Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a remarkable city gloriously lined with modern architecture, technological feats, and places bustling with vibrant culture. But most importantly, the food scene here is epic. Going beyond the spicy hot dishes that the city is proud of, we have curated a list of amazing desserts in Seoul that you will definitely love to try.
Hwajeon, or flower cake, is quite a festive dessert that you shouldn’t miss out on when in Seoul. It is a pan-fried rice cake made using glutinous rice flour, honey, and petals of seasonal edible flowers, for instance, rhododendron.
Tteok means “rice cake” in the Korean language. It is a type of multi-grain rice cake that uses both glutinous and non-glutinous rice flour and that of other grains. Steamed flour is pounded or pan-fried for the preparation of these chewy, gummy, sweet delights.
This is a super-exciting dessert that will challenge the special place that the plain old ice cream has in your heart. Patbingsu is a shaved ice dessert that is wildly popular among Koreans, having an assortment of toppings such as chopped fresh fruits, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and red beans.
You will not be sorry to indulge in the absolute winter fantasy that the Hotteok is. It is basically a sweet pancake tremendously popular as a wintery street food in Seoul. It has deliciously gooey fillings of dark brown sugar, cinnamon, or nuts that make the pancake too tempting for words.
Yakgwa is a traditional Korean cookie that is airy-light and exceptionally flavorful. It has pleasing notes of ginger and honey that tingle your taste buds, and the melt-in-your-mouth crumbly texture keeps you coming back for more.
We have already established what Tteok means. So, Chapssaltteok is a type of rice cake that is basically the Korean version of Mochi. It is made using red beans and glutinous rice. Especially enjoyed when the weather is nice and cold, Chapssaltteok has a soft, chewy, comforting texture.
Nurungji is the Korean term for scorched rice. You know how when you cook rice on the stovetop, the bottom-most layer of rice becomes crunchy, chewy, and slightly burnt? Well, the Koreans have managed to take that layer of rice and turn it into a simple, sweet treat. Sprinkled with sugar on top, nurungji is a popular after-meal snack in Seoul restaurants.
Also known as Yakbap, Yaksik is a sweet, nutty rice cake immensely popular in Seoul. It is made from steamed glutinous rice and features ingredients such as chestnuts, jujubes, pine nuts, quirky seasonings of honey, sesame oil, brown sugar, and soy sauce, or cinnamon.
Dragon’s Beard Candy
This is Seoul’s take on the ever-popular cotton candy and is equally loved in the city. Once considered as a snack fit for kings, Dragon’s Beard Candy is also known as Kkultarae. It is made primarily using honey and corn starch. The rich sweetness of the delicate honey strands definitely makes you feel like royalty.
Yeot is a type of Korean confectionery made from steamed glutinous rice, sweet potatoes, and corn. It is a wacky set of candies in multiple varieties such as Hobakyeot, Kkaeyeot, and Boriyeot, which feature pumpkin, sesame seeds, and barley, respectively.
Champagne Sugar Ball
This is an exquisite cake that stars a handcrafted sugar sphere filled with champagne foam and elegant, edible flower petals. The sugar ball is delicately placed on cheesecake snow and strawberry panna cotta and is laced with fresh, juicy strawberries.
Seoul’s Bungeoppang is the equivalent of Japan’s beloved Taiyaki. They are fish-shaped, filling-stuffed waffles that are a hugely popular snack, especially during the pleasant wintertime. The filling is characteristic of the signature sweet red bean paste, which marries well with the crisp texture of the crust.
You think Americans know how to make those good old pancakes? Wait till you come to Seoul because a mere sight of the heavenly pancakes here is more than enough to make you go, “Oh. My. Gawd.” Different cafes use different amounts and types of cheese, heaps of mascarpone, for instance, to achieve the ultimate fluffiness and a silky soft texture. As though that wasn’t enough, there are flavors such as banana-caramel and tiramisu that somehow make the Souffle Pancakes even more stunning than they already are.
Ppopgi is the finest example of how simple, basic ingredients can become absolutely tempting and delicious. It is a Korean candy that is made from just sugar and baking soda. It has a smoky, nutty, slightly bitter flavor and the texture is airy-light and delightfully brittle.
Locally known as Ttongppang or Ddongbbang, the Poop Bread is a peculiar dessert that the street markets of Seoul are quite fond of. It is a Korean bread that has a red bean filling lined with crunchy walnuts. It is baked in the shape of, not to sound distasteful, but feces. Try it for your Instagram, maybe?
Dasik is a tiny cookie that is a popular tea-time snack in Korea. It is made from edible seed flour or any grain flour, typically rice and honey. The mold used to shape these bite-size cookies have cute shapes, which make Dasik look extremely appetizing.
Waffles are an all-time favorite classic, especially popular in Seoul for their golden texture and a selection of exciting toppings. As the name suggests, Strawberry waffles star fresh strawberries with a massive cloud of whipped cream that perfectly complements the tanginess of strawberry slices.
Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream
Eateries in Seoul are highly creative and innovative, especially when it comes to desserts. The Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream is one such product of supreme creativity. Also known as Icemellow, it features chocolate-studded vanilla ice cream that is covered with tenderly toasted marshmallow. The combination is, simply put, magical.
Floating Cloud Ice Cream
This is a decadent ice cream dessert that features multiple scoops of ice cream along with lip-smacking nectareous sauces or syrup and sweet, airy cotton candy. It is then topped with colorful sprinkles, pillowy marshmallows, fresh cherries, or whipped cream.
Three-Layered Cotton Candy Ice Cream
Seoul’s Three-Layered Cotton Candy Ice Cream is definitely a must-try if you love desserts that are as pretty as they are yummy. The ice cream in question has three cotton candies that have pleasant pastel hues each. They are rolled together, and when paired with velvety ice cream and an assortment of toppings, the dessert becomes absolutely Instagram-worthy.
Bean Flour Shaved Ice
Bean Flour Shaved Ice is a truly unbeatable summertime dessert in Seoul. It is a popular variation of Patbingsu that uses frozen milk that is shaved, like shaved ice, along with sweet adzuki beans.
Patjuk is a delectable Korean porridge that stars boiled and mashed sweet red beans with chewy rice balls. Although the porridge has divinely sweet notes, it is commonly enjoyed as a meal than a dessert in Seoul.
Green Tea Desserts
Like Japan, Korea is a huge fan of Green Tea as well. Cafes and bakeries in Seoul proudly display this love in the form of a crazy assortment of desserts that primarily feature Green Tea. From Green Tea Cheesecakes to Green Tea Macarons, you can find it all here in Seoul.
Flower Pot Cake
A yet another example of creative Korean desserts, the Flower Pot Cake is realistically designed in the shape of a flowerpot. With flavors such as banana, strawberry, blueberry, and espresso, the cake has edible flowers, shovels, and dirt made from the chocolate pudding. Exciting, right?
Macarons are dainty little delights made from sugar, egg whites, ground almonds, and food coloring. As pretty to look at with their pastel colors as they are sweet, they are often served in pairs sandwiched together with ganache or buttercream. Modern patisseries experiment with exciting flavors such as salted caramel, coffee, rose, green tea, and so on.
A Spanish dessert that features delicately fried dough dusted with cinnamon and/or sugar, Churros are a warm, loving cuddle for the tummy. They have a crisp surface and a soft center and are commonly paired with dipping sauces such as salted caramel, chocolate, or cookies and cream. This is a dessert that you will certainly enjoy sinking your teeth in.
This is a pan-fried Tteok or rice cake that you should definitely try in Seoul. It has a flat, half-moon shape. The filling inside has the richness from sweet white adzuki beans, and the flavor is further built with ingredients such as ground sesame seeds, cinnamon powder, and honey.
Rose Ice Cream
No, this ice cream is not rose-flavored, although it can be if you desire so. The title refers to the style in which the ice cream is served. Rose Ice Cream is a Seoul favorite, containing multi-flavored gelato and shaped exactly like a rose which may be served either in a cone or a cup. The petals and leaves can be in any flavor that the gelateria houses.
Another traditional sweet treat of Korea, Songpyeon, is a small Tteok that is similar to Bukkumi. What makes it special is that it is typically enjoyed at the Korean Autumn Festival known as Chuseok.
Trust Seoul’s Popsicles to instantly put you in a better mood. Their bright colors and extensive selection of fresh fruit flavors are totally tantalizing. From the usual single flavors to exotic blends such as kiwi-raspberry, the city has them all.
So if you are looking for a refreshingly zingy dessert adventure, then Seoul boasts of an absolute sweet parade that you should unquestionably participate in.