Papanasi: Romania's Irresistible Fried Dumplings with Cheese and Jam

Dish recipes: Papanasi

Papanasi are a delightful Romanian dessert that can be best described as fried dumplings, often served with a combination of fresh cheese and fruit jam. These sweet treats are a beloved part of Romanian cuisine and have a unique, irresistible appeal.


To make Papanasi, you'll need the following ingredients:

250g fresh cow cheese or cottage cheese

200g all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons semolina

1 egg

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

Zest from one lemon

1/2 cup fruit jam (typically sour cherry or raspberry)

Vegetable oil for frying


Follow these steps to create your own delicious Papanasi

Prepare the Dough:

In a mixing bowl, combine the fresh cheese, all-purpose flour, semolina, egg, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon zest. Mix the ingredients until you have a soft, pliable dough.

Form the Dumplings:

Divide the dough into portions and shape them into small dumplings with a dimple in the center.

Fry the Dumplings:

Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan. Fry the dumplings until they are golden brown on the outside and cooked through.


Fill the dimples in the dumplings with a generous spoonful of fruit jam.


Papanasi are best served fresh and warm. They are typically garnished with a dollop of sour cream and extra fruit jam. The combination of the crispy, golden dumplings, the creamy cheese, and the fruity jam is a true delight for the taste buds.

Papanasi are a Romanian dessert that represents the perfect balance of sweet and savory, crispy and creamy. They are a must-try for anyone looking to explore the rich and diverse world of Romanian cuisine.