Russian Cooking Lesson in Moscow: Vastruska / Ватрушка

A Vatrushka is an Eastern European pastry, similar to a Danish, which is popular in Russia, Belorussia, and Ukraine. This pastry is made from yeast dough and forms a ring. It can be filled with sweet or savory fillings, but is most often served with sweetened farmer cheese, which is similar to cottage cheese. Occasionally, they are served with raisins, jam or marmalade.

Russian: Ватрушка

English: Vatrushka (pronounced “vat-roo-shka”)
The root word of vatrushka is “vatra” or “ватра”, which means fire, hearth, or fireplace.

This word has the same meaning in most of the Slavic languages.

The key to a tasty vatrushka is in the dough. As with most yeast dough the ingredients can be added in any order, but must be allowed proper time to rest and rise.

With any yeast dough, it is important to cover it and let it rest for about an hour until it doubled in size. Then proceed to knead the dough, before letting it rest again for about an hour.

After this process has been repeated twice, the dough can be rolled to cut off pieces to make the buns. The size of your vatrushkas is up to you. They can be as small or large as you want them really. After they are rolled into the size you want cover and leave to rest.

The base of a cup is a great way to help you make the circle shape that hold the filling. Keep the walls of the vatrushka high, so the filling doesn’t come out in the baking process.


The filling here was a mixture of farmers cheese, egg yoke, vanilla, sugar, and sifted flower. Sugar and vanilla is to taste; raisins can also be added at this stage.


Once they are done there should be a golden brown shade to the bun. Sprinkle some powdered sugar for presentation and enjoy! These sweet treats are perfect for any holiday gathering or special occasion.

For a traditional recipe like the one I used to make these vatrushkas, check out this recipe here.



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