Twisted Korean doughnuts

Twisted Korean doughnuts


Korean twisted donuts, or kkwabaegi, are classic Korean donuts found at Korean bakeries and at Korean street food venders. They are soft and fluffy on the inside with a beautiful chew and perfectly golden brown on the outside, covered in cinnamon sugar. They’re amazing desserts and snacks for anytime of the day!


  • ⅓ cup milk warm (95-105°F)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour fluffed, spooned, and leveled* (plus more for dusting as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • Oil for frying

For the cinnamon sugar mix

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Sprinkle the the active dry yeast over the warm milk. Give it a mix and set aside to let the yeast dissolve and activate, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt, and give everything a good mix.
  3. Once the yeast has dissolved, add the milk mixture and egg into the flour. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Then, knead the dough until no more dry ingredients are visible. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. After resting, add the softened butter and knead the dough until all of the butter has been absorbed and the dough looks smoother. Round up the dough and cover. Let the dough proof in a warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is proofing, prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once the dough has doubled, transfer it onto a clean work surface. Briefly knead the dough to deflate it. Then, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
  7. Roll the dough into a thin rope, about ½ in thick and 12 inches long. Then, with your hands at each end of the rope, roll the dough in opposite directions to create a twisting effect. Pick up the dough by the ends and let it twist onto itself. Pinch the ends together and fix the twists if needed. Place the dough onto the prepared sheet pan and repeat with remaining dough. Try to keep the shaped dough at least 1 inch from each other.
  8. Once all of the dough has been shaped, let the dough rest in a warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. In a bowl wide enough to hold a Korean twisted donut, mix together the sugar and ground cinnamon. Set aside until needed.
  10. When the donuts are about doubled, heat the fryer to 325°F. You can also use a pot filled with about 1 to 2 inches of oil, heated to 325°F. Keep the oil between 300°F to 325°F.
  11. While the oil is heating up, use a pair of scissors to cut the parchment paper around the twisted donuts. Try to keep some parchments on the ends of the kkwabaegi for easy handling.
  12. Once the oil is hot, gently place the donuts into the oil. Use the parchment paper to pick up the donuts without affecting their shapes and gently place them into the oil. Fry in batches if necessary.
  13. Let the donuts fry for a few seconds, then remove the parchment from the oil. Continue to fry the donuts for about 3 to 4 minutes, until both sides are golden brown and cooked. Remove them from the oil and let them drain on a rack or paper towels.
  14. While the donuts are still hot, rolled them in the cinnamon sugar mix. Let the kkwabaegi cool for a little before enjoying!