13 Tasty Korean Dessert Recipes

Koreans do not usually have desserts at the end of their meals, with sweet dishes often served as a refreshment, with tea, or saved for special occasions.

But there is nothing stopping you from enjoying sweet, delicious Korean desserts with their versatile, unique flavors and easy recipes.

Whether you’re in the mood for a warm treat or a refreshing, cold dessert, there is a Korean delight waiting for you.

Sweet, colorful, and fun to make, Korean desserts never fail to amaze.

Korean Dessert Recipes

If you’re new to Korean cuisine, you may struggle to know where to begin. Worry not, as we have curated this guide, selecting 13 of the tastiest Korean dessert recipes for you to try.

From donuts to shaved iced pastry and poached pears to fruity punches, you will find your next favorite dessert below.

Traditional Korean Dessert Recipes

1. Korean Poached Pears (Baesuk)

We start with arguably one of the most popular and famous Korean dishes, Baesuk, or poached pears.

This dish is unique in that it can be enjoyed as a dessert or as a remedy for sore throats and coughs. However you have it, it will always taste delicious.

This recipe infuses flavors like ginger, peppercorn, and honey, resulting in a delectable and wholly nutritious dessert.

You can choose to poach the pears or steam them, offering a customizable approach to indulge in this flavorful treat.

2. Korean Shaved Ice (Bingsu)

Also known as Bingsu, Korean shaved ice is a popular treat, and the go-to dessert for cooling you down on a hot day.

There are a few varieties of this dessert, but the most popular is Patbingsu, translating to ice shavings with red beans. And, that is exactly what this recipe offers up.

Patbingsu is a versatile dessert, with the option of adding a variety of sweet toppings along with the red bean paste, such as fruit syrup, chopped fruits, or even condensed milk.

Another example of this dessert is Oreo Bingsu, where the shaved ice is adorned with crushed Oreo cookies.

This delivers a dreamy combination of creamy sweetness with a crunchy texture. Top off with breakfast cereals or ice cream to complete the refreshing flavors. 

3. Korean Sweet Pancake (Hotteok)

Hotteok is a beloved Korean traditional street food sweet. It is basically pan-fried sweet pancakes with a filling including the gooey goodness of brown sugar syrup and cinnamon.

You can also include honey and chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.

It’s no surprise Hotteok is so popular, with its chewy and crispy texture. And as for its flavor profile, this dessert boasts a sweet, nutty taste, resulting in a flavorful, comforting treat. 

4. Sweet Rice Cake (Yaksik)

If you’re in search of a healthy and sumptuous dessert, this is the one for you. Yaksik, Korean sweet rice cakes, are made with glutinous rice, dried fruits, nuts, and a generous dollop of honey.

As soon as we see honey in a dessert recipe, we have to try it due to its numerous health benefits. 

This particular recipe is one of the best for sweet rice cakes we have come across, yielding a chewy, sticky texture that goes down a treat with every bite.

The flavor profile is packed with sweetness, warmth, and aromatic spices, making it a unique and satisfying treat.

We highly recommend enjoying Yaksik for breakfast alongside a cup of tea or coffee. There’s no better way to start your day! 

Most Refreshing Korean Dessert Recipes

5. Korean Watermelon Punch

Desserts come in all shapes and sizes, and can even come in the form of beverages like this Korean watermelon punch.

This is a beautiful summery drink with thirst-quenching watermelon acting as the showstopper. Need a drink to wow guests at a summer party? This is the one!

Korean watermelon punch is a traditional drink in Korea, but there are different variations. If you want to make the traditional version, add sugar or honey to water to act as the base of the beverage.

If you prefer a lighter punch, you can add a soft drink. Whilst the recipe calls for milk, you may find it makes the punch a little too heavy. If so, get creative and mix in some other types of fruits, like blueberries or pineapples, for a fruitier, lighter summer refreshment. 

6. Sweet Korean Rice Drink (Sikhye)

Non-alcoholic and refreshingly sweet, Sikhye is a traditional Korean rice drink made with rice and malted barley.

Although a drink, it works amazingly as a dessert, thanks to its glutinous rice, resulting in a sweet, aromatic liquid. 

You can make this recipe easily in a rice cooker or instant pot and then serve it chilled.

That first sip is always joyful, blending sweetness with subtle nuttiness. A satisfying, refreshing conclusion to any Korean meal.  

7. Red Bean Popsicles

We return to red beans for this refreshing popsicle recipe. For this dessert, though, you need to blend the beans into a paste and then mix with condensed milk.

The creamy combo is then added to popsicle molds to make tasty red bean treats.

If you want a bit more of a chewier texture, you can add a small cup of whole beans to the red bean paste. The end result is a popsicle that is cool, sweet, and extremely satisfying!

8. Fresh Korean Strawberry Milk

If you’re in a hurry and have no time to cook a dessert, this fresh Korean strawberry milk recipe should be your go-to. Made with homemade syrup and four simple ingredients, this dessert is surprisingly filling and oh so yummy. 

Korean strawberry milk gains its popularity thanks to its simplicity and freshness. With only four natural ingredients, this light beverage offers a uniquely refreshing experience, and showcases authentic Korean flavors.

The shining light, however, is the taste of fresh strawberries, ideal for cooling you down on a warm summer’s day.

Tasty Korean Pastry Recipes

9. Korean Fish-Shaped Taiyaki Bread (Bungeoppang)

When you first try Bungeoppang, Korean fish-shaped bread, you may see and taste similarities with Taiyaki, a traditional Japanese snack.

This is because the Korean dessert is a fun twist on Tiyaki, with a distinctively chewy and crisp outer layer, a wonderful contrast to the Japanese counterpart’s texture.

This pastry is soft and crispy, filled with sweet red beans. Sporting a magical blend of textures and sweet fillings, Bungeoppang is a must-try for anyone who craves some pastry after a main meal. 

10. Twisted Donut (Kkwabaegi)

Kkwabaegi is a traditional fried dough pastry originating in Korea. As this recipe perfectly demonstrates, you make the donuts by twisting the dough before deep-frying.

This results in a soft, chewy, fluffy interior, and a crispy, crunchy exterior.

These twisted donuts have an exquisite yet subtly sweet flavor, further enhanced by a coating of cinnamon sugar.

Feel free to try other sweet toppings like powdered sugar or chocolate drizzle to add extra layers of flavor. Enjoy it with coffee, and your day will immediately get better!

11. Korean Honey Pastry (Yakgwa)

Honey and pastry; it doesn’t get much better than that! And, this Korean honey pastry recipe is a shining example of Korean desserts at their best. 

Known as Yakgwa in Korea, this dessert is traditionally served during the festive season, with ginger adding a seasonal, flavorful impact to the honey syrup.

The cookie is soaked in honey syrup, creating a sweet flavor and moist texture, but you can add some crunchiness with a sprinkling of chopped nuts on top.

If you have had Yakgwa before, you’ve probably never had it as light and flavorful as this recipe. It’s an absolute must for this Christmas season. 

12. Fish-Shaped Pastry

With its red bean filling bursting with sweetness, this fish-shaped pastry is a popular dessert in Korea.

It has a unique combination of crunchy edges and a chewy interior, exciting your taste buds and senses. 

To make this treat, you will need a fish-shaped taiyaki pan, but you can use a similar mold or improvise with creative alternatives. Serve with a glass of milk and enjoy these tasty pastries to brighten up any day. 

A Lesser Known Korean Dessert Recipe

13. Cinnamon Punch (Sujeonggwa)

When the months start to get a little colder, you should embrace them with this beautiful Korean cinnamon punch, known as Sujeonggwa.

This is a traditional delight that is usually enjoyed during the festive holidays but isn’t as well known around the world.

It is served cold, offering a sweet and aromatic experience. It sports a dark brown hue, ideal for fall days and nights, and its sweetness is enhanced by raw sugar.

The true magic stems from the drink’s ginger and cinnamon, creating a comforting sensation.

Sujeonggwa is an ideal refreshment and dessert for any celebration, but its rich flavors especially go down well during the holiday season. 

Final Thoughts

Korean desserts can be enjoyed on their own or as a tasty conclusion to a flavorful meal.

From refreshing punches to the comforting Sujeonggwa, these Korean treats offer a wide range of tastes and textures, offering that sweet ending we all crave to finish off a meal.

13 Tasty Korean Dessert Recipes

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


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Barbara Hunt


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