Seville orange & rum babas

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus rising cooling and soaking
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes, plus rising cooling and soaking

Makes: 8


Vegetable oil, for greasing
7g sachet dried yeast 
80ml lukewarm semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
220g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail
Free Range Eggs, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest 2 Seville oranges
100g unsalted butter, cubed and softened

For the syrup
3 Seville oranges, zested and squeezed
325g golden caster sugar
300ml dark rum, or to taste


1 Grease 8 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin with oil. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the warm milk and ½ tsp of the sugar. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

2 Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and stir in the frothy yeast mixture, eggs, remaining sugar, orange zest and butter until a sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth, adding extra flour if needed. Alternatively, place in a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes on a medium speed.

3 Place the dough in a large bowl greased with oil, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

4 With well-floured hands, divide the dough and shape into 8 evenly sized balls. Put each one into the prepared muffin tin, cover with lightly greased clingfilm and set aside in a warm place to rise again for at least 1 hour. The dough should come well above the
tops of the tins.

5 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Remove the clingfilm and place the babas into the oven for 10 minutes, before reducing the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4 and cooking for a further 10 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

6 Meanwhile, make the syrup. Pour the juice into a jug and make up to 300ml with cold water. Combine with the zest and sugar in a saucepan and warm over a medium heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Bring gently up to a boil, without stirring, for 3 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, to taste.

7 Tip the cooked babas out of their tins, place in a deep container and pour over the syrup. Cover tightly and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or for up to 12 hours, to soak up all the syrup. Delicious served with softly whipped double cream, some fresh orange slices and a little orange zest.