Friday, June 21 2024

Few products can represent the art of Neapolitan confectionery as well as the baba: fluffy, rum-soaked, mouth-watering, traditional, the Neapolitan dessert is one of the most popular, both in its classic version and with the addition of custard.

Its origins, however, have little to do with Campania: Flavia Amabile also recounts this in her book “Si nu’ babbà,” where she specifies that the long journey of the sweet begins in Luneville, Lorraine.

It is a recipe that links Naples, France and even Poland, because it was invented by the Polish king Stanislaus Leszczyński, in exile in the French region, who decided to add a rum syrup to kugelhopf, a typical dessert he considered too dry.

Marie Antoinette, to be precise, wife of Louis XVI and sister of Maria Carolina of Austria, married to the King of Naples Ferdinand IV of Bourbon: it was the queen who brought specialties such as béchamel, gratin and even baba to Naples in the late 18th century.

The first written record dates back to 1863 and can be found in Vincenzo Agnoletti’s Italian cookbook, but it was not until the end of the century that the baba became a popular dessert among the Neapolitan bourgeoisie, from the beginning consumed while walking, like real street food.



For the Baba:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 sachet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one lemon

For the rum syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum





For the Baba:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Let it stand for about 10 minutes until frothy.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Form a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, eggs, and softened butter. Mix until a soft, sticky dough forms.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a muffin pan or Baba molds.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each portion into small balls. Place them in the prepared molds and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

For the rum syrup:

In a saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes to create a syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Stir in the dark rum to create the fragrant rum syrup.


Once the Babas have cooled, dip them in the rum syrup for a few seconds so they soak up the liquid.

Arrange the soaked Babas on a serving plate and pour the remaining syrup over them.

If desired, garnish with a lemon peel or a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

These Neapolitan Rum Baba’ are a real treat, offering a perfect balance of sweetness and a touch of elegance in every bite.

Whether you serve them after a special dinner or as a stand-alone treat, they will leave a lasting impression, making any occasion feel special. Enjoy!

Facebook Comments Box



TIRAMISU: A Sweet Symphony of Coffee and Cream

Leave a Reply

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

Check Also