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Panatela Borracha (Cuban Drunken Sponge Cake)

A simple sponge cake turns into something extraordinary when sweet sherry or port wine and a syrup of lime juice, cinnamon, and vanilla are poured generously over the top. In Cuba, this cake is often served when entertaining guests.

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  • 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 or port wine
  • 2 1/2 cups Almibar No. 1
  • Ground cinnamon

Almibar No. 1

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


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cake: In a small bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites and sugar.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add water and vanilla and fold in egg whites and sugar. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove cake from pan and place on a round serving dish. Pour sherry or port wine and Almibar No. 1 syrup over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  7. Serve with Cuban coffee or expresso.
  8. Almibar No. 1: 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.

Posted by LladyRusty at Recipe Goldmine 7/16/02 8:16:21 pm.

Adapted from: A Taste of Cuba by Maria Josefa Lluria de O'Higgins