Paczki: Polish Doughnuts piled on a round plate with a white towel behind on a white and grey marble surface (with logo overlay)

Paczki: Baked Polish Doughnuts Filled with Jelly

Paczki is a traditional Polish pastry filled with a sweet center. Usually fried, this recipe is baked to soft, golden perfection.

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Last year, we had Harry Potter Club monthly and made many delicious recipes based on the books and movies. We ended the marathon by watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them a week before seeing Crimes of Grindelwald in theaters. Jacob’s dream is to open his own Polish Bakery, so I decided to try making some of the pastries that he mentions. One such pastry is Paczki, a type of Polish donuts.

Pączki are deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into flattened spheres and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing, glaze or bits of dried orange zest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%85czki

Traditional Paczki (pronounced pontch-kee) are fried. But I don’t like frying foods often. I hate the hot oil popping on me. So when I found a recipe that instructed to bake, rather than fry, I decided to give it a shot.

The doughnuts came out so soft and fluffy. The hardest part was filling the paczki, but they would honestly be delicious even without a filling in them.

You’ll need about two hours to make the paczki, but half of that is letting the dough rise. Then the doughnuts will bake for about 10 minutes per batch. The last thing to do is put the filling in the paczki. In my opinion, this is the hardest part. I have a plastic cake-decorating tool that I was able to use. I put the flavored jam in the tube and used the long thin tip to press it into the center of the doughnut and push the jam inside. It isn’t perfect, but it works pretty well.

You can use any flavor of jam that you prefer. The first time we made these I used up some orange marmalade from when we made Orange Chicken. The second time we used blackberry since that’s our favorite filling. You could also fill it with custard, pastry cream, or any other sweet filling.

Paczki for Mardi Gras

When we moved to Houston, I learned that there is a lot of New Orleans influence here. After Hurricane Katrina, when many had to leave New Orleans, they settled in the Houston area. For this reason, we have a lot of those traditions in this area. 

Paczki is often made for Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday) in the United States as a way to note the end of Mardi Gras season and the beginning of Lent. This is a way to indulge in sweet foods before cutting them out from the diet for the next 40 days. While we celebrate Fat Tuesday in the US, it is celebrated as Fat Thursday in Polish tradition. 

Every February, Poland goes nuts for doughnuts. Fat Thursday, the last Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, is one of the most important holidays, and it mainly revolves around eating as many doughnuts as possible, all in the name of good luck.

https://culture.pl/en/article/fat-thursday-polands-tastiest-tradition

Best Filling for Paczki

There are so many options for filling for your paczki. We did it first with orange marmalade then again with blackberry jam. You can try a variety of fillings, but there are the most common ones:

  • Custard filling or pastry cream
  • Fruit filling such as fruit jam
    • Raspberry jam
    • Rose hip jam
    • Orange marmalade
    • Blackberry jam
    • Apricot jam
    • Prune jam
  • Lemon curd
  • Orange peel
  • Strawberries and cream

Paczki Step by Step

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Filling

  • 1 cup jam

Preparation

In a large mixing bowlwhisk together the sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. You could also do this in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Dry paczki ingredients with a wire whisk in a stainless steel mixing bowl on a wooden surface

In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium until it reaches about 110F. Pour the warm milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Use an electric mixer and whisk on high for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, as needed, until the paczki dough comes together. I switched to the dough hook for this part.

Knead the dough about 50 times on a lightly floured surface. Cover the dough with a towel or loose plastic wrap and let it rest for about 10 minutes in a warm place. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Ball of paczki dough on a white and grey marble surface

Roll the soft dough out to about 1/2 inch thick.

Paczki dough rolled out next to a wooden rolling pin on a white and grey marble surface

Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to make circles in the dough then place on the prepared pan.

Paczki dough rolled out with a biscuit cutter next to a wooden rolling pin all on a white and grey marble surface

Re-roll the scraps and continue until all of the dough is used. Cover the dough with a clean, dry dishtowel and let it rise for about one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake the doughnuts for about 10 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden brown and puff up.

Baked paczki on a baking stone next to a white plate with sugar all on a wooden surface

Melt the butter and place the sugar for coating on a shallow plate. As soon as the doughnuts come out of the oven, brush them with the melted butter. Flip each doughnut over and roll the tops in the sugar to coat.

baked paczki on a baking stone next to a round white plate with a baked paczki in sugar all on a wooden surface

Place the coated doughnuts on a wire cooling rack with paper towels underneath to let them cool slightly before filling. Fill a piping bag or cake decorator with your choice of jam flavor. Gently push the tip into each doughnut and squeeze to fill.

Baked paczki on a wire rack next to a piping tool with jelly all on a wooden surface

Serve immediately as these taste best when they are fresh and still warm.

Paczki: Polish Doughnuts piled on a round plate with a white towel behind on a white and grey marble surface (vertical)

Paczki Leftovers

Storage: Store leftover Polish doughnuts in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Recipe

Originally Published On: January 20, 2019

Last Updated On: March 18, 2024

Paczki: Polish Doughnuts piled on a round plate with a white towel behind on a white and grey marble surface

Paczki: Polish Doughnuts

Paczki is a traditional Polish pastry filled with a sweet center. Usually fried, this recipe is baked to soft, golden perfection. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course:
Dessert
Cuisine:
American
|
Polish
Keyword:
doughnut
|
Harry Potter
Servings: 12 servings
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

Dough
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Topping
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Filling
  • 1 cup jam

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium until it reaches about 110F
  • Pour the warm milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients
  • Use an electric mixer and whisk on high for 2 minutes
  • Slowly stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, as needed, until the dough comes together
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface and knead the dough about 50 times 
  • Cover the dough with a clean, dry towel and let it rest for about 10 minutes
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat
  • Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick
  • Use a 2 1/2 inch round-cutter to make circles in the dough then place on the prepared pan
  • Re-roll the scraps and continue until all of the dough is used
  • Cover the dough with a clean, dry dish towel and let it rise for about one hour
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake the doughnuts for about 10 minutes, until they are just starting to turn golden and puff up
  • Melt the butter and place the sugar for coating on a shallow plate
  • As soon as the doughnuts come out of the oven, brush with the melted butter
  • Flip each doughnut over and roll the tops in the sugar to coat
  • Place the coated doughnuts on a wire cooling rack to let cool slightly before filling
  • Fill a pastry bag or cake decorator with your choice of jam flavor. Gently push the tip into each doughnut and squeeze to fill
  • Serve immediately as these taste best when they are fresh and still warm
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Nutrition Facts
Paczki: Polish Doughnuts
Amount Per Serving (1 each)
Calories 242 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 74mg3%
Potassium 68mg2%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 95IU2%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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18 thoughts on “Paczki: Baked Polish Doughnuts Filled with Jelly”

  1. Oh hubba hubba! I friggin’ ADOREEEEEE donuts!! I can’t eat them unless I make them myself with specific ingredients. BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t DROOL over these babies!

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome! I love making donuts and I usually bake them so I tend to stay away from filled ones because they’re typically fried. So happy to find out I can bake them too 🙂 Cannot wait to try this!

  3. Being of Polish background I LOVE paczki. Never knew you could bake them. I’ll have to try this recipe to see how it turns out.

    1. I’ve made them twice now, they were so good! This was the first time I had heard of paczki. I was searching for Polish danishes for our movie night because of Jacob Kowalski and came across this idea. So glad I did!

  4. So let me get this straight, you found this recipe online? 1) looks YUM!!! want to try!!! 2) FWIW, Kimmie got an “official Harry Potter Cookbook” for Xmas, so I wonder if there is anything like this in there???

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