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A picture of Romanian Papanasi

Romanian Papanaşi (A Fried Cheese Doughnut)

A Romanian treasure!  I think it is worth a plane trip just to eat more of these, they are awesome!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 338 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine



  • 4 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest grated
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Cooking oil
  • Powdered sugar to garnish
  • Whipped cream or sour cream
  • Fruit preserve strawberry, raspberry, sour cherry etc.



  1. In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, sugar and baking powder.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and lemon zest.
  3. Mix very well to get a smooth as possible.
  4. Slowly add in the flour a little at a time.
  5. If the dough is too moist add more flour, you don’t want the dough to be too sticky.
  6. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or skillet over medium high heat

  7. Make small balls of dough, to fit in the palm of your hand, make into a donut shape with a hole in the middle. Dip into a small bowl of flour.
  8. Make some round balls a bit bigger than the size of the donut hole. Dip into a small bowl of flour
  9. Fry them in oil until golden brown on both sides.
  10. Remove onto a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  11. Assemble the donut with some sour cherry preserve on top add the small ball on top of that, sprinkle with some powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream or sour cream on top.
  12. Serve while warm.
Nutrition Facts
Romanian Papanaşi (A Fried Cheese Doughnut)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 500mg22%
Potassium 191mg5%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 220IU4%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 115mg12%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.