The Hairy Bikers love rum baba and this is their Italian version, created with limoncello.


  • 75g sultanas

  • 5 tbsp Limoncello

  • 2 tbsp cold water

  • 225g plain flour

  • 1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

  • 4 large free-range eggs

  • 4 tbsp milk

  • 1 tbsp clear honey

  • 115g butter, well softened but not melted

  • 50g chopped mixed peel

  • Syrup

  • 400g caster sugar

  • 400ml cold water

  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 6 tbsp Limoncello

  • 3 tbsp clear honey


  • 1.

    Put the sultanas in a saucepan with the 5 tablespoons of Limoncello and the cold water. Place the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Generously butter a 12-hole muffin tin or 8–10 metal rum baba moulds set on a baking tray.

  • 2.

    Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast and salt. Beat the eggs with the milk and honey. Beat the egg mixture and butter into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until very smooth and glossy. Drain the sultanas, reserving the liqueur, and stir them into the batter with the mixed peel.

  • 3.

    Spoon the mixture into the tin or moulds and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until roughly doubled the size. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Bake the babas for 12–15 minutes or until they are well risen and golden brown.

  • 4.

    While the babas are baking, make the syrup. Put the sugar in a saucepan with the cold water and the lemon zest and juice. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and add the reserved liqueur, the additional 6 tablespoons of Limoncello and the honey. Bubble for a few seconds then remove from the heat. Leave to stand.

  • 5.

    Remove the babas from the oven and let them cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides with a blunt-ended knife and turn them out into large, shallow ceramic dish. You may need to put them on their sides, but that’s fine. Taste the syrup – take care as it will be hot – and add a little more Limoncello if you like. Pour half the syrup slowly over the babas and leave them for 5 minutes while the liqueur soaks in.

  • 6.

    Carefully turn the babas over in the dish. Pour over the remaining syrup and leave the babas for another 10 minutes. Turn once more, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. These babas will keep for 2–3 days in the fridge. Serve with any leftover syrup and lots of double cream.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (10 servings)

  • Energy 470kj
  • Fat Total 11g
  • Saturated Fat 6g
  • Protein 5g
  • Carbohydrate 80g
  • Sugar 61g
  • Sodium 269mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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