23 Korean Desserts (Easy Traditional Recipes)

The Korean movie industry is winning over many fans and viewers because their soapies are endearing and charming. Well, the movie industry might be popular, but have you tried their desserts?

The desserts might not be as popular as the movies, but they are certainly worth trying.

Korean Desserts

Korean dessert recipes are so versatile that there is something for everyone. Whether you want something cold, warm, sugary, and savory, there is always a treat for you.

So if you are willing to explore, join me as we take a ride through a list of some fantastic Korean dessert recipes.

1. Korean Poached Pears

 

Korean poached pear is a popular traditional dessert that has two methods of preparation. You can either steam or poach the pears, and it is sometimes used as a natural remedy for cough. So, if you have cough symptoms or want a perfect dessert for a cold night, this recipe might come in handy.

Both recipes for poached and steamed pear use almost the same ingredients, but the taste and method of cooking are quite different. The common ingredients for both recipes include pear, honey, ginger, and some pine nuts.

2. Korean Sweet Rice Drink

 

This traditional Korean beverage is delicious and refreshing. Sweet rice drink has a refreshing barley flavor, resulting from the fermentation of the rice. It also has a slightly sweet flavor, and it is easy to prepare.

You can get this drink in the supermarket, but nothing beats preparing this by yourself at home. It tastes fresher, and it will cost you less. The ingredients for this drink include malted barley, sugar, uncooked rice, and water.

3. Korean Sweet Pancakes

 

If you love pancakes or flatbread, why not take a break from the usual pancake recipe and give this delicious pancakes a try? These pancakes are sweet, you only need few ingredients, and the steps are simple and easy to follow.

These traditional pancakes are famous all over Korea, and you will find them being sold as street snacks. These fantastic pancakes have filling making them more delicious. The traditional fillings for this snack are walnut, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

You can be creative by using other fillings like mozzarella cheese filling for your pancakes. The pancakes are chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and it is better to eat them while they are still hot. The ingredients for the pancakes include sugar, instant yeast, all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted and finely chopped walnuts.

4. Pepero Cake

 

The sight of this Pepero cake delights my tastebuds and makes me want to get a bite of the cake immediately. There is something about chocolate toppings that makes it hard to resist. Pepero day is a special day in Korea where young adults give each other Pepero sticks to symbolize friendship and romance.

This Pepero cake is a creative way of making a cake that goes with the occasion. So if you are thinking of giving Pepero sticks to a friend or loved one on Pepero day, you can spice things up by making this attractive and delicious cake.

The ingredients for this cake include Pepero sticks, heavy cream, baking chocolate, Swiss roll cake, and pistachio nuts.

5. Korean Watermelon Punch

 

If there is one fruit that I cannot say no to, it is watermelon, this fruit is refreshing and sweet, and I always look forward to any recipe that uses this fruit. This is one dessert recipe that you need to bookmark for the summer.

Watermelon punch is a traditional Korean Dessert drink where you experiment with different fruits and sweet drinks. This dessert is sweet and delicious, and you can show creativity by combining watermelon with the different fruits of your choice.

This refreshing drink has many varieties; some recipes use grains like rice and barley or edible petals. The traditional recipe has water sweetened with sugar and honey as its base. But you will find contemporary recipes using carbonated drinks and fruit juice as the base of the dessert.

This recipe contains watermelon, honeydew melon, ginger ale, Korean drinking vinegar, and pine nuts for garnishing.

6. Sweet Red Bean Porridge

 

This traditional Korean dessert is mainly prepared during the winter solstice festival, which is a Chinese festival. This desert contains glutinous rice balls, which are cooked in strained red bean soup. This dessert is quite filling, and the red bean soup provides a lot of flavor for the rice balls.

You boil the beans twice; after boiling the beans the first time, you have to do away with the water and use fresh water for cooking it for the second time. The ingredients for this dessert include red beans, salt, sugar, cinnamon powder, glutinous rice powder, and pine nuts.

7. Korean Honey Pastry

 

This fried Korean pastry is rich in honey and ginger flavors. It is a simple dessert to make if you are used to cooking a pie crust dough. This dessert is a fried cookie that is coated in ginger-honey syrup, making it delicious and irresistible.

This dessert is popular, and you will find it sold in different shops, but the best ones are the ones you make at home. They taste better, and you get to eat them fresh after baking them. The ingredients for this snack include all-purpose flour, honey, pine nuts, soju, sesame oil, and salt.

8. Red Bean Popsicle

 

These red bean popsicles are delightful, especially when you have kids around or need something with a cooling effect during summer. The popsicles are sweet, delicious, and healthy, plus you need only three ingredients for these popsicles.

 Most recipes might only use red bean paste and honey, but coconut cream makes it more creamy and flavorful. This is a lovely treat to make for your kids, and they will love them.

Popular Korean Desserts

9. Honey Bread

 

If you love bread, you might want to try out this Korean honey bread which is more flavorful with exciting ingredients. This bread is fluffy and soft, and it is more exciting because the ingredients add more spice to the bread.

The exciting thing is that you do not need to bake this bread from scratch, you can use any bread you have already baked, and the dessert will be perfect. The ingredients include white or wheat bread, honey butter, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, peanut butter spread, whipped cream, and fruits for topping like kiwi, strawberries, and cherries.

10. Sweet Cake Rice (Yaksik)

 

This is a lovely and exciting way to have rice for dessert. Korean sweet rice cake is prepared with dried nuts, fruits, and sweet rice. This rice cake is delicious and filling, and you can prepare it for special occasions and celebrations.

The rice cake has a nutty flavor with a hint of caramel taste. It is sticky and chewy; when you prepare it the right way, each rice grain should be intact and not mushy. The ingredients for this dessert include glutinous rice, chestnuts, jujubes, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and cinnamon powder.

11. Nurungji

 

You might be wondering what is so special about this burnt rice, but you never know what you are missing unless you try it out. This Korean nurungji recipe is nutty and crunchy, and it is a perfect light dessert to serve with tea.

You do not even need to prepare this recipe by itself; you can get the scorched rice after cooking rice. When you boil rice, the bottom layer that is close to the flames gets scorched and hardened. This part of the rice is crispy and crunchy.

You can also make this recipe from leftover rice on your stovetop or air fryer. Some people throw this part of rice away, not knowing that it is a dessert treat. You can add extra ingredients to this rice to make it more flavorful. And you can also serve this rice flakes with any sauce of your choice.

12. Korean Steamed Rice Cake (Ggul tteok)

 

Korean steamed rice cakes are exciting and a perfect way to use rice for your desserts. These cakes are fluffy, soft, and are filled with a lovely aroma. These cakes are so popular that you will find different versions and recipes. Some elaborate versions use other ingredients like fruits and nuts, and some versions are just plain.

The ingredients for this recipe include rice, tapai yeast, rice flour, sugar water, and eno. You can consider serving this dessert during celebrations and festivities when you are expecting guests.

13. Korean Rice Pancake (Hwajeon)

 

You would be surprised about the number of creative desserts you can make with rice. This disc-shaped rice cakes are chewy and very easy to make. You can top these rice cakes with edible flowers to make them more appealing.

The ingredients for this dessert include glutinous rice flour, honey syrup, kosher salt, edible flowers, and vegetable oil. You can serve these rice cakes during dinner or when you are expecting guests, they do put people in a good mood.

14. Tteok

 

Tteok is rice cake skewers, one of the most popular Korean desserts that you will also find in street kiosks. These rice cakes are fried and glazed with a delicious gochujang sauce. You can use freshly made rice cakes, or in the absence of this, you can use chilled rice cakes.

You need Korean chili paste, Ketchup, sweet chili sauce, and strawberry jam for the glazing sauce. You can either use sweet chili sauce or strawberry jam, but there is no harm in using them if you have both. These rice cake skewers are delicious and easy to make, and you will enjoy them.

Korean Street Food Desserts

15. Bungeoppang

 

There is no way we will compile a list of Korean desserts and leave out these delicious pastries. This pastry is usually shaped as a Teriyaki fish, and it is popular street food in Korea. You do not need to wait to purchase it from the street kiosks; you can make it easily at home.

These fish-shaped pastries are filled with different ingredients. The traditional filling is sweetened red bean paste, but recently you can find various fillings like Nutella, custard, chocolate, and peanut butter.

16. Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

 

This is a flavorful and tasty way of enjoying sweet potatoes for dessert. Caramelized sweet potatoes are delicious, and they are a healthy dessert option that you can enjoy without feeling bad. The sweet potatoes are peeled and cut into tiny cubes.

All you need to do is put the ingredients together in a pot, add a splash of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Then you can glaze the potatoes with your honey and butter mixture; trust me, this dessert is irresistible.

The ingredients include sweet potatoes, butter, olive oil, honey, salt, and ground coriander. In addition, you can use cilantro leaves if you want some fresh taste to the meal.

17. Korean Egg Bread

 

These delicious sweet muffins are filled with hard-boiled eggs. This bread recipe is easy to make and requires you to mix all the batter ingredients in a bowl, and you whisk them until you get a smooth texture.

Pour the dough into a small muffins mold, and top each one with a boiled egg. You can season it by sprinkling some pepper, salt, and parsley before putting it in the oven to bake for twenty-five minutes. This is an exciting way of adding eggs to your dessert recipes.

18. Potato Tornado

 

Whoever says you can’t play with your food has not seen this exciting potato tornado recipe. These accordion potatoes are crispy, and they are served on a stick. The trimming makes the potatoes tender in the middle and crispy on the edges.

You can serve these potatoes with any toppings and sauce of your choice. If you are attending a potluck, these accordion-looking potatoes will catch the attention of many people, and you will take nothing back home.

19. Sugar Lollipops (Ppopgi)

 

These Korean sugar lollipops are famous among kids; they get delighted when you give them these lollipops. There are just two essential ingredients you need for these lollipops, but what makes them outstanding is the timing, technique, and patience you have.

The two ingredients are baking soda and sugar, and the lollipop has a nutty, sweet, and slightly bitter flavor. It also has an airy, light, and brittle texture, and it is not hard and sticky as you might think.

20. Manju

 

Manju is a steamed cake, and it has sweet red bean paste as its traditional filling. However, these cakes are so popular that you will find different and unique recipes from different regions. The dough for this snack can be made with rice, wheat, or any other type of flour.

This chestnut Manju recipe uses chestnut has its filling. The other ingredients for this recipe include eggs, self-raising flour, white bean paste, sugar, and mirin. 

21. Korean Fried Chicken and Scallion Waffles

 

The thought of the combination of waffles and fried chicken might sound crazy to you, but before you judge this combo, you need to try it out. The waffles are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and it goes well with juicy fried chicken.

Another ingredient that makes this combo excellent is the Gochujang maple syrup; it adds a sweet flavor to the dish. This recipe has balanced sweet and savory flavors with a hint of spiciness. It is a perfect dessert for a weekend when you have guests over at your place.

22. Walnut Cakes

 

Well, if you love nuts, you might want to try out this walnut cake which has a rich nutty flavor and is soft and fluffy. It is a sponge cake, and it is light, and it contains walnuts inside the cake. The addition of vanilla buttercream frosting takes this cake to another level by adding extra sweetness.

You can serve this fantastic cake over a hot cup of tea or beverage. The ingredients for this cake include baking powder, castor sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, chopped walnuts, softened butter, and salt.

23. Patbingsu

 

If you have a sweet tooth and looking for the perfect summer dessert, this dessert might come in handy. Patbingsu is a Korean shaved ice cream; it is refreshing, fruitier, and lighter than most ice cream treats. There are many Patbingsu recipes that you can make, so you can keep spicing things up.

You can easily make this recipe at home, and this treat is made with crushed ice, topped with red bean paste. Some popular ingredients are used for Patbingsu, including whipped cream, fruit cocktails, ice cream, maraschino berries, and green tea powder.

This recipe uses red bean, glutinous rice for the rice cake, and honey for flavor. If you want a vegan version, you can use vegan milk, and if you are making a non-vegan version, you can drizzle condensed milk over your Patbingsu for more flavor.

Finally

There are so many interesting, delicious and exciting dessert recipes on this list that you could try out. Desserts make a meal complete, and it is nice to keep trying new unique options to spice things. So you can try one of these Korean dessert recipes and tell me what you think about it.

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