Rum Babas

by MasterChef UK contestant Sofia Gallo @in_cucinacon_sofia

This traditional Neapolitan dessert it’s a statement in every patisserie or cafes and can be flavoured with Chantilly cream and fresh fruit or enjoyed as it is, soaked in a rum syrup. Other flavours can be limoncello or hazelnut spread. Although this recipe has been written for stand up mixers, the process can be done by hand, it is a little more laborious but the result should be exactly the same.


Prep: 30 min + proving

Cook: 15 to 20 min

Difficulty Moderate

Makes 12 pieces of 100 g or one large baba


For the babas

  • 250 g strong flour

  • 25 g sugar

  • 5 g salt

  • 5 medium eggs

  • 75 g unsalted butter

  • Fresh yeast 12 g – easy bake yeast 4 g

For the rum syrup

  • 5 lt water

  • 750 g sugar

  • 300 g rum at 35-40 degree alcohol

  • Orange peel


  1. In the bowl of your stand up mixer, add the dry ingredients and with the hook attachment combine fully. Add the butter and start mixing on a low speed, incrementing the speed to a medium making sure all the butter has been incorporated. You should have still a dry mixture.

  2. Add two eggs and still with the hook attachment ensure that these have been fully incorporated mixing to a sticky dough.

  3. Change the attachment to the beater and add one egg at the time making sure to wait until one is fully incorporated before adding the other.

  4. Carry on mixing on a medium to high speed helping the mixture from the sides of the bowl and continue until about 30 minutes or the dough has wrapped around like a cord, in Italian incordare.

  5. The dough should be silky and elastic at the same time and when pulling away, should appear translucent. At this stage, cover and let rise until double in size.

  6. Once the dough has risen, divide this letting it drop into the moulds that have been oiled, to 1/3 of the hight and let rise again to the top, in a warm place.

  7. Bake at 180 C between 15 and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool down before moving on the rack and let cool completely.

  8. Prepare your syrup. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and let this come to a boil. Remove the orange peel and soak the babas. Place the babas on a rack to drain and serve as they are or with your favourite cream.


The babas can be frozen once baked and then soaked before serving

Try flavour them with a limoncello syrup or coffee liqueur syrup


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