Klasyczne Pączki z Różą

Pączki: Polish Doughnuts

“These delightful Polish doughnuts get deep-fried to a golden hue and coated in a wonderfully sweet glaze. Traditionally filled with marmalade or jam, these treats now offer a variety of exotic flavours to choose from. Which filling will you choose for yours?”

How to pronounce it?
(plural): pawn-chkey (singular): pawn-check
‘Play’ to hear:

Polish pączki donuts

Pączki are Polish doughnuts made of rich yeast dough consisting of wheat flour, eggs, milk and butter.

Each pączek is formed into a slightly flattened ball, filled (or injected) with prune or rose petal preserves; and deep fried – traditionally in lard. As a finishing touch, they’re bathed in a flat icing and sprinkled with candied orange peel on top.

Fat Tuesday paczki donut

Pączki History

Early on, pączki were made with bread dough, filled with pork fat and topped with pork scratchings. In the late 16th century they evolved into a sweet pastry, but they were much tougher than those we know today. In the 18th century yeast was added to the recipe, and the doughnuts became larger and softer.

Fun fact: Old Polish custom associated with pączki involved placing an almond (or any other nut) in some of them. The one who came across this “surprise” was to be guaranteed happiness and prosperity throughout the year (perhaps with a tooth missing as well…)

Fat Tuesday, Fat Thursday & Pączki Day

Pączki are sold in Polish bakeries on an everyday basis, but in leading to Lent, millions are sold in mere hours.

In Poland, we enjoy them in large quantity while celebrating “Tłusty Czwartek” (“Fat Thursday”), the last Thursday prior to the beginning of Lent.

Abroad, pączki are accompanying Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras. On the same day in North America – particularly where the large Polish communities reside – “Pączki Day” is celebrated annually.

Pączki vs Doughnuts

What’s the difference between pączki and doughnuts? Pączki are made of a yeast dough – enriched with eggs, milk and butter. The texture is quite dense with an almost chewy texture that stretches delightfully over the tongue. Doughnuts are much lighter and crumblier in comparison.

Moreover, pączki are filled with a hearty amount of jam (or other fillings), while doughnuts often have a hole punched in the middle.

Pączki (Polish donut) recipe
Yield: 20 servings

Polish Pączki Doughnuts with Rose Petal Preserves

Polish pączki donuts

Polish name: Pączki Also known as: Polish donuts/doughnuts

The warm ones disappear the quickest, although they're still delicious on the next day.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes


For the doughnuts

  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.8 oz (50 g) fresh yeast; can be replaced with 1 packet (14 g) dry yeast, added directly to the flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk; lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) caster sugar
  • 5 teaspoons (25 ml) alcohol: vodka or rum
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod; can be replaced with 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3.5 tablespoons (50 g) butter; melted and chilled

For the Filling

  • 7 oz (200 g) rose petal preserve; can be substituted with prune or another fruit preserve

For Frying

  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) lard; can be replaced with neutral cooking oil

For Topping / Icing

  • 1 cup (125 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, warm
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • candied orange peel; optional


30 minutes before baking, take all of the ingredients out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature. Please note, that we'll need to melt and chill 3.5 tablespoons of butter, so it's better to prepare it in advance.

Using fresh yeast

  1. Crumble the fresh yeast into a bowl. Blend it with 1 tablespoon of sugar, a cup of flour and half a cup of lukewarm milk. Set aside in a warm place for an hour.
  2. When yeast raises, add in 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, sugar, the rest of the flour (3 cups) - together with milk, lemon juice & zest, alcohol, grated vanilla and a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Knead the dough by hand, or using a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead until the dough becomes shiny, and no longer sticky (that usually takes 8-10 minutes). Add in the butter (melted & chilled), knead the dough again (for another 8-10 minutes) and set aside in a warm place again for an hour. It should double its size.

Using dry yeast

  1. In a large bowl (or in a bowl that comes with your stand mixer) combine all of the ingredients from the 'For the doughnuts' section, minus the butter.
  2. Knead the dough until it becomes shiny is no longer sticky (that usually takes 8-10 minutes). Add in the butter (melted & chilled), knead the dough again (for another 8-10 minutes) and set aside in a warm place for an hour or two. It should double its size.

Forming doughnuts

  1. Grab a spoonful of dough (around 40 g / 1.4 oz) and form small discs by hand (it's easier if you grease your hands beforehand). Place 1/2 teaspoon of preserves in the middle of a disc and close the dough together.
  2. Place each doughnut onto floured worktop (with the seam facing down). Keep some space between them. Once you're done, cover pączki with a cloth. Let them rise for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Once they're risen, start heating up the fat (lard or neutral cooking oil) in a large pot. Test the temperature with a small piece of raw dough. If it browns immediately, that means we can start frying. Alternatively, use a kitchen thermometer and aim for 356°F (180°C).
  4. Submerge a few doughnuts into the fat, make sure they don't stick to each other. Fry on a medium heat until golden (approx. 1.5-2 minutes each side). Once pączki are fried on both sides, retrieve them with a slotted spoon and rest them on a paper towel.


  1. In a bowl, combine icing sugar with water and lemon juice. Add these liquids gradually, stirring as you go and monitoring the consistency of the icing.
  2. Cover each pączek with icing, and sprinkle generously with candied orange peel.


The recipe was adapted from “Kuchnia Polska: Dania na każdą okazję” by Marek Łebkowski, 1997 p.610

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

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Recipe Information

Filed under:

Alternative traditional/regional names:
Also known / Misspelt internationally as:
paczki, punchkees, poochkie, punski, poochkis, poonchki

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First published on:

Recipe by / Adapted from:

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