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4.67 from 3 votes
Cheese doughnuts aka Romanian papanasi
Romanian Papanasi Recipe
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
55 mins

Romanian Papanasi Recipe, or fried no-yeast cheese doughnuts with sour cream and jam, a fantastic dessert that we treasure.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: Romanian desserts
Servings: 4 papanasi
Calories: 1189 kcal
Author: Daniela Apostol
  • 1 1/4 cup cow's cheese (or feta cheese)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil to fry
  • sour cream
  • cherry jam
  1. Grate or crumble the cheese and add it to a large bowl.

  2. Mix in the egg, sugar, lemon zest and bicarbonate of soda.

  3. Add the flour and knead until you get a dough 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.
Recipe Notes
  • To see the measurements in cups and ounces, please click on the US CUSTOMARY link.
  • The amount of ingredients listed can be adjusted depending on the number of servings you need, just click on the number next to SERVINGS.
Nutrition Facts
Romanian Papanasi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1189 Calories from Fat 999
% Daily Value*
Fat 111g171%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Cholesterol 85mg28%
Sodium 731mg30%
Potassium 78mg2%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Calcium 257mg26%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.