Ponchiki (Russian donut holes)

Are you a creature of habit? Do you have the same special treat on every birthday? I could never commit to just one thing. I like mixing things up. I like experimenting in the kitchen. In fact, I very rarely make the same thing twice, even when it is really delicious the first time.


What I do like doing on my birthday is filling my day with my favorite people, gifts (yep I said it), and delicious food (it is usually new food as a birthday is the perfect occasion to try out a new restaurant in my opinion!). And it is essential that the delicious food part begins the moment I wake up!

Birthday breakfasts should be a little more special, don’t you think? I had some tvorog left from the pirojki I made the week prior which I wanted to put to use for a new recipe here on the blog. Luckily, my mom reminded me of the perfect (special) breakfast – ponchiki! By the way, before we continue with what those even are… how fun is the word ponchiki?? My husband has been repeating it over and over ever since he learned it. I think it’s very cute when he pronounces Russian words… but I’m digressing here Winking smile

Ponchiki have the same dough as sirniki (cheese cakes) but they are ball shaped and fried. You can also add fun mix-ins into them (I like raisins… I bet cherries or even chocolate chips would be awesome too) and a touch of baking powder makes them fluffier. There are kind of like ricotta-like donut holes. Worthy of a birthday… or just a random weekend breakfast (which actually ended up happening for me because I became lazy and ate a brownie for breakfast instead… which was already cooked.) Open-mouthed smile 

Printable recipe

Ingredients (makes ~20 ponchiki):

  • 1 lb farmers cheese (tvorog)
  • 2 egg
  • 2 cups flour (+more for rolling)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • oil for frying
  • (optional) sweetened condensed milk or preserves for dipping


Start heating up oil in a small-medium pot.

1. Mix all ingredients (except for oil)



2. Form dough into 2" balls (my medium cookie scoop, which is 1.5T, was perfect for this).



3. Roll balls in flour, shacking off excess flour.



Such cuties Smile


4. Fry ponchiki in 385* for a few minutes, until golden brown.


Note: make sure the oil is kept at this temperature so that they are not greasy. Do not overcrowd the pot – fry just a few ponchiki at a time!


5. Blot on paper towels.


6. Enjoy them dipped in condensed milk (my favorite) or sour cream/preserve mixture (another great combo!)




Adam LOVED these! Yay, another winner for the books.


Printable recipe

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