Korean desserts are a great tasting way to enjoy a little taste of Korean cuisine without having to book a long flight across the world.
Though the typical desserts enjoyed in Korea have changed over time, many of them have lasted throughout the years.
Whether it is to celebrate a Korean holiday, hold you over with a sweet snack, or end an especially delicious Korean dinner, these desserts are a surefire way to win over your dinner guests.
With rice being such a common ingredient in Korea, many desserts will feature this or other grains in their ingredient list.
Other popular desserts will feature fresh fruit or a sweet drink to sip on after meals.
Whatever kind of social media you have been on recently, you are sure to have heard of some of these popular desserts.
The Netflix TV show “Squid Game” popularized the Dalgona Candy in Western media.
TikTok brought a taste of the Bungeoppang treat to places outside of Korea.
Dasik Tea Cookies are Instagram-worthy picture-perfect snacks!
My all-time favorite Korean dessert is #23.
Some of the recipes on this list of 25 Korean desserts may not be authentic or traditional but all of the recipes on this list are worth trying out for yourself!
Although this sweet treat makes for a great dessert, it can also serve as a delicious breakfast or small snack to hold you over between meals.
Yaksik is very popular for traditional holidays and special occasions, including the first full moon of the Lunar New Year.
This dessert features glimpses of nutty flavors and a faint caramel taste surrounded by sticky rice.
Chapssal Donuts is a modernized version of rice cakes that are traditional Korean treats.
They feature a crisp fried exterior with a soft and chewy interior, similar to mochi.
The insides feature a sweet red bean paste which is best enjoyed within an hour of cooking!
After tasting this flavorful drink, everyone will be fooled by how much effort it took to prepare it.
You only need five ingredients and a rice cooker for one of the more traditional Korean desserts.
Although you could buy these in a can, you can also easily prepare this at home to impress your friends and family with a great tasting drink for dessert!
Songpyeon is a Korean delicacy for enjoying during the Mid-Autumn festival.
It is essentially a half-moon rice cake stuffed full of sweet fillings such as red beans, honey, or chestnuts, but this recipe uses sesame seeds.
Often these are steamed on top of pine needles.
Korean or not, preparing these makes for a great family tradition!
Modern mochi is made using glutinous rice flour but traditional mochi is made from pounded short-grain sticky rice.
This recipe uses a black sesame filling but feels free to use ice cream or a sweet red bean paste for your Korean dessert.
Chapssaltteok is a very easy dessert to make and takes very little time to make but gives you a gummy and enticing sweet treat.
In the Western world, we tend to enjoy pancakes for breakfast with a topping of syrup but in Korea, Hotteok is a popular street food best enjoyed during the cold season.
Fried Hotteok gives you a crispy outside and a gooey inside.
The filling tends to use chopped walnuts or pecans but it is not unheard of to find some with Nutella, red bean paste, peanut butter, jam, or a savory filling.
These Korean cakes can often be seen in Korean bakeries behind glass cases.
These tend to not be overwhelmingly sweet but still have a very light and airy texture.
There is a nice touch of citrus flavor within the cake from using lemon juice and their zest, which pairs well with the fresh fruit placed atop the cake.
Hodugwaja cookies not only feature chopped walnuts in their red bean paste filling but are also shaped like a large walnut.
Typically, you could buy this outside of train stops in the Cheonan region but now they are easily accessible all over the world, in all kinds of bakeries and shops.
This is a very popular dessert for travelers in Korea but thankfully, you can now enjoy this tasty treat in your own home!
These beautiful Korean pastries don’t need to be baked yet are a great way to wish friends and family good health and fortune for Seollal, the Korean new year (Korea.net)
While Dasik molds will give you beautiful patterns and shapes, these cookies can easily be made without them by rolling the dough into balls or flattening them out, and using cookie cutters.
Some popular flavors for these cookies include white sesame, green tea, black sesame, and brown sesame.
Compared to traditional water ice sorbet, this version featuring milk sorbet is much softer and will melt right in your mouth.
The ice itself is very easy to make, with only two ingredients, but the toppings are where you can have fun!
Use some red bean paste, Injeolmi (Korean glutinous rice cakes), mini mochi rice cakes, Korean multigrain powder, and almond flakes to transform this from a simple ice sorbet into a special, delightful Korean dessert.
This dish is traditionally enjoyed as a side dish or snack but with the sweet flavors present in it, it makes for a great dessert.
The sweet potatoes are deep-fried which gives it a crispy texture yet biting into it reveals a fluffy interior.
The Goguma is then covered with a special honey and brown sugar coating which crystalizes to add more to the texture of the sweet potatoes.
Bungeoppang translates to “fish bread” which may not sound like an appetizing dessert but after seeing these all over the streets of Korea and trying it for yourself, it will win you over!
The fish part of the name comes from the shape of this pastry.
It tends to take on the shape of a crucian carp and the bread is then filled with red bean paste but you can also use custard, Nutella, or any other filling!
This sweet treat is best served hot and fresh but with how great they taste, you can expect them gone in very little time!
If you have a rice cake machine, this recipe is a breeze!
The soybean powder these rice cakes are tossed in gives you a slightly nutty taste combined with the sweet and gooey rice cake.
Make sure to plan ahead because your sweet rice needs to soak for 24 hours!
If you have seen the show “Squid Game”, you may have been intrigued by the cookie challenge.
Without facing the risk the challengers in the show faced, you can enjoy this cookie for yourself!
It is incredibly simple to make this cookie.
You only use two ingredients but the tricky part comes from ensuring that the caramel mixture doesn’t burn.
Have some fun and try to make a shape within your cookie mold and give it a try at cutting the shape out!
Non-Koreans may be a bit puzzled about making a cake from red bean and mochi but after giving this recipe a try, you will be a fan!
This is a very straightforward recipe.
All you need to do is mix your ingredients together and bake it in the oven!
Once you have gotten comfortable with the base of this recipe, you can explore adding in other ingredients or toppings!
These cookies are great when you want a Korean baking treat for the holidays, or just want to make yourself a sweet snack.
Yakgwa is a fried cookie with a texture similar to biscuits with a splash of savory flavors mixed into the sweetness.
There is a bit of ginger used in this syrup recipe which gives an extra kick to go along with the honey and toasted sesame flavors.
Banchan tends to be a side dish in Korean cuisine but this sweet and salty dish makes for a great dessert to end a meal with or to enjoy with friends.
Braising the lotus root gives you a crunch in every bite.
The sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and salty by combining sugar with soy sauce, and occasionally honey.
Dalgona coffee has taken over social media as a trend to make beautiful coffee but this twist on that recipe makes for a beautiful and tasty treat you will want to photograph and share with your friends.
Rather than creating the Dalgona coffee mix and pouring over coffee, try topping your pudding with this alluring mixture.
You can also mix your Dalgona coffee mix into some vanilla pudding to add some more coffee flavor to every spoonful.
When you mix the coffee into your pudding, you also lighten up the texture making it a nice upgrade from the traditional coffee pudding.
Many Korean dessert recipes feature fruit and this one takes advantage of Korean pears.
The pears are wrapped into wonton wrappers with a creamy mixture of mascarpone, cinnamon, and honey dip.
Even if you enjoy these pears without the dip, you will have yourself a delicious treat combining elements of Korean and American cuisine.
Imagine an ice-cream sundae but replacing the ice cream with toasted honey bread, or a variation of french toast.
This gives a nice change to a traditional American dessert but gives it a bit of Korean flair.
Some great toppings for this recipe include fresh strawberries, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a bit of ice cream on top.
Or for a pop in color maybe top with matcha sauce or taro sauce.
This gluten-free cake combines the buttery taste of cake with the chewy texture of rice cakes.
The ingredients are easily found in most stores or Korean markets.
Ttkeoppang is a great way to get the flavors and textures of rice cakes in a homemade dessert!
If you want more of a rice cake consistency, lower the amount of butter you use in making your cake.
Baking your own bread is so rewarding, especially when you taste the amazing result that comes from using your hands in your own kitchen.
But adding in red bean paste and topping it with sugar or chopped nuts really boosts this to an extra special dessert.
If red bean paste isn’t your favorite, feel free to use Nutella, jam, or a sweet cheese to suit your taste better.
Many Korean dessert recipes take advantage of sweet red beans, and for good reason!
They add a bit of creaminess and earthiness to the dessert they are added to, so of course, making them into rice cake dumplings seems fitting!
Fortunately, the ingredients are very easy to come across compared to Korea where it is more difficult to find boxed glutinous rice flour.
Bukkumi also freeze well so go ahead and make a large batch or two to save for later!
This refreshing Korean fruit dessert punch is a great choice to cool down with after a summertime dinner.
Adding in more fruit to the watermelon only adds to the deliciousness of this drink.
Honeydew is a great addition.
Some rice cake balls also add some extra fun and can be made with four ingredients!
The bottom line
Many Korean desserts can be easily made in a Western home by a quick trip to a Korean market.
These 25 desserts give you a little glimpse into both traditional and modern treats popular in Korea.
No matter what you are in the mood for, something on this list is sure to satisfy that sweet craving with the special addition of Korean flavors.
- Yaksik (Sweet Rice Cake With Dried Fruit)
- Chapssal Donuts (Rice Ball Donuts)
- Sikhye (Sweet Rice Punch Drink)
- Songpyeon (Half-Moon Shaped Rice Cake)
- Chapssaltteok (Korean Mochi)
- Hotteok (Sweet Korean Pancakes)
- Korean Fresh Cream Cake
- Hodugwaja (Walnut Cookies)
- Dasik (Korean Tea Cookies)
- Injeolmi Bingsu (Korean Milk Ice Sorbet)
- Goguma Mattang (Caramelized Sweet Potatoes)
- Bungeoppang (Fish Bread)
- Injeolmi (Korean Soybean Rice Cakes)
- Dalgona Candy (Honeycomb Toffee)
- Korean Red Bean Mochi Cake
- Yakgwa (Korean Honey Cookies)
- Banchan (Braised Lotus Root)
- Dalgona Coffee Pudding
- Honey Baked Korean Pears
- Hwajeon (Korean Sweet Flower Pancake)
- Korean Honey Bread
- Ttkeoppang (Sweet Red Bean Rice Cake)
- Danpat-Bbang (Sweet Bread With Red Bean Paste)
- Bukkumi (Pan-Fried Rice Cakes With Red Bean Filling)
- Subak Hwachae (Korean Watermelon Punch)
- Have a look at our list of Korean Desserts.
- Choose the dessert you want to recreate.
- Start cooking or baking your newly found recipe!
- Share your insights on our Facebook page!