Korean Sweets Part II: Hoddeok (Sugar Pancake)

by Karen on Monday, January 24, 2011

Post image for Korean Sweets Part II: Hoddeok (Sugar Pancake)

In celebration of Korean New Year soon approaching, Lisa from Korean American Mommy asked if we'd like to be part of her Around the World Feature on Korea, and anytime I get to eat make Korean food, I'm more than happy to participate.  Check out her adventures cooking through mommy-hood (with her adorable lil' one) and get a look at what other featured bloggers, Eating and Living and Beyond Kimchi, are making for this Korean virtual meal!

One of my favorite Korean treats, hoddeok, is a lesser known street snack here that is very popular in Korea especially in the cold winters. Hoddeok is a sort of yeasty pancake that is filled with a variety of fillings such as sugar, cinnamon and nuts and pressed on a hot oily griddle until flat and crunchy on the outside and perfectly gooey hot on the inside. Sometimes and if you're lucky, a bit of the sugar oozes out, creating a crisp and sticky doily of caramelized heaven. To. Die. For.

I was introduced to hoddeok by a friend who took me to a truck in Koreatown in Los Angeles that sold these exclusively. Which was the worst and best thing that had ever happened to me, as my daily commute at the time passed right by this street. This truck became a common pit stop for me and I'd jump out of my car on the way back from work and buy one (and if I was feeling particularly careless, two).

The smell of hot hoddeok is one of those things that induces temporary amnesia and sudden lapse in judgment, causing it's victim to scarf down the piping hot sugar napalm. But, hoddeok is worth every burnt palate and additional pound. It's the sacrifice we humans make for something this damn good.

Makes 8


– 2 cups of all purpose flour
– 2 tbsps of granulated sugar
– 2 tsps of yeast
– 1 cup of room temp water
– 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
– 1/2 tsp of salt


– 1/2 cup of brown sugar
– 2 tbsps of pine nuts, chopped
– 1 tbsp of cinnamon

To make the dough, mix the cup of water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil together until dissolved.  Add in the flour and mix with a spatula just until incorporated.  Cover the bowl, and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  I put mine on top of my stove, heat off of course, to help it along.  While you wait for your dough to rise, make the filling by mixing the sugar, pine nuts and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Punch down the dough and let it rest again for another 20 minutes.  Pour the sticky dough onto a floured surface and knead for a while with well floured hands until the dough comes together.  Roll into a ball and cut in half and then cut each half into four smaller pieces.  Again with floured hands take each ball of dough and pat it flat with your hand and fill the middle with a heaping spoonful of the sugar mixture.  Slightly push with the back of a spoon so the sugar sits nicely in the dough.  Fold each end up and pinch slightly together so it seals shut.

Here's a video tutorial to help you fill your hoddeok.  This was a last minute idea, so please excuse my horrid nails!

In a well oiled cast iron skillet/griddle (or any pan if you don't have one) pour in a little vegetable oil so there is a thin coating and heat on medium flame.  Put the ball of dough pinched side down and cook for about 30 seconds until browned.  Flip over push the ball down into a flat pancake with the back of your spatula and cook for another minute. Flip again and cover with a lid and cook for a minute until the sugar is nice a melted.

Enjoy right away while intolerably hot!  And for more Korean sweets check out our sikhye, a rice and malt drink.

Recipe adapted from Maangchi

(Second image from here, rest from Globetrotter Diaries)



Erica January 24, 2011 at 10:18 am

I’m dying to have one of these right now with my morning coffee!! Looks delicious!!! My husband and lover of pine nuts would love this.

Valerie January 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

Holy molten syrup, Batman… I shouldn’t have come here LOL. Do you have those leftover ones still??

Gelareh January 24, 2011 at 11:43 am

mmmmmmmmmmmm…i remember stopping for these delights in k-town…and love the video tutorial 🙂

deana@lostpastremembered January 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

These are like Korean cinnamon buns?? Love the pine nut addition in the middle…ooh that center must be divine…. and, come on, it’s not as bad as the western version with a cup of sugar icing on top! Love the pictures and a great recipe for a roll that I have never heard of before!

Karen January 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

Kind of, but of course like you said, not as sweet. Thanks!

Lisa January 24, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Karen, you did such a great job on this. Thanks again for collaborating!

Karen January 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

Thanks for including us Lisa!

Hyosun Ro January 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Your hoddeok and photos look amazing! It’s been nice to get to know you a little through Lisa’s Around the World – Korea feature. It was certainly an honor for me to have an opportunity to collaborate with such talented bloggers like you, Lisa and Holly.

Karen January 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

Thanks, it was great working with you all 🙂

beyondkimchee January 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I don’t think there is any one who won’t like Hoddeok if they ever try. It is all time winter street snack food in Korea and I often crave these days. I better make some batch of Hoddeok dough myself and frying up these goddess. I had a great time participating with you all. Wonderful Hoddeok!

Karen January 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

Same– Was great seeing your dishes!

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen January 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Your description of this thing is making me hungry! Never really heard of them but I’ll take your word it and SO going to try it, you cant go wrong with something like this! Love the video by the way 🙂

Jackie (Phamfatale.com) January 25, 2011 at 12:53 am

Looks scrumptious! I’ve never heard of these sugar pancake before and the filling sounds heavenly! Thanks for introducing us to another lovely food site 🙂

Deana January 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I freaking love these things! Now I know what they’re called and I could even try to make it myself! Thanks!

Heavenly Housewife January 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Oh wow, this looks soooooooo good. This is going right into my bookmarks. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite treats in the world: Peshwari naan — which i can’t find a good recipe for. I am so looking forward to gobbling these yummy treats!
*kisses* HH

Karen January 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Hmm never had that before, will have to look into it– thanks!

a frog in the cottage January 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

i’m going nut for these pancakes !! they’re gorgious !!

just a french girl... January 27, 2011 at 3:56 am

I learn something new every time I read your posts… and I look forward to them, each and every time. I have never had this, despite being right next door …

brilynn January 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

Those look awesome! Want!

adaja February 5, 2011 at 11:46 am

i made this dish yesterday …and….
it was delicious,…. 🙂

Karen February 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

awesome! glad you tried it– always love hearing about the results 🙂

nithya at hungrydesi February 12, 2011 at 8:18 am

Wow these look amazing. Do you ever make them with a savoury filling?

Karen February 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

No I haven’t, but I’ve seen them filled cheese before– sounds good huh? 🙂

Delishhh February 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I was just saying to Korean American Mommy that i can’t belive you have this Hoddeok recipe. When i was living in Korea i tried to get this recipe all the time and they would never give it to me 🙂 It was always a secret. I love these. Guess what i am making this weekend. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Karen February 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

You’re welcome! I’m so glad you found us. Let us know how it turns out!!

Chidi January 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I want to know, can I make this without the cinnamon? My friend is allergic to cinnamon but I really wanted to make this for her…

Karen January 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

You could just omit the cinnamon and it would still be pretty tasty!

ashley January 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm

That looks so f*ing amazing! I am really bummed I didn’t find this when I was in Korea, but I will definitely attempt the homemade version!

Tavern May 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Super yummy. I love Hoddeok! 🙂

Bianca July 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I made this. It was good. how are you? I am fine. I hope you are fine, too.

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