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Cheesy Romanian Donuts Papanasi

A traditional flavor belonging to Romanian Cuisine: Papanasi Dessert. Get ready for the dessert feast with uniquely fried cheese donuts served with sour cream and jam!

April 15, 2021
Papanasi DessertPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 6-8 people
Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Total 60 mins



  1. Drain the excess water from the cottage cheese. Then put the cheese in a large bowl. Grind the cheese.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and sugar with a hand blender until the sugar is well melted.
  3. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and cheese to the sugar mixture. Mix all the ingredients.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Then add the flour mix and combine with the ingredients with the help of a spatula until you get a smooth dough.
  5. Knead the dough and roll it into a ball. Let the dough stand for 15-20 minutes.
  6. After resting the dough, sprinkle flour on the counter and put the dough on it.
  7. Divide the dough into 9 equal parts. Shape each of the 8 pieces of dough into a donut with a hole in the middle. Prepare 8 small balls of dough with the remaining piece of dough. Prepare dough with a middle hole in 6 cm thickness and small ball dough in 3 cm thickness.
  8. Add the oil in a pot and heat the oil over low-medium heat. When the oil is heated, fry both sides of the donut and dough ball over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. When it turns golden brown, remove it from the pan and place it on a serving plate.
  9. Fry the remaining dough in the same way.
  10. Serve with sour cream and cherry jam.

Cherry Jam Recipe

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam Ingredients

Cherry Jam Directions

  • After removing the stems of the cherry, wash thoroughly.
  • Remove the pits with the help of a toothpick.
  • Place the cherries in a saucepan with a layer of fruit and a layer of sugar, then close the lid. Leave for one night.
  • After waiting, take the saucepan to the stove and bring to boil over low heat.
  • When the consistency of the jam starts to thicken, add lemon juice and lemon salt to it. Mix it without mashing.
  • After boiling for another 5 minutes, turn down the stove.
  • To sterilize the jars of jam, rinse and dry them. Then place it upright for 10 minutes in an oven at 100 °C (200 °F) without the lid.
  • Put the hot jam in sterilized jars.
  • Cover each jar and carefully place it in a large bowl of boiling water to canning the jam. Soak the jars in the water bath for about 20 minutes.
  • Then store it in a dark and cool place.
  • Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 1 Papanasi Dessert
    Serves 6-8
    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Cholesterol 65 mg21.7%
    Sodium 609 mg26.5%
    Potassium 204 mg4.3%
    Protein 16.2 g32.4%
    Total Fat 66.6 g85.4%
    Total Fat 66.6 g85.4%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


    • Use the eggs at room temperature. Add the egg yolk and whites separately. Whisk the egg whites first. Thanks to this, the dough will be lighter.
    • When preparing the dough, first fry the small balls.
    • After frying the dough, spread a paper towel on the plate to remove excess oil.
    • While preparing the donuts, shape the dough with your hands to make a hole in the center of the dough. Roll the dough. Join the edge of it together. Straighten the dough with your hands so that there is a hole in the middle.
    • When serving, first place the donut-shaped dough on the plate. Pour some sour cream and cherry jam over it. Then place the small ball and garnish with cream and jam.
    • You can also use blackberry jam or blueberry jam instead of cherry jam.
    • You can also use fresh fruits such as blackberries or raspberries while serving the dessert. These fruits will highlight the sour taste of papanasi dessert.
    Rate This Recipe

    Papanasi is a fruity dessert prepared by frying or boiling. It is a recipe specific to Romanian and Moldovan cuisines. If you like the sour-sweet combination in desserts, you should definitely try this recipe.

    This donut, whose main ingredient is cheese, is prepared with cottage cheese, smetana cream and jam. It is also known as Romanian Cheese Donuts.

    The Papanasi recipe, prepared by frying and flavored with sour fruit flavors, appeals to both the eyes and your palate. Prepare the necessary ingredients for this easy-to-prepare fried donut and try this dessert, which will be indispensable for dessert crises. Bon Appetit.

    What is Papanasi?

    Papanasi is unleavened cheese pastry served with sour cream and jam. It is golden on the outside and a soft dessert on the inside.

    Papanasi is a traditional Romanian and Moldavian dessert. This recipe, which is fried or boiled pastry, is served with sour cream and sour fruit. It consists of a donut-shaped dough and a small ball of dough. It is usually prepared with soft cheese.

    Papanasi dessert comes in two flavors: Fried Papanasi and Boiled Papanasi. The fried version is more popular. Branza de vaci, a romanian cheese used in its original recipe, has a consistency similar to cottage cheese.

    How to Make Papanasi?

    There are 4 stages in the making of Papanasi, also known as the Romanian Cheese Donuts. These include preparing the dough, resting the dough, frying the dough and serving.

    Step 1 - Preparation of the Dough: For Papanasi dessert, prefer cottage cheese or ricotta cheese first. Then prepare the dough with eggs, sugar, baking powder, flour, and lemon zest. You can add the ingredients as described in the above recipe. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Then mix all the ingredients together.

    Step 2 - Resting and Shaping the Dough: After preparing the dough, rest it for 15-20 minutes. While resting the dough, cover it with a cloth.

    Then shape the dough. For this, sprinkle some flour on the working surface. Divide the dough into equal balls. Make donuts with one part of the dough and small balls with some of them. To hole the center of the donuts, push your index finger into the center of each of the doughs and shape them about 1 inch wide.

    Step 3 - Frying the Dough: Start from small balls while frying dough. Make sure not to overheat the oil. Otherwise, the dough can get browned very quickly. Put the dough in the pan over medium-low heat. Do not fry the whole dough at once. Depending on the size of the pan, you can fry 2 or 3 dough at once.

    Step 4 - Serving: Serve this traditional dessert with sour cream and sour cherry jam. If you wish, you can serve it with fruits such as blackberries and raspberries.

    Can Papanasi Dough Be Made The Day Before?

    The ideal time to prepare Papanasi dough is just before eating. If the dough prepared with baking powder is kept for a long time, donuts will not rise. For this reason, we recommend that you prepare the Romanian dessert on the day you serve it.

    Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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