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Savarin Cake

If you’re looking for a dessert idea that’s just a little bit different, why not give this mouthwatering savarin cake a try?

Savarin Cake Photo

The sweet, yeasty dough is soaked overnight in a wonderful rum syrup. Once ready, it can be topped with anything you choose. This could be whipped cream, fresh fruit or a combination of the two! You could even try sprinkling it with nuts – pistachios are especially good.

The cake – known as savarina in Romanian – was named after Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin by French chefs. Brillat-Savarin wasn’t a chef himself, but was one of the world’s most important food writers.

The story behind how the savarin cake was invented is a funny one!

Savarin Cake Picture

Apparently the chef to the exiled king of Poland – Stanislas Leszczynski – made him a yeast-based cake called a Gugelhupf. Sadly for the chef it came out tasteless and dry and the king tossed it aside in a temper. The dessert plate collided with an open bottle of rum on the table, which spilled all over the Gugelhupf and soaked in. 

The king tried the now alcoholic version of the cake, found it delicious, and the savarin was born!

At that time, it wasn’t called a savarin and was probably known as a rum baba. But the French chefs who went on to improve the recipe changed its name too. 

Thankfully, the recipe now isn’t as crude as it was then. Instead of being soaked in rum straight from the bottle, a tasty rum syrup is made which also includes sugar and lemon juice.

The important thing to remember when preparing this cake is that it has to sit overnight in the refrigerator in order to soak up all of the rum syrup. This means that you need to plan ahead when making it and prepare it at least the day before you need it. 

NOTE: This European recipe is best prepared using metric measurements, which you will find on a digital scale.  The recipe is designed to be cooked in mini Bundt cake pans, which will yield 6 large individual cakes, or in regular cupcake tins for 12 smaller cakes.

Savarin Cake Image

More cake recipes to try

Buckwheat Banana Mini Bundt Cakes

Lemon Coconut Cake

Victoria Sponge Cake

Savarin Cake Photo

Savarin Cake

Amber Bracegirdle
This savarin cake comes from a Romanian recipe. Made with rum syrup, it is often topped with whipped cream and makes a deliciously different dessert.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
rising and refrigeration 8 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 1 serving
Calories 399.96 kcal


  • 7 Yeast
  • 50 Milk – warm
  • 350 All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Egg room temperature
  • 15 Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Salt
  • 1.5 Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 1 Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 0.5 Lemon Zest optional
  • 300 Granulated Sugar
  • 600 Water
  • 2.75 Good Quality Rum
  • 1 Lemon Juice
  • 2 Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 Confectioners Sugar
  • Apricot Preserves optional
  • Maraschino Cherries or other fruits


  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
  • Mix the flour, yeast/milk mixture, eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl, or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, to produce a soft and sticky dough.
  • Add the softened butter, vanilla and lemon zest (if using) and continue to mix. Cover and put in a warm place. Allow to rise until doubled in volume.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 F/150 C. 
  • Grease a mini Bundt pan or cupcake pan. If it isn’t nonstick, sprinkle it with bread or cake crumbs after greasing.
  • Divide the dough equally into the wells of the pan, then cover with greased plastic wrap.
  • Put in a warm place and allow to rise until the dough is at the top of the pan (this should take around 30 mins).
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • While the cakes are in the oven, make the rum syrup by melting 100 grams of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan. Do not stir it, but swirl it from time to time until it becomes a very light caramel color.
  • Leave the saucepan on the hot burner but cut off the heat. 
  • Stir in the water and the remaining 200 grams of sugar, until everything has melted.
  • Allow to cool completely before adding the rum and lemon juice, then mix well and put to one side.
  • Remove  the baked savarin cakes from pan and pour some of the syrup into the bottom of each well. 
  • Dip the bottoms of the cakes in the syrup in the saucepan, then put the cakes back into the baking tin.
  • Pour all of the rest of the syrup over the top of the cakes, then cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • When you are ready to serve them, whip the cream with the sugar until it forms peaks.
  • You can slice the cakes in half horizontally, spreading the bottom half with apricot preserves and whipped cream, then placing the other half of the cake on top. Alternatively, leave the cakes whole, and top with whipped cream and fruits.


Calories: 399.96kcalCarbohydrates: 27.42gProtein: 2.33gFat: 20.71gSaturated Fat: 7.58gSodium: 24.83mgSugar: 26.25g
Keyword Baking, Bundt Cakes, Cakes, Rum
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