This is a cake prepared for the main religious holidays (Christmas or Easter) since time immemorial. But it was Stanislas, King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine, who introduced it to France at the beginning of the18th century.
It was basically a Kugelhof imbibed with Tokay wine that he served to his guests in his Luneville castle. But it was in Paris, in 1735, that the Parisian pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer, a descendant of King Stanislas’s Polish pastry chef, made a specialty of this dessert by replacing the Tokay wine with rum.
Diderot mentions it for the first time under the name of “baba” in a letter to Sophie Volland.