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 Comments Add yours

  1. Alastair says:

    That’s a lot of cloves lol

    1. Indeed! 😉

    2. Melros says:

      How can I keep it? At room temperature o in a refigerator?

      1. Hi! It is best to keep it in the fridge, actually it is served cold usually.
        Thanks for your comment,

  2. Mad Dog says:

    That sounds like my kind of soup 😉

    1. ¡Jeje! Si, de esa manera te ahorras tener que ir de copas despues de cenar 😉
      Gracias MD

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

    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 🙂

  4. zannyro says:

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

    1. 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 says:

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

    1. 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.

      1. ceciliag says:

        and go wild I imagine! funny.. c

  6. Fergiemoto says:

    Drunken soup…sounds intriguing, enticing…and yummy!

    1. Thanks Fergie! 🙂

  7. I would like one drunken soup and a huge slice of cake to go please.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Comin’ right up!! 😉

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

    1. Hello Roger!
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  9. niasunset says:

    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

    1. 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 says:

    I love the name!

    1. Thanks Tandy! 🙂 > Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 16:30:31 +0000 > To: >

  11. Esto tiene que estar muy bueno ¡¡

    1. Así es…;)
      ¡Muchas por tu comentario!

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

    1. Hehe, thanks Claire! 🙂

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

    1. Hi April!
      Yes, it is good 🙂

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

    1. ¡Je je! Qué graciosa 🙂 Gracias por tu comentario Tanya!

  15. Karen says:

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

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

  16. Christina says:

    What a delicious looking dessert! Happy birthday Fernando! 🙂

    1. Thanks Christina!

  17. 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!!

    1. Hi Barbara!
      Thanks a lot for your comment 🙂

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

    1. Hehe! Thanks 🙂 You may upgrade your portion to … medium serving? 😉

  19. Lynette says:

    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 🙂

  20. Frank says:

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

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

  21. Clayton says:

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

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

  22. Elyssa says:

    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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