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Pampushky - Ukrainian Donuts with Poppy Seed Filling

Pampushky are filled Ukrainian donuts with a sweet yeast dough filled with poppy seeds and raisins.
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine Ukrainian-Canadian
Servings 36 pampushky



  • 1 envelope traditional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons warm water between
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon save 1 teaspoon for the filling
  • 1 cup icing sugar optional


  • 1 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds or walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • Dissolve the yeast package with 1 teaspoon of sugar and ¼ cup warm water that's between 105°F and 110°F (40°C and 43°C)
  • After about 10 minutes, the yeast should be bubbling. If it’s not, stop now and check your yeast. Add ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour and ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water.
  • Beat until smooth. Let this bubble again. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and salt until light and fluffy. If you have a stand mixer, the whisk attachment is the thing to use. Add the yeast mixture when it’s ready along with the lemon rind, vanilla and 1 cup of flour.
  • Switch to the dough hook or knead the remaining flour until it’s smooth. If you’re kneading by hand, it’s easiest to do this in a large bowl in the sink.
  • Leave the dough to rise in an oiled bowl. If you’re using the Instant Pot, insert the wire rack and place the dough on a piece of oiled parchment paper that fills the inside of the pot with the lid set to Vent. Set the pot to the Yogurt setting on Low.
  • While the dough is rising, get the filling ready. Take ½ cup of poppy seeds and pour boiling water over them to cover. Separately soak ½ cup of raisins in boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Grind the poppy seeds in a blender along with ¼ cup of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon rind, 1 egg white, and ½ cup of toasted almonds. Remove from the blender and add the soaked raisins. Adjust the sweetness and set aside until you’re ready to fill.
  • Once it’s risen to twice its size, punch down the dough and start again.
  • After it’s risen again, punch it down again and start to roll it out.
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles of dough with a cookie cutter.
  • Press the dough slightly to thin in your hand. Fill with 1 teaspoon of filling and a few raisins leaving an edge. Seal with water and arrange on a cookie sheet to rise once again. Cover with a dish towel.
  • Heat the oil in your deep fryer or a heavy pot with a candy/deep fryer thermometer. Slowly bring up the vegetable oil to 350°F.
  • Seal the pampushy again if they've separated and drop into the hot oil until the edge browns. Flip.
  • Drain on paper towels and dust with icing sugar.
  • Smachnoho!