Sweet Russian pastries made with a yeast dough and filled with cheese filling. You can use ricotta instead of the traditional farmers cheese (tvorog).

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 55 mins
12 vatrushka



  • 1 ½ (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

  • 1 pinch white sugar

  • ½ cup lukewarm milk

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


  • 2 cups farmer's cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten


  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 pinch sugar in warm milk in a bowl. Let stand until yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. Sift flour into a large bowl; make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, butter, salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, egg, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Mix gently until a dough forms.

  3. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until dough becomes pliable and is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough, cover, and leave until doubled again, about 1 hour.

  4. Grease a baking sheet with oil.

  5. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Cut each part into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each piece lightly and let rise for 20 minutes.

  6. Combine farmer's cheese, egg, 2 tablespoons sugar, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl for the filling.

  7. Use a water glass to press an indention for the filling in the center of each dough piece. Spoon filling into the indention and brush with egg yolk. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling. Cover and let rise for 20 to 25 minutes.

  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  9. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook's Note:

In Russia, vatrushka are made with tvorog, but you can use ricotta. Creme fraiche can be substituted for the sour cream.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

213 Calories
9g Fat
23g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 213
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 9g
Calcium 129mg 10%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 121mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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