Romanian papanasi recipe

Cheese doughnuts aka Romanian papanasi

Romanian papanasi recipe with sour cream and jam, or fried cheese doughnuts, a dessert that tastes like heaven, and we are so proud of. It only takes a few ingredients to put it together, but be sure that everybody will fall in love with them.

I’m so happy to be taking part in Natascha’s Around the world recipe challenge where you can find some fantastic recipes from different countries. Natascha is the amazing blogger behind Natascha’s Palace, do check her blog for some delicious dishes, she is a great cook. I was delighted to see that Romanian Donuts Papanasi were on her list, and, since they are such an appetising Romanian dessert, I really had to give them a try.

I almost feel embarrassed to admit that it was the fist time I made them myself, although I did try them in past. Any restaurant would serve them, and foreigners would always be welcomed with a nice portion of Romanian stuffed cabbage rolls with chicken and rice, a glass of plum brandy and some papanasi. It may be a rich menu, but it’s worth every single bite. And calorie, as a matter of fact.

Romanian Papanasi recipe

Romanian Papanasi recipe

Papanasi are usually made of cows’ cheese, we use it in lots of different recipes, from sweet to savoury, and, as a nation, we absolutely love cheese. Papanasi can be either fried or boiled, or maybe eveb baked, but l’m sure you’d agree with me that fried taste a lot better, even if they might be less healthy.

But then, desserts are not (necessarily) meant to be super healthy, right? ? As long as we don’t eat more of the naughty stuff than the healthy ones, dessert now and then can make no harm.  It’s definitely not easy to have only one of these beauties, ask any Romanian, and they will tell you the same thing: our Papanasi are too good for words. Yum!

Romanian Papanasi recipe

Romanian Papanasi recipe

Cheese doughnuts aka Romanian papanasi
Romanian Papanasi recipe

Romanian Papanasi recipe, or fried cheese donuts, an amazing dessert that we just love.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Author: Daniela Anderson
  • 200 g cow's cheese (7 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 120 g plain flour (1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of sodium
  • zest of one lemon
  • 50 g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 400 ml vegetable oil to fry (2 cups)
  • sour cream
  • cherry jam
  1. Grate the cheese and add it to a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the egg, sugar, lemon zest and bicarbonate of sodium.
  3. Add the flour and knead until you get a dought that is still very slightly sticky. Shape it into a ball.
  4. Let the dough to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 smaller balls.
  6. Each ball will then be devided into 2, we will need about 3/4 of that dough for the main doughnut and 1/4 for the small ball that goes on top.
  7. We will then have 4 doughnuts and 4 small balls in total.
  8. To make the doughnut, just use your thumbprint to make a hole in the middle of the dough and give it a nice round shape.
  9. Heat up a large pan and add the oil.
  10. Add one doughnut and one ball and let them fry on each side for about 2 minutes until golden.
  11. Remove with a spatula and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorbe any excess oil.
  12. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and balls.
  13. Serve with sour cream and cherry or any other jam you prefer.


Enjoy 🙂


Romanian papanasi recipe

Romanian papanasi recipe

Romanian papanasi recipe

Romanian papanasi recipe



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  • Reply
    August 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Well, I’ve never heard of a papanasi before, but they sure do look tasty!
    Janie x

  • Reply
    August 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I love the sweet and savory components of these Cheese Donuts! I typically don’t care for super sweet desserts so this one sounds perfect for me. Yum!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Oh my GOODNESS! These look divine! I would definitely fry them because I think if I am going to be naughty and eat a rich dessert, then I really want to enjoy it! They look easy to make too! I would love to try these! Thank you so much for sharing this and for participating! I will share this post next week! ?????❤❤??

    • Reply
      Daniela Apostol
      August 6, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you, Natascha! I loved taking part in your challege. Also enjoyed eating them haha they are yummy ?

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