Korean Sweet Rice Cake ‘Samoas’

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Korean sweet rice cakes (gyungdan) are traditionally filled with red bean paste and coated in different grain or bean powders.  I created this rice cake recipe by chance when I was experimenting with different fillings and coatings and wound up with one that tastes like the famous ‘samoas’ girl scout cookie!  However, they are much healthier.  There are many types of Korean rice cakes, but this one is the easiest as it does not require ‘pounding’ with a pestle.  You simply make the 4-ingredient dough and boil the rice cake balls.  This particular version is filled with Nutella and coated with toasted coconut…yum!  Feel free to create your own unique variations.

Korean Rice Cake

Korean Rice Cake ‘Samoas’

Servings: Makes 32 rice cakes


For the dough (adapted from Maangchi):

-2 cups sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour – Chapssalgaru)

-3 Tbls sugar

-1/2 tsp salt

-2/3 cup hot water

Remaining Ingredients:

-1 package coconut flakes

-1/4 cup Nutella


For the toasted coconut:

1) Take your coconut flakes and spread them evenly on a dry baking sheet.  Bake it in the oven at about 210 degrees Celsius for 3-5 minutes until the flakes are brown.  You might want to stir them few times for even brownness and watch it the whole time so they doesn’t burn.

Toasted Coconut 1

Toasted Coconut 2

For the rice cakes:

1) Make the rice cake dough by combining the flour, sugar, salt, and hot water in a bowl.  It should be the consistency of firm cookie dough, it shouldn’t stick to your hands.  If it is sticky, add more flour.

Korean Rice Cake 1

2) On a lightly floured surface, break the dough in two pieces and form two rolls with them.  Cut those rolls into 8 disks and then cut the disks in half, so each initial roll makes 16 balls for 32 total.

Korean Rice Cake 2

Korean Rice Cake 3

3) Cover the balls with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out.  Take one piece at a time and form it into a small disk, put in about 1/2 tsp of Nutella and then form the dough into a ball by pinching the edges together around the filling.  Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly round, when you coat them in the coconut, you can’t even tell. *If they stick to your hands, you can put some flour on your fingers to help.

Korean Rice Cake 4

*Note I used red bean paste in this picture.

Korean Rice Cake 5

4) Once you have the first 16 balls made, get a pot of water boiling.  Gently put the balls in the boiling water for about 3-5 minutes until they float to the surface.

Korean Rice Cake 6

Korean Rice Cake 7

5) Remove the balls from the boiling water and rinse in cold water.  Drain the balls and tap off the excess moisture (the balls will still be wet – don’t worry).  Roll each ball in the toasted coconut flakes.  Then put the balls on a plate to cool.  The balls may feel squishy at this point, but they will become firm after cooling for about 15-20 minutes.

Korean Rice Cake 8

6) Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining dough.

Korean Rice Cake 9


Below are the ingredients used in this recipe.  All ingredients can be found at Home Plus.  The coconut flakes (called ‘coconut slice’) are in the baking section near the chocolate and yeast.  The Nutella is in the peanut butter and jelly section and the glutinous rice flour is with the other flours.

Glutinous Rice FlourCoconut FlakesNutella

Nutrition Information

For 1 rice cake: 57 Calories, 1.1 g Fat, 0.5 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 33.7 mg Sodium, 10.9 g Carbohydrates, 0.4 g Fiber, 2.8 g Sugars, 0.8 g Protein.

Filed under: Desserts, Snacks

The blog about healthy cooking and baking in Korea


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