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Papanasi – The Romanian Doughnut from heaven

People bring back all sorts of souvenirs from their travels, we brought back a recipe for the best desert we’ve ever tasted.

Papanasi – The great Romanian doughnut

Romanian doughnuts – Romanian cheese doughtnuts – or more accurately “Papanasi” are the sort of thing that you go out of your way to find – no matter the distance. They are one of the tastiest treats we’ve had anywhere in Europe and at this point in time we’ve had A LOT.

It is worth pointing out that Romanian doughnuts seem to mean two things online, one of them being the heavenly dish that is papanasi and the other being gogosi, which were no-way near its competitor in any aspect.

Although these are good – they aren’t Papanasi


Although “cheese doughtnut” doesnt sound like a particularly attractive combination it more than works when combined with jam from seasonal fruits (when we went in the summer berries were everywhere and incredibly fresh, which only added to the taste). They are sweet, soft and just the right amount of chewy.

They are, sadly, not as ubiquitous as I had hoped after my first bite of one in a restaurant leading up to the Transfagarasan. And yes, after my first bite I was thinking about when and where the next one would come. I had been led to believe that everywhere would have a version of them or be next to a shop that specialised in them, but although they are quite common if you are wanting to try them then check the menu first because it isn’t to be taken for granted just yet.

The price of a Papanasi varies on where you are quite a bit, however it is not an expensive dish. When we were in a restaurant in the countryside it was 8 lei for 2 doughnuts. Bucharest was a different story with restaurant prices being around 15 for a bit smaller portion.

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