Limoncello rum babas

Adam Liaw
Babas with rum and limoncello.
Babas with rum and limoncello. Photo: William Meppem

Rum babas originated in France, but they've been adopted so completely in Naples that they're now part of the furniture in Italian cuisine. Replacing half the rum with that Amalfi Coast specialty, limoncello, makes them even more Italian.


7g dried yeast

125ml milk, at room temperature

80g sugar

400g bread flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 eggs

150g butter, cubed and softened, plus extra for greasing the moulds

double cream, to serve

For the syrup

500g sugar

100ml limoncello

100ml dark rum


1. Combine the yeast with the milk and a pinch of sugar and stand for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk and yeast mixture and the eggs, then mix to a rough dough. Add the butter and mix until combined. Divide between 12 greased baba moulds (see tip), then stand in a warm place for 1½ hours to proof.

2. Heat your oven to 160C fan-forced (180C conventional). Bake the babas for 25 minutes until risen and browned. Place on a wire rack until completely cool and dry.

3. For the syrup, place the sugar and 700ml of water in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to room temperature, then stir through the limoncello and rum.

4. Soak babas in syrup for 2 hours, turning occasionally. Serve with double cream.

Adam's tip: The difference between a rum baba and a savarin is that savarins are made in ring moulds, while babas are usually made in dariole moulds. But really, you can use any mould. I've even used muffin trays.

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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