Korean Sweet Filled Pancakes (2) | Hodduk (호떡)

Korean adults are notoriously picky when it comes to desserts. When I was growing up, our family parties were great but when it came to dessert, we had fruit and barely sweet rice cakes (the sticky Korean rice cakes, not those popcorn-y kind); we never had chocolate or cake or anything made with white sugar.

Once in a while though, when we had catered parties, we would get treated to hodduk a.k.a. Korean pancakes with sweet filling. The downside though was that the hodduk was usually filled with red bean paste, which I abhor. However, sometimes, we got ones that were filled with honey or brown sugar, which I loved.

So, now that I'm old enough to make my own dietary decisions, I make hodduk all the time and I always make it with good fillings (re: anything that isn't red bean). I usually go with a brown sugar filling because the moisture from the honey can make the dough soggy which makes them impossible to make ahead.

I shared a hodduk recipe a few years ago but I thought it was time for an update because I've adjusted the ingredient quantities slightly since that initial post. Plus, like I've been doing here and there, I'm revamping some of my older posts that were made with poorer quality iPhone photos.
Ingredients [yields 2 to 2½ dozen]:
¾ cup milk, warmed
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoons dry active yeast
3 to 3¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely chopped nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, or whatever you like)

Start by assembling the dough. Bloom the yeast in warmed milk and sugar.
Mix together flour and salt. I like to start with 3 cups of flour and hold back ½ cup and add in more if necessary.
Pour in the milk mixture and mix together. Knead the dough (or use a stand mixer) until smooth. Cover the dough and let it rise for about an hour until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and divide into small 2 to 3 tablespoon sized portions.
The filling is super easy. Just mix together the brown sugar, chopped nuts (if using), cinnamon, and salt. Done.
To assemble the hodduk, grab a piece of dough and flatten into a disk. Add a scoop of filling to the center and then pinch the two halves together. Then, use both palms to roll the hodduk into a sphere.
If you're making the hodduk ahead of time, you can wrap the individual dough balls in parchment and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few hours. The other option is to freeze them (again, in parchment in an airtight container). Frozen hodduk can be defrosted in the fridge for a few hours before cooking. The cooking instructions are below.
To cook up these bad boys, heat up a skillet with some butter over medium. Press the hodduk balls into the skillet to flatten.
Cook the hodduk on each side for 2 to 3 minutes or until they're golden brown and toasted.
Allow the hodduk to cool briefly before serving. Otherwise, everyone will burn their lips on the hot melted sugar.
Once bitten into, the hodduk reveals a deliciously melty brown sugar center. The cinnamon adds a lovely warmth and spice, the nuts add some texture, and the little bit of salt grounds the sugar and prevents it from being too cloying. I love the crispness of the toasted portion of the dough and the fluffy chewiness of the interior of the dough. This is a great dessert for kids and grownups alike; there's enough sweetness but not too much sweetness, you know?
Here's the recipe page:


  1. I've never tried hodduk but anything wrapped in a bun/pastry that has a filling I usually love!! I also like desserts that aren't too sweet, so yummy!

    1. Yes! And I love that these are warm; they're perfect with a cup of tea in the winter.


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