Poale-n Brâu: Romanian Sweet Cheese Buns

Poale-n brâu are traditional Romanian buns filled with a sweet cottage cheese-based cream. They are popular in Moldavia, the easternmost region of Romania.

However, you can also find them in other parts of Romania, typically under the name “Brânzoaica” (Brânzoici plural), although the recipe and cooking technique might vary slightly. You can find them sold in many bakeries and stores throughout the country and people enjoy them for breakfast or as a sweet snack.

The unusual name of these buns, literally translated to bottom to waist comes from the way the dough is folded. The corners of the square dough are brought towards the center, in the shape of an envelope, covering the filling and preventing it leak into the pan.

In the fall or winter, poale-n-brâu is the perfect comfort food. Cottage cheese and raisins folded up in a sweet, fluffy, and flavorful dough make this dessert a treat that’s hard to match.

This poale-n brau recipe takes a different spin on the traditional recipe with the replacement of raisins with fresh raspberries. The raspberries blend surprisingly well with the vanilla cream cheese and it’s a great summer pairing.

However, if you’re looking for the traditional recipe, you can always opt to add raisins instead of raspberries.

Cottage Cheese Buns (Moldavian Poale-n Brâu)

Poale-n Brâu: Romanian Sweet Cheese Buns

Diana Oana

A traditional Romanian dessert or snack made with leavened dough and filled with raspberries and cottage cheese.

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Course Dessert

Cuisine Romanian


MetricUS Customary



For the dough:

  • 240 g milk
  • 60 g butter
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 90 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 g flour
  • tsp salt
  • grated lemon/orange zest

For the assembly and decoration:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • powdered sugar


  • Mix the lukewarm milk with the yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes.

  • Mix together the sugar, soft butter, eggs, lemon zest, flour, and salt and knead into an elastic dough.

  • Let the dough rise for one hour or until it doubles in volume.

  • With a spatula, mix all the ingredients for the filling except the raspberries.

  • Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a 7-8 mm ( ~1/4 – 1/3 – inch) thick rectangle.

  • Cut the dough into twelve 10-12 cm ( ~4-5-inch) squares.

  • Place a spoonful of the cheese filling in the middle of each square, place 3-4 raspberries on top, and bring the corners of the square to the center, sticking them together over the filling.

  • Let the buns rise in the pan for another 20 minutes, then brush with egg yolk mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of milk.

  • Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 200° C/392 ° F for 20 minutes.

  • After baking, dust with sugar and serve hot or cold!


Poale-n Brâu: Romanian Sweet Cheese Buns

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Diana Oana

As an award winning food blogger, I started my culinary journey in 2010, driven by a fervent commitment to crafting flavorful, tasty meals that defy the stereotype of bland health cuisine.

I love to cook anything from appetizers to main courses and desserts from a wide range of cuisines as well as traditional Romanian dishes.

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