Stuffed Hotteok Korean Pancake (Dough & Filling Recipe)
Hotteok is a pan-fried 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 hot hotteok with this authentic homemade recipe! Step-by-step instructions and visual guidance provided.
When you visit Korea, don’t miss the must-try treat: hotteok, the delightful Korean sweet pancakes also known as hoddeok (호떡). Available from street food vendors, hotteok offers a memorable experience of Korean pancake ideas and Korean food culture.
These sweet treats hold a special place as one of the most beloved sweet snacks in Korea, alongside twisted donuts. As you wander through various street markets, especially during the cold season, you’ll easily find these Korean winter treats fried in hot oil.
What is Hotteok?
Hotteok is delectable Korean sweet-filled pancakes made from wheat flour (or a mix of wheat and rice flour for a better texture), water, milk, and yeast.
The magic happens when the dough is filled with the hotteok filling; a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and peanuts. It’s then cooked on a griddle with oil, pressed flat into a circle using a hotteok press, and fried until it turns golden brown and crispy on the outside.
As the filling heats up, it transforms into a delightful piping hot syrup, creating an explosion of flavors in every bite of these Korean hot-stuffed pancakes.
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 have the option to purchase pre-made sweet Korean pancake mix or frozen hotteok at a Korean market. However, making this delectable Korean dessert from scratch with just a few basic ingredients is incredibly easy and highly rewarding.
The best part is that you don’t even need to knead the dough. Just mix with a spoon and let it rise.
Along with other Korean sweet breads, hotteok is a nostalgic sweet treat for Korean people young and old. And it seems like the world is falling for it, too.
Making Better Hotteok (Recipe Tips)
Can I make hotteok with just wheat flour?
Yes, you can make hotteok using only wheat flour, but adding sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour) will enhance the texture, making the dough softer and chewier. Wheat flour alone may cause the dough to harden more quickly once cooled.
A hint of Baking Powder
Adding a tiny amount of baking powder to the yeast dough helps the overall texture light and fluffy.
No kneading required
This recipe eliminates the need for kneading the dough. Simply mix the ingredients with a spoon for a minute, then let the dough rise until it doubles in volume. It couldn’t be easier!
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.
Where can I find a hotteok press?
You can easily find a hotteok press in most Korean markets or online. If you don’t have one, a round bowl with a smooth flat bottom can be used as an alternative.
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 Your Korean fried pancakes 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 – any meltable cheese for savory substitute
This recipe will show you how to make the classic version – cinnamon and chopped nut stuffed pancakes
- Flours: all-purpose flour and sweet rice flour (also known as 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.
- Sugar and salt
- Milk and oil
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Filling:
- Brown sugar + Cinnamon +Peanuts
How to Make Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancake)
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 the hotteok is freshly fried, it will be extremely hot. In Korea, it’s common to use a small paper cup to hold the hot pancake.
Gently bend the hotteok in half and place it in the cup, which protects your fingers from the hot fried dough and catches any dripping syrup as you enjoy. Smart!
The syrup inside the freshly cooked hotteok will be extremely hot, so please be careful when offering it to young children. You can allow the hotteok to cool for 2 minutes before serving. However, for the best taste experience, enjoy the hotteok as hot as you can handle, even if it means risking a little burn on your tongue. The delicious flavors are worth it!
While hotteok is best enjoyed freshly fried, you can reheat leftover hotteok for a delightful treat later. Use a toaster to make them crispy or warm them up in a 350˚F oven for about 10 minutes until heated through. You can also freeze the leftover by placing them in a freezer-safe zip bag for up to 3 months.
Watch Hotteok recipe video
Enjoy making and savoring this delicious Korean stuffed pancake – hotteok! With its chewy, hot, sweet, and flavorful filling, it’s no wonder people of all ages in Korea and beyond have fallen in love with this nostalgic snack.
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)
I posted this recipe in November, 2011. I’ve updated it with a minor change, new photos, and more information.
Stuffed Hotteok Korean Pancake (Dough & Filling Recipe)
- 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!