Ponchiki – Russian Donuts – Творожные Пончики

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-8Ponchiki are a walk down memory lane for me. My Mom used to make them quite often when I was a little girl. I just happened to have some farmer’s cheese in my refrigerator and this was the perfect recipe to use it in. Sergi and I couldn’t stop eating them. They turned out even better than I remembered. Golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside, these Ponchiki are absolutely perfect.

I actually avoid frying as much as I can. Not only because of the health issues, but because I just hate messing with frying. However, this recipe is absolutely worth it. It only takes about 20 minutes total for the whole process, from mixing the batter to gazing at the puffy, golden Ponchiki lying in a delicious jumble on a plate. You won’t be gazing at them for long though, because you won’t be able to resist taking a bite. 

Ingredients:

2 cups farmer’s cheese

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 quarts oil, for frying the donuts

powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top of the donuts

Instructions:

Ponchiki- Russian Donuts2-1Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, mix the farmer’s cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a standing mixer, using a hand mixer or mixing it by hand.

Ponchiki- Russian Donuts1-1-2Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix to combine.Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-2Using two teaspoons, take a small scoop of batter in one spoon and use the other spoon to scrape it off the spoon and into the oil. Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-3

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-4

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-5Cook the Ponchiki until they are golden brown on both sides.Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-6

Make sure the oil is about 350 after you add the batter to the hot oil. If the oil drops in temperature too much, the Ponchiki will soak up too much oil and will be greasy, if the temperature is too high, the Ponchiki will brown too quickly on the outside and won’t be cooked through on the inside.

Take out the Ponchiki and let them drain on a paper towel or paper bag. Keep frying the Ponchiki in batches until you have fried all the batter. Sprinkle the Ponchiki with powdered sugar.Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-7

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-8

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: about 50 ponchiki
Ingredients
  • 2 cups farmer's cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 quarts oil, for frying the donuts
  • powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top of the donuts
Instructions
  1. Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the farmer's cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a standing mixer, using a hand mixer or mixing it by hand.
  3. Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix to combine.
  4. Using two teaspoons, take a small scoop of batter in one spoon and use the other spoon to scrape it off the spoon and into the oil. Cook the Ponchiki until they are golden brown on both sides. Make sure the oil is about 350 after you add the batter to the hot oil. If the oil drops in temperature too much, the Ponchiki will soak up too much oil and will be greasy, if the temperature is too high, the Ponchiki will brown too quickly on the outside and won't be cooked through on the inside. Take out the Ponchiki and let them drain on a paper towel or paper bag. Keep frying the Ponchiki in batches until you have fried all the batter. Sprinkle the Ponchiki with powdered sugar.

 

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Comments

    • says

      Wouldn’t it be nice if little treats would just appear when we wanted them? That’s kind of my secret to not eating too much sweets – I try to only eat homemade sweets, which I don’t want to do too often. It really helps:).

  1. Julia says

    My kids would be all over these.. I don’t see these lasting very long at my house at all. Will definitely have to try these some lazy weekend!! Beautiful photo, for sure!

  2. Valentin Goncharenko says

    These ponchiki are fabulously delicious! Me and my wife were honored to try these directly from the source of “wholesome cooking made simple”.
    Thank you Olga and Serge for the finger-licking treat!!

  3. Galya V. says

    Olga, if you convert 350 Fahrenheit oil to High-Medium-Low temperature, what range would that be? I just don’t have what to measure an oil temperature with. Thanks :)

    • says

      Galya, I can’t say for sure, because I always use a thermometer. It’s very hard to guess the temperature that you need to use, since different pots will heat up differently as well as stoves are different too. Thermometers are very inexpensive. I bought mine for about $10 and I use it all the time.

      • Oksana K says

        Olya, you answered here on my question too, before i asked. (glad i read all comments first)… ;-) There are some delish recipes here on your blog that i was going to do, but when saw that it requires termometer – had to skip, cuz i don’t have one… But now i’ve had it! Going to buy this gadget as soon as i’m in department store, and make THESE BEAUTIES FIRST, and then go search for those recipes of yours that i wanted to do and make them happen too, since i’ll FINALLY have the termometer! :-D Many many thanks to you for your blog, and your ability to keep posting yummy recipes even with babies at home, wow! i’m so amazed by your “superpowers”. :-) ;-)

  4. Julia says

    Oh. Just made them. Amazingly good. Making another batch as soon as done frying first one. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Jan Murry says

    Just finished making these – they are delicious! Wish mine looked as pretty as yours – I ended up with a lot of tails – not nice and round like yours. I guess I’ll just have to keep practicing! Can these be frozen?

  6. Sasha says

    Olga, this was so timely this evening…I had farmers cheese to use up. Also my daughters birthday is tomorrow. So, I thought I’d check your website. The minute I pull up your website here pops up this recipe…
    Well, needless to say I barely got first batch out…my whole family surrounded me. I have 5 young kids. Between hubby, kids and me, we ate half already…
    I am going to have to bake more in the meantime…
    Maybe you can suggest something…love this recipe, quick, easy, and tasty….
    With kids 6 years of age and under I need to do things quick ;)))
    I’d appreciate any ideas :)

  7. Anna says

    Hey Olga, thank you for posting this easy recipe for ponchiki. I have a quick question can I use cottage cheese for this recipe instead of farmers?

    • says

      I’ve never made it with cottage cheese, so the measurements of the ingredients might be a bit off. I would suggest draining the cottage cheese and pureeing it in the food processor first before using it in the recipe.

  8. elen says

    hey Olga! It looks soo delicious. I only have cottage cheese at home. Do you think that will work?

    • says

      I haven’t made it with cottage cheese, so I can’t say for sure. Make sure to drain it well first and I would probably pulse it in food processor first, to get the lumps out before making the batter with it. It should work out fine if you do that, Elen.

  9. says

    I want to make these for my grandchildren . . . . I think they will love making them. I live in a very small community so will have to get ingredients the next time I “go to town!” Please clarify what you mean by farmer’s cheese . . . . is there a particular brand that I need to look for? I have “Farmer’s Cheese” in my frig but it is pretty hard, and I am wondering if that will work; do I need to soften it or at least bring it to room temp?

    Thank you for your time! I am looking forward to trying these at our next family gathering!

    • says

      Hi Norma,
      If you click on the link in the ingredient list to farmer’s cheese, you will see exactly what kind of farmer’s cheese I am talking about. I have the recipe for homemade farmer’s cheese too. I buy the “Friendship” brand of farmer’s cheese at the store and it’s the perfect texture. If your farmer’s cheese is really hard, you can pulse it in the food processor to make it softer and break it apart. Softening farmer’s cheese won’t make much of a difference, since it’s a different texture than cream cheese or butter.

  10. Michelle says

    can i use quickmelt cheese instead of farmer’s cheese since farmer’s cheese is not available here?

    • says

      I’m not sure what quick melt cheese is, but you can substitute it with cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, as long as you wring out any moisture, Michelle.

  11. valentina says

    Olga thank you for this recipe. We live in America for 22 years and i could not find this recipe anywhere. Back home in Moldova we used to call them GOGOSHI. Everything turned out just like you described it above. Great taste and very tender dough.

    Molodets, Spasibo bolishoe

    • says

      Don’t you just love when you find a recipe that brings back great memories? I’m thrilled that the Ponchiki were just how you remembered them. I’ve never heard about Gogoshi; thanks for sharing.

  12. Innessa says

    Hi Olga! Do u have a recipe for ponchiki with milk instead of cheese? I want to make these with poppy seeds..

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