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

49 Replies to “Panamanian drunken soup – Sopa Borracha Panameña”

    1. 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 🙂

  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

    1. 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 🙂

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

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