This Baba au Rhum Cake has become the birthday cake of choice. It takes a little time to make but the reaction on everyone’s face when they take that first bite is worth every minute! It is a yeast cake, that is soaked in a rum sauce, make sure you use every drop. I serve it with whip cream. Friends who do not usually eat dessert cannot pass on this cake. Make sure you allow enough time to make it.
Serves: 6-10 depending on who has seconds
Total time: 2-4 hours, start to finish, cake needs to rise twice
Prep: 20-30 minutes
Cook: 25-30 minutes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided use
½ cup milk ( I use whole milk)
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Rum syrup, recipe follows
Apricot preserve glaze, recipe follows
Whipped cream, recipe follows
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush a 5-cup (6 ½ by 3 ½ inch) tube pan or Kugelhopf Bundt Pan with the melted butter. Be sure to coat every single crevice of the pan.
- Heat the milk to 115° F and then pour it into the bowl of a stand up electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast and sugar and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Hint: ( I use an instant read thermometer to check the milk temperature and if your bowl is cold, you may have to make the milk a little warmer)
- With the mixer on low speed, first add the eggs, then the flour, salt, and remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Raise the speed to medium- high and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle to form the dough into a ball, it is very soft. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to double in size, it takes about 1-2 hours. (This may take longer and it all depends on the temperature of the kitchen).
- Spoon the dough into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, cover the pan with a damp towel, allow the dough to rise until it reaches the top of the pan, about 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F and make the rum syrup.
- Bake the cake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, then tap it out onto a baking rack with a sheet pan underneath it. Pour ALL of the rum syrup very slowly onto the warm cake, allow it to soak in thoroughly. Be sure to use all of the syrup that drips on the pan.
- Make the apricot preserve glaze. Carefully brush it on the cake.
Serve: With whip cream.
1 ½ cups water
1 cup of sugar
¾ cup good dark rum
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup and allow to cool. Once cooled, pour in the rum and vanilla and set aside.
¾ cup apricot preserves
1-2 tablespoons water
In a small saucepan, heat the preserves until runny. Press through a sieve, and brush it on the cake.
2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whip the cream with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and the vanilla and continue to whip until it forms soft peaks.
Serve: With whip cream in the center of the cake, plus extra on the side.
FAVORITE: Instead of whipping cream, I use my stainless ISI gourmet whip. It is quick and so easy to use.