How to Make Perfect Rum Baba | Boozy Yeast Cake Recipe

Rum baba is a dessert of rum syrup soaked bread/cake often served with whipped cream and berries. There are many recipes out there and this is by no means an authentic one, but it stays true to the principle – an enriched bread soaked in sweet syrup.

It is rich, moist, flavourful, and irresistible.

You can adjust this recipe to your taste. Add, remove, or modify ingredients in the syrup. You can use all orange juice instead of a mix of orange juice and water. You can add the zest of the oranges to the syrup to make it more intense. Use more rum if you want it boozier.

Use different flavourings in the dough, or even use a different dough.

The dough is pretty much a same day brioche, so be ready to knead for a while. Although, it does not take nearly as long as my other hand mixed brioche recipe.

This recipe makes 12 normal muffin sized baba. You can use various moulds to make them larger or smaller. To make more or less of them simply multiply or divide all the ingredients.

Temperature control wise I left the preferment at room temperature (22C, 72F) and I used cold eggs from the fridge in the main dough.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the preferment

50g (1.75oz) white bread flour

50g (1.75oz) egg

3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.31oz) fresh yeast


For the main dough –

250g (8.8oz) white bread flour

25g (0.88oz) sugar

150g (5.3oz) egg*

100g (3.5oz) softened butter

5g (0.17oz) salt

10g (0.35oz) vanilla paste

2 lemons worth of zest

3g (0.1oz) orange extract (optional)

*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For the syrup –

300g (10.6oz) water

300g (10.6oz) sugar

150g (5.3oz) orange juice

100g (3.5oz) spiced rum

8 whole cloves


For the cream –

150g (5.3oz) double cream

30g (1oz) icing sugar

3g (0.1oz) vanilla paste


The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration.

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the egg for 10 minutes before adding the flour or else it could take a lot longer to raise the preferment.

If you are curious about why the dough contains butter, egg, and sugar, click the links to learn more about the effects those ingredients have on bread dough.


  1. Make the preferment. Combine the egg, yeast, and flour. Leave to rise for 1 hour.
  2. Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the eggs, salt, sugar, orange extract, lemon zest, and vanilla paste. Mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar completely. Add the preferment and the flour. Mix to a dough.
  3. Tip the dough out on the table and knead using the slap & fold kneading method for 10 minutes. It will be sticky and messy. Scrape it together occasionally and continue kneading.
  4. Tear in the butter and continue kneading for 5 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25C – 26C (77F – 79F).
  5. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  6. Fold.
  7. Ferment for 1 more hour.
  8. Prepare the moulds. Brush with oil or butter, sprinkle with flour and shake out the excess.
  9. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Aim for a size that fills your moulds 1/3 of the way because this dough will rise at lot as it ferments and then bakes.
  10. Final proof 1.5 hours.
  11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C (320F) fan on for 25 minutes. Leave to cool down completely. You can even leave them for the next day.
  12. Make the cream. Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla paste until thick. Leave in the fridge for later.
  13. Make the syrup. Combine all the ingredients and bring up to a boil. Pour the syrup in a bowl and leave to cool down to around 50C (122F).
  14. Soak the baba. First, let the surface absorb the syrup to make it soft. Then press and release the baba so that it sucks more syrup inside it. Place on a rack to drain. Spoon over any remaining syrup.
  15. Top with cream and serve.



Watch the video here

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