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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 338kcal
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.



  • In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, sugar and baking powder.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and lemon zest.
  • Mix very well to get a smooth as possible.
  • Slowly add in the flour a little at a time.
  • If the dough is too moist add more flour, you don’t want the dough to be too sticky.
  • Heat the oil in a deep fryer or skillet over medium high heat
  • 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.
  • Make some round balls a bit bigger than the size of the donut hole. Dip into a small bowl of flour
  • Fry them in oil until golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove onto a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  • 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.
  • Serve while warm.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 191mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1.7mg