Sweet Russian farmer’s cheese doughnut holes (Ponchiki) dusted with powdered sugar. They are a traditional Russian doughnut recipe that everyone will love.
Another delightful dessert is my Nutella wontons. Make them next!
This recipe was originally posted September 19, 2018, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Ponchiki are the cutest and most addictive Russian treat my Mother made for us when we were youngsters. There’s no wonder why my youngest daughter has acquired the nickname of ponchik. These sweet little puffs are no ordinary donut holes.
How to make Russian donut holes
They’re made with a special ingredient that makes them so unique, that is farmer’s cheese. Most Slavic people either have homemade farmer’s cheese at home or they have access to it at a local European food market.
If you don’t have a European food market nearby, farmer’s cheese can be quite hard to find. Worry not, you can easily make these scrumptious donut holes with cottage cheese. Since cottage cheese is runnier than farmer’s cheese you’ll need to add a little more flour (See notes in recipe). Whether you make it with farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese I’ve tried them both and they’re equally delicious! So give these a whirl and let me know how you like them! I love hearing feedback from you guys.
What ingredients are in Russian donut holes- Ponchiki?
As you can see in the picture above, there really aren’t very many ingredients in Russian donut holes. To make Ponchiki all you need is:
- Farmer’s Cheese (may substitute with cottage cheese)
- Baking powder
- Sour cream
- Heating oil
You’ll find more detailed instructions for the Russian donut holes in my printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here’s an overview of how to make them, along with some baking tips.
1.) Mix the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until foamy.
2.) Add the rum, farmer’s cheese, and sour cream. Mix them together just until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
3.) In a separate bowl combine baking powder, salt, and flour.
4.) If you are using cottage cheese, you’ll have to increase the flour.
5.) Sift the dry mixture into the egg mixture and mix with an electric beater until well incorporated.
6.) Fill a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven pot with high heat oil so there’s about an inch of oil covering the bottom of the pot. Bring it to medium-low heat.
7.) Use a cookie scoop for this next step – frying the donut holes.
8.) Grease your hands with a tiny bit of oil and shape each dough mound into a ball.
9.) Place each Ponchiki into the hot oil and fry both sides until golden brown.
Tips to make Russsian farmers cheese donut holes
Here are some tips to help your donut holes turn out perfect.
- Soak your cookie scoop in cold water first. It will help your dough slip out easier.
- Grease your hands before making donut holes. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your skin.
- Dust the Russian donut holes with powdered sugar after they cool. This is such a delightful flavor combination!
You’ll want to serve them warm. They taste absolutely divine when they are fresh out of the pan. Of course they will smell so good everyone will want them immediately.
Full Recipe Instructions
Russian Doughnut Holes- Ponchiki
- In a large bowl, combine 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar using an electric mixer. Mix until the eggs are foamy.
- Add 1 tbsp rum, 1 lb farmers cheese, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Mix just until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl combine 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 1/4 cup flour. Note: if you’re using cottage cheese adjust the amount of flour to 3 1/4 cup instead of 2 1/4 cup.
- Sift the dry mixture into the egg mixture and mix with an electric beater until well incorporated.
- Fill a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven pot with high heat oil so there’s about an inch of oil covering the bottom of the pot. Bring it to medium low heat.
- Dip a cookie scoop into a cup of water then scoop out mounds of the ponchik batter. Dipping the cookie scoop with water helps the dough slip out easier.
- Grease your hands with a tiny bit of oil and and shape each dough mound into a ball. The oil will help prevent the tacky dough from sticking to your hands.
- Place each ponchik into the hot oil and fry both sides until golden brown.
- Serve warm with powdered sugar.
More of my favorite desserts
Baking is a passion of mine. Here are some desserts my family loves just as much as the Ponchiki.
- Chocolate Honey Layer Cake (Спартак)
- Amaretti Cookies (VIDEO)
- Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream