Korean cream cheese garlic bread is the ultimate garlic bread experience. This easy recipe features store-bought rolls filled with sweet cream cheese, then coated in a garlic butter blend. The result? A perfect balance of sweet and savory, with a crispy exterior and creamy interior.

Korean cream cheese garlic bread baked on a baking sheet.

Living the good life in Korea means one thing: Korean bakeries on every corner. And let me tell you, these aren’t your average bakeries. They’re churning out the most delicious baked goods this side of the Pacific. Sweet or savory, they’ve got it all.

Recently, the cream cheese garlic bread craze has taken over in Korea. You can find them everywhere, even in the busy subway station alleys of Seoul metro. You won’t be able to resist the aroma of these golden, garlicky, cheesy buns. It’s like heaven in your nostrils.

Cream cheese filling inside of Korean garlic bread buns.

Now, you might think making these delectable treats at home is a daunting task. But, with store-bought soft rolls or buns, the process is easy as pie.

With my easy recipe, you’ll have a batch of perfectly sweet and savory Korean cream cheese garlic bread in no time. You just need to give it a try and taste the magic for yourself.

Korean cream cheese garlic bread topped with parmesan cheese.

What is Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread?

Korean style garlic bread is a popular food trend that originated in South Korea and has since spread around the world. Joining its ranks are other popular delights like Korean hotdogs and rose tteokbokki.

A soft bread roll is segmented into six parts, leaving the base intact. A sweet cream cheese mixture is piped into the crannies between the segments, opening up the roll like a flower.

After filling the roll with the cream cheese mixture, it is coated with garlic butter on the outside. Then, it is baked until the exterior becomes crispy and golden.

The end result? A luxurious garlic bread that is richer, more buttery, and more flavorful than any you have ever tasted before.

Personal Note: Korean garlic bread is a snack that divides opinions. It belongs to the love-it-or-hate-it category, with some people absolutely adoring it, while others find it a bit peculiar. Trying it may require some adjustment and getting accustomed to its unique flavors.

The Bread Rolls

To make the recipe quick and easy, I prefer using store-bought soft rolls such as Kaiser or brioche buns. It’s important to choose buns that are whole, and not sliced for making sandwiches. Any type of soft-textured bread roll will work.

If you have a to-die-for homemade white bread recipe that’s been passed down in your family, by all means, go for it! Just make sure that the rolls are roughly the same size as hamburger buns, about 4 1/2-inch in diameter. Smaller rolls may make it challenging to fill them with the cream cheese mixture.

Cream Cheese Filling

This is the sweet and creamy filling that gives Korean cream cheese garlic bread its signature flavor. It’s made by combining cream cheese and powdered sugar to create a smooth and slightly sweet mixture.

  • Cream cheese: Softened cream cheese at room temperature is essential for a smooth and creamy filling. Make sure to leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for about an hour before use.
  • Powdered sugar: This ingredient adds a touch of sweetness to the cream cheese filling. It’s best to use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar to avoid any graininess in the filling.

Korean Garlic Butter

The savory and buttery garlic butter coating is the real magic behind Korean cream cheese garlic bread. This delicious mixture gives the rolls their irresistible golden-brown crispiness on the outside, while keeping the inside soft and fluffy. The aroma of garlic and richness of the butter make this snack incredibly addictive, which is why it has become a favorite among foodies worldwide.

Here are the ingredients that go into the garlic butter mixture.

  • Unsalted butter: Use melted unsalted butter as the base for the garlic butter mixture.
  • Garlic: A key ingredient that gives the garlic butter its savory flavor. Make sure to finely mince the garlic before adding it to the mixture.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This ingredient adds a hint of sweetness to the garlic butter coating.
  • Heavy cream: Provides a rich taste and creaminess to the garlic butter mixture.
  • Parsley: Adds a fragrant aroma to the garlic butter mixture. Commercially produced Korean garlic buns typically use dried parsley over fresh.
    • If using fresh parsley, double the amount.
  • Egg: Works to keep the filling intact and bound to the bread rolls.
  • Salt: Seasoning that brings out the overall taste of the garlic butter coating.
  • Shredded cheese: Use this ingredient for topping the bread rolls after they have been coated with the garlic butter mixture.
    • Grated Parmesan cheese is the preferred type, as it adds a salty and nutty flavor that complements the garlic and cream cheese filling.

How to Make Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread

Make cream cheese filling

  • Combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a spatula or fork to mix until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer the filling to a pastry bag or a zip-top bag and cut off a small piece of the tip, about 1/2 inch in size. Set the bag aside for later use.

Mix garlic butter coating

  • Melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add minced garlic, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, dried parsley, and an egg to the melted butter.
  • Stir well until you incorporate all the ingredients.

Prepare the bread rolls and bake

  • Use a sharp knife to create six segments or petals in each roll, making sure not to cut all the way through to the base of the roll.
    • The cream cheese mixture fills the openings created in the roll.
  • Squeeze the cream cheese filling into the gaps between each segment of the roll, filling each gap about halfway to the edge.
    • You don’t need to fill the gaps all the way to the center of the roll. Leave some space for the filling to expand while baking. Save about 1/4 of the filling for later use.
  • Dip each roll into the garlic butter mixture, making sure to coat the top of the roll evenly.
  • Place the coated rolls onto the lined baking sheet.
  • Use the remaining cream cheese mixture to add dollops on top of each roll. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake the rolls in the preheated 350˚F oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crisp.
  • Some of the garlic butter mixture may drip off the rolls, which is normal.
  • Serve the rolls hot or warm, and enjoy the delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Korean cream cheese garlic bread bun on a plate.

Storage and Reheating Tips

To store your Korean garlic buns, keep them in an airtight container or tightly wrap them in plastic and store them in the fridge for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to a month.

When reheating, preheat your oven to 350°F and place the garlic bread on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bread is crispy on the outside and warmed through on the inside.

More Trendy Korean Recipes to Try

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Korean cream cheese garlic bread baked on a baking sheet.

Easy Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread

Korean cream cheese garlic bread: the ultimate blend of sweet cream cheese, garlic butter, and melted cheese on store-bought rolls. Crispy outside, creamy inside.
4.75 from 4 ratings

Recipe Video

Ingredients

  • 6 store-bought kaiser or brioche buns, about 4 1/2-inch diameter, uncut
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Cream cheese filling

  • 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Garlic butter coating

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 tbsp heavy cream, or whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes, or 4 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a half-sheet baking pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking and make cleanup easier.
  • To make the cream cheese filling, combine softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a spatula or fork to mix until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag or a zip-top bag and cut off a small piece of the tip, about 1/2 inch in size. Set the bag aside for later use.
  • For the garlic butter mixture, melt unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add minced garlic, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, dried parsley, and an egg to the melted butter. Stir well until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • For the bread buns, use a sharp knife to create six segments or petals in each roll, making sure not to cut all the way through to the base of the roll. This creates openings in the roll that will be filled with the cream cheese mixture.
  • Squeeze the cream cheese filling into the gaps between each segment of the roll, filling each gap about halfway to the edge. You don't need to fill the gaps all the way to the center of the roll. Leave some space for the filling to expand while baking. Save about 1/4 of the filling for later use.
  • Dip each roll into the garlic butter mixture, making sure to coat the top of the roll evenly. Place the coated rolls onto the lined baking sheet. Use the remaining cream cheese mixture to add dollops on top of each roll. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crisp. Some of the garlic butter mixture may drip off the rolls, which is normal. Serve the rolls hot or warm, and enjoy the delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors.
Calories: 661kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 238mg, Sodium: 823mg, Potassium: 222mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1518IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 269mg, Iron: 1mg
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