Panamanian drunken soup – Sopa Borracha Panameña

The translation of today’s recipe is drunken soup. But no, it isn’t a soup at all. It is a delicious dessert from Panama, very popular in weddings and quinceaños.

This is the first time that I attempt to make this dessert, the occasion? Fernando’s 3th birthday. It wasn’t a big party, but I take every opportunity I have to cook typical Panamanian food and get some extra feedback. And I have to say that the feedback was very good, so here it is.

Sopa Borracha

However, this cake wasn’t the chosen one for blowing the candles, but this one. Inspired by this blog.

Under all those m&m’s and kit kats was an incredible, fast and furious chocolate cake from Joy of baking my “to go” web for delicious recipes.

Here’s the recipe for Sopa Borracha panameña:


Sponge cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest or vanilla


  • 2 cups of raisins
  • 2 cups of prunes
  • 2 cups of rum
  • 2 cups of Muscat wine
  • 2 cups dry sherry or brandy or port wine
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 cups of water


Sponge cake

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the egg yolks and sugar gradually.

Gently fold the sifted flour with salt and baking powder into the egg mixture.

Finally add the lemon zest or vanilla.

Pour the mixture into a cake pan, lined with wax paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool and reserve.


Marinate prunes and raisins in a bowl with rum, sherry and muscatel. It’s preferable to let them soak overnight.

In a small saucepan, pour water, sugar, lemon slices, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil and let it simmer until it becomes a syrup, no too thick.  Strain and let cool.

Once the syrup is cooled, stir in the mixture of raisins and prunes with liquor.

Cut the cake into small squares or rhombuses and place them in a deep serving dish and bathe with the syrup and let them soak well (“to get drunk”). Garnish with prunes and raisins. Traditionally in Panama we use silver dragees as decoration too.

You can serve this dessert directly in the serving dish or in individual portions like I did.


Adapted from La cocina clásica de Panamá II by Rosita Córdoba

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46 thoughts on “Panamanian drunken soup – Sopa Borracha Panameña

  1. Alastair September 13, 2012 at 23:29 Reply

    That’s a lot of cloves lol

  2. Mad Dog September 14, 2012 at 00:53 Reply

    That sounds like my kind of soup ;-)

    • Bluejellybeans September 14, 2012 at 10:27 Reply

      ¡Jeje! Si, de esa manera te ahorras tener que ir de copas despues de cenar ;)
      Gracias MD

  3. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 14, 2012 at 02:59 Reply

    this is very, very heady stuff…love it! I am assuming that the birthday boy skipped the drunken soup?

    • Bluejellybeans September 14, 2012 at 10:29 Reply

      Si, antes de tomar este postre hay que elegir a un “designated driver” ;)
      Si, el cumpleañero y sus amigos se limitaron al de chocolate, los mayores tomamos de los dos :)

  4. zannyro September 14, 2012 at 04:18 Reply

    We made the KitKat cake for my mothers 80th birthday..We all LOVED it! :)

    • Bluejellybeans September 14, 2012 at 10:32 Reply

      Is beautiful, isn’t it? And they have all these variations for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc… Is a great idea. Simple but gorgeous :)

  5. ceciliag September 14, 2012 at 04:19 Reply

    Goodness this sounds fantastic.. what an excellent recipe.. i bet the little boys were looking on in envy.. c

    • Bluejellybeans September 14, 2012 at 10:39 Reply

      Hi C! Hehe, the adolescents in the party were those who look with envy at the sopa borracha … ;) the kids just wanted to go fish into that tank full of m&m’s.

      • ceciliag September 14, 2012 at 12:49 Reply

        and go wild I imagine! funny.. c

  6. Fergiemoto September 14, 2012 at 04:32 Reply

    Drunken soup…sounds intriguing, enticing…and yummy!

  7. thecompletecookbook September 14, 2012 at 08:54 Reply

    I would like one drunken soup and a huge slice of cake to go please. :-) Mandy

  8. Food,Photography & France September 14, 2012 at 09:13 Reply

    Very much like the idea of that dessert. Crazy cake:)

  9. niasunset September 14, 2012 at 15:10 Reply

    This one seems similar with one of our desserts, but the shape and the presentation is different. And yours fascinated me dear Giovanna, I want to try as your… Thank you dear, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Bluejellybeans September 14, 2012 at 23:28 Reply

      Dear Nia, I would love to know your recipe, I bet is delicious. :) Have a nice weekend!> Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 13:10:24 +0000 > To: >

  10. Tandy September 14, 2012 at 18:30 Reply

    I love the name!

  11. El Oso con Botas September 14, 2012 at 21:52 Reply

    Esto tiene que estar muy bueno ¡¡

  12. Promenade Claire September 15, 2012 at 09:44 Reply

    I love it – soup that isn’t a soup ! And the fruit-syrup mixture sounds wonderous even without the cake.

  13. glutenfreezen September 15, 2012 at 14:36 Reply

    The syrup for the dessert sounds amazing! I love cloves and cinnamon!

  14. Chica Andaluza September 16, 2012 at 11:41 Reply

    Cualquier comida con la palabra borracha en su nombre ¡es una comida para mi!

    • Bluejellybeans September 17, 2012 at 17:07 Reply

      ¡Je je! Qué graciosa :) Gracias por tu comentario Tanya!

  15. Karen September 16, 2012 at 15:47 Reply

    The drunken soup sounds terrific. A lovely dessert for fall entertaining.

    • Bluejellybeans September 17, 2012 at 17:09 Reply

      Hi Karen!
      I’m glad you agree with me ;)
      Thanks for your comment.

  16. Christina September 17, 2012 at 03:55 Reply

    What a delicious looking dessert! Happy birthday Fernando! :)

  17. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen September 17, 2012 at 04:27 Reply

    Wow.. rum, muscat and sherry!! Unbelievable.. and I love the kit kat with m&m’s cake.. I’d scoop a handful if I could!!

    • Bluejellybeans September 17, 2012 at 17:11 Reply

      Hi Barbara!
      Thanks a lot for your comment :)

  18. The World Is My Cuttlefish September 20, 2012 at 12:49 Reply

    My! I’m thinking weekend breakfast. Okay, brunch. Small serving?

    • Bluejellybeans September 24, 2012 at 16:09 Reply

      Hehe! Thanks :) You may upgrade your portion to … medium serving? ;)

  19. Lynette December 14, 2012 at 23:11 Reply

    as a Panamanian…. it is a must to have sopa borracha in my incoming wedding…. and this recipe has something I never come across with: liquor de Muscatel. It sounds good with the mixture so I am going to try this recipe instead of the one I already have… thanks!!!

    • Bluejellybeans December 15, 2012 at 18:09 Reply

      Hi Linette!
      Muchas gracias por tu comentario. Me imagino que tu boda será fantástica. Espero que te lo pases muy bien y que la sopa borracha sea un éxito :)
      Un saludo
      Me encanta recibir comentarios de mis compatriotas :)

  20. Frank May 6, 2013 at 03:30 Reply

    What size cake pan do you need for the sponge cake?

    • Bluejellybeans May 6, 2013 at 12:57 Reply

      Hi Frank! I used a 23 cm round pan (9 in).
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  21. Clayton June 18, 2013 at 05:29 Reply

    Oh. Now I understand. And now I am in heaven. Or I will be once I make this. Thank you!!!

    • Bluejellybeans June 18, 2013 at 21:53 Reply

      Haha! Thank you Clayton. I read your comment on the Spanish version and you made me laugh :)

  22. Elyssa April 29, 2014 at 21:45 Reply

    Is there a way to make a syrup without alcohol? would like to take this to an elementary school for heritage day but they do not allow food with alcohol.

    • Bluejellybeans April 29, 2014 at 22:11 Reply

      Hi Elyssa,
      Yes, you can let the alcohol out. Just don’t soack the dried fruit in alcohol, make the syrup following the recipe and when it’s cool, add the raisins, etc and soack them in it for aa while. I think that will do and it will taste very good too.
      Thanks for your comment!

  23. […] Panamanian drunken soup…delicious! And finally, here it is. The number one! St. James cake! And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen…BJB/T10. I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane… I certainly did! Take care G […]

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