Desserts · Photography

PAPANASI – Romanian dumplings with cheese


I know that you’re drooling at the photo below, so let me get down to the business of describing what these tasty-looking fellows are.

They are called papanasi and are a famous Romanian dessert. The dough is mixed with a soft creamy cheese, similar to ricotta. It is then deep-fried or boiled ,left like this or  holed in the middle and stuffed with  marmalade or jam. It is served hot with a side of sour cream(if they are stuffed) or marmalade of any kind (if they are simple) . It’s high in calories, but who cares… you gotta live once in a while.


For the dough:

1 kg 300 g cottage cheese
4 eggs
6 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons semolina
4 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla sugar

For the crumbs:

3 tablespoons butter
8 tablespoons crumbs
6 tablespoons granulate sugar


In a bowl mix cheese, salt, eggs and sugar.  Add the flour, semolina and vanilla sugar and mix everything till you have a dough.

To prepare the crumbs, put the butter to melt in a pan and when is done add the crumbs and let it on the fire till is golden (2-3 minutes). Stir all the time  When is done take the pan of the fire, add the granulate sugar and mix it. Put the crumbs on a plate.

Put water in a pan with a pinch of salt to boil. Meanwhile, start doing papanasi. (which are some balls of dough of 4 cm diameter ). Put papanasi in the water and boil them 7-8 minutes covered and then, stop the fire and leave them covered for another 5-6 minutes. Semolina in them  will swell and they will be very tender.

Cover papanasi in crumbs and serve them hot with any kind of marmalade or jam. I use wild fruits jam, because is a little bit sour and goes great with all the sugar. Enjoy!



66 thoughts on “PAPANASI – Romanian dumplings with cheese

  1. I love desserts & also am so into keeping my body balanced to never have health problems like I did when I was growing up. That was a problem & always had sugar to get me fired up when starting with blood sugar problems & being low. I really have made a lot of changes & still enjoy good desserts. I am trying to make this recipe of Papanasi which will be a stimulant for later on & helps when taking it with me to our home buffets we have in our neighborhood.
    thanks for reading my post on Depression: How To Recover & following my health blog.

  2. I’m so happy to have discovered your blog and the Romanian recipes you share here. It brings back happy memories for me. Years ago, I spent a month in Romania (mainly in Costisa, Piatra Neamt and Bucharest). What I remember about the cuisine is a lot of meat being served at every meal, which isn’t how I normally eat so it was an adjustment. Anyhow, there were many good meals and fun memories and I can’t wait to try making these Papanasi. Now I’m off to see all your other recipes.

  3. Reblogged this on Brooksie Buzz and commented:
    Let’s talk Romanian cuisine. That’s not something you see much of here in the Chicago area where I’m hanging out these days. I spent a month in Romania several years ago and was recently reminded of that time after coming across a blog sharing Romanian recipes. This one for Papanasi caught my eye. One look at the photos of these Romanian dumplings and I’m sure you’ll feel the same too. So here’s a reblog of Cooking without Limits’ Papanasi recipe. Enjoy!

  4. As a cheese maniac, this sounds like the ultimate dessert. But does boiling really work? Can’t be as nice as fried, I suppose. The crispness, the hot cheese… yum! I will give it a try. Thanks. Love the mouth watering photos.

  5. As a person born of Romanian speaking parents, in the former Yugoslavia, who moved to Canada at age 7, and having lived here for over 50 yrs, I’m rediscovering some of my Romanian culinary roots late in life. My half-Hungarian, half-Romanian nephew introduced me to papanasi so I made a batch a while ago.

    Other Romanian recipes are tagged appropriately although some of the early posts on LJ are bare of pictures since the picture archive links expired.

      1. My mother’s repertoire of Romanian dishes was limited to things she and my dad enjoyed so there were a lot of things I never got to try. She wasn’t big on sweets, nor did she bake a lot so I never got cozonac cu nuca at our house. I DID get baklava with walnuts, walnut torte, crepes and even cream puffs though.

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