Home Desserts 21 Traditional Korean Desserts

21 Traditional Korean Desserts

by insanelygood
Assorted Korean Mochi Cakes

Korean desserts are sweet, colorful, and fun! From shaved ice to pastry to donuts, you can make Korean treats right in your own kitchen.

Take a break from Korean recipes that are full of bold flavors and tons of spices. 

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Korean desserts may not be as popular as kimchi or bibimbap, but they could be the next hit at your dining table.

Whether you want something warm and sweet or cold and sugary, I have every Korean dessert recipe that will put you in a good mood.

Make room for these desserts in your meal rotation, because no one will stop you from making each one!

1. Korean Shaved Ice

Also known as bingsu, this Korean shaved ice dessert will cool you down on a hot summer day!

Its most popular variety is called patbingsu, which means ice shavings with red beans. 

Along with the red bean paste, patbingsu may include other sweet toppings like chopped fruits, fruit syrup, and condensed milk.

You can also try other variations of this Korean dessert like Oreo bingsu. For a simple yet fun twist, top it off with ice cream or breakfast cereals.

2. Fish-Shaped Pastry

This Korean fish-shaped pastry is bursting with sweetness from the red bean filling. Its texture will also excite your senses with crunchy edges and chewy insides. 

Having a fish-shaped taiyaki pan is important to make these cute pastries. Serve as is on a rainy day or with a glass of milk for a delightful afternoon snack.

3. Korean Poached Pears

A poached pear, or baesuk, is both a dessert and a remedy for coughs and sore throats. 

Infused with flavors from peppercorn, ginger, and honey, this poached pear is one of the most delectable and nutritious desserts you’ll ever have.

While this recipe requires you to poach the pears, you can also try another cooking technique, like steaming.

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4. Korean Sweet Rice Drink

Who would’ve thought that rice makes a great punch? This Korean sweet drink only needs a few ingredients — barley powder, rice, sugar, and water.

The result is a slightly sweetened barley-flavored drink that you will gulp down in seconds.

The best part is this recipe requires only five minutes of prep time. Leave the rest to your rice cooker!  

5. Korean Watermelon Punch

This Korean summery drink uses the thirst-quenching watermelon as its main ingredient. If you’re looking for the perfect drink for an outdoor summer party, this is it.

To make the traditional version, use honey or sugar dissolved in water for the base. For a lighter version, use a soft drink instead. 

Meanwhile, adding milk can make your drink a little heavy. Feel free to mix in other fruits like melon, pineapples, and blueberries for a tastier punch. 

6. Korean Sweet Pancakes

Sweet pancakes from Korea are chewy, sweet, and chock full of warm flavors. 

When you break into their crispy outer shell, you’ll find a delicious filling made from cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts.

The best way to enjoy these pancakes is to eat them hot.

All that syrupy goodness will leave a memorable taste that you’ll want again for the next day’s dessert or breakfast!

7. Sweet Rice Cake

Looking for a healthy and delectable dessert? Yaksik, it is! 

Yaksik, or sweet rice cake, is made using glutinous rice, nuts, dried fruits, and honey. 

Of course, anything with honey is good for you, because of its numerous health benefits.

This recipe yields a rice cake that’s sticky and chewy. So you’ll know you made it right when the rice grains are intact.

Serve yasik for breakfast with a cup of coffee to start your morning healthily.

8. Pepero Cake

Pepero is a popular South Korean snack manufactured by Lotte Confectionery. A box of Pepero is filled with cookie sticks dipped in chocolate.

This snack is so famous that the Koreans dedicated a special day for it: Pepero Day.

It’s held every 11th of November, and people give Pepero sticks to each other as a sign of love.

You can show extra love by turning these thin sticks into a cake!

With chocolate-covered swiss roll as its filling, this Pepero cake will capture the hearts of chocolate lovers.

Top it off with chopped pistachio nuts for more flavor and texture.  

9. Sweet Red Bean Porridge

Red beans are pretty versatile. This time, you can use them to make a sweet porridge!

When it’s chilly and you want something sugary and warm, this is the recipe to try.

Along with glutinous rice flour, sugar, and salt, you can make this velvety smooth porridge.

It’s lightly sweetened, but you can add more sugar or honey depending on your taste.  

10. Red Bean Popsicles

Again, the great red bean is the star of this recipe. But for this dessert, you’ll have to blend the beans until they become a paste and then blend again with condensed milk.

This mixture will go into the popsicle molds, creating a yummy and creamy red bean popsicle! 

Add a chewy texture to this dessert by mixing a small cup of whole beans into the red bean paste. 

11. Korean Honey Pastry

This honey pastry, also known as yakgwa, is traditionally served during festive days in Korea.

It’s a deep-fried cookie soaked in honey syrup, resulting in a moist texture and sweet taste.

Ginger is also included in the honey syrup for a more flavorful impact.

If you’re looking for a bit of crunchiness, sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the cookies.

12. Korean Donuts

Mmmm… donuts! The smell of these twisted-shaped treats will fill your kitchen with a comforting aroma. When you take a bite, expect a perfectly sweet snack!

These stunning fried donuts only need a dusting of powdered sugar and sometimes a little bit of cinnamon to taste.

Serve with a glass of milk because it’s the ultimate duo!

13. Dasik

Cookies for royalty — that’s dasik in a nutshell. These Korean tea cookies were served with traditional tea during the Silla and Goryeo Dynasty.

Now, you can make these elegant cookies at home with this simple recipe. But take note that making the perfect dough takes practice and patience.

You’ll also need dasik molds if you want to achieve the authentic look of these sweet treats. 

14. Korean Half-Moon Rice Cakes

These rice cakes are a star during Chuseok, one of the major holidays in Korea. They’re lightly sweet and chewy with a subtle pine tree flavor.

The fillings for these rice cakes vary, but the most common are sweetened sesame seeds and mung beans.

The fun part is coloring the dough. You can use your own food coloring options, or color them naturally using kabocha, mugwort, and dried fruit powders.   

15. Korean Red Bean and Mochi Cake

Craving more sweet red beans? This mochi cake will satisfy you at once! 

This chewy cake is filled with red bean paste and is topped with roasted chestnuts and walnuts. The best part? It’s super easy to make.

Just dump everything into the mixing bowl and whisk away. Bake for 45 minutes, and you’re done!  

16. Korean Cinnamon Punch

Cinnamon punch is a traditional dessert drink in Korea and is often consumed during New Year’s Day and Chuseok.

While some love to drink this punch hot, I love it when it’s icy cold! Take it out of the fridge, drink, and you’ll still get the warming flavors of cinnamon and ginger.  

17. Sweet Rice Mini Bundt Cakes

These mini-bundt cakes have a similar texture to cornbread —  crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

This recipe requires common ingredients such as butter, egg, milk, and vanilla extract. 

Brown and sweet rice are also included in the ingredient list as they give a nice texture to the cake.

Plus, combining them makes a healthy dessert rich in fiber and nutrients.

18. Korean Sponge Candy

This iconic sponge candy is a popular sweet treat sold by street vendors in Korea.

Using just two ingredients — sugar and baking soda — you’ll get a toffee-like lollipop.

The steps to making this sponge candy are pretty easy, too. All it takes is some mixing, heating, and pressing.

Do it with the kids for a fun weeknight activity!

19. Red Bean Mochi

Winter months in Korea means it’s time for some red bean mochi! 

And yes, you guessed it right. It’s another dessert that uses sweet red beans as a paste.

But honestly, I don’t mind because it’s such a delicious treat.

Cooking the mochi in a microwave will make things easy. Using a store-bought red bean paste is also a great shortcut if you don’t have the time to make one.

20. Korean Coffee

Also known as dalgona coffee, this dessert drink is a chilled coffee made special with a velvety smooth and sweet foam on top.

This recipe is perhaps the easiest one on this list, with only three ingredients and five minutes of prep time.

Of course, making the coffee may take longer if you do the whipping by hand.

Besides, once you get that frothy coffee concoction, it will all be worth it! 

21. Walnuts Wrapped in Persimmon

Dried persimmons with halved walnuts are a portable snack that pairs well with green tea or cinnamon tea.

Drying the persimmons in direct sunlight may take up to 3 days, but the rest of the cooking steps are quick and easy.

To speed things up, feel free to use a food dehydrator or store-bought dried persimmons.

21 Traditional Korean Desserts

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Korean treat in 30 minutes or less!
Korean Desserts

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