Delicious Panatela Borracha Recipe for Your Next Gathering

Come, gather around for a moment and let me introduce you to a delectable treat- one that has been a favorite of Cubans for years. It’s called Panatela borracha, also known as Cuban drunken sponge cake. This cake is all about soaking up some sweet sherry and letting the flavors meld together perfectly to create a moist and decadent dessert.

But listen closely: this isn’t just any ordinary sponge cake recipe. This is the kind of cake that you make with love and care, with the kind of ingredients that you can taste in every bite. I promise you- your taste buds, your friends, your family- they will be thanking you.

So, what makes this Panatela borracha recipe so special, you might ask? It’s the perfect balance of flavors that result from combining cinnamon, lime juice, and sweet syrup. And with each bite, you’ll appreciate how the texture just gives in- it’s moist but not too heavy or crumbly.

Even though there are many variations of the recipe out there, I’m here to share an authentic Cuban recipe passed down to me by my abuela. So get ready to channel your inner Cuban grandma or grandpa, mix in some love with these easy-to-follow instructions on making this traditional panetela borracha that will transport you straight to Havana.

Take my word for it – after trying this borracha deliciosa cubana for yourself, you won’t be thinking twice about sharing it at your next family gathering or dinner party as a dessert everyone will crave. Vamos! Let’s get baking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake)
Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake)

If you’re anything like me, nothing beats the taste of a good dessert, especially one that transports you to another place entirely. And let me tell you, this Panatela Borracha recipe is one of the most delicious and authentic Cuban desserts out there. This cake, also known as Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake, is soaked in sweet sherry and lime syrup, giving each bite a burst of flavor that will leave you longing for more.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s versatile enough to serve as an indulgent dessert for a fancy dinner party or as a sweet treat to enjoy with your afternoon coffee. The combination of ground cinnamon and vanilla extract in the sponge cake creates a warm and comforting aroma that fills your home with coziness while baking.

Moreover, this recipe is perfect for adventurous bakers who want to try their hand at creating something truly unique. If you’re tired of plain sponge cakes and want to expand your baking repertoire, this is the perfect recipe for you!

Aside from being downright delicious, this Panatela Borracha recipe has a fascinating history behind it: it was famously served at Havana Grill in Puerto Rico where visitors raved about its scrumptious taste. It’s no wonder why this cake quickly became a staple in Cuban restaurant menus across the world.

Finally, if you’re looking to try something new but don’t quite know where to start, this recipe is perfect for those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and discover new flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe will have you feeling like an expert in no time!

Overall, there are countless reasons why you should try making Panatela Borracha. Not only is it rich in flavor and history; it’s also incredibly easy to make and utterly delicious. So why not give yourself a culinary adventure right from the comfort of your own kitchen? Trust me when I say that you’ll love every bit of this Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake!

Ingredient List

 Enjoy a slice of Cuba with this Panatela Borracha.
Enjoy a slice of Cuba with this Panatela Borracha.

Time to Get the Ingredients: Here’s What You’ll Need

This Cuban sponge cake is a timeless, classic dessert. It’s made with simple ingredients that are commonly found in most kitchens. Make sure to gather all ingredients before starting this recipe for an easy baking experience. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Cake

  • 2 cups of cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick

For the Syrup

  • Juice of 3 limes
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sweet sherry
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Don’t forget to check your pantry for these ingredients before heading out to the grocery store. Keep in mind that substitutions and variations will alter the flavor and texture, so it’s best to stick with the original recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Three types of rum give this sponge cake its signature 'drunkenness.'
Three types of rum give this sponge cake its signature ‘drunkenness.’

After gathering all the ingredients, it’s time to step into the baking world of Panatela Borracha. Follow these steps and you’ll find yourself with a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake.

Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grab a 9×13 greased baking dish and then set aside.

Prepare The Batter

Sift the cake flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl. In another larger bowl, beat 3 eggs lightly for around two minutes using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until they become fluffy. Gradually add in 1 cup of granulated sugar while continuing to beat the mixture.

Add in half of the sifted flour mixture to the egg mixture and continue mixing on low speed. Then slowly pour in 1/2 cup of sweet sherry, along with one tablespoon of vanilla extract, one cinnamon stick stick or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt while still mixing on low speed.

Add in the remaining flour mixture and 1/4 cup water slowly while mixing on low speed until everything is well combined.

Bake The Panetela Borracha

Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish then bake at 350°F for around 25 to 30 minutes or until done. To check if it’s cooked, insert a toothpick into the cake’s center; if the toothpick comes out clean, then it’s ready!

Soak The Panetela Borracha in The Syrup

While waiting for the cake to cool down, it’s time to get started on the syrup. Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, juice from two limes and one cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon into a small saucepan over low- medium heat.

Stir constantly until it boils, then reduce heat and let it simmer for around five minutes while still stirring occasionally. Remove it from heat once it thickens slightly.

Next, poke some small holes all over the top of the cooled panetela borracha cake using a fork or toothpick. Pour approximately three-fourths of this syrup on top of your cooled cake slowly so that it can soak up all that juicy syrup. You may have leftover syrup; you can save it for future use.

Let this delicious sponge cake soak up all that sweet goodness for about an hour or more, storing in cling wrap at room temperature or refrigerate overnight.

Serve And Enjoy!

When ready to serve, cut into pieces and place each slice onto a plate. Optionally, pour additional sweet syrup on top of each slice before serving with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired!

There you go – your very own homemade Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake)! Now give yourself a pat on the back

Substitutions and Variations

 This cake is great for special occasions like birthdays, weddings or simply because it's a Friday night.
This cake is great for special occasions like birthdays, weddings or simply because it’s a Friday night.

The beauty of cooking is that it can be an art form with room for experimentation and creativity. This recipe for Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake) is no exception. While the traditional recipe calls for specific ingredients and measurements, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to create a unique spin on this beloved Cuban dessert.

One easy substitution you can make is using different types of liquor to soak the cake. While sweet sherry is the traditional choice, you can experiment with different types of wine, rum or brandy to give your panetela borracha a new twist. You could even try adding Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Cream for a richer, more decadent flavor.

If you’re looking to cut down on sugar or want to try something different, consider substituting the sweet syrup in the recipe with honey or maple syrup. You could also try adding fresh fruit like strawberries or peaches into the cake batter itself for an added burst of natural sweetness.

For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, there are plenty of substitutions you can make as well. You could swap out regular all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour or almond flour to make a gluten-free version. Alternatively, use coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar for a lower glycemic index option.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try a variation on this classic Cuban dessert, consider making a variation where guava paste is added between layers of sponge cake before soaking it in sweet syrup! This twist on the traditional recipe is called “Panetela de Guayaba” and is commonly served at Cuban restaurants such as Havana Grill.

No matter which substitutions and variations you choose to make, remember to have fun and cook with love full of delicious flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to indulge in a rich and moist sponge cake that's soaked in rum syrup.
Get ready to indulge in a rich and moist sponge cake that’s soaked in rum syrup.

: When it comes to serving and pairing panetela borracha, there are several options you can explore. Traditionally, the cake is served chilled with a dollop of whipped cream on top. You can also serve it with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream to balance out the flavor.

For a tropical twist, try pairing this Cuban drunken sponge cake with some fresh fruit like sliced mango or pineapple. You can also add a drizzle of sweet syrup made from lime juice and granulated sugar to add more zing to the dessert.

To up the ante and create a sensory journey in your mouth, pair panetela borracha with sweet sherry or rum, which quietly enhances flavors without overpowering the dish. The booze-packed cake’s subtle cinnamon flavor adds cozy accents that go oh so smoothly with sweet wines or spirits like moscato or port.

If you’re looking for an unconventional serving suggestion, you can try sandwiching guava paste between two slices of panetela borracha – a traditional combo known as “borracho de guayaba.” The sweetness from the guava paste amplified by the tanginess of the lime juice will make for a perfect pairing.

Whatever pairing you choose, remember that when done correctly it will ensure that your guests are thoroughly impressed. This dish is one that everyone will love and appreciate its unique touch.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This recipe is easy to follow and requires little effort - perfect for beginner bakers.
This recipe is easy to follow and requires little effort – perfect for beginner bakers.

When it comes to storing and reheating Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake), there are a few things you should keep in mind. First off, this cake is best served fresh and warm, so try to avoid making it too far in advance of when you plan on serving it.

If you do need to make it ahead of time, there are a couple of options. You can either let the cake cool completely and store it at room temperature for up to two days, or you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

When it comes time to reheat the cake, there are a few ways to go about it. If you’ve stored it at room temperature, simply slice the cake and place each piece on a plate. Microwave each slice for 10-15 seconds, or until warmed through.

If you’ve stored the cake in the refrigerator, give it some time to come back up to room temperature before heating it up. Once it’s no longer cold, slice and microwave as described above.

For an extra special treat, try serving your Panatela Borracha with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. The cool sweetness pairs perfectly with the warm, spiced flavors of the cake.

Whether you’re making this cake for a special occasion or just because you love Cuban desserts, storing and reheating it properly will ensure that every slice is just as delicious as the first. So go ahead and indulge – after all, life is too short not to enjoy delicious desserts like this one!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The combination of rum, lemon and vanilla in this cake make the flavors pop!
The combination of rum, lemon and vanilla in this cake make the flavors pop!

Now, to ensure perfect results for your Panatela Borracha, here are a few tips to keep in mind during the cooking process.

First tip, when measuring out your ingredients, make sure to use the right amount. Too much or too little, even by just a small fraction can significantly affect the final product.

Secondly, when adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, do it gradually. Pouring in all of the liquid all at once may cause lumps or even toughen up the batter resulting in an uneven sponge cake.

Thirdly, before putting your panetela borracha into the oven, make sure it’s preheated correctly. This helps ensure that your cake will rise properly and cook evenly.

Fourthly, don’t open the oven door frequently while baking. Every time you open it, heat escapes causing fluctuations in temperature, which may affect how the cake bakes. Only open it briefly when you need to check on its progress.

Fifthly, use good quality sweet sherry and vanilla extract as these directly contribute to Panatela borracha’s taste and aroma that truly captures the essence of Cuban cuisine.

Lastly, for best results and flavor infusion, poke holes in your cake with a fork or chopstick before brushing on the sweet syrup. This helps absorb and distribute the syrup better resulting in evenly moistened sponge cake.

With these tips in mind and extra care while handling ingredients and following each step of this intoxicating recipe’s instructions, you too will be able to bake a perfect Panatela Borracha that delights anyone who tastes it.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Panatela Borracha is a dessert that will transport your taste buds straight to the tropical paradise of Cuba. This recipe offers a unique twist to the traditional sponge cake by infusing it with sweet sherry, lime juice, and ground cinnamon. The end result is a moist and flavorful cake that is perfect for any occasion.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily adapt it to suit your preferences by swapping out ingredients or adjusting the levels of sweetness and spice. Whether you are serving it at a Cuban-themed party or just want to add a little Latin flare to your dessert selection, this recipe is sure to impress.

Finally, I encourage you to explore more Cuban cuisine if you are not already familiar with it. There are so many incredible dishes that are just waiting to be discovered. From classic dishes like Ropa Vieja and black beans and rice to newer creations like guava cheesecake and mojito cupcakes, Cuban food has something for everyone.

So go ahead, grab your apron and let’s make some Panatela Borracha. It’s time to experience the flavors of Cuba right in the comfort of your own home.

Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake)

Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake) Recipe

Received this in an email. Am considering this for the Easter table, especially if sunrise services are chilly LOL! The combination of this cake with the sweet sherry/syrup drench accompanied by fresh piping hot coffee should take the chill off & give a rosy glow for the rest of the day.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: < 60 Mins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 9-inch cake
Calories: 4767.8kcal


For Syrup

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 (1 inch) limes, rinds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cake

  • 3/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweet sherry (port wine good too)
  • 2 1/2 cups syrup (prepared initially)
  • ground cinnamon, to taste


  • For syrup:.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a slow boil for about 15-20 minutes or until syrup thickens. Set aside. (This can be made while the cake is cooking to save some time.).
  • For cake:.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and sugar until fluffy.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add water and vanilla. Fold in egg whites and sugar. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove cake from pan and place on a round serving dish.
  • Pour sherry or port wine and previously prepared syrup over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Serve with Cuban coffee or espresso.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 2020g | Calories: 4767.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 1118.1g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 15.9g | Saturated Fat: 4.8g | Cholesterol: 634.5mg | Sodium: 1632.5mg | Fiber: 8.3g | Sugar: 814.3g

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