10 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook)

This is a traditional Romanian recipe. It is so traditional that in fact these days if you ask people on the street what is “papanasi” 99% will tell you a kind of donut with sour cream and confiture. Because this is how it is sold by the restaurants. But traditional recipe is different.

These days my wife made me a surprise after making some order in the fridge, where a box of low fat cottage cheese was on the brink of expiring (we are not fans of low fat dairy products). The smell in the kitchen was so good, I had to guess what is cooking, but I failed. When I was allowed to look through the oven glass I saw the “papanasi” – one of the tastes from the childhood. Made from cottage cheese not from flour. My wife added an exotic touch by adding some coconut flakes and a healthy note by choosing to cook them in the oven instead of frying. They were so good that the entire tray was finished in minutes.

If I have raised your curiosity or triggered some childhood memories, let’s see the ingredients for 4 servings and the steps to prepare:

  • Cottage cheese 375-400g / 13-14oz; should be with low water content (otherwise you can press it with a towel).
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons of wheat flour
  • Coconut flakes 30g / 1oz or upon your taste.
  • 2 tablespoons of raw/unrefined sugar (not too full 😊)
  • One tablespoon of oil (we use sunflower first press filtered type for cookies due to its neutral taste vs cold pressed unfiltered one and a higher smoking point)
  • A pinch of salt

Nutritional info: 235 calories per serving of 4 papanasi (150g), of which:

  • Fats: 10g of which saturated 6g
  • Carbohydrates 16,5g of which sugars 10g
  • Proteins: 17 g
  • Fibers: 0g (if white wheat flour is used)


  1. Pre warm the oven at 150°C (300°F).
  2. Mix the cheese with salt, sugar, coconut flakes and the eggs yolk.
  3. Mix the egg whites until a foam is obtained and add it to the above composition, mixing slowly.
  4. Add the flour to the composition mixing slowly
  5. Put the baking paper in the oven tray and grease it with very small amount of oil
  6. Using a spoon put from the composition on the baking paper, you will get some mounds.
  7. Grease the mounds with oil (just a little bit only) .
  8. Put the tray in the preheated oven (150°C /300°F), bake for 10 minutes then remove the tray, turn the papanasi on the other side with a spatula and let them baking for another 5 minutes.

Of course, you can adapt the composition in many ways so you can satisfy your own preferences. Curious to see if you liked it or whether you tried also other variations.


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