Korean candy is one of the little things that makes life sweet and beautiful. And it's worth trying, even if you're not a fan of K-dramas or K-pop. Much like Japanese sweets, Korean treats excel in both aesthetics and taste. From cute packaging to all the fun ways you can enjoy them, it is impossible not to love them.
Koreans love sweet confections as much as they love spicy meals. They take snacking seriously, and they've even come up with a phrase related to snacking. It translates to "my mouth is bored" and is often used as an excuse to indulge in wholesome treats!
Due to that, South Korea has created countless delicious treats and snacks. Thanks to the existence of the internet and ongoing technological advancements, you can quickly get them with a click. So, there's no need to fly to Korea to taste their treats. The only problem most people will face is being unsure of which Korean candy to try.
No worries, though. We're here to help you out. After several taste tests, we've prepared a list of the best Korean sweets to try. So prepare for some sweet recommendations to include in your Korean candy box and satisfy your sweet tooth!
LOTTE Dream Cacao 72%
Lotte Dream Cacao 72% is also known as the Korean candy 1220 since it contains 1220 mg of polyphenols. It is a dark chocolate cube that easily melts into your mouth, leaving a pleasant bittersweet aftertaste. Not to mention that this chocolate treat is healthy for you since dark chocolate offers many health benefits. Thus, you can enjoy this treat without any guilt!
Not everyone is a fan of dark chocolate, but this one will change your mind. Once you've eaten one, you'd probably want more and more. So take it from us who have fallen in love with its irresistible chocolatey taste. We understand why Jun Wan from 'Hospital Playlist' loves it so much.
LOTTE Dream Cacao Flavor Chocolate
Kopiko is a coffee shot in the form of a hard sweet. We are huge fans of this Korean coffee candy. Not only does it taste good, but it also keeps us awake anytime and anywhere! 5 Kopiko candies are equivalent to one cup of coffee. So, this serves as an excellent alternative for moments when you can't do a quick run to the coffee shop.
Due to its appearance in K-Dramas like 'Vincenzo' and 'Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha', many think this is pure Korean candy. Interestingly, Kopiko Korean candy originates from Indonesia. But it became popular in many countries, including South Korea, which is big on coffee culture. This sweet has a strong coffee flavour, but we're sure those who dislike coffee will also appreciate it. In fact, this treat is commonly eaten by children, making it a childhood favourite for many.
Kopiko Coffee Candy
Red Ginseng Candy
Red ginseng Korean candy is a hard sweet with a ginseng flavour. It is also one of the healthier treats you can enjoy while reaping many health benefits. Due to that, we like to call it the 'magic treat' that you can eat even when you're sick. Korean red ginseng candy benefits include strengthening the immune system, fighting fatigue, and enhancing brain function. So it is perfect for when you want to have something sweet while studying or working.
This Korean candy has a unique combination of sweet, earthy, and minty. Thus, it tastes a lot like eating a minty herb. Therefore, we think it is pretty decent for a herbal confection. But those who have not acquired a taste for ginseng might not like it. Consequently, we suggest trying this Korean candy only if you have adventurous taste buds or want a quick recovery treat!
Korean Red Ginseng Candy
LOTTE White Grape Cheongpodo Candy
This treat is a green grape-flavoured hard sweet. It is fruity and refreshing. But what makes us love this grape Korean candy is that it comes in a cute soccer ball shape! Unfortunately, the size makes it feel like you're eating a whole lollipop.
EXO-Ls might want to try it since EXO Baekhyun has mentioned that it is his favourite sweet treat. Besides that, you can enjoy this BTS favourite snack by having it with soju as shown in the K-drama, 'Shooting Stars'. Hanbyul popped the sweet into a shot of soju, which sparked many viewers' interest in trying it. But if you don't drink alcohol, you can enjoy it with non-alcoholic drinks like Milkis or Chilsung!
LOTTE White Grape Cheongpodo Candy
Like many of us, Koreans love gummies, and South Korea has some of the best ones! We have two recommendations for you to try, especially if you're a gummy fan. They're usually must-haves in everyone's Korean snack box.
The first one is Crown's MyChew. Interestingly, this treat is also called jelly among Koreans.
This Korean jelly candy comes in many flavours, such as apple, orange, grape, peach and strawberry. We managed to try out the apple and strawberry flavours and ended up loving them! The strawberry flavour is sweet, while the apple version tastes more refreshing. Eating this Crown Korean candy almost feels like chewing gum, but of course, this one's swallowable!
Another gummy Korean candy worth trying is ORION's My Gummy. This Korean treat contains 50% fruit juice and is fun to chew on. It comes in the shape of its fruit flavour, and our favourite is peach! This is because not only is it soft and sweet, but the form of the gummy looks a lot like a heart.
CROWN MyChew 4 Flavours Set
ORION Gummy Jelly Peach
ORION Choco Pie
ORION Choco Pie is a chocolate-covered round cake with a marshmallow filling. It is the most popular snack in South Korea and is enjoyed by all. People even enjoy this Korean candy on special occasions, including birthdays.
Upon trying it for the first time, we fell in love with it and almost forgot Moon Pie exists! It is similar to the American Moon Pie but ten times better. The chocolate coating is not too sweet, whereas the cake has a blend of vanilla and a buttery taste. The middle marshmallow is also lovely and fluffy. Everything about this treat is perfect, so it makes sense why it is one of the best Korean snacks.
ORION Choco Pie
You will see this Korean candy on the shelves of Korean stores every November 11th, aka Pepero Day. Pepero is a chocolate-coated cookie stick that comes in many versions. There are about 19 Pepero flavours, but you can easily find only five internationally. These flavours are chocolate, white chocolate cookie, almond, black chocolate cookie, and choco-filled. You might find other unique flavours at your local Asian market if you're lucky.
Our personal favourite is the white chocolate cookie since it has the crunchiest biscuit stick out of all. And the coating tastes just like crushed Oreo with white chocolate. The black chocolate cookie version is a contrast to the white chocolate cookie. However, we still think white chocolate cookies are the best.
You will enjoy this sweet and crunchy treat if you love the Japanese 'Pocky'. This is because they're very similar, but Pepero's biscuit stick is slightly thicker.
LOTTE White Cookie Pepero
Malang Cow Chewy Milk Candy
This is a soft and fluffy sweet that has an iconic milk flavour. It comes in two flavours, namely fresh milk and strawberry milk.
There are several reasons why we love this Korean candy. First, it has a soft texture that makes it pleasant to nibble on. It also gives off a sweet aroma as you chew it. Moreover, its flavour is not too sweet or too milky.
However, the best thing about this sweet confection is that it doesn't stick to your teeth when chewing it! Yes, this is important because having candies sticking to your teeth just ruins the fun.
Korean LOTTE Soft Malang Cow Fresh Grade Milk & Strawberry Milk Chewy Candy
LOTTE ABC Chocolate
LOTTE's ABC Chocolate is bite-sized and comes in the form of cubes. The chemistry between the smooth texture and the creamy taste of the chocolate will give you the perfect chocolate indulgence. So we genuinely dig the way it melts in our mouth - it's a challenge not to keep eating it!
This one's fun at parties, too. Getting yourself a bag of this Korean candy is the best way to get creative and snack simultaneously. The way each cube has an alphabet printed adds more fun to enjoy the treat. It makes an excellent sweet decoration on desserts like ice cream and cakes. You can even spell out your love for the treat itself.
LOTTE Chocolate Korean Candy Alphabet
Korean Cotton Candy
This magical treat is one of the most iconic sweet South Korean snacks you must try at least once. We're sure everyone knows that this treat is a light and fluffy confection that instantly melts in your mouth. Cotton candies have always been cute with their pastel colours but wait 'til you see how the Koreans do it.
Korean cotton candies earned our approval for being 'extra' in appearance. In Korea, street vendors sell giant cotton candies in fun and adorable shapes. From flowers to Olaf from Frozen, just name it, and you'll get it!
Sadly, this South Korean candy isn't widely available online. However, many Korean cafes worldwide have started to offer this delicious snack as part of their menus. Therefore, be sure to try it if you ever find it at your local Korean cafes.
Alternatively, you can also try SUGAROLLY, a Korean cotton candy that comes in a packet. This sweet is rainbow coloured and designed like a roll cake. So, you can have it on the go whenever you like. It is also healthier than the traditional version since it contains Vitamin C. However, we love that each rainbow layer has a different fruit flavour!
SUGAROLLY Rainbow Layers Popping Vitamin
Hotteok is a pancake with brown sugar filling and diced peanuts. It is a popular sweet treat commonly eaten during winter in Korea. This traditional Korean candy is usually crispy on the outside but slightly chewy inside. And the sweet and nutty filling and soft bread will entertain your palate most pleasingly.
Not to be dramatic, but we would eat it every day if we could. But the best part of eating it is when the warm filling oozes into your mouth. It feels like a warm hug in the form of food.
Apart from enjoying it as a snack, it also makes a pleasant breakfast meal. So why not sweeten your mornings with hotteok instead of the typical American pancakes?
Beksul Hotteok Mix Original
The last one on the list is no other than the famous 'Squid Game' Korean candy, Dalgona! Also known as Ppopgi, it is a sweet that tastes a lot like honeycomb toffee. And unlike what you've seen in the Netflix series, it is safe to break and enjoy it however you like. South Koreans either enjoy this sweet treat like a lollipop or eat it piece by piece.
We had a love-at-first bite moment with this sweet treat. It gives off a nice snap and cracks easily when you bite it. It somehow amazed us that it is hard when you bite it but instantly melts once it's in your mouth. The only downside of it is that it tends to stick to your teeth. However, we'll let that pass due to its robust yet pleasant caramel flavour that we love.
This treat would be a good quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth since it is so easy to make. You can become a handmade Korean candy expert within minutes. Furthermore, the Korean honeycomb recipe only requires sugar and baking soda. Therefore, you can make it at home and enjoy a fun Korean candy-making session with family and friends!
Dalgona Making Kit
Korean candy to try
- LOTTE Dream Cacao 72%
- Red Ginseng Candy
- LOTTE White Grape Cheongpodo Candy
- Gummy Candy
- ORION Choco Pie
- Malang Cow Chewy Milk Candy
- LOTTE ABC Chocolate
- Korean Cotton Candy
While we enjoy all the sweets on the list, here are our top three favourites:
Pepero is one of our favourites simply because it is so good to munch on! In addition, we love how it offers crunchy biscuits and sweet chocolate coating in one treat.
The fluffy cakes and gooey marshmallows are impossible for us to resist. The Choco Pie snack also reminds us of s'mores, and it's a blessing that we can enjoy it on the go.
This snack gives the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. The soft Hotteok pancake with warm sweet syrup and crushed peanuts makes it the dreamiest food we've ever tasted.
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