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Do you know what a rum baba is?

Rum baba dezert

Rum baba, or babà al rum, is a traditional dessert that has its roots in Naples, although its origins date back to Poland. It is popular for its unique combination of light yeast dough and rich syrup with rum, which gives the dessert its unmistakable flavour and aroma.

History and origin

Rum baba has a fascinating history. The dessert was first created in the 18th century by King Stanisław Leszczyński of Poland, who was exiled from his throne and living in France. Legend has it that the king was dissatisfied with a dry yeast cake (similar to today's kugelhopf) and decided to dip it in rum, creating the first version of rum baba.

This dessert gradually spread to France, where it became very popular. From there it came to Naples, where it was adapted to local tastes and techniques. Today, the Neapolitan version of the rum baby is considered a classic of the Italian pastry tradition.

Making rum babies

Rum baba is made from a light yeast dough containing flour, yeast, eggs, sugar and butter. The dough is left to rise and then baked in special moulds, which can be in the shape of small cylinders or cones.

After baking, the baba is left to cool and then soaked in a syrup made from water, sugar and rum. This syrup is essential for achieving the dessert's characteristic taste and moisture. Often a little lemon or orange zest is added to give the syrup a fresh touch.

Rum baba Neapol


Rum baba is served either on its own or filled with whipped cream or custard. In some variations, the dessert can also be garnished with fruit, such as candied cherries or fresh berries, which adds colour and additional flavours to the dessert.


In Naples, rum baba is an essential part of the pastry tradition and can be found in almost every pastry shop. Modern pastry chefs are not afraid to experiment and create different variations, such as baba with limoncello or baba with chocolate cream.


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