Top 5 Delicious Korean Desserts Anyone Can Make
To all my fellow sweet tooth devotees out there, have you been searching for a new dessert to try everywhere? Well, look no further! Here is a place for you. I am going to show you exactly how to make five simple Korean desserts – easy to make but still taste like heaven. Whether you are low on budget or just wanting to do more with your life by trying to bake, this blog might just be what you need.
*for the difficulty level, even the highest (5/5) isn’t hard to make, but just the least simple out of the five.
Table of Contents
Bingsu (Korean Shaved Ice)
Difficulty level: 1/5 (easiest)
Imagine you’re walking home in broad daylight in the middle of Summer, the intense sunlight is burning you alive and the sizzling heat is suffocating, you’re sweating so much to the point that you might just melt. To your rescue, a refreshing, brain-freezing bowl of delight is sitting in your fridge, waiting for you to dig in…
Like the name suggested, Bingsu is literally ice. You can add different toppings on the ice to make various ones, depending on your preference. For example, the most popular ones are Kwail Bingsu, serving it with different types of fruit, such as blueberries; Nokcha Bingsu, serving it with matcha powder; Patbingsu, serving it with red beans – which is the most classic and basic one. But the sky’s the limit! Throw in whatever you like.
How to make it?
Bingsu is probably the easiest to make out of all the Korean desserts here. And because for me, I love topping it with crushed chocolate cookies, so the following recipe will be on how to make Korean style shaved ice with my favourite final ingredient.
Time: ~8-10 minutes
- Ice. Duh. – 1cup/128g
- Preferably an ice shaver/snow cone machine (If you can’t get those, a strong blender is also fine) – 1 machine
- Misugaru – 1tbs/15g (a powder composed of several roasted grains, including sweet rice, soybeans, blackbeans, sorghum, brown rice, barley and Job’s tears. Thus if you’re allergic to any of those, just skip this)
- Bingsu tteok – 1.5tbs/7.5g (mini mochi rice cake)
- Sweet red beans – 0.25cups/30g
- Sweetened condensed milk – 1tbs/0.5oz
- *Chocolate chip cookies (or ANY other ingredients you like)
How to get them?
Just freeze water and you get ice. If you’re impatient, you can also pick up ice from any supermarkets or gas station/convenience stores. Then for the ice shaver machine/snow cone machines/blender, you can find them in most electronic appliance stores or some grocery stores. You may also consider getting them online, for example, Amazon.
If you are located in America, Target, Walmart and Mitsuwa Marketplace (Japanese grocery store) would have them.
Then for the add-ons, you can get sweet red beans, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chip cookies in almost all the grocery stores near you. For Misugaru (roasted grains powder) and Bingsu tteok (rice mochi), they are less common but I am sure you can find them in some Asian market, Asian aisle of your nearby market. Also, you can get it online at Gochujar Global, which is a Korean grocery store. Frozen yogurt shops like Pinkberry would also have Bingsu tteok.
- Fill 0.92 cups (218ml) of liquid water in a container of your choice. Put that in the freezer to make ice.
- Place however many cookies into a zip top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy bowl/mug.
- Shave ice in a large bowl (either use an ice shaver or food processor like the picture below or a blender)
- Put all the toppings on your ice in whatever order. You can sprinkle the misugaru by using a sieve or just fingers is fine too.
- Viola! No longer hot and bothered.
*if you’re poor like me and don’t have a machine for shaving the ice, check this video out:
Omelet Bbang (Korean Dessert Sandwich)
Difficulty level: 2/5
Fluffy pancake folded with whipped cream and fruit inside, mmmmm, simple yet divine! It is one of the most popular Korean desserts at the moment, you would know why if you’ve tried it.
How to make it?
Not only is it delicious, it is super easy to make as well.
Time: >30 mins
Servings: ~8 servings
- Eggs – 3 medium ones
- Sugar – ⅔ cup/75g
- Cake flour or all purpose flour – ⅔ cup/75g
- Vanilla extract – 1tsp/5ml
- Whipped cream – 1 ¼ cup/300ml heavy cream & ⅓ cup/40g sugar
How to get them?
All of the necessary ingredients can be puchased at a nearby grocery store/market.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C or 338°F
- Take out two large bowls and separate the egg whites and egg yolks.
- Put the egg whites into one of the bowls and add in sugar.
- Beat them until stiff peaks are formed.
- Add in the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix them together.
- Sift the flour into the bowl, gently fold them all together and mix again.
- Line a baking paper on a pan.
- Put the batter into a piping bag and squeeze them out into little circles on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 mins without changing the heat level.
- Take them out and let it cool for 5 mins.
- During the wait, whisk the whipping cream with sugar until stiff peaks are formed and pour it into another piping bag.
- Fold the baked dough in half (like how you would do with a taco) and place the whipped cream and strawberries (or another other fruit you fancy) on the bread like how you would put rice and meat in a taco.
- You can either devour it right there or seal and put it into the fridge so they can be softer and more moist.
Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes)
Difficulty level: 4/5
I’m sure a lot of k-pop lovers would know what Hotteok is, especially our fellow Army out there, because it is one of Jungkook’s (BTS member) favourite Korean desserts! No. Actually, as you can see in the video below, it is probably his favourite food ever:
Hotteok is a very common and beloved street food in Korea. It is basically a pancake with sugar, nuts and cinnamon inside. If you have read our blog post about, you would know the [mention the locals blog] has it. What you didn’t know might be that it actually originated in China, and came to Incheon, Korea, in the early 1900s. And now the snack is widely popular and it is a must-try for tourists visiting South Korea!
K-drama or movie exposure?
Hotteok has made its appearance on so many Korean dramas and movies, even on the Korean talk show, Healing Camp, Aren’t You Happy, where actor Ha Jung Woo talked about his experience in eating hotteok in one of his scenes, saying that even though the syrup in the hotteok burned his lips but he still couldn’t help but keep eating them – it is THAT good.
How to make it?
So, if you can’t travel now, how do you make this type of Korean desserts yourself at home? There are a lot of different ways to do that. But here, I will show you the relatively easier way.Well you can in fact also buy a hotteok premix package in some Korean grocery stores. Just add water to the flour mixture and the fillings, and it’s pretty much finished. But what is the fun in that?
Time: ~1.5 hour
Servings: 8 pancakes (medium size)
- All purpose flour – 1 & ½ cup/192g (can be substituted by the same amount of bread flour)
- Fine sea salt – ½ tsps/2.84g
- Granulated white sugar – 1 & ½ tsps/8.53g
- Instant dry yeast – 1 & ½ tsps/8.53g
- Lukewarm milk – ½ cup/125ml (can be substituted by oat milk or almond milk if you are allergic to dairy)
- *Cooking oil – ~ 1 tsp/5ml (a neutral oil like grapeseed to coat your hands to avoid a sticky situation)
- Dark brown sugar – ¼ cup/32g
- Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp/0.66g
- Crushed nuts – 2 tbsp/18.7g (For instance, walnuts, peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds)
How to get them?
So, you can find everything you need in the baking, food and drinks aisles of your closest grocery stores, or online shops like Amazon. If you want to purchase Korean Sweet Pancake Mix, you can go on Amazon for that as well.
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, then mix and stir in the salt, white sugar, and instant yeast.
- Pour in the oil and milk of your choice into the dry mix and stir until the dough is sticky and consistent.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a towel.
- Ferment the dough for around an hour at room temperature (27C/80.6F) ,or whenever it doubles in size. While that is happening, mix the filling together in another bowl.
- When the dough is raised, punch it several times (pro tip: it’s always helpful to picture the dough as someone you find annoying) for the gas to be released.
- Cover the dough again for another 20 minutes.
- Coat your hands with the cooking oil. Then ball the dough into 8 uniform ones.
- Take one ball and flatten it by using your palm.
- Add in the fillings in the center of the flat batter and seal it by gathering the edges. Repeat this process for eight times.
- Add a little oil into a pan.
- Fry the pancakes in the pan (medium heat) until they are golden brown (~1 min)
- Yes. You’re done! Bon Appétit~ (*be very careful of the hotness of the hotteok)
Yakwa (Korean Honey Pastry) – baked version
Difficulty level: 5/5 (slightly more complicated than the others but still not too hard)
Coated with ginger honey syrup, Yakwa is a fried traditional Korean cookie that melts almost instantly in your mouth. But, at the same time, the inner part is chewy. The original and classic recipe for Yakwa is pretty difficult and complicated, but this sugary relish is too good. I have to include it in this list of Korean desserts. So, just for you beginners, this recipe bakes the pastry instead of frying it – which makes it much easier to make! It is also a much healthier option to opt for when you are looking for desserts to eat!
How to make it?
*This is a recipe created by JinJoo, posted in her blog kimchimari, please go check it out!
Servings: 30-40 pieces (1 inch squares)
- Medium protein flour or pastry flour – 1 cup & 2 tbs/151g (can be substituted by all purpose flour)
- Sesame oil – 2tbs/27.25g
- Soju – 2tbs/27.25g
- Honey – 2tbs/27.25g
- A pinch of salt
- Baking powder – 0.5tsp/2.40g
- A dash of baking powder
- Melted butter or vegetable oil – 1tbs/14.2g (it’s for brushing the top of the Yakwa)
- Chopped pine nuts – 1tbs/14.2g (as toppings)
Ginger Honey Syrup
- Jochung – ½ cup/125ml (It means rice syrup. It can also be substituted by honey or regular syrup)
- Honey – ½ cup/125ml
- Water – 1cup/250ml
- Grated fresh ginger – 0.5tbs/7.5g (can add more if you’re a ginger lover)
How to get them?
So, for Jochung, you can get them on Amazon or some Korean markets. Grocery places like Walmart also have rice syrup to buy. For other ingredients, you can find them in any grocery store.
- Preheat the oven to 121°C or 250°F.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) in a large bowl.
- Add in the sesame oil to the mixture. Rub the oil in with your hands until it is evenly distributed on the dough.
- Mix the soju and honey separately first.
- After that, add the soju-honey brew into the dough, and ball it.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half of the dough into 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick rectangular shape about 1 inch x 1 inch (don’t make it too thick).
- Cut the batter into 1 inch wide strips and then cut the strips at an angle to make squares or any other shapes really.
- Puncture holes in the center by using a chopstick or a toothpick (this helps the pastry absorb syrup).
- Put the unbaked Yakwa onto a pan.
- Brush the butter onto the top of each Yakwa (however much amount you want)
- Put the pan into your already-hot oven and bake the Yakwas at 125°C or 250°F for 15 mins.
While you let the oven do its thing –
- Blend the rice syrup, honey and water together in a pan (eg. sauce pan) and heat the mixture on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- When it boils, turn off the heat and sprinkle and mix in the chopped ginger.
- Chop up the nuts into 1 tbs.
- Pump up the heat of the oven to 150°C or 300°F (150°C) and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Raise the temperature again to 175°C or 350°F and cook for around 7-8 minutes, or until they are slightly brown.
- Take the pan of brown sweetness out and put them into the boiled blend of syrup immediately.
- Let it sit for 30 mins or so, you could even leave it there overnight if you want the yakwa to be softer.
- Serve them on a plate and they are good to go! Enjoy!
*Pro tip: try pairing it up with hot coffee, the bitterness brings out the sweetness of yakwa. You can also freeze them for storage – perfect for Summer.
Nurungji waffles (Sweet Scorched rice)
Difficulty level: 1.5/5
I’m not going to lie, this one, unlike the other Korean desserts mentioned above, is not normally a kinda thing you would think of having it as a dessert – it is basically left-over rice. But it is my favourite part of every meal, and I bet it is yours too (if you have rice for lunch and dinner). Nurungji is the slightly burnt thin crust of rice at the bottom of your rice cooker. It is so crunchy, crispy and a little bitter, it tastes like chips, but healthier (?) Whatever. We love it regardless!
K-drama or movie exposure?
In one of the highest rated Korean dramas, Crash Landing on You, we can see our lead Yoon Se-Ri couldn’t stop binging on the nurungji dipped in sugar when she’s talking to the soldiers across the border. It made me want to munch on that as well while watching it.
How to make it?
So, you can purchase scorched rice in some Korean markets, or online such as on New World Mart. But why waste the money to buy them when making them is very simple? And you can use this opportunity to recycle the left-over rice. Except for simply dipping the scorched rice in sugar, you can also make them as waffles, so they are crispy and pretty. Here’s how to make them:
Servings: for 3-4 people
- Waffle maker
- Short grain white rice (can be substituted by brown rice as well) – 3 cups/540g
- Water – ½ cup/118ml (if you want a chewier crust you can opt for more water ~ ¾ cup/177ml)
- Salt – 1 tsp/ 5.69g
- Sugar – 2tbs/28.3g
- Sesame oil – 1tbs/21g or any spray-on cooking oil
- Honey or maple syrup for drizzle/ dipping – 1tbs/21g (if you like it sweeter, feel free to prepare more)
How to get them?
So, you can get all the necessary ingredients in markets nearby. For the equipment, you can either consider visiting an electronic store or buying them online, like Amazon.
- Soak the prepared rice overnight or for at the very least, 4 hours.
- Blend the soaked rice, sugar, salt and water in your blender until it is smooth like batter.
- Spray your waffle maker with cooking oil then pour the batter in.
- Cook until it is golden brown in color.
- Serve it with honey or maple syrup! Just dip ‘em in.
If you don’t have a waffle maker or a blender:
- Pour the rice into a bowl and wash it with cold water for at least two times. (this part seems easy but it’s very important. Remember to wash the rice thoroughly because we don’t want the starchy layers to make the nurungji soggy)
- Put the washed rice into the rice cooker.
- Let the cooked rice sit at room temperature for 10 mins.
- After putting oil on the frying pan, place the rice onto it.
- Cook the rice on medium heat for 15 mins each side. (put in just enough rice to cover the base of the pan. Press down and spread out the rice thinly and evenly.)
- Sprinkle sugar.
- Take out the nurungji when it is golden brown in color.
- Dip the crunchy tastiness into sugar and yummm!
Which Korean desserts are you gonna try next?
Got any weekend plans yet? If not, you should definitely try making these mouth-watering Korean desserts at home! It can also be a date idea or things to do when you hang out with your friends – you all would have a great time and great food. And it’s so easy to make! Even me, a publicly recognized baking handicap, knows how to make these! (mostly because of the motivation of eating later) So can you! For first-timers, maybe you might fail being your first time, but you would get to practice, and believe me, you would have a lot of fun! So, why not?
If you want to know more about Korean food, check out our Food Blog Page . And if you’re just interested in Korean culture in general, feel free to check out our Blog Page! Also, check out the video below about trendy Korean desserts!