Panetela Borracha – Cuban Drunken Rum Cake

Drunken Rum Cake
Panetela borracha on a red serving tray. pinit

Are you looking for a delicious and boozy treat to impress your guests at your next gathering? Look no further than panetela borracha, the perfect indulgence for any occasion. Made with a unique blend of flavors, these sweet and moist Cuban drunken rum cakes are a delightful addition to any dessert spread.

My first encounter with panetela borracha occurred when abuelo and abuela returned from their trip from Miami. As I took my first bite of cake, its exquisite lightness and fluffiness were eclipsed only by the infusion of a sweet, yet tantalizingly robust rum essence. While I’d savored rum cake in the past, this Cuban drunken rum cake bore an unparalleled distinction, setting an entirely new standard for indulgence!

Panetelas borrachas, also known as “drunken cakes”, are traditionally soaked in a mouthwatering syrup made from rum, sugar, and spices. The rich and decadent taste of the rum-infused cake is sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it.

I will guide you through the process of making your own panetelas borrachas at home. From gathering the ingredients to baking the cakes to perfection, I will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to create this delectable treat.

So, grab your apron, dust off your baking tools, and get ready to impress your taste buds with these delightful and boozy treats. Let’s dive in and discover how to make panetelas borrachas that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Ingredients for Panetelas Borrachas

To make panetelas borrachas, you will need the following ingredients:

For the cake

-11 egg yolks -3/4 cup cornstarch

-1 whole egg -3 tablespoons flour

-1/4 cup sugar -1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Panetela borracha (drunken rum cake) ingredients. The ingredients include eggs, flour, sugar, salt, corn starch and vanilla.

For the rum syrup

-1 cup water -1/2 lemon peel

-2 cups sugar -3-4 star anise

-1/4 cup rum -1 teaspoon vanilla

Panetela borracha syrup ingredients. The ingredients are rum, water, vanilla, sugar, lemon peel and star anise.

For the whipped cream

-2 cups heavy whipping cream

-1/2 cup powdered sugar

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-12 maraschino cherries

Ingredients for whipped cream. They are powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla.

Tips for making the perfect Panetelas Borrachas

-Make sure the eggs are room temperature. This will ensure a light and fluffy texture.

-Be careful not to overmix the batter, as this can result in a dense and tough cake. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are just combined.

-For an extra boozy kick, you can brush additional rum onto the cake before pouring the syrup.

-Allow the cake to cool completely in the baking dish before serving to ensure that it absorbs the syrup evenly.

How to store and serve Panetelas Borrachas

Panetelas borrachas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you prefer a chilled dessert, you can refrigerate them for up to a week.

To serve, cut the panetelas borrachas into squares or rectangles and arrange them on a platter. You can dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle them with additional syrup for an extra touch of sweetness.

Frequently asked questions about Panetelas Borrachas

1. Can I use a different type of alcohol instead of rum?

– While rum is the traditional choice for panetelas borrachas, you can experiment with other spirits such as brandy or whiskey for a unique flavor profile. Traditionally white rum is used, however I used spiced rum because I was making this during the holidays and it paired very well with the star anise.

2. Can I make panetelas borrachas without alcohol?

– Yes, you can substitute the rum with a non-alcoholic liquid such as apple juice or orange juice. However, keep in mind that the distinct flavor of the rum will be missing.

3. Can I freeze panetelas borrachas?

– Yes, you can freeze panetelas borrachas for up to 3 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container.

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Panetela Borracha – Cuban Drunken Rum Cake

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 22 mins Rest Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 32 mins
Cooking Temp: 350  °F Servings: 12
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Panetelas borrachas, are delightful "drunken sponge cakes," that are soaked in a  flavorful  syrup concoction of rum, sugar, star anise, and a hint of zesty lemon peel.

Panetelas Borrachas (Drunken Rum Cake)

Sponge Cake

Rum Syrup

Whipped Cream

Panetela (Cake) Instructions

  1. First, vigorously whisk or use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer and whisk the 11 egg yolks and 1 whole egg together. Whisk on medium high to high for 5-6 minutes. The yolks will begin to increase their volume as they aerate. 

  2. Add the sugar and the vanilla and continue to whisk until the volume increases again. 

  3. Sift the dry ingredients together. Gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture. Fold just until incorporated so you do not break down the air that has developed in the batter. 

  4. Pour the batter into a greased 11”x7” cake pan. Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. If the top doesn’t brown use the broil function. Watch it very carefully though because it will only take 60-90 seconds to achieve the perfect color.  Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a sharp knife go around the edges of the cake to loosen and cut desired pieces of cake. I cut mine 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” so they would fit in my individual square cake cups.

Rum Syrup

  1. While the cake is cooking prepare the rum syrup.  In a small sauce pot combine the water and the sugar. Begin heating on medium heat.

  2. After the sugar has dissolved add the rum, vanilla, lemon peel and star anise. Simmer, do not boil for another 5-10 minutes. Do not overcook the syrup or it will become too thick. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or large measuring cup and reserve for cake.
  3. After the cake has cooled for 5-10 minutes and has been cut into desired squares pour the cooled syrup over the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. It will look like it is too much syrup but it will soak into the cake and be drawn from the top to the bottom of the cake.

Whipped Cream

  1. While the cake is in the refrigerator prepare whipped cream. In a very cold bowl combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.

  2. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. When ready to serve the cake add dollops of whipped cream or put the whipped cream in a piping bag and pipe whipped cream on cake. Put a cherry on top of whipped cream and serve.

Keywords: rum cake, sponge cake, dessert,
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