Buzz and I both like babka, which is a traditional Jewish dessert from eastern Europe with cinnamon or chocolate braided throughout a sweet bread-cake. There’s another related dessert called baba, which is essentially the same cake but with fruit or chocolate covering the top instead of mixed into the middle.


And then there’s… this.

Mott’s Baba
Author: Mott’s Apple Sauce (1963)
  • For each baba:
  • 4 slices thin-sliced white bread
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon rum or rum extract
  • sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Mott’s Apple Sauce
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  1. For each baba, cut 4 diminishing circles of thin-sliced bread.
  2. Then spread butter mixed with rum or rum flavoring, on each slice.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
  4. Spread generously with Mott’s Apple Sauce.
  5. Stack in a pyramid, top with a cherry.


This seems like a nice quick shortcut — instead of baking a cake, we can just buy sliced bread, cover it with buttered rum and sugar and applesauce, and call it cake. Why, this might just be the best thing since sliced bread!


I started off cutting circles of bread. The loaf we’d bought was more rectangular than square, so I needed to cut semi-circles from some slices to make up the larger slices.


“Butter mixed with rum” isn’t exactly a straightforward instruction. I softened two tablespoons of butter, added a tablespoon of rum, and tried creaming it. That didn’t hold together very well (fats and liquids don’t play nice), so I threw in a tablespoon of sugar and whipped it on high speed…. which sort of worked better.


The rum eventually leaked out, but it was cohesive enough that I could spread it on bread. After that, final assembly was very easy.


Buzz’s tasting costume for this evening is a kerchief, reminiscent of a Russian grandmother… or baba.

tasting-hmm tasting-meh

Verdict: Good, but could be better.

Tasting notes:

Between the butter, rum, and applesauce, the bread became moist enough that it really did remind us of cake. The applesauce was unfortunately bland in contrast, though, and the uneven rum butter meant that some bites were very rummy and others were strangely buttery. Use plenty of sugar, and go light on the cinnamon.