Simple Hotteok Recipe (Korean Sweet Pancake)
Hotteok is Korean sweet pancake stuffed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped nuts. It’s a popular winter snack and well known Korean street food. Make the best light and chewy hotteok with this simple recipe and step-by-step instruction.
Anyone who visits Korea should taste hotteok (호떡, sometimes called hoddeok) from a street food vendor. If not, you are missing out one of the best Korean snacks.
Check out my Korean corn dog and Twisted donut (Kkwabaegi) recipes for another popular street treats.
What is Hotteok?
Hotteok is a sweetly filled Korean pancake made from wheat flour (or mixed with rice flour for a better texture), water, milk, and yeast. The dough is filled with a tantalizing mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanut, then cooked on a griddle with oil and pressed flat into a circle using a tool called a hotteok press. Then the flattened dough is fried until golden brown and crisp on the outside, while the filling turns into a superb, piping hot syrup.
Origin of hotteok
Although Hotteok is a popular street food in South Korea, it originates from the Korean Chinese cuisine brought by Chinese merchants who immigrated to Korea in the 19th century. Unlike many Chinese pancakes, which often contain savory meat fillings, Korean hotteok is usually stuffed with sweet fillings, making a very satisfying snack.
You can buy pre-made hotteok mix or frozen hotteok in a Korean market, but this delicious Korean sweet pancake is so easy to make from scratch with a few basic ingredients.
The best part is that you don’t even need to knead the dough. Just mix with a spoon and let it rise.
Hotteok is a nostalgic sweet treat for Korean people young and old. And it seems like the world is falling for it, too.
Why not? It’s chewy, hot, sweet, and delicious!
Recipe tips for making better hotteok
1. Add sweet rice flour to the dough
Sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour) enhances the texture of hotteok and makes the dough softer and chewier. A drawback of many hotteok recipes that are made with wheat flour alone is that the dough hardens quickly once cooled. Sweet rice flour will extend the chewy soft texture longer.
2. A hint of Baking Powder
Adding a tiny amount of baking powder to the yeast dough helps the overall texture light and fluffy.
3. No need to knead the dough
You don’t need to knead the dough with this recipe. Just mix the dough ingredients with a spoon for 1 minute and let it rise until doubled in volume. You can’t get any simpler than that.
What is hotteok press
A hotteok press is a tool with a flat, round stainless steel bottom with a wooden handle on top. It is used to press the hotteok dough or dalgona candy to flatten it into a circle shape. You can purchase it inexpensively through most Korean markets or online. Or, use any round bowl with smooth flat bottom to achieve the same result.
Variety of Korean sweet pancake filling
Typically, Korean sweet rice pancake is stuffed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nut mixture but savory filling is also well considered. Try hotteok with different types of fillings to suit your taste.
Some examples are:
- sweetened fruit filling or jam
- apple pie filling
- various seeds and nuts
- savory filling – meat and vegetables (try with leftover japchae)
- cheese filling – ay meltable cheese
Classic hotteok Ingredients
This recipe will show you how to make the classic version–brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped peanut.
For the dough:
- all-purpose flour
- sweet rice flour – glutinous rice flour
- instant yeast – if using the active yeast, proof it in the liquid before adding to the mixture.
- baking powder – helps soften the texture of the dough.
- milk – lukewarm
For the filling:
- brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar
- peanuts – finely chopped
How to make hotteok
Make the dough
Mix flours, yeast, baking powder, sugar, and salt with a whisk in a large mixing bowl.
Heat milk to lukewarm and add oil. Pour the milk/oil mixture into the flour mixture and mix to combine with a spoon for 1-2 minutes. The dough should be sticky.
Cover the dough mixture with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours. You should see the spider web-like gluten development when the dough is pulled.
Cinnamon brown sugar filling
Meanwhile, make the hotteok filling by mixing brown sugar, cinnamon and peanuts in small bowl.
Stuff dough with filling
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Grease your hands with a little bit of oil. Take one portion of dough and flatten it in your hand in a cupping shape. Put 1 1/2 tablespoonful of brown sugar filling on the center of the dough.
Pull the edges of the dough together, pulling toward the center, and pinch together to seal. Make sure you seal it completely by pinching well.
Repeat the other dough portions in the same manner and place them on a greased platter.
Fry in oil
Heat a generous amount of oil in a large griddle or skillet over med-low heat. Place the filled hotteok doughs, seam side down and maintaining space from each other, in the griddle and let it cook for 30-60 seconds.
Flip to the other side and press down on the dough with a hotteok press until it becomes about 1/2-inch thick. Do not press it too thin; you don’t want to tear the dough and explode the filling inside.
Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Lower the heat if it browns too quickly.
When hotteok is just fried, it will be really hot. In Korea, typically a small paper cup is used as a holding tool for a hot hotteok.
Gently bend the hot pancake in half and shove it in the cup. That way, you can protect your finger from hot fried dough and catch any syrup dripping as you eat. Smart!
The syrup inside the hotteok that just came out of skillet will be extremely hot. So be cautious when you offer it to young children. You can let hotteok cool for 2 minutes before serving. But enjoy the hotteok as hot as you can stand it – they taste so much better even if you burn your tongue a little!
How to reheat hotteok
It’s best to enjoy when they are freshly fried. But the best way to reheat leftover hotteok is by using a toaster to make them crispy. Or warm them up in a 350˚F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.
To freeze leftover, put them in a freezer-safe zip bag and freeze up to 3 months.
Watch Hotteok recipe video
More Korean Sweet Snacks
Here are a few Korean snacks that has a sweeter side.
- Fluffy Korean Twisted Donut (Kkwabaegi)
- Pan Roasted Korean Sweet Potato
- Korean Sweet Rice Dessert (Yakshik) – Instant Pot
- Korean Sweet Rice Cake Bars (LA Chapssalteok)
- Homemade Patbingsu (Korean Shaved Milky Ice)
This recipe was originally posted in November, 2011. I’ve updated the recipe with a minor change, new photos, and more information.
Simple Hotteok Recipe (Korean Sweet Pancake)
- 2 1/2 cup (375 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (40 g) sweet rice flour (chapssal-garu)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup (315 ml) lukewarm milk, more if needed
- 1 tbsp oil
- more oil for pan-frying
- 2/3 cup (130 g) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp peanuts or any nuts of your choice, finely chopped
- Mix flours, yeast, baking powder, sugar, and salt with a whisk in a large mixing bowl. Heat milk to lukewarm and add oil. Pour the milk/oil mixture into the flour mixture and mix to combine with a spoon for 1-2 minutes. The dough should be on sticky.
- Cover the dough mixture with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours. You should see the spider web-like gluten development when the dough is pulled.
- Meanwhile, make the hotteok filling by mixing brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanuts in small bowl.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Grease your hands with a little bit of oil. Take one portion of dough and flatten it in your hand in a cupping shape. Put 1 1/2 tablespoonful of brown sugar filling on the center of the dough.
- Pull the edges of the dough together, pulling toward the center, and pinch together to seal. Make sure you seal it completely by pinching well. Repeat the other dough portions in the same manner and place them on a greased platter.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a large griddle or skillet over med-low heat. Place the filled hotteok dough, seam side down and maintaining space from each other, in the griddle and let it cook for 30 seconds. dough and explode the filling inside.
- Flip to the other side and press down on the dough with a hotteok press until it becomes about 1/2-inch thick. Do not press it too thin; you don't want to tear the dough and explode the filling inside.
- Cook hottoek until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Lower the heat if it browns too quickly. Use thick cardboard or layers of napkins to hold a piece of hot hotteok when serving.
The syrup inside the hotteok that just came out of skillet will be extremely hot. So be cautious when you offer it to young children. You can let hotteok cool for 1-2 minutes before serving. But enjoy the hotteok as hot as you can stand it – they taste so much better even if you burn your tongue a little!
I was wondering if I could use pastry flour instead of all-purpose flower. If I could would I need to add more flour to the recipe?
You can use pastry flour without increasing any flour. Pastry flour will make the hotteok dough lighter and fluffier. Hope you enjoy this recipe. Thanks!
Great recipe! I’ve never had hotteok before, so I don’t really know what they are supposed to taste like but the recipe was super easy and delicious.
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I reduced the sugar to 1/2 c and doubled the cinnamon, which I thought was perfect. I didn’t have a hotteok press but used a metal fish spatula and it seemed to work fine.
I didn’t think the final product was greasy at all, it got really cripsy but didn’t get greasy like American doughnuts.
I am so happy to hear that you liked these hotteok. Thanks for sharing your tip on using a fish spatula to press them. Thanks for leaving the comments for everyone. I appreciate it.
Hi, can I use rice flour instead of sweet rice flour? or any alternative?
You can, but it won’t be as chewy as the sweet rice flour makes.
I was wondering if I could use tapioca flour in place of rice flour?
If you want to use tapioca flour, use smaller amount than the rice flour. I suggest adding about 2-3 tablespoon and fill the rest with wheat flour.
I first ate hotteok in a Korean restaurant a few mounths ago and I litteraly fell so in love with it I wish I could eat it every day lol. I immediately looked for a recipe and decided to try out yours. They ended up so yummy so thank you very much. It’s the second time I make these and I kinda wanna try to make some with various fillings, like grated Mozzarella cheese.
I would like to give a tip for all the sweet-toothed people here : when I first ate hotteok it was served with ginger and cinnamon flavoured rice syrup drizzled on top and it was absolutely delicious so I tried to make mine by simmering fresh ginger and cinnamon stick in korean rice syrup with a bit of water (so it won’t burn) and it turned out to be really good !
Thanks again for this great recipe 🙂
I am glad that you had a wonderful experience with hotteok in Korea. Ginger cinnamon drizzle sounds so delish! I am going to try it myself soon. Thanks for the idea!
Thanks so much for the recipe, Holly! I first tried Hotteok from Trader Joe’s and my family and I LOVE it! Of course, they don’t sell it anymore. Never thought about buying these from the freezer section at H Mart. Happy I found your recipe on the net. Looking forward to making it!!
Glad to hear that your family love hotteok. Store bought frozen ones are good, but homemade hotteok is even better. Hope you get to try this recipe soon and enjoy it with your family. Thanks.
I have been following your recipes for YEARS!!! And everything you post has been delicious! I’m married to a Korean and he’s always amazed that I can make these traditional dishes.
I was wondering if you have any thermomix recipes?
Thanks for your message. It makes me happy to hear that you like my recipes.
I heard about thermomix being very popular in other countries. Unfortunately, I haven’t had an experience using it so far, so I don’t have any recipes developed yet. Hopefully I will be able to have one soon.
Hello! Thank you for the recipe. I saw it needs 11 gram of yeast.. will it be too much for the combination of flour…?
Hi, it should be around 7-8 gram (2-1/4 tsp) for 1 envelope of instant yeast. Thanks for the reminder.
I’m so excited to make this recipe soon! However, I would prefer to cut out the sugar. Can I fill it with red bean paste instead? 🙂
Sure! Anything you like!
It is one of my favourite Korean snack. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Just wonder if I couldn’t finish eating all the hotteok in one go, can they be stored in the fridge and reheat on the pan the next day?
Unfortunately, leftover hotteoks are not so great. They will get hardened and won’t taste the same. I would fry only the amount of hotteok you need at the time and keep the rest of the dough in the fridge, and make more fresh hotteok on the next day.
I can’t decide whether I prefer this one or the one made with masa harina. I like this one for its chewiness and the fact that it still taste very good upon reheating. Now I wish I have tried those from the famous stall at Namdaemun market when I was in Seoul. That would give me a good reference point of what a great hotteok should taste like. I didn’t buy from them coz both times when I passed that stall, the line was very long.
They both good. I sort of like the corn hotteok a little better since it give a nice corn flavor. There are several different varieties of hottek throughout Seoul, and I would suggest to hunt them down and try them all next time you visit Seoul. So good~!
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…
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!
Will it turn out fine if I use regular rice flour along with normal flour? I don’t have glutinous rice flour.
The glutenous rice flour will give the chewy sticky texture. You can still use regular rice flour but it won’t be as chewy.
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?
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.
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! 😀 😀 😀
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!
Do you think the recipe will still work if I use rice flour instead of all purpose flour in the same ratio? Thanks.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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!
Thank you for the advice – much appreciated.
Yes, I live in Chiang Mai … I love it here!
I’ll let you know how the hotteok turns out 🙂
i have a.question about the yeast. Did you pour everything inside the pack?
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
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?
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?
You can use regular rice flour but the texture won’t be the same.
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! 😀
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.
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!
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?
If you must eat gluten free, and thus cannot use normal flour, what do you recommend instead of the plain all purpose flour? Thanks! 🙂
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.
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!
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 🙂
That is so awesome that you found the press. You gotta make some hotteok soon and let me know how it turned out!
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!
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
Thank you Sendy
Wonderful recipe Holly! The glutinous rice flour made a HUGE difference. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe! 😀
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
Hi Caroline, may I know what’s the name of the Korean shop in Desa Sri Hartamas that you had bought the Hotteok press from? Thank you~!
"sweet cinnamon brown sugar syrup" Wow this sounds so satisfying!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Great! Then, you are one of my kind, ha ha!
Thanks. Hope you like them.
Thanks, Marciel. Let me know how it turned out.
Do you visit Korea often? If you find one these get one. It is quite cheap and fun to play with.
I am glad that you found my blog too. Please visit my blog again.
Hope you will get another storm(?) soon so you can give these a try! LOL!
My family loves Kaya toasts. Yes, red bean paste buns are my all time favorite!
I agree. As Asian we all do have a similar taste buds, I think…
I love red bean buns. Koreans do have them, too.
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.
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.
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 (:
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 (:
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.
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!
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!
Love that tool… and the pancakes, off course… I shall look for it on my next trip to Korea… 🙂
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.
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!
Yes… I do have trouble saying no to sweet and greasy foods. I wouldn't be able to say no to these!