum without alcohol.
In this case, you can follow the recipe and just leave the rum out completely, or you can substitute it for a fruit syrup like apple cinnamon or lemon. It will still taste just as great!
Frequently asked questions
How do you serve it?
Baba au rhum is usually served at room temperature or lightly tepid. I suggest leaving the cake at room temperature and slightly warming up the rum syrup before serving.
What drinks to serve with it?
Can you make it in advance?
Yes, you can prepare baba au rhum a few hours in advance and let the cake soak in, but I don’t recommend putting it in the fridge to avoid retaining water.
For the cake
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 sachet of baking powder (1/2 tablespoon)
- 1 pinch of fine salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2.5 (70 g) ounces of melted butter
For the Rum syrup
- 300 ml of water
- 50 ml dark rum
- 1 cup of sugar
- teaspoon of vanilla extract
- chantilly cream
- (Optional) handful of mixed berries
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
- Add the flour, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and salt, and blend throughly with a hand blender or mixer.
- Pour the mixture into a cake or muffin mold.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
- About 10 minutes before the cake finishes cooking, place a sauce pan on the stove and boil the water on high heat.
- Add the sugar into the boiling water and cook until it turns into a syrup.
- When it turns a golden color, lower the heat.
- Add the rum and vanilla extract into the mixture and mix gently.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, let it cool slightly.
- Remove the individual cakes from the mold once it is mildly warm and place each in dessert saucer plates.
- Cut the individual cup cakes in half and add some of the syrup to each one.
- Add a dollop of chantilly cream and sprinkle some french berries on top.
- Serve while warm.
For a non-alcoholic baba au rhum, just leave the rum out completely, or you can substitute it for a fruit syrup like apple cinnamon or lemon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 8g
Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for entertainment purposes only.
If you enjoyed that, check out our other classic French recipes that are easy to prepare. Bon appétit and à bientôt !