Polish Donuts (Paczki)

Polish donuts, also known as paczki, are a beloved delicacy in Polish cuisine, known for their delicious sweetness and variety of fillings. These traditional Polish donuts are a favorite comfort food, especially on Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.

Made with a rich, sweet yeasted dough, paczki are fried until golden brown and can be filled with a range of tantalizing options, such as raspberry or strawberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate cream, or Nutella.

Coated with powdered sugar or granulated sugar, they are a treat that brings joy to many. To fully savor their flavor and texture, paczki are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made.

In the Polish-American community, particularly in areas with large Polish immigrant populations like Michigan, paczki hold a special place as a beloved tradition. These delightful donuts are not just a tasty treat, but also a celebration of Polish culture and cuisine.

The History of Polish Donuts

Polish donuts, a traditional treat in Polish cuisine, have a long and storied history dating back to centuries ago. These delicious pastries, known as paczki, hold special significance in Polish culture and are closely associated with the celebration of Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.

This festive occasion marks the last day of indulgence before the start of Lent, and Polish donuts are a beloved part of the culinary traditions during this time.

The origins of Polish donuts can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where they were initially created as a way to use up ingredients such as fats, sugar, and eggs before the fasting period of Lent.

These indulgent treats soon became popular not only for their practicality but also for their mouthwatering taste. Traditionally, paczki are made with a rich, sweet yeasted dough that is fried until golden brown, resulting in a soft and pillowy texture.

Over the centuries, the popularity of Polish donuts spread beyond Poland, particularly to regions with a significant Polish immigrant population such as the United States.

In areas like Michigan, where there is a vibrant Polish-American community, paczki have become a cherished tradition on Fat Tuesday. Local bakeries and restaurants often offer a wide variety of fillings, including raspberry or strawberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate cream, and Nutella, allowing for a delightful range of flavor options.

Key Points:
Polish donuts, known as paczki, have a long history in Polish cuisine and are associated with Fat Tuesday.
They were originally created to use up ingredients before the fasting period of Lent.
Paczki are made with a rich, sweet yeasted dough and can be filled with various sweet fillings.
They are a beloved tradition in the Polish-American community, especially in areas like Michigan.

The Perfect Polish Donut Recipe

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try making Polish donuts (paczki) yourself, here’s a delicious recipe to get you started. These delectable treats are perfect for indulging in on Fat Tuesday or any time you’re craving something sweet and indulgent.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling and coating:

  • Raspberry or strawberry jam (or your preferred filling)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir to combine.
  2. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, warm milk, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Stir until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide it into small pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. In a deep fryer or a large pot, heat oil to 375°F (190°C). Carefully drop a few dough balls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  7. Once the donuts have cooled slightly, fill a piping bag with your preferred filling and gently insert it into each donut, piping until filled. Alternatively, you can use a small spoon to create a hole in the donut and fill it with jam.
  8. Dust the filled donuts with powdered sugar, and they are ready to be enjoyed!

Exploring Polish Cuisine

Polish cuisine is a treasure trove of flavorful dishes and desserts that are sure to delight your taste buds. From hearty stews and sausages to scrumptious pastries and desserts, Polish cuisine offers a wide array of options for food enthusiasts.

When it comes to Polish desserts, there is a delectable range of sweet treats to savor. One of the most beloved Polish desserts is paczki, which are traditional Polish donuts.

Made with a rich, sweet yeasted dough, paczki are often filled with delightful fillings like raspberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate cream, or Nutella. These mouthwatering treats are fried until golden brown and can be coated with powdered sugar for an extra touch of sweetness.

To truly experience the wonders of Polish cuisine desserts, it’s worth exploring other traditional Polish delights as well. From babka, a sweet yeast cake, to sernik, a creamy cheesecake, Polish desserts are known for their richness and indulgence.

Don’t forget to try makowiec, a poppy seed roll, or the famous krówki, milk fudge candies. Each bite is a journey into the heart of Polish culinary traditions.

Traditional Polish DessertsDescription
BabkaA sweet yeast cake, often flavored with vanilla or lemon, and typically topped with powdered sugar.
SernikA creamy cheesecake made with farmer’s cheese or ricotta, often drizzled with fruit compote or chocolate sauce.
MakowiecA poppy seed roll filled with a sweet paste made from ground poppy seeds, honey, and nuts.
KrówkiMilk fudge candies that are chewy, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The Sweet Delights of Polish Desserts

Polish desserts are known for their decadence and irresistible sweetness, making them a must-try for any dessert lover. Among these delectable treats, Polish donuts, or paczki, take center stage.

These traditional Polish donuts are a beloved part of Polish cuisine, particularly enjoyed on Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. Made with a rich, sweet yeasted dough, paczki are fried until golden brown, resulting in a perfectly fluffy and indulgent treat.

What sets paczki apart from regular donuts is their sumptuous fillings. Whether it’s raspberry or strawberry jam, luscious custard, velvety chocolate cream, or the ever-popular Nutella, paczki offer a burst of flavor with every bite.

The fillings are generously piped into the donut, ensuring each paczek is a delight to the senses.

To fully appreciate the magic of paczki, they must be enjoyed fresh on the day they are made. The texture is pillowy soft, and the flavors are at their peak, tantalizing the taste buds with their sweetness.

Many Polish bakeries and restaurants specializing in Polish cuisine offer paczki, and they are especially popular in areas with large Polish immigrant populations, such as Michigan.

Indulge in Polish Dessert Delights

Polish desserts extend beyond pączki, offering a wide array of delicious options. From the rich and creamy cheesecake known as sernik to the delicate and flaky pastries called chrust, Polish desserts showcase a variety of flavors and textures.

For chocolate lovers, the decadent tort bezowy, a meringue-based cake layered with chocolate cream and topped with whipped cream and fruit, is a true delight.

And let’s not forget about makowiec, a poppy seed cake roll that simply melts in your mouth. Exploring Polish desserts is like embarking on a sweet journey through centuries of tradition and culinary mastery.

Whether you’re indulging in a fresh paczek or savoring the richness of sernik, exploring Polish desserts is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. So go ahead, treat yourself to these sweet delights and experience the true essence of Polish culinary excellence.

Polish pączki on a table.

Pączki fillings

Pączki, (ponczki) are made with a sweet yeasted dough that is fried until golden brown. The dough is light and fluffy, creating a delicate texture that pairs perfectly with the sweet fillings.

Whether it’s a burst of rose jam (the most popular) raspberry jam, a creamy custard, or a velvety chocolate cream, the filling adds an extra layer of indulgence to these delectable pastries.

One of the joys of ponczki is the variety of fillings available. From classic flavors like strawberry and lemon to more adventurous choices like Nutella or blueberry, there is a filling to suit every taste preference.

The combination of the soft dough and the luscious fillings creates a truly heavenly treat that is perfect for any occasion.

When it comes to enjoying ponczki, freshness is key. These delightful pastries are best enjoyed on the day they are made, when the dough is still warm and the fillings are at their peak of flavor.

Pair them with a hot cup of coffee or tea for the ultimate indulgence.

Paczki: A Polish-American Tradition

Paczki holds a special place in the hearts of Polish-Americans, especially those in states like Michigan, where Polish traditions thrive. These rich and indulgent Polish donuts are a beloved treat, particularly during the celebration of Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.

The Polish-American community has embraced paczki as a symbol of their heritage and a delicious way to honor their culture.

Paczki are traditionally made with a sweet, yeasted dough that is fried until golden brown. These decadent donuts are then filled with an array of mouthwatering fillings, such as raspberry or strawberry jam, luscious custard, rich chocolate cream, or the ever-popular Nutella.

The combination of the fluffy dough and the sweet fillings creates a delightful explosion of flavors in every bite.

Savoring the Freshness of Paczki

To truly experience the magic of paczki, indulge in them on the same day they are made to savor their freshness. These traditional Polish donuts are a delight that should not be missed, and their taste and texture are at their absolute best when enjoyed right away.

When you bite into a freshly made paczki, you’ll be greeted with a soft and pillowy dough that melts in your mouth. The rich, sweet flavors of the dough are perfectly complemented by the burst of sweetness from the filling, whether it’s raspberry jam, lemon curd, chocolate cream, or Nutella.

To make sure you get to savor the true essence of paczki, head to your local Polish bakery or find a restaurant that specializes in Polish cuisine. These establishments often make paczki in-house, ensuring that you can indulge in these delectable treats while they are still warm and at their prime.

Benefits of Enjoying Fresh Paczki
Paczki taste best when they are still warm from the fryer.
The dough is soft and fluffy, offering a delightful texture.
The fillings are at their peak freshness, providing an explosion of flavor.
Enjoying paczki fresh allows you to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and love that goes into making these traditional Polish treats.

So whether it’s Fat Tuesday, a special occasion, or simply a craving for something sweet, treat yourself to the divine experience of eating fresh paczki. The flavors, textures, and aromas will transport you to Poland and leave you wanting more.


Polish donuts (pączki) are a true delight, with their rich flavors and sweet fillings capturing the hearts and taste buds of many. These traditional Polish donuts hold a special place in Polish cuisine and are particularly popular on Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.

These delightful donuts are often enjoyed during celebratory occasions, bringing families and friends together to share the joy of this beloved treat.

So, if you’re craving a truly unforgettable dessert experience, why not try your hand at making paczki at home or visit a local Polish bakery or restaurant specializing in Polish cuisine?

Explore the wide range of flavors and fillings available, and let yourself be transported to a world of sweetness and tradition.

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Laura i Nathan

Poznaj Laurę i Nathana. Doświadczonych kucharzy domowych. Autorów przepisów które z pewnością pokochasz.

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