Coffee Baba au Rhum


This festive, rum-soaked dessert is a major hit at Southern holiday parties. Coffee Baba au Rhum is our shortcut revival of the original sophisticated French confection. You'll earn much-deserved "ooh-la-las" from the crowd when you serve them slices of this rich coffee-and-rum-infused cake. Hint: It tastes even better after a day or so when the flavors have really melded together.

Coffee Baba au Rhum
Recipe: Coffee Baba au Rhum  It's not a Southern holiday season without something that's been decidedly soaked in rum: rum balls, rum cake, rum punch. You name it. This coffee-and-rum cake strikes a certain balance that keeps us from falling asleep on the party porch. . Photo: Photo: Hector Sanchez
Hands On Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
12 servings


  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 3 cups brewed coffee

  • 1/2 cup rum*

  • Garnishes: whipped cream, fresh raspberries, powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together yolks and granulated sugar until mixture is thick and pale (about 2 minutes). Stir in coffee extract. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients; gently stir into yolk mixture until just blended. Stir in butter and milk until just blended.

  2. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third egg whites into yolk mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites. Pour into a well-buttered 10-cup Bundt pan.

  3. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. (Do not remove from pan.)

  4. Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and brewed coffee to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in rum. Reserve 2 cups syrup. Return pan to stove top; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

  5. Pierce cake 10 to 15 times using a skewer. Pour reserved 2 cups thin syrup over cake. Let stand 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a serving platter. Spoon desired amount of thickened syrup over cake. Reserve remaining syrup for another use (such as topping pancakes).

  6. *The rum is optional. Replace it with an additional 1/2 cup brewed coffee, if desired.

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