Holiday Recipe Spotlight: BaBa’s Original Recipe

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2019

LUTCHER — Les Babas de Chouquette or, as locals call it, Baba, is a soft, sweet yellow cake covered with a thick, rich custard, spread with delicious coconut, then generously topped with fluffy meringue spread. The cake gets its name from an enslaved woman named Babas de Chouquette.

The River Parishes Tourist Commission provided BaBa’s original recipe. This recipe was also a family favorite of the late Julie Laiche of Paulina, who passed it down to her six daughters.

Locals can recreate the dessert in the comfort of their own homes or get a taste of the cake at Nobile’s Restaurant, located at 2082 W. Main Street in Lutcher.

For more festive recipes, visit the L’OBSERVATEUR office at 116 Newspaper Drive in LaPlace to pick up a free copy of the 2019 Holiday Cookbook.


Cake Ingredients

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

½ cup Shortening

1 ½ cup sugar

2 ¼ cup cake flour

2 ½ tbsp. baking powder

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. milk

Bouille/Custard Ingredients

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

½ cup cornstarch

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 cups milk

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

Coconut Filling Ingredients

2 cups grated coconut

1 cup water

3 tbsp. cornstarch


10 egg whites

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla


Cream Shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Sift dry ingredients together. Add alternately with milk. Mix well. Pour into 13x9x2 inch greased and floured pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Allow to cool.

Melt butter or margarine, blend in cornstarch, sugar and salt.  Gradually add milk. Heat to a boil over direct heat. Stir some of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and return to the heated mixture. Add vanilla and cook two minutes, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Spread over the cooled cake.
Combine ingredients and cook over low heat until thickened and clear all the while stirring to prevent sticking. It should be the consistency of a thick liquid. Allow to cool before spooning over the bouille that has already been added to cake.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually while continuing to beat to stiff peaks. Fold in vanilla and spoon over the three layers of cake. Return the cake to the hot oven until the meringue is golden brown.

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