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Orange Babas: Non-Alcoholic

This recipe was definitely a little messy, but really fun to make! Rum babas are a kind of hybrid between a bread and a cake. It requires yeast and rising before it’s baked. The dough is super sticky, so it’s a little hard to work with, but don’t be tempted to add a ton of flour to make it easier. Adding more flour will make the babas too dry. I had scraper in one hand basically the whole time while I was kneading to help me peel the dough off the counter. 

I decided to try out my own version of rum babas after watching the contestants make it on the Great British Baking Show. I don’t drink alcohol, so I improvised and decided to make an orange baba. Rum babas get their name because they are soaked in rum syrup after coming out of the oven. I soaked mine in an orange syrup instead. 

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orange babas

Orange Baba Recipe

I added orange zest and vanilla to my dough to flavor it a bit more. It had to rise twice, then bake in the oven. While they were baking, I made a simple sugar syrup flavored with orange and vanilla to soak the babas in instead of the rum that would traditionally be used. After the babas were cooked, I let them soak a bit in the sugar syrup, then topped them with chantilly cream and raspberries.

My babas tasted more like sweet bread to me than cake. The syrup was a little sweet. The whipped cream cut the sweetness and the raspberries added a different flavor to the orange. The next time I make them, I might modify it further by piping the chantilly cream into the middle of each cake, then topping it with a little more and some raspberries on top. With a little less syrup. I might try and come up with something else it could be soaked in, so it’s not so sweet next time. Any suggestions would be great too! 

orange babas

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orange babas

Orange Babas

With Love, Melissa
This twist on the classic Rum Baba is alcohol free and super tasty with a hint of orange. Serve them with chantilly cream and raspberries on top.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 12 Servings


  • Raspberries or other fresh fruit


  • 1 Package Dry Active Yeast
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tsp Orange Zest
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Diced
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs, Beaten


  • 1 3/4 Cups Water
  • Juice of One Orange
  • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp Orange Extract

Chantilly Cream

  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Stir warm water and sugar together in large bowl, add yeast on top and let sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s all bubbly and frothy. In a separate bowl, mix flour, orange zest, and salt. In a third bowl, beat eggs and vanilla together. Add egg mixture and flour mixture to bowl with yeast and mix together until dough is combined. It will be very sticky.  
  • Knead dough together on a clean, lightly floured surface. Scrape off counter when it sticks too much. Do this for 5 minutes until the dough starts to feel elastic-y. Then knead in the chopped up butter. The dough will be a little less sticky. Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm, dry place for 1 hour. It should double in size.
  • Break dough up and put into greased molds. It should be enough to fill 1 muffin tin, for 12 cakes. Fill the molds about halfway. Cover and let rise for another 30-45 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden and pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place large bowl and beater in freezer for 15-20 minutes to get nice and cold (for chantilly cream). While cakes are cooking, it’s time to make the syrup. In a large pan combine water, juice, extracts, and sugar. Let come to a boil and after the sugar dissolves, let it simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • When the cakes come out of the oven, let cool enough to take out of muffin tin. Then put a couple spoonfuls of syrup into each empty mold and put the cakes back in them to let them soak up the syrup. Leave them for 5 minutes or so. 
  • While the cakes are soaking in the syrup, put heavy cream in chilled bowl and beat until frothy. Then add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the cream is thick and starts to hold its shape. Do not over beat! Or it will separate. 
  • Assemble your cakes by placing Chantilly Cream on top of cake with raspberries. You can add some more syrup dripping down the sides, or pipe cream into middle. Enjoy!
Keyword Baba, Cake, Chantilly Cream

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