Lola Nena's-Inspired Cheese-Filled Donuts

This Lola Nena's-inspired recipe makes fluffy, melted cheese-filled donuts covered in margarine and sugar, just like panaderya bicho-bicho.
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12 donuts
Wait Time
2 Hrs
Active Time
1 Hr

Lola Nena’s already had donuts on their menu as early as 2018. And though people generally loved the bicho-bicho-inspired snack, a lot of them hoped for it to have more cheese. So in 2020, Lola Nena’s came out with their Triple Cheese Donuts: their original old-fashioned donut with three times the cheese. (So no, it’s not three kinds of cheese in the donut.)

To make Pinoy-style donuts, this recipe starts with dough that’s closer to pandesal than traditional donuts. This gets you large dough that’s both soft and chewy at the same time. We’ve filled it with Eden cheese (you can also use Quickmelt) to keep the flavor familiar. A coating of margarine and white sugar gives the donuts an extra sweet-salty crunch.


  • 4 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • ½ cup powdered milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 block (8oz) Eden or Quickmelt cheese


  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar

Make donuts: Combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and powdered milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Starting at low speed, mix until dry ingredients are well-combined. Add the water, then turn the mixer to medium speed. Knead for 3-5 minutes or until a rough dough forms. Still running on medium speed, add the butter by the tablespoon and continue to work the dough until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.


Proof dough: Remove bowl from mixer and cover in plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


Divide dough: Punch out all the air from the dough, then turn it out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and cover each piece with plastic wrap.


Shape donuts: Slice cheese block into 12 equal pieces. Working one piece at a time, flatten the dough ball and place a piece of cheese in the center. Gather the edges of the dough, sealing the cheese inside. Roll, on a flat surface seam- side down, into a ball until the seam is tightly closed. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.


Proof donuts: Transfer shaped donuts to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, leaving space in between each piece, and cover with a clean towel. Let rise for 30-35 minutes or until doubled in size.


Fry donuts: Heat enough oil for frying in a pot over medium-high heat, until the temperature reads 350°F. Working in batches, fry donuts until golden brown on one side, 4 minutes. Flip and fry the other side for another 4 minutes. Transfer donuts to a paper towel-lined tray or a cooling rack to drain the excess oil.


Coat donuts: While donuts are frying, place melted butter or margarine and white sugar in separate bowls. Once cool enough to handle, coat donuts in melted butter or margarine. Roll the buttered donuts in the sugar. Serve warm.

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