Traditional Romanian fried doughnuts – Papanași (papanash) – made with cottage cheese and topped with smetana and jam.
These Papanași or Romanian fried doughnuts are the best doughnuts ever!!! I’m saying this as not being the biggest of fans of fried doughnuts. Memories of greasy, fatty doughnuts at the barras market or at funfairs when little put a stop to any love for fried doughnuts.
These are soft yet crunchy, oozing with sour cream and jam. These are grown-up doughnuts and no wonder that it seems to be the most popular Romanian dessert!
What are papanasi?
Pronounced Papanash, Papanași are a typical Romanian dessert. You’ll find them nearly everywhere. They are fried cheese doughnuts which are topped with sour cream and jam.
They are made with Romanian branza de vaci cheese, which is a cow’s milk cheese and is similar to cottage cheese.
How to serve?
These are ideal to be served after a light meal. They are substantial! The papanasi are best served immediately topped with smetana and a runny jam.
Smetana can be found in some supermarkets now, it is similar to crème fraiche. If you cant find Smetana, crème fraiche is fine.
250 g cottage cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
smetana (or crème fraiche)
whole fruit runny jam to serve
Drain the excess water from the cottage cheese.
Place the cottage cheese into a bowl.
Add the eggs and baking powder.
Gradually add flour, mixing well.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface.
Make 4 ring doughnuts and leave them on the floured worktop.
Make 4 balls with the remaining dough.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over low to medium heat. Fry each doughnut and each ball 3 minutes on each side.
When the doughnuts are ready, remove them from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel.
Romanian Doughnuts Papanasi
- 250 g cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 230 g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- smetana or crème fraiche
- whole fruit runny jam to serve
- Drain the excess water from the cottage cheese.
- Place the cottage cheese into a bowl.
- Add the eggs and baking powder.
- Mix well.
- Gradually add flour, mixing well.
- Tip the dough onto a floured surface.
- Make 4 ring doughnuts and leave them on the floured worktop.
- Make 4 balls with the remaining dough.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over low to medium heat. Fry each doughnut and each ball 3 minutes on each side.
- When the doughnuts are ready, remove them from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel.
- Assemble papanasi.
Check out some of our other recipes
or head on over to our Full Recipe Index
You can also subscribe to Foodie Explorers to keep up to date with all new recipes.
See the handy Pinterest image below if you wish to pin this for later 😘
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.