Korean Honey Cookies (Yakgwa) Recipe

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Ian Modified: December 17, 2021
Korean Honey Cookies (Yakgwa) Recipe


How To Make Korean Honey Cookies (Yakgwa)

Yakgwa is an ubiquitous Korean cookie. It is a crisp fried cookie that is coated with a thick honey-ginger syrup. The perfect partner to tea!

Prep: 40 mins
Resting and Soaking Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 4 hrs 35 mins


For the Cookie Dough:

  • 3 cup flour
  • 1⁄4 cup sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 1⁄4 cup sake
  • 1⁄4 cup water

For the Syrup:

  • 1⁄2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 ginger, small piece, peeled and thinly sliced

For Frying:

  • 3 cup vegetable oil, or as needed for frying

For Serving:

  • 1⁄4 cup pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted


Make the Dough:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the flour in a large bowl.
  3. Add sesame oil and mix by hand, rubbing the flour between hands and fingers to combine.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey, sake, and water together.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and knead gently with hands to form a dough.

  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  7. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thick.

  8. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips to make diamond or rectangle shapes. Or cut into a flower shape.

  9. With the help of a fork or toothpick, pierce a small hole in the center of each cookie. Set aside.

Make the Syrup.

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the rice malt syrup, honey, and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a simmer and then remove immediately from heat.
  4. Carefully pour into a rectangular dish or glass baking pan large enough to hold the cookies in a single layer.

Fry the Yakgwa.

  1. Place a sturdy, flat-bottomed fryer or saucepan onto the stove. Add enough oil for frying, at least 2 to 3 inches.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the oil temperature is 212 degrees F.

  3. In small batches, drop pastries in oil and fry, gently turning them until they puff and float.

  4. Raise the heat of the oil to about 300 degrees F and continue frying until the yakgwa turns golden brown.

  5. With the help of a slotted spoon, remove the yakgwa from the oil and place them into the ginger syrup. Repeat the frying process with the remaining cookies, being careful to allow all cookies to go through the two oil temperature stages.

  6. When all of the yakwa have been placed in the syrup, turn each one over once so they are coated.

  7. Soak in the syrup for 2 to 3 hours. Remove with a slotted spoon onto another dish lined with parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle with pine nuts and sesame seeds. Enjoy!


  • Sugar: 334g
  • :
  • Calcium: 187mg
  • Calories: 3590kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 396g
  • Fat: 218g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Iron: 7mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 78g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 96g
  • Potassium: 762mg
  • Protein: 21g
  • Saturated Fat: 26g
  • Sodium: 169mg
  • Vitamin A: 27IU
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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