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Polish Nest Donuts Recipe – Gniazdka Poznańskie

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Polish nest donuts get their name because of the characteristic shape that the donuts have. They originate from Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and they are typically served in the Carnival.

Piped with a confectionery sleeve or piping bag, you will find that the star-shaped nozzle gives the donuts a very ridged-like appearance. This makes it look similar to a bird’s nest. One would think that forming this shape is incredibly difficult. Luckily with the right technique and a bit of parchment paper, you can make them easily at home. All it takes is a little patience. 

You will find that the Polish Nest donuts are light and slightly chewy. The donuts are also glazed with either chocolate or sugar glaze. Everyone has their own opinion on which glaze is better but it boils down to personal preference. Both glazes are super easy to make and use. You can even make half with chocolate glaze and the other half with sugar glaze so you can satisfy everyone’s cravings.

What’s The Difference Between Polish Nest Donuts And Pączki

There’s a very big difference between Pączki and Gniazdka Poznańskie. For one thing, Polish nest donuts have a hole in the center which Pączki does not have one. This is the main visual difference that you will notice. 

The way that the donuts are made is also very different. Pączki are made using yeast while the dough in the nest donuts does not contain yeast. This means that the latter is faster to make since you don’t need to wait for the dough to rise. Pączki also have a center filled with jam unlike the nest donuts.

Both the recipes however are well loved and used frequently in Poland. 

Polish Nest Donuts Recipe – Gniazdka Poznańskie

Part I – Pour Water In The Pot

You will need a medium pot for making the dough in this recipe. Add in a cup of water to the pot and place on the stove.

Part II – Add Butter And Bring The Water To A Boil

Add 2 oz (50 gm) of butter to the pot. Let the water boil. The butter will melt in and form a light film on top of the water.

Part III – Add In The Flour

When the water is boiling add in 1 cup of all purpose flour. Mix quickly with a fork while you are adding it in. This will ensure that the resultant dough has a smooth texture. You will need to continue mixing the dough for about a minute. Once this is done, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool off. This is important because otherwise the dough will stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Part IV – Add In 3 Eggs

Check to see if the dough is cold. Add 3 eggs to the mixture. Now mix the eggs in. Note that the dough needs to be cold otherwise the eggs will cook and it will not form the requisite batter.

Part V – Transfer The Batter Into A Piping Bag.

Use a confectionery sleeve or a piping bag. Fit the bag with a rounded star tip. It is important to note that the width of the hole should not be more than ½ inch. Once the confectionery sleeve / piping bag has been prepped, transfer the batter into it. This bag will help you make the Polish nest donut shapes.

Part VI – Cut The Parchment Paper

This step can be done in advance too. Take parchment paper and form squares. The squares you cut need to be 7 x 7 cm (2 ½”  x 2 ½“) in size. You will need approximately 16-20 squares for this recipe.

Part VII – Pipe The Shapes

Pipe the mixture into a round nest shape on each square. The uniform size of the squares will help you form even shapes. Set the shapes aside once you are done.

Pipe the Polish nest donut shapes on to the parchment squares.
Pipe the Polish nest donut shapes on to the parchment squares.

Part VIII – Pour The Oil Into A Wok

To fry the Polish nest donuts you will need a lot of oil. Pour a whole bottle of oil into your wok and heat it. The oil needs to be really hot (not too hot though!) before you start frying. The recommended temperature is 360°F / 180°C.

Part IX – Fry The Polish Nest Donuts

The parchment squares are going to help you when it comes to frying the donuts. When the oil has reached the right temperature, start frying. You can fry 3-4 donuts at a time. The number of donuts you will fry will depend largely on the size of your wok. If you have a small wok, fry fewer donuts at a time.

Place the donuts in the oil with the parchment side up. This way the donuts will retain their shape when they are frying.

Part X – Remove The Parchment Paper

After you’ve fried the donut for a minute, remove the parchment paper using a cooking tweezer. Be careful because the oil will be very hot. 

Part XI – Fry The Donuts For 2-4 Minutes On Each Side

Once the parchment paper has been removed, you can handle the donuts easily without spoiling their shape. Fry the Polish nest donuts for about 2-4 minutes on both sides. The donuts will get a nice light brown color.

Polish nest donuts ready for the glaze.
Polish nest donuts ready for the glaze.

Part XII – Place Donuts On A Plate Lined With Paper Towels

The donuts that are fried will have a lot of excess oil. The best way to get rid of the excessive fat is by placing the donuts on a plate that is lined with paper towels. The paper will absorb the oil. You can flip the donuts over after a bit so that the oil is absorbed from both sides of the donuts.

Part XIII – Glaze The Donuts

You can glaze the Polish nest donuts with either sugar glaze or melted chocolate. Glazing the donuts is very easy. All you have to do is pour the sugar glaze or chocolate on top of the donuts and let it set. You can also dip them in the glaze as shown in the photo below.

Glaze the Polish nest donuts with chocolate.
Glaze the Polish nest donuts with chocolate.
Glazed Polish nest donuts ready to serve.
Glazed Polish nest donuts ready to serve.

Polish Nest Donuts Recipe – Frequently Asked Questions

Tips For Using The Confectioner’s Sleeve Or Piping Bag

If you’ve not used either a confectioner’s sleeve or a piping bag before, these tips will help you start off. 

  • Make sure to secure the nozzle first. If the nozzle is not placed right, the mixture will leak from the sides and it will get messy.
  • Place the bag with the nozzle in a glass and wrap the edges round the exterior circumference of the glass. You can now easily fill the bag without spilling.
  • Test the bag out on a small spot first. Gently pipe the Polish nest donuts adjusting the pressure as needed till you get comfortable. 

What Is The Most Popular Polish Donut?

There are many different types of Polish donuts but the most popular and well-known one is called Pączki. These donuts are yeast-based with a jam or pudding-filled center. These donuts are popular during Fat Thursday. There are lots of legends associated with Pączki. One of the interesting ones is that if you don’t eat Pączki on Fat Thursday, your barn will remain empty and mice will destroy your barn.

Most Poles don’t have fields and barns nowadays but they still take the tradition seriously. Everyone has their fill and more of Pączki on Fat Thursday. They are after all too delicious to resist.

What Are Some Other Polish Donut Recipes?

If you love eating Polish donuts and want to make them at home, you will find the following recipes really interesting.

Authentic Polish Donuts Pączki Recipe

Polish Farmer’s Cheese Donuts Oponki Recipe

Krepliki Serowe – Polish Silesian Donuts Recipe

Pączki Kujawskie – Potato Pumpkin Kuyavian Donuts Recipe

Yield: 20 donuts

Polish Nest Donuts Recipe - Gniazdka Poznańskie

Polish Nest Donuts Recipe - Gniazdka Poznańskie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz / 50g of butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 eggs


  • 1 bottle of oil to fry
  • melted white or dark chocolate
  • OR sugar glaze (6 tbsps of powdered sugar + 3 tbsps of water or lemon juice)


  1. Pour water into the pot.
  2. Add butter and bring to a boil.
  3. When the mixture is boiling, add flour and mix quickly using a fork. Do it for 1 minute, then allow the mixture to cool off.
  4. When the mixture is cold, add 3 eggs and mix.
  5. Transfer the batter into the confectionery sleeve/piping bag fitted with a rounded star tip (no bigger than ½'').
  6. Cut off the parchment paper into 16-20 small square sheets (7 x 7cm / 2½ x 2½'').
  7. Pipe the mixture into a round nest shape on each square.
  8. Pour the oil into the wok or big pot and start heating it up to 360°F / 180°C.
  9. When the oil is hot, place 3-4 donuts inside the oil (parchment side up).
  10. After 1 minute, remove the paper using the cooking tweezers.
  11. Fry donuts for 2-4 minutes on each side.
  12. After frying, place gniazdka poznańskie on a plate lined with paper towels to remove the excessive fat.
  13. Pour the sugar glaze or melted chocolate on top of every Polish nest donut.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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