What the Heck is Paczki and Where Can I Get Some?

by Laraine Shape

This, my dear, is Paczki! Pronounced “punch-key,” which rhymes with munch-ee or “poonch-key” which rhymes with (?)

It’s a big, fat, over-filled confection (think jelly donut on steroids with different flavored fillings) that is so sinfully delicious it will make you moan in sweet tooth ecstacy.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

We’ll skip the fact that it’s fried (hey, it’s a donut!) contains a whopping 500 calories and, instead, move right along to what it is and where you can find some here in the Cincinnati area.  Deal?

And for those of you in Florida and other parts of the country where they don’t have old fashioned bakeries that make these precious treats?  Eat your heart out… get someone to Fed-Ex you some or just move to Cincinnati already!  (Call me, I’ll help you find a house close to a bakery)

Here’s the scoop on Paczki.  It’s Polish.  It’s delicious and it has something to do with Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Whatever…could we just get to the good part, please?

My favorite place to get it is the Graeter’s (can you spell Oprah’s favorite ice cream?) store in Mariemont.   I love the friendly staff (Kim, Kathy and Brian) and I love Paczki…especially black raspberry filled.  No wait, maybe I better try one of those cheese filled  “punch-keys” just to be sure.

You can also find Paczki at Buskin Bakery and Servatii’s.  And I just heard from a reader that Bonomini Bakery in Northside makes awesome Paczki.  As a matter of fact, Cincinnati Magazine voted Bonomini Bakery the Best Paczki In Cincinnati 2012!  Hey, why not try some from each place so you can compare?

Go there NOW!  Get up close and personal with some Paczki and tell them Sweet Laraine sent you.

My Favorite Sweet Stop – Mariemont Graeter’s

Meet Kim – Sweet, friendly and helpful.

Manager Brian – What a sweet job he has!

Kathy Graeter helps a customer select a box of goodie heaven



What the heck is Paczki?

Mmmm. Red raspberry filled Paczki.

They also have King Cake at Graeter’s – how fun!

Do I see some cheese-filled Paczki, too?

Ya gotta get up close and personal with Paczki






{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilia January 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm


Love your article and even more I love pączki. I wanted to make a note that there is a mistake in Graeter’s translation of the pączki. They used word ‘paczki’ which is a small package, but the correct name is ‘pączki’, that little tail on ‘a’ makes all the difference, and it translate into bud. Pączki are made with yeast and its name come from the definition of bud: ‘a small, rounded outgrowth produced from a fungus spore or cell by a process of asexual reproduction, eventually separating from the parent cell as a new individual: commonly produced by yeast and a few other fungi.’
Just wanted to share.
Again, happy to see my love for ‘pączki’ is shared



Laraine Shape - The Cincinnati Real Estate Lady January 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Emilia, Wow…who knew? Thank you for sharing the paczki insight. I’m so glad to know you love it as much as I do. Have you ever made paczki?


Teresa February 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Bonomini Bakery in Northside has the best hands down!


Laraine Shape - The Cincinnati Real Estate Lady February 7, 2013 at 6:00 am

Thanks, Teresa. I’ll have to check them out, immediately! :-)


Charlene February 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

I found my first packzi at Kroger in North College Hill. I thought they were just filled donuts but was I surprised! They are delicious. They are really something special.


Laraine Shape - The Cincinnati Real Estate Lady February 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

I agree! And I have about 5 extra pounds on me that can prove it. :-)


Amy February 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Bernhards Bakery. NEWPORT or Latonia


Laraine Shape February 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Thanks, Amy. I didn’t even know they had a bakery in Newport other than the cake place (Fantasy in Frosting) which I LOVE.


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