26 Traditional Korean Desserts You Need To Try

Traditional Korean desserts are a sweet treat that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world. These delicate confections are characterized by their soft texture, subtle sweetness, and unique flavors that leave a lasting impression.

The best part is that you don’t have to travel all the way to Korea to indulge in these culinary delights. In fact, with this list of twenty-three Korean dessert classics, you can recreate your favorite treats from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Best Korean Desserts

Strawberry Milk


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The quintessential charm of Korean strawberry milk lies in its naturally occurring sweetness and velvety creaminess. As a beloved traditional beverage, it’s the perfect way to savor the delightful taste of summer’s sweetest star: the strawberry. Moreover, this recipe is a game-changer for dairy-free dessert lovers, offering an incredibly delicious treat that just happens to be free from dairy.

Matcha Hotteok


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Korean hotteok, also known as sweet pancakes, are a delightful dessert that combines the subtle bitterness of matcha green tea powder with the warmth of cinnamon and sweetness of peanuts.

Candied Sweet Potatoes


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Transforming a humble root vegetable into a delectable dessert is an art form, and Korean candied sweet potatoes, also known as goguma mattang, are the perfect embodiment of this creativity. What sets them apart is the addition of a hard candy coating, giving way to a soft and tender interior that’s reminiscent of crème brulee. The juxtaposition of textures – crunchy on the outside and velvety within – makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.

Matcha Mochi Bread


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Mochi bread occupies a unique realm of delight, boasting an unparalleled softness and elasticity, juxtaposed against a satisfying crunch on the outside. It’s little wonder then that these sweet treats have captured our hearts – and taste buds. This recipe, specifically, takes inspiration from the earthy tones of matcha and sesame, imbuing each bite with an organic charm.

Instant Pot Dalgona Candy


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In just two short steps and with your Instant Pot as the star player, you can whip up a batch of homemade dalgona candies that will delight both kids and adults alike. To make it an even more fun experience, consider enlisting the help of your little ones by letting them take charge of cutting out shapes from the set candies using any cookie cutters they can get their hands on – simple or complex designs are both fair game.

Matcha Bingsu


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Infuse a Japanese flair into a traditional Korean dessert by crafting a unique matcha bingsu. The subtle earthiness of the green tea creates an intriguing contrast against the refreshing ice. Feel free to get creative with your toppings – white chocolate spheres, red beans, or any other whimsical addition can elevate this treat to new heights.

Mango Bingsu


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Among the shaved ice, a tropical fruit’s sweet presence is expertly balanced by a hint of heat from the hot chili splash. This delightful combination ensures that each bite is a unique experience, with the sweetness tempered just enough to prevent overwhelming. Meanwhile, for those who adore fresh mango, this chia pudding recipe offers a scrumptious alternative that’s sure to hit the spot.

Crystallized Ginger Scones with Sake Poached Asian Pears


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Indulge in the heavenly combination of ginger scones paired with sake-poached pears, a show-stopping dessert that’s ready to impress on any date night. The best part? It can be prepared in under an hour, making it an ideal choice for even the most time-pressed hosts. As you take your first bite, the refined flavors will transport you to a world of comfort and warmth, familiar yet elevated by the subtle nuances of sake-poached pears.

Sweet Pancakes


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The classic recipe for hotteok sans matcha, features an indulgent filling comprised of rich brown sugar, warm cinnamon, and crunchy walnuts. The subtle magic of yeast in the dough serves as a perfect counterbalance to the sweetness, expertly harmonizing the flavors within.

Matcha Cake


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Elevate your tea time experience with this delightful matcha sponge cake, where the earthy undertones of the green tea perfectly balance the lightness of the sponge. The harmonious contrast between the two is nothing short of delightful.

At just forty minutes from start to finish, this cake is an accessible indulgence that’s best savored when it’s still warm from the oven.

Cinnamon Ginger Punch


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A refreshing beverage known as sujeonggwa, this Korean-inspired drink boasts an impressive array of ingredients, including generous amounts of ginger, warming cinnamon, and sweet dried persimmon. The star of the show is undoubtedly ginger, which not only adds a spicy kick but also provides a multitude of health benefits. Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation and support gut health, making it an excellent addition to this cold drink recipe.

Banana Milk


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In Korea, a popular beverage is known as banana uyu, or banana milk, which is essentially a smoothie-like drink with a lighter consistency. To create this creamy concoction, you’ll need fresh bananas, water, sugar, and milk. With these ingredients, you can whip up a tasty treat in no time. If you find yourself with an abundance of ripe bananas, why not try your hand at some other mouth-watering banana dessert recipes?

Dalgona Coffee


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Indulge in the velvety smoothness of dalgona coffee, a delightful drink that’s as enjoyable to sip as it is simple to prepare. What sets this beverage apart is its effortless creation process, requiring only a few basic ingredients: instant coffee, sugar, water, and a dash of enthusiasm. Serve over hot or cold milk to awaken your senses and kickstart your day on the right foot.

Dalgona Matcha


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While experimenting with different flavors, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can easily create matcha-based dalgona drinks. This delightful variation of a matcha latte makes for an excellent dessert or morning pick-me-up, offering a unique and refreshing twist on the classic recipe.

What’s more, this matcha-flavored dalgona requires only five ingredients to prepare – just one more than the original version. Its simplicity belies its impressive flavor profile, making it a must-try for anyone looking to mix things up.

Twisted Donuts


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The Kkwabaegi pastry boasts a satisfying texture combination – its exterior is delightfully crispy, while the interior remains soft and indulgent. The added sweetness from the cinnamon and sugar coating only enhances the overall experience, making it an ideal pairing for a warm cup of coffee. With each bite, the crunchy and tender elements meld together seamlessly, guaranteeing a delightful sensory treat.

Tea Cookies


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In Korea, Dasik – also known as Korean tea cookies – are a beloved treat that pairs exquisitely with a warm cup of tea. What sets these cookies apart is their lack of oven requirement, making them an accessible and delightful snack to share with loved ones during special occasions like the New Year.

Fish Shaped Pastry


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In the realm of East Asian cuisine, there’s a fascinating fusion dish that has gained immense popularity in Korea. Interestingly, its origins can be traced back to Japan, where it was initially served as a traditional dessert. However, the Korean version took on a life of its own and earned its own unique name: bungeoppang. This delightful pastry takes the form of a fish, typically stuffed with a variety of mild sweet fillings such as matcha, sweet red beans, sesame, or other flavors that cater to local tastes.

Healthy Sweet Rice Cake


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In the realm of traditional Korean desserts, youngyang chaltteok stands out as a humble yet delightful treat. This delectable sweet rice cake is incredibly easy to prepare at home, requiring minimal effort but yielding maximum flavor. The beauty of youngyang chaltteok lies in its adaptability – feel free to infuse it with your preferred sweet fillings, such as the natural sweetness of nuts and dried fruits.

Red Bean Paste Bun


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Danpatbang, a type of Korean red bean pasta bun, takes on a unique shape that resembles a tiny blossom. While the sweet red bean paste filling may not appeal to everyone, there’s always room for creativity by substituting it with alternative fillings. Consider options like matcha, sesame, or even white chocolate to give your buns a delightful twist.

Half-Moon Shaped Rice Cake


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Songpyeon, a traditional Korean dessert, is a beloved delicacy often served during Chuseok celebrations. These bite-sized rice cakes have a unique texture that’s slightly firmer than mochi, making them a delightful treat for Lunar New Year festivities. With this recipe, you can create an abundance of these charming little cakes in just under an hour, making it the perfect addition to your holiday gatherings.

Sweet Rice Mini Bundt Cake


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Indulge in the surprise of this tteokpang recipe, which yields a delectable miniature bundt cake boasting a dense crumb akin to cornbread, paired with a delightfully chewy crust. The combination is nothing short of astonishing. If you’re looking for more ways to put your cake pan to good use, explore these additional scrumptious mini bundt cake recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Caramel Apple Hotteok


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Experience the ultimate comfort food fusion with this caramel apple hotteok – a scrumptious twist on traditional apple pie. Its velvety smooth texture and indulgent flavor profile will leave you craving more. With its versatility, you can enjoy it as a satisfying breakfast treat or a decadent dessert, making it a perfect option for any time of day.

Fruits Shaved Ice Milk


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In our final recipe, we’re taking a trip to Korea to recreate the popular bingsu-style shaved ice dessert. This unique treat features a generous helping of fresh fruit piled high on top of a bed of creamy shaved milk ice. But here’s the twist – instead of using traditional ice cream as the base, we’re opting for frozen milk. And to add even more flavor and sweetness, we’re drizzling everything with sweetened condensed milk. Whether you’re looking for a cool treat to beat the heat or a unique dessert to impress your friends, this Korean-inspired shaved ice is sure to hit the spot.

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