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Korean Twisted Doughnuts

  • Author: Chef Emy



Korean twisted doughnuts, known as “Kkwabaegi”, are a popular street food in Korea, beloved for their crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior. These twisted treats are often coated in cinnamon sugar, making them an irresistible combination of sweet and savory. Making Korean twisted doughnuts at home can be a fun and rewarding baking project. Here’s how to bring this delicious piece of Korean street food culture into your kitchen.


For the Doughnuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 2/3 cup warm milk

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the Coating:

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


 Prepare the Dough

  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast.

  • Add Wet Ingredients: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the warm milk, beaten egg, and melted butter. Mix until a soft dough forms.

  • Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.

  • First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

2. Shape the Doughnuts

  • Divide the Dough: Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces.

  • Shape: Roll each piece into a long rope, about 10 inches long. Then, holding the ends of the rope, twist it several times. Loop the twisted rope into a knot, tucking the ends underneath.

  • Second Rise: Place the shaped doughnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until puffy.

3. Fry the Doughnuts

  • Heat the Oil: In a deep fryer or a large, heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C). Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.

  • Fry: Fry the doughnuts in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

  • Drain: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried doughnuts to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

4. Coat the Doughnuts


  • Prepare the Coating: Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish.

  • Coat: While the doughnuts are still warm, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated


Serving and Storage:

Serve Korean twisted doughnuts warm for the best taste and texture. They are best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To reheat, warm them in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 5 minutes to recrisp the exterior.

Tips for Perfect Kkwabaegi:

  • Temperature Control: Keeping the oil at the right temperature is crucial. If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will brown too quickly without cooking through. If it’s too cool, the doughnuts will absorb too much oil and become greasy.

  • Uniform Size: Try to keep all your doughnuts roughly the same size and thickness to ensure even cooking.

  • Coating Variations: While cinnamon sugar is traditional, feel free to experiment with other coatings, such as powdered sugar or a glaze.


Korean twisted doughnuts are not just a treat; they’re a journey into the heart of Korean street food culture. Making them at home can be a delightful way to explore new flavors and techniques, bringing a taste of Korea into your kitchen. Enjoy the process, and don’t forget to share the delicious results with friends and family!