Paczki: the easy and sweet recipe for Polish donuts

Total time: 30 MIN + rising time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
120 ml (1/2 cup)
30 g (1 1/2 tbsp)
butter, melted
30 g (1 1/2 tbsp)
4 g (1 tsp)
10 ml (2 tsp)
Dry yeast
10 g (2 tsp)
250 g (2 cups)
Icing sugar

If you though that there is no way to improve on a donut, then you haven’t tried these Polish donuts. While they are a traditional dessert, they are just as popular in America, where they’ve become the dessert to eat during Mardi Gras.

The paczki is made with an enriched, yeasted dough and left to rise. This created a soft, pillowy texture and gives it a great flavor. It’s filled with a sweet jam, and topped with icing sugar, which makes every bite deliciously sweet!


What is a Paczki

Paczki (pronounced punch-key) is like an upgraded donut. They’ve become very popular in New Orleans around Mardi Gras, where they’re eaten on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Originally known as Polish-fried donuts, they were usually eaten as an “indulgent food” before the fasting period of Lent begins. These days, the Polish celebrated Paczki Day, which is celebrated on Fat Tuesday.

What is the difference between a Paczki and a Donut?

Unlike a normal donut, which is made with regular yeasted dough, the paczki is made with an enriched dough. Eggs, butter, and milk are added which give the paczki more richness than your average donut. Also, instead of making a hole in the middle, the donuts are kept whole and filled with jam.


How to make Paczki

The paczki are really easy to make. You simply mix your wet and dry ingredients together, let it rest, roll out, and bake! You first need to make the donuts: Add the eggs in a bowl, together with the sugar, milk, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix it thoroughly and then add the dry yeast and flour.

Knead the dough until smooth, cover, and then leave it to rest and rise. Spread the dough and cut into circles with glass or a circle cutter (a biscuit cutter will also work). Leave the circles to rest for another 10 minutes. Heat oil for shallow frying in a large skillet. Add the dough circles and fry until golden and cooked through. Use a piping bag to fill them with jam and top with icing sugar.


Tips for making Polish Donuts

These are the easiest donuts to make and add variety. If you don’t like the idea of filling your paczki with jam, you can try any other filling. Lemon curd, Nutella, dulce de leche, and custard are all favorite fillings for the paczki.

How to store Paczki

The baked paczki can be frozen (unfilled). When you want to serve them, allow to thaw at room temperature and fill before serving. They are, however, best served fresh from the fryer!



Add the eggs to a small bowl.


Add the milk, butter, sugar and vanilla.


Mix and add dry yeast and flour.


Mix the ingredients through.


Knead the dough and leave it to rise.


Roll out the dough and cut the circles with glass or large circle cutter.


Leave them for another 10 minutes and then fry them in a pan with oil.


Fill them with jam and decorate with icing sugar. Serve.

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