The original papanasi are always served with high fat sour cream and sour cherry compote (jam ) toppings they are a kind of sweet dumpling. Papanasi  can be found in every Romanian restaurant across all the regions of the country without much differences, being one of the few Romanian foods without any regional aspect to their nature.


  • 600g ricotta cheese
  • 125g sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  • sunflower oil
  • 60ml (¼ cup) sour cream
  • 60ml (¼ cup) good quality berry or cherry jam


  1. Using a hand-held electric mixer, combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt in a bowl until the mixture is well incorporated, then add the flour and continue mixing. The mixture will be sticky but don’t add flour.
  2. Place the dough on a well-floured work surface and, using lots of flour on your hands, shape the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Break a small bit off each piece of dough. The smaller pieces of dough will be placed on top of the doughnuts (papanasi), almost like a hat.
  3. Now you should have 20 pieces of dough: 10 bigger and 10 smaller pieces. Take the small pieces and roll these with your hands to form small round balls (the doughnut hats). Flour your hands continuously. Repeat with the bigger pieces, but flatten these out. Using your finger, press in the middle of each piece to make a hole so that it resembles a doughnut.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the hats as well as the doughnuts, three to four at a time, depending on the size of the pan, until golden; flip them over once only. Remove from the pan and use paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Plate each doughnut and fill the holes with sour cream. Place a spoon of good quality berry jam on top of the sour cream and top off with the doughnut hats.