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Korean Donuts
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Rising Time
2 hrs

Crispy, sugary twists that crunch softly when you bite down. Korean Donuts will make all your cinnamon-sugar donut dreams come true.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Donuts, Korean
Servings: 16 twist donuts
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1. Heat melted butter and milk in saucepan until lukewarm to the touch, but not hot or steaming. Sprinkle yeast over the liquid and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Add egg and beat lightly with fork.

    white bowl filled with flour and small saucepan with milk and butter and yeast
  2. Add flour, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Add liquid and mix with spatula until dough forms. The dough will be very sticky so feel free to sprinkle dough with a little more flour if needed. Cover and put in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough. Let rise again, about 45 minutes. (Yes, the dough needs to rise twice.)

    dough in white mixing bowl on white background
  3. Lightly flour surface. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 16 equal pieces. I cut the dough in half, then keep halving until I get 16 equal-ish pieces.

    16 pieces of dough on white surface
  4. Shape dough into twists: Take one piece and roll out (with your hands) into a long strip, about 10 inches long.

    10 inch piece of dough rolled out on white surface
  5. Simultaneously twist one end away from you and one end towards you.

    long piece of donut dough twisted on both ends
  6. Hold the ends and lift the dough off the surface, in a U-shape. The donut should naturally twist. If you need, give it a little extra twist to help it along.

    donut twist on white surface
  7. Pinch the ends together and tuck under each other.

    korean donut twist on white cutting board
  8. Transfer to parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat until you have 16 twists. Let the twisted donuts rise another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels and cooling rack so the finished donuts have a landing place once they're finished frying. Also, prep a large cast iron dutch oven (or stock pot) with a candy thermometer and 1.5 inches of vegetable oil.

    sheet pan full of korean donut twists
  9. Heat oil until thermometer reaches 325F. Gently lower donuts into oil in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. (I fry 4 donuts at a time.) Maintain an even temperature between 300-325F, lowering and raising heat if needed. Turn the donuts and cook until both sides are golden, about 2-4 minutes total.

    cast iron dutch oven with candy thermometer attached
  10. As the oil heats, prep the cinnamon sugar. Add sugar and cinnamon to a large shallow bowl and mix with a spoon. Once the donuts have finished frying, use tongs to transfer hot donuts to the cinnamon sugar. Use the spoon to sprinkle and thoroughly coat each donut with cinnamon sugar. You may need to turn the donuts with tongs to ensure that all sides are well coated.

    tray of korean donut twists with hand grabbing one
  11. Eat immediately! Korean donuts taste best when they are still warm.

Recipe Notes

*Leftover donuts can be frozen and reheated in a 325F oven until crispy and hot, about 4-5 minutes.  

**Yeast is finicky.  There are many ways to kill yeast.  Yeast can also die if it's too old.  To determine if your yeast is still active, sprinkle a small amount (a pinch) over warm water.  If it foams, it's still good.  If it doesn't foam, then you may need to get a new batch.