Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes


There is something about rain that makes you crave greasy sweet food.
It must be a global phenomenon thing…
My American friends, Japanese friends, European friends, they all love to eat something sweet, something slightly greasy when there’s water falling down from heaven.
It’s been raining every single day here and I finally decide to make some Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes.

Besides I found a very special treasure the other day to make this sweet Goddess.

This is what we call “the Hotteok Press”.  It is a simple tool to press Hotteok to flatten.
Who knew that I would be finding this rare Korean tool in the middle of Kuala Lumpur?
Only God knows…, so it must be my destiny that I have to make Hotteok.
“Behold, thou shall make Hotteok…!”
 And I did.

Here are my destiny children.

Flour, sweet glutenous rice flour, white sugar, light brown sugar, milk, yeast, peanuts, cinnamon, and black sesame seeds (optional).

Take your ordinary all purpose flour, and…

mix with sweet glutenous rice flour. This will help the texture of Hotteok crisp chewy.

Black sesame seeds are optional. If you have them, use them by all means.

Mix all together and add white sugar and some salt.

This is instant yeast – the kind you can mix with flour right away.
You can certainly see the colony of unicellular fungi who feeds millions of people around the world everyday in the name of BREAD.

I am one of the million today. Since it is instant I don’t need to proof the yeast. Loving it!

Now heat your milk in the microwave for a few seconds, about 15 seconds.

Stir the milk and stick your finger in.  If it feels nice and warm it is good to go.
If it feels hot to touch, then it will murder your yeasts.

Drop some oils…

And pour into the flour mixture.

Stir with your wooden spoon and…

mix until it becomes a monstrous sticky glob.

Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in somewhere warm.
For me, I just put in the microwave and shut the door.
Wait 30 minutes.

Voila! The dough has risen. He is truly alive!

Punch him to deflate. Let him rest for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile chop a little bit of your favorite nuts – I used peanuts.
Mix with brown sugar and cinnamon.

You will need to oil your hand.
I like to use disposable globe because I’m tired of washing my hands 75 times a day.

Tear a piece of dough and flatten down. Put 1 Tbsp of sugar mixture in the center.

Pinch all the corners together toward the center. Make sure there is no gaps or holes.
Play around first.

Drop it on the hot oiled skillet over medium heat .


Press it down to flatten the dough.
Don’t have this Hotteok press?
Honey, you are in a big trouble. Your life ends here…
Just kidding!

Use any bowl that has smooth round bottom. Something like this one below.

A typical CorningWare bowl that you can buy at Walmart.
This will do the job just fine.

Make sure you oil the bottom surface so it won’t stick.

When your Hotteok puffs up slightly, flip to the other side. You will see the nice golden crust.

Boy, can you resist this? If you can, you are not one of my kind.
Crispy yet chewy texture with sweet cinnamon brown sugar syrup oozing out…
Sooooo gooood!!!!

But you gotta be careful! The sugar syrup can be quite hot especially to young children.

Oh, Lord! Please, save me from these evil greasy sugary temptation…

But If thou let me eat them now, I shall eat carrots for dinner.

Well, It turned out that I ran out of carrots that evening so I ate broccoli instead.

Do you think I’ve sinned?


Sweet Korean pancakes
Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 10 -12 pancakes

Hotteok, the Korean sweet pancakes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup glutenous rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 envelope (11g) instant yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • More oil for frying
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and etc)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Mix flours, yeast, sesame seeds (if using), sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour lukwarm milk mixed with 1 tsp of oil to the flour mixture and mix everything with wooden spoon. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and keep the bowl in a warm place for 30-45 minutes depends on the temperature in the room.
  2. The dough should rise double in volume. Deflate the dough by punching it in the center and let it rest for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Tear a piece of dough (about 1 1/2 - 2" in diameter) and stretch out with your hand. Place 1 Tbsp of filling mixture in the center and pinch the edges of the dough toward the center to close making a ball shape.
  5. Heat the pan with generous amount of oil over medium heat. Drop the dough and push it with spatula or a bowl with smooth bottom to flatten it. When you see the surface puffs up slightly, flip to the other side and continue to cook adding more oils if needed. It will get nice golden brown crust.
  6. Serve hot immediately but be very cautious. The brown sugar syrup will be very hot! Enjoy!

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  1. 2

    Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen says

    Good heaven! Raining or not, I would totally devour those sweet pancakes if I had them here! What I have in my pantry now is rice flour mixed with gluten and I hope that will work fine for the pancake….oh I`m so going to try this out!

  2. 3

    Maricel says

    I had this in Korea and instantly fell in love with it!  Googled for a recipe as soon as I got back home.  Will try out your recipe.  I am glad that you are back to blogging.

  3. 4

    shirley@kokken69 says

    Love that tool… and the pancakes, off course… I shall look for it on my next trip to Korea… :) 

  4. 5

    Joanna Sooper says

    Oh my! I am so happy I have found your blog! I am learning and tasting so many new things. I can't wait to try these!

  5. 6


    Ooh, these look so yummy with the peanut/sugar filling!  I will have to bookmark for the next time the weather is bad–could have used these during the freak snowstorm we had last weekend!

  6. 7

    Lisa L. says

    wow i'm from Kuala Lumpur. is nice to know you're here…gonna be here for long?
    it takes a while to like here but i'm sure you'll adapt well. at least is not crazily cold!

    mmm hotteok, i love it. i made it before and couldn't stop eating.  
    i'm chinese, so there's another chinese version to this without using oil to fry. usually stuff with red bean paste, lotus paste, kaya (local eggy coconut custard), peanut minus cinnamon and even savoury as well. 

  7. 8


    yum yum, actually it reminds me of chinese/japanese style red bean pancakes! I guess almost all asian cultures have a version of this kind of crispy pancake with a sweet filling (:

  8. 9


    yum yum, actually it reminds me of chinese/japanese style red bean pancakes! I guess almost all asian cultures have a version of this kind of crispy pancake with a sweet filling (:

  9. 10

    Laure says

    Hotteok are delicious. I'm not a big fan of sugary things, but I can't resist the crispiness and the nuts filling ! I will try out your version, I've never tought of using black sesame seeds before.

  10. 11

    beyondkimchee says

    I like the nutty flavor of black sesame seeds bring to these Hotteok. Hope you can give these a try. Such a nice comfort sweet snack for cold chilly days.

  11. 12

    beyondkimchee says

    I agree. As Asian we all do have a similar taste buds, I think…
    I love red bean buns. Koreans do have them, too.

  12. 16

    beyondkimchee says

    Do you visit Korea often? If you find one these get one. It is quite cheap and fun to play with.

  13. 20

    javapot says

    love your blog.  i'm from KL and wish to know where I can get my hands on that tool, tks.  can't wait to give this a try.

  14. 21

    beyondkimchee says

    Can't remember the name of the street but it is in Ampang near Korean store called Galaxy mart. Across the street there is a shopping center with full of Korean shops and restaurants. There is a Korean household knick-knack store and I found it there.

  15. 22

    Jasmine Ng says

    Hi Holly, a quick question regarding the Korean shops you mentioned in KL. Are they open everyday? I'm seriously thinking of making my way down to KL to have a look and to get my hands on that Hotteok Press. Any idea how much it costs? Thank you so much!

  16. 23

    beyondkimchee says

    I am not sure if they will open on Sunday since the most Koreans here are Christians. It costed about RM12 if i remember correctly.

  17. 25

    Caroline says

    Hi Holly

    I will be making Hotteok this weekend. I managed to get the Hotteok press from one of the Korean shop in Desa Hartamas for RM8.50.
    Thanks for the recipe.


  18. 26

    beyondkimchee says

    Hi Caroline
    You got a deal for that press. I think I paid more for mine. What a bummer! :)
    Have fun making hotteok and let me know how it turned out.

  19. 27

    Louise says

    First thing I have to say, is that I absolutely adore the way you lay out your blog and recipes. Your ironic comments make something that I already adore doing even more fun. (I lead an exciting life here[!])

    Anyway, I was wondering whether there are any alternatives to the nut part since some of my family are allergic to them. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank you :)

  20. 28

    beyondkimchee says

    Hi Louise
    I am very happy to hear that you like my blog. For the recipe in Hotteok, you can totally omit the nut. It won't change the flavor since the amount of nut in the recipe is very little, and it is mainly for crunch texture in the filling. Hope you can make them soon.

  21. 29

    jessicapark says

    Ahn-young haseyo! I am a Mee-gook ajumah married to a Korean man, and I recently discovered your blog.  I love your descriptions about the food, and the photos that help to explain the process.  It really helps me to visualize the how behind the recipe since I didn't grow up making K food.  Thanks!  I hope to make pumpkin porridge soon and the steamed egg, which is one of my husband's favorite dishes.  Keep up the good work!  :)

  22. 30

    beyondkimchee says

    Thank you Jessica. I am glad that you found my blog, too. Hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know if yo need any assistance.

  23. 31

    Swan Sow says

    Wonderful recipe Holly! The glutinous rice flour made a HUGE difference. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe! 😀

  24. 32

    Sendy says

    Hello Holly! i just tried this recipe this morning and my family loves it! it taste so good!! Keep up the great job!! i love the way you show us the step-by-step on how to do a recipe, love your blog. Inspire me to cook more :) cheers

  25. 34


    Oh I love this! I remember having this whenever we visited Korea. They are so delicious. While, I cook everything from scratch, I had no idea how to make this from scratch. I’m ashamed to say, I have bought the package ones from the Korean store. Lol. Thanks for putting up a recipe for this!

  26. 35

    Maricel says

    Went to Korea for the 2nd time. Hotteok was the 1st thing I looked for. I also found a Hotteok press! Yey! Despite the language barrier, the shop keeper was able to figure out what I was looking for :)

  27. 37

    Beccatokki says

    If you must eat gluten free, and thus cannot use normal flour, what do you recommend instead of the plain all purpose flour? Thanks! :)

    • 38

      Holly says

      Try with white rice flour (Not-glutenous) mixed with a little bit of almond flour and tapioca flour to substitute for the plain wheat four. It won’t have the exact same flavor or texture of the original recipe but I think you will get similar.

    • 39

      Cantamew says

      I’ve just made these using a brown rice flour blend (extra fine brown rice flour, potato starch & tapioca flour) and xanthan gum in place of the all-purpose wheat flour. The dough comes out a little bit dry/less stretchy, but the taste is still fabulous! I’ve never eaten hotteok before so I cannot comment on whether or not the taste is different, but to me they tasted like delicious cinnamon buns! My whole family loved them!

  28. 40

    Mary says

    I have just made these, not difficult at all but they turned out yummy. It would be nicer/helpful if more people post comments after they have actually tried out the recipe…. Thanks so much for this recipe, I am a korean, living where there aren’t many Koreans, I haven’t had hottok in years!

    • 41

      Holly says

      Hi Mary
      That is just wonderful. I am glad your hotteok turned out so well. Hope you get to explore more Korean recipes at home. Aren’t they just the best?

  29. 42

    Aimee says

    I just made these, big success! ^-^

    Trouble is, I have a lot of dough left, and nobody to make them for until much later today.
    how long can you keep the dough for? And would you keep it in the fridge?

    Thank you! 😀

    • 43

      Holly says

      Hi Aimee

      Good to hear your Hotteok turned out well. You can keep the leftover dough in the fridge for about a day. It will continue to rise but it is okay. If you store more than 1-2 days, then it will develop very yeasty smell in the dough.

  30. 44

    Paupau says

    Hi! What can i use as a replacement for the Glutenous rice flour? Is there any replacement for it? Can’t I just use regular rice flour?

  31. 46

    Sugar says

    Is it possible you could give me the flour recipes in grams please? I tried it and it came out nice but it didn’t rise. I also read that 1 cup of normal flour to glutinous is different?

  32. 47

    Meaghanne Mack says

    I’ve been eying this recipe for awhile now. I’m finally going to give it a try for Christmas morning. I think they will be a big hit

  33. 50


    Hi Holly!

    I’ve only just discovered your blog, and am hooked already!

    I’ve never had hotteok, so I plan to make some ASAP – could I use soy milk instead of dairy though? If so, would it be best to use unsweetened?

    Thanks in advance!

    PS I loved your post about coming here to Chiang Mai, especially the photos of Patara. Did you meet Dodo while you were there? He’s such a wonderful ele… and really looked after me when I had a panic attack in the jungle! It’s absolutely true what Pat says – that there can sometimes be an empathetic link between ele and human. :-)

    • 51

      Holly says

      Hi Nicole

      Yes, you can use soy milk instead. Thanks for your sweet comment. Do you live in Chiangmai? I miss that wonderful town very much and all the elephants as well. Hope your hotteok will turn out good. Cheers!

  34. 53

    Kiss_the_cook says

    Just tried these although it’s no longer winter, but I just couldn’t resist. They were delicious! This will become a regular treat during cold days.

    Thank you.

    • 55


      Hi Jos

      If you use rice flour only, the texture of hotteok will become sticky mochi-like texture. Also it won’t rise much at all. You will need the all-purpose flour for the right texture.

  35. 56

    Belle says

    I used a previous hotteok recipe before (no rice flour) but tried this today… I think rice flour really makes all the difference! Plus the brown sugar + nuts mixture makes for a great filling! I used chocolate the last time around (which is equally as delicious) but I will be doing it with brown sugar again in the future. Didn’t use enough filling though, so it didn’t become as caramelised as in the image, but I will probably be using this recipe from now on :) thank you!

  36. 57

    Ali B says

    OMG you are awesome! I used to buy this in Eastwood (Australia) at this place. I bought one and then 1 minute later went back and bought another – I was hooked. Sadly the place is closed and I don’t live close by anyway now. But…now I can make it! Woohoo! 😀 😀 😀

      • 60

        k says

        Thanks for the reply! So what do you suggest, should I use rice four and regular flour together, or just go with only regular flour?

        • 61


          Try with regular flour only. In olden times, hotteoks were made with only regular flour. You need to eat them soon after they are fried (while hot), otherwise they will get harden soon.

  37. 62

    jeff says

    Hi! I was wondering what would be the best way to par make these goodies and store them so I can fry them fresh, I’d like to take them to my grandparents for christmas but I dont want to carry a big bowl of dough and start making them there, any suggestions for a traveling hotteok connoisseur? I wont be traveling far…maybe like an hour or so…

    • 63


      Hi Jeff
      Hotteok tastes the best when it is freshly made. With any fried food, it tastes the best when hot. I wouldn’t recommend to travel with already fried hotteok because the sugar syrup will soak into the dough and the dough will get hard as it cools. The best way is to carry the dough in a covered container and make the hotteok fresh at your grandparents and serve them hot. So much better!


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