The Classics: Pączki (Polish Donuts)*



Donuts and I have a lot in common. You see, throughout my life I have acquired more nicknames than most. My legal name is Jessica. But if you were to ask my family they would tell you that they all call me Jessie. My friends and husband would tell you they call me Jess. My Mom would tell you she calls me Jessie, Messy Jessie, Jessica Lynn, or Punkin’ (yes said exactly as it looks). My cousin Brittany would tell you that she calls me JessieCaCa…when we were little she used to torment me because I was always the easy, gullible, heart on the sleeve kid to be honest not much has changed. So being 3 months older than me, she loved to torment me. One day at school she learned that “caca” in Spanish meant “poopoo”, and at that moment I was adorned with the loving title of JessieCaCa. And yes, it has stuck. And lastly, if my Great Grandmother Irene were still alive and you asked her my name, she would tell you Jessifer. Poor Granny Irene was very old when I was born, but we had a special bond because I was born on her birthday. However, despite me being her favorite Great Grandchild, she could never get my name right. She couldn’t remember if it was Jennifer or Jessica and the woman honestly thought my name was Jessifer. She signed all of my Christmas cards Jessifer and even asked my Mom how Jessifer was doing. As the years went by, Jessifer has stuck around as some of my family’s favorite nickname for me.

So now you are thinking, “ok crazy lady…how did that have anything to do with you having anything in common with donuts?” Well donuts have a lot of names too! Some people call them DoughNuts. Some refer to them as Munchkins because that is the name Dunkin’ Donuts gave their donuts. Some people just refer to them as Krispy Kremes. In India they serve Donuts as a savory dish called Vadai. And in Poland, they call them Paczki! Paczki are a Polish tradition served during Carnival, a festive season that occurs before Lent. They are jam filled, fried dough, topped with sweet sugary sauce.

I thankfully made it through to the second round of Project Food Blog! For this round we have been challenged to make a classic from another culture. At first I thought maybe I would try to make another Indian dish like the Green Chicken Curry. But to be perfectly honest, that was pretty easy for me and I wanted to challenge myself. One of my biggest challenges is Yeast. Growing up, once a year, my Mom would bring home Paczki from the bakery…and it was always a special treat. But I have never thought about making it, because well….Yeast is evil. But I did it. And I tried one recipe twice…and it sucked. The dough would NOT rise. After my first fail, I reworked the conversion of the recipe, checked my ingredients, and retried. Again…Fail! So I did some searching…and came across another delicious recipe! It worked perfectly! I combined two recipes to come up with the final product. I liked the filling/topping style of one, with the dough recipe of another. I was so proud when I pulled these perfectly golden Paczki out of the fryer! They were absolutely delicious! I gave the rest of the Paczki to my Mom and Sister and they are already demanding me to make it again. :-)



Pączki (Polish Donuts)


12 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
2 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup rum or 1/3 cup brandy
1 cup scalded whipping cream
Jam for filling
oil ( for deep frying, The old-timers used lard, but vegetable oil will work)
Powdered sugar and water for icing
Nuts or candied orange peel for topping, chopped


Beat egg yolks with the salt in the small bowl of an electric mixer at high speed until the mixture is thick and piles softly, about 7 minutes. Soften yeast in warm water. Cream butter, add sugar to it gradually, beating until fluffy. Slowly beat in the softened yeast. Stir one fourth of the flour into the yeast mix. Add rum/brandy and half of the cream. Beat in another fourth of the flour. Stir in remaining cream. Beat in half of the remaining flour and then the egg yolk mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.

Gradually beat in the remaining flour until the dough blisters. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise. When it has doubled in bulk, punch it down. Cover and let rise again until doubled. Punch it down again.

Transfer the dough to a board lightly dusted with flour, roll out into 1-1,3 cm thickness sheet. Using 6,5 - 7 cm cutter, cut the dough into circles, wadding up the scraps and re-rolling until all the dough is used. Place on a baking pan dusted with flour. Cover again and let it double in bulk.

Heat oil to 175 degrees C in a deep fryer or wide skillet. Test the temperature by frying a piece of bread; it should bubble and turn golden quickly. Fry 5 or 6 pączki at a time. Do not crowd as this lowers the temperature and the doughnuts will absorb too much grease. When one side is golden, flip with a fork to fry the other side. Dough will puff up in the frying. Perfect pączki are light as air. Drain on paper towels. Fill them with the jam of your choice by squirting about two teaspoons into them with a pastry bag fitted with a doughnut tip.

To make the icing, sift 1 cup icing sugar into a bowl. Mix through 2 tablespoon of water, then gradually add enough water to obtaining a mixture with a suitable consistency to spread. Spread over the doughnuts. Top each of the doughnut with candied orange peel or nuts.

Recipe adapted: Moje Wypieki



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56 Responses to “The Classics: Pączki (Polish Donuts)”

  1. 1

    Amy @ The Nifty Foodie — September 26, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    Wow, those look excellent! I’m so scared of frying, so kudos to you!

  2. 2

    The Teacher Cooks — September 26, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    I want these now! I love the story about your name or names!

  3. 3

    Kerri — September 26, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    my mouth is watering just looking at them jess… congrats! :)

  4. 4

    Clarice — September 26, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    Wow. I haven’t had a paczki since I lived in MI over 6 years ago. I would really like to have one now.

  5. 5

    Jenn — September 26, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    Oh yum!! They look delicious!! Best of luck in round 2!

  6. 6

    Amy (Sing For Your Supper) — September 26, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    Awesome!! These look delicious and your post is great! You know you’ll have my vote, girl! :)

  7. 7

    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — September 26, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    GORGEOUS!! You’re getting a vote from me again this round :) We both focused on desserts — something I think not many folks will do! High five!

  8. 8

    Kerstin — September 26, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    What an awesome entry – I love donuts and want one of these right now!!

  9. 9

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — September 26, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

    it was probably really bad of me to read this because now all i can think is that i want donuts, breakfast-lunch-dinner, forever and ever.


  10. 10

    themilkmanswife — September 26, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    YUM!! These look picture perfect and delicious. Good luck in round two. You’ve got my vote again! :)

  11. 11

    amanda @ fake ginger — September 26, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    Oh yum! Those look ridiculous. I could easily eat 3 or 4 right now. Congrats on making it to round 2!

  12. 12

    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — September 26, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

    Wow, I am so impressed- these look great!

  13. 13

    Mom — September 26, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    Those are the best donuts I have ever eaten. I watched Haley eat hers in about 20 seconds I don’t think she took a breath. Then she wanted mine!!!!!!! My birthday is in Nov. Punkin and I think you should make me donuts! YUMMY!!!

  14. 14

    Anna — September 26, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    Yummm, they look (drooling) amazing, Good luck in this round! (drooling) have a great week. lol.

  15. 15

    Amber — September 26, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    Wow. I stand in awe of people who bake and actually make delicious products. Oh, yum. I think I’ll take 4.

    (You are brave to admit your nicknames. I refuse to admit some of mine, but maybe that’s because a few were rather detestable.)

  16. 16

    Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) — September 26, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    Jessica! Nice job, girl! Your photos are getting more beautiful every day!!

    I made Paczki this year for Fat Tuesday for the first time. We usually buy them from the bakery, but I decided to try my hand at them and so glad I did!

    Here’s the recipe I used:

    Loved it! :) You’ve got my vote again!

  17. 17

    Jan/Thella @ I Love. Therefore, I Cook. — September 26, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

    oh man! donuts! they look so yummy. congrats on reaching round 2! hope we all make it to the 3rd. best of luck! will definitely vote for you.

  18. 18

    MaryMoh — September 27, 2010 @ 1:58 am

    Wow…you sure have a lot of names. I thought you were going to say that you were also called ‘donuts’…haha. Your donuts look very tempting….beautiful. Thanks very much for sharing.

  19. 19

    notyet100 — September 27, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    mmmmmm drooling here,..good luck,..

  20. 20

    Duchess — September 27, 2010 @ 8:07 am

    They look like a dream! Good luck.

  21. 21

    DeAnna — September 27, 2010 @ 8:33 am

    I cannot believe you made freak’n DONUTS! Is there anything you cannot make? Okay, I am throwing down the gauntlet. Are you ready for it?


  22. 22

    Heather @ He Cooks She Cooks — September 27, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    Great job! I make these every year for Fat Tuesday and have made many a friend when I give them away because I could easily eat every single one but my tummy would hate me…

  23. 23

    ErinsFoodFiles — September 27, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    Great job! Looks incredible Jessifer!

  24. 24

    Becky — September 27, 2010 @ 10:06 am

    Looks like these were a big success – yum!! Congrats on making it to the next round and I hope to see more : )

  25. 25

    Delishhh — September 27, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    I have always wanted to make these. These looks amazing. Nice work. You got my vote.

  26. 26

    Melissa — September 27, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    I have a ton of nicknames in my family too, right down to a great aunt who always insisted my name was Marissa! :) Good for you for facing your fears of yeast, I just voted!

  27. 27

    Kate @ Savour Fare — September 27, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    These are gorgeous, and now you’ve got me craving doughnuts! I voted.

  28. 28

    Krystal R. — September 27, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    Oh em gee…these look fantastic!! Good luck on round 2 and you got my vote!

  29. 29

    Jenna — September 27, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Wow! These are gorgeous. I’m intimidated by anything involving dough and a fryer, so kudos to you!

  30. 30

    Samarie — September 27, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    Can I have one since I can eat it this week? hahaha They look delicious!

  31. 31

    Monique@She's Going The Distance — September 27, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

    Holy cow, that’s super impressive!! (The doughnuts, not the nicknames haha). I too, have collected waaay too many nicknames in my lifetime :)

    I know you’ll move on to the next round. I just voted for you :) These challenges are so fun to do and read. I hope we see each other in the next round!

  32. 32

    Eliana — September 27, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    I don’t know how you wouldn’t make it to the next round with these. I wish I could have a few right off the screen right NOW!!! You definitely got my vote :)

  33. 33

    Becca — September 27, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    BEAUTIFUL, YUMALICIOUS recipes, Jess! Bravo and WOOT WOOT!

    I do need some assistance, however. Will you please explain this sentence for me?

    “Gradually beat in the remaining flour until the dough blisters”

    I’ve worked with the monster (yeast) a few times, but not enough to understand the term “blistering”. Can you give me an idea of what I should be looking for?


  34. 34

    Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot — September 27, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    They look awesome Jessica! So glad to see some people do dessert for this challenge like me. I love doughnuts! You have my vote!

  35. 35

    Nicole — September 27, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

    I have been obsessed with donuts lately. I would give anything for a good raspberry jelly filling, know of any?

  36. 36

    Taylor (greens & chocolate) — September 27, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    Your pictures are totally making me crave a donut!! They look delicious…great entry for the challenge!

  37. 37

    kim2480 — September 27, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    Foreign, yet close to the American version. It was a challenge to make so good for you.

  38. 38

    Cookie Sleuth — September 27, 2010 @ 10:29 pm

    These look great! Like your family, I would never let you stop making these!

  39. 39

    Mariko — September 27, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

    Dang you. I just went on a diet, aka, “eating healthy.” Pretty sure doughnuts, in any language, aren’t on the list.
    They look so good, though.

  40. 40

    Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) — September 28, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    These look delicious and would go wonderful with my coffee !!! Great job , you have my vote !

  41. 41

    Joan Nova — September 28, 2010 @ 9:10 am

    fun read…delectable entry. Yeast scares me too. Voted!

  42. 42

    Food o' del Mundo — September 28, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    I live in a highly concentrated Polish neighborhood in Chicago. It is so HARD to look past their pastries and I’m afraid I’ve caved with this post.
    Sending you some happy Foodbuzz ♥ and hope we both make it to the next round!

  43. 43

    Heather — September 28, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    WOW!!! What beautiful pictures! They look like they belong in a Martha Stewart magazine. :)

  44. 44

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — September 28, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    Oh my ever-loving God. It’s morning in SoCal and I still haven’t had breakfast. Any way you can get these over here from Florida ASAP? If so, you’ve got my vote!

  45. 45

    John Pertell — September 28, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

    You got my vote for your Pączki recipe.

  46. 46

    Serena @ Seriously Soupy — September 28, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    Now, that’s a donut! Amazing story to boot…you have my vote.

  47. 47

    Heena @ Tiffin Tales — September 28, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    Love the easy-breezy tome of this post. (Have I been watching too many Cover Girl ads!?) My vote’s in. Good luck!

  48. 48

    Heena @ Tiffin Tales — September 28, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    Make that to(n)e. (Mom did warn me too much TV is bad for you.)

  49. 49

    Linda — September 29, 2010 @ 9:58 am

    Doughnuts with delectable icing … wow! They look scrumptious and I bet they taste even better! You’ve definitely won my vote!

  50. 50

    Sarah the Bear — September 30, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    My fiance is Polish–can’t wait to make these for him!

  51. 51

    Sakura — September 30, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Yum! My mouth is watering. Voted for you. :) Good luck, loved you story. Punkin is my grandsons nickname too.

  52. 52

    Esther B. Mozo — March 16, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

    I made this last weekend and they were a hit! Light as air, crunchy on the outside, sort of chewy on the inside. Perfect! We filled some of them with blueberry preserves on Saturday, and the others with pastry cream on Sunday. Both yummy. Next time, I’ll fold in softly whipped cream to the pastry cream to simulate the light filling for Pastry Tropiziene (not sure of that spelling)and to match the lightness of the paczki. Or fill it first with blueberry preserves and top it with the lightened pastry cream. I’m salivating already. Or make cream cheese frosting, slightly diluted with cream, and use that instead of pastry cream. The possibilities are endless! My husband and son loved the paczki. Thanks for this wonderful new recipe.

  53. 53

    The Novice Chef » caught in a bad romance — September 14, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    […] I have always bought my donuts (except for that one time I made donut holes oh and that other time too). I would love to make them, but the time it takes to make the dough, shape them, fry them, […]

  54. 54

    Kate Z — August 9, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    I may have to try this. I miss paczki sooo much! I am from Michigan, where most bakeries will have them on Fat Tuesday, but I recently moved to DC and they are nowhere to be found here!

  55. 55

    Angie — October 24, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    I am so excited to have found this recipe! Like a couple of other commenters, I am also from Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). We used to eat these every year on Fat Tuesday! We moved to central Ohio 15 years ago, and for years we couldn’t find them at all. Kroger started carrying them for Fat Tuesday a few years ago, but they’re nowhere near as good as those back home. I’ll have to try these… SOON!

  56. 56

    Vito — July 18, 2014 @ 9:58 pm

    You fucking kidding me or what. I wouldnt eat this shit if I was fucking starving. Get the fuck outa here.

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