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This is the first time I share my recipe for Papanasi, a Romanian dessert consisting of cheese doughnuts, sour cream and lots of preserve. My husband and I love this dessert and it’s something we used to have as children.

 Papanasi recipe

I don’t add any sugar in the doughnuts because I love pouring a lot of preserve on top, if you prefer a sweeter version of the doughnuts, add sugar. They will have a slightly darker colour. For Papanasi, I used soft cheese and this is the best option that I tried so far. When it comes to preserve, I would recommend cherry preserve, with the fruits intact and syrup. It’s better for this dessert than regular jam.


Their texture is aerated, as you can see in this picture. It’s a delight to eat.

Papanasi. Ingredients for 4 servings:

– 75g plain white flour
– 75g plain wholemeal flour
– 250g light soft cheese
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– oil for frying
– extra flour for dusting
– sour cream
– cherry preserve

Start by mixing the soft cheese with the eggs. When the eggs are incorporated, add the baking powder, the vanilla paste and mix. Add the flour gradually, incorporating each time so it doesn’t have any lumps. It’s not necessary to use a hand mixer, as it takes little time to mix by hand with a spoon.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface. It is very wet and try to keep it like this. Put some flour on your hands so the dough will not stick to them. Make 4 ring-doughnuts and leave them on the floured worktop. Make 4 balls with the remaining dough. Try to handle the dough as little as you can.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over low to medium heat. Fry each doughnut and each ball 3 minutes on each side. As flour will get into the oil, keep an eye on the temperature. When the doughnuts are ready, scoop them from the oil and leave them on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil.


I thought it’s easier to explain how to assemble the Papanasi by using a few photos. Put the doughnuts, sour cream, the ball, sour cream and lots and lots of preserve on top. It’s that easy.

The Papanasi should be assembled before serving. You can make the doughnuts when you want, as they are good warm or cold, but wait until serving to pour the sour cream on top. The doughnuts will get soggy if they stay a few hours with the cream on top.

Have you ever had Papanasi? Is it something you would like to try?

One thought on “Papanasi

  1. Mmmm! They looks so good, you make me want to make some again! I have actually managed to find something very similar to branza de vaci in the Russian shop. I haven’t tried it when making papanasi yet, but I did taste it and it is very similar. Also less wet than the cottage cheese. I can’t wait to try it.

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