Breads and Bakes,  Desserts,  Heavy Cream,  Jam,  Ricotta Cheese,  Romania,  Sour Cream

Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts (Papanasi)

This is one of my favorite desserts – Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts bathing in heavy cream, sour cream and jam. The combination is just delicious. Every time I go to Romania I always have the Ricotta Cheese Doughnuts (or ‘Papanasi’ in Romanian) and it never disappoints!

This recipe doesn’t usually call for heavy cream since in Romania the sour cream is more liquid. In order to give the doughnut something to soak in I like to add some heavy cream, however you don’t have to.

Ingredients for 5 portions (one portion includes 2 large doughnuts and 2 small round dough balls):

  • 1 lb Ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • 25 oz vegetable oil for frying the doughnuts
  • 24 oz sour cream
  • Jam (can use any type of jam)
  • Heavy Cream (optional)


  • Mix all the ingredients together (except for the frying oil, sour cream and jam)
  • You can either shape the doughnuts with your hands or you can  roll the dough and cut with 2 round shapes (one larger and a smaller one for the hole in the middle) – because of the richer consistency (due to the ricotta cheese) the ‘Papanasi’ have a hole in the middle to help fry evenly

The dough will be a little sticky so that’s why it’s easier to use your hands and shape it (you need to make a ball and punch a hole with your finger in the middle)

If you decide to roll the dough and cut the round shapes you will need some extra four on your board to help work the dough.

  • Heat oil and fry the doughnuts until golden on each side
  • Drain on paper towel
  • Add sour cream and jam on top (also can add Heavy Cream if you prefer) and serve warm



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