Lithuanian Doughnuts (Spurgos or Pampuskos)

Lithuanian Spurgos
© Barbara Rolek
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Rise: 60 mins
Total: 110 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
585 Calories
59g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 585
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 75%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 31mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Lithuanian doughnuts, known as spurgos (SPOORR-gohss) or pampuskos (pahm-PUHSH-kohs), is a popular treat along with blynai for Shrove Thuirsday and Shrove Tuesday (known as Fat Tuesday in the States).

Compare this recipe for fried cakes with Polishpaczki and Croatian fritule. They are also similar to Serbian krofne.

Makes about 2 dozen Lithuanian doughnuts or spurgos


  • 1 1/4 cups milk (scalded)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package/2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (active dry)
  • 1/4 cup water (lukewarm, not warmer than 110 F)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature, beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons rum (or brandy)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 cup raisins, (light or dark, or 1 peeled and cored, chopped apple)
  • 6 cups cooking oil for deep frying
  • Optional: sugar (confectioners' or granulated)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, pour 1 1/4 cups scalded milk over 3 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mix until butter is completely melted. Cool to 110 degrees or lower.

  2. In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water (not warmer than 110 degrees). Add dissolved yeast mixture, 2 large room-temperature eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 4 tablespoons rum or brandy to cooled butter-sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.

  3. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour gradually while mixing until a smooth dough results (it will be sticky). Add 1 cup light or dark raisins or 1 peeled and cored, chopped apple and mix just until well combined. Place in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

  4. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Use a deep-frying thermometer to make sure temperature is accurate.

  5. Punch down dough and drop very large tablespoonfuls of dough into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper towels. Roll in granulated sugar while still warm, or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar when cool, if desired.

  6. Alternatively, the dough can be rolled and cut with a 3-inch round, allowed to rise for a second time and then fried as for Polish pączki.

NOTE: Always use caution when working with hot oil, especially around children. Have a fire extinguisher designed for grease fires at the ready.