This is a traditional Romanian recipe. Very simple to make but delicious. It is served with “dulceață” a very sweet preserve and sour cream. The most traditional is served with sour cherry preserve or blueberry preserve.


  • 500 g fresh cottage cheese or ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g semolina
  • 150 g flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the cottage cheese with the sugar and the baking powder. After that add the eggs and the vanilla extract and at the end the flour and semolina. You can mix it with a mixer for better homogeneity.  Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. (If the dough is moist, you might need a bit more flour to the composition; the dough has to be easy to handle, not too sticky).

In a deep pan heat oil enough to cover the balls of dough.

Make small balls of dough, a size that would fit in your hands. Make a whole through the center of it with your finger and take it through flour. Enlarge carefully the whole and flatten the ball of dough a little. Roll small balls to put on the top.

Fry them in hot oil on both sides until they get color. (approx 5 minutes). You will see when the dumplings are fried they will rise to the top, turn these around to get equal colour on both sides.

To assemble the papanași: put the large ball on a plate, fill the hole with preserve and a sour cream – be generous – then add the small ball on the top. Dust with some icing sugar. Serve immediately.

(I had to borrow the picture, by the time I wanted to take the pictures, all my papanași were gone)