hotteok – sweet pancakes

These hotteok are a delicious winter treat stuffed with hot brown sugar syrup and cinnamon! An incredibly popular street food, these sweet Korean pancakes are sure to warm you up on a cold day!

One of the benefits of living in Boston is the wealth of cultures and, of course, cuisines represented. As Brittney’s university friends come from all over the world, we often gather to trade recipes and share our favorite foods.  The last dinner we had was hosted by our Korean friends and I decided to surprise them by attempting a Korean dessert – hotteok. Hotteok is a sweet filled pancake commonly eaten as a street food in Korea during the winter months.

hotteok held in hand

Hotteok is indeed a wonderful cold weather recipe: warming cinnamon and hot brown sugar syrup stuffed inside fried dough. It will undoubtedly warm you up on a cold day. Apart from the spices and sugar, the filling normally includes a mixture of seeds and nuts. This time around I used chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. In a traditional hotteok recipe rice flour is often used, but as it is not as widespread in the US, I opted to use regular flour – which does not compromise on flavor.

hotteok topped with seeds
hotteok held in hand

hotteok - korean pancake

serves: 8 prep time: cook time:
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


yeast mixture
  • active dry yeast 1½ tsp
  • milk 180 ml (¼ c)
  • sugar 1 tsp
  • flour 300 g (2½ c)
  • salt 1 tsp
  • sugar 2 tbsp
  • milk 260 ml (1 c)
  • seeds and nuts* 50 g (½ c)
  • brown sugar 75 g (½ c)
  • cinnamon 1 tbsp
for cooking
  • flourfor working surface
  • vegetable oilfor frying



  1. Mix warm milk, sugar and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a separate bowl.
  3. Add milk and yeast mixture. Knead until dough forms. Add a tablespoon or two of flour if needed, but the dough should remain sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place for an hour or until the dough doubles in size.
  5. Push the dough down, cover and let it rise for an additional 30 minutes.


  1. If needed chop seeds and nuts until pieces are similar in size.
  2. Mix nuts, seeds, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.


  1. Generously dust working surface with flour.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
  3. Roll each part into a circle with a 5-inch (12 cm) diameter. Add the filling to the center - about one and a half tablespoons.
  4. Pinch the sides of the dough together and form a ball.
  5. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
  6. Heat up the pan and add some oil.
  7. Place the pancake into the pan seam-side down.  Fry for 30 seconds and then flatten the pancake. Fry for another minute and then flip over. Continue frying for one-two minutes or until the pancake is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.


    seeds and nuts
    for this recipe I used a mixture of walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

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