You probably know that the recipes on my website are still used in my everyday cooking. This time I’m making hwajeon, disc-shaped pan-cooked rice cake with flowers on top. Whenever I crave some chewy rice cakes, this is my go-to recipe because it’s so easy and fast to make. The rice cakes are sweet and chewy with a subtle flower aroma.

I found some edible purple clover flowers and yellow gladiolus petals at the Union Square Greenmarket here in New York City the other day. The lady selling these packaged edible flowers said they were all well taken care of by her. She said, “you don’t have to wash them before using them.” I immediately felt like making hwajeon!

Many of my readers are newer and don’t even know that I posted a recipe for hwajeon almost a decade ago, so I wanted to share this recipe again and revitalize it. The only difference between my old recipe and this one is that I drizzle honey on top of instead of syrup. By the way, if you don’t want to use honey, you can make your own syrup too. Just put ¼ cup water and ¼ cup white sugar into a sauce pan and cook for a few minutes over medium heat, without stirring. Tilt the pan to mix the sugar and water when it starts bubbling. Then remove from the heat, cool it down, and you can drizzle it over your hwajeon right before you serve it.

In Korea hwajeon were often made with edible azalea flowers which bloom wild in the mountains in springtime. Groups of women used to get together for picnics at that time, and bring a heavy pan and all the ingredients they needed to make hwajeon. They’d pick the azaleas, and use the petals to pan-fry rice cakes right there in the mountains! That kind of spring picnic was called a Hwajeon-nori, on March 3rd by the lunar calendar. I can imagine how much fun that must have been, and what a great mood everyone must have been in! Eating these rice cakes in the beautiful mountains, in the fresh springtime breeze after a long winter and singing, dancing and releasing their stress.

Traditionally, hwajeon was also made with other seasonal edible flowers outside of springtime such as roses, chrysanthemums, cock’s comb, and pomegranate flowers.
No matter the season, these rice cakes put anyone in a good mood!

Enjoy the recipe!화전 (Korean pan-cooked rice cake with flowers)



Make the dough and shape the rice cakes

  1. Combine glutinous rice flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the hot water a little by little and mix well with a wooden spoon (or rice scoop) until the dough has cooled enough that you can knead it by hand.
  3. Knead the dough until it’s smooth for about 1 to 2 minutes, then divide it into 10 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
    Keep them covered with a piece of plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
  4. Press each rice cake ball into a disc about 2½ inches (6 to 7 cm) in diameter and put them on a large platter or on the cutting board.making rice cake


  1. Heat up a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil, swirling the skillet to coat the surface. Once it’s heated up, turn the heat down low. The key to beautiful hwajeon is to keep them white by pan-frying over low heat.
  2. Put the uncooked rice cakes on the skillet and cook them for a few minutes.
  3. When the bottoms are slightly crispy, turn them over and flatten them out with a spatula. Cook a few more minutes and turn them over.
  4. Place edible flowers on the top of each rice cake, then flip them over and press them down for 1 second so that the flower sticks to the cake.Korean fresh flower rice cake
  5. Cook each one and put them on a serving plate.


  1. Drizzle some honey on top of the rice cakes.
  2. Serve with tea as a dessert or snack.


Hwajeon made with snow pea blossoms from my old video

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  1. ikihara Washington joined 8/16 & has 1 comment

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My grandmother made these slightly thicker, cooked them until golden brown and put a little honey on them. She’s not with us to teach me her recipes so I’ve been learning from your site. I want to share the delicious food with my family that she so lovingly made me and you are making it possible!

    See full size image

  2. letazig joined 8/15 & has 1 comment

    I love to make these to snack on! They’re super delicious. I usually make a filling made out of honey, sesame oil and crushed peanuts and fold them over to make them like perogies or dumplings. Its super delicious!

  3. SUMIRA LOVE TO EAT malaysia joined 9/13 & has 9 comments

    the flower is used in a delicacy called “NASI KERABU’ in malaysia, it provides natural blue color to the rice , wow…it is also in korean dish,,,daebak

  4. london vouchers ha noi joined 9/13 & has 2 comments

    It looks great. Thank you for sharing

  5. maangchisyummyfood Vancouver joined 8/13 & has 9 comments

    I can’t wait to try this! It looks great.

  6. hyde United States joined 2/12 & has 8 comments

    Also, is there a way that I could prepare the dough ahead of time? I want to take this to my friend’s house for our Korean cooking party, but I don’t want to take up too much time in her kitchen.. Hahaha

  7. hyde United States joined 2/12 & has 8 comments

    What kind of syrup do you put on these? Just maple syrup?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Yes, you can use maple syrup or honey. Check out the step 6 where I wrote how to make syrup. Make syrup:
      “Place ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a small pot. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.”

  8. Setsuna France joined 12/11 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,

    I’m trying to make this recipe to offer as a dessert to my guests for Christmas. I’ve used glutinous rice flour in the past but I can’t find it anywhere in this country (they don’t have sweet rice flour either). The only thing I was able to find is normal rice flour in an organic store (we don’t have any Asian stores here). Can I use normal rice flour for this recipe? If yes, do I need to change the proportions of water?

    Thanks in advance.


  9. yumikujo indonesia joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    dear maangchi
    i tried make it last time..but it didnt turn out good.. i dont know whats wrong..i’m followed your recipe one by one..i’m even watched your video while making looked greasy and undercooked … but I just use a little oil, very little. I fried long enough. in your video it look so easy and simple. it seems you dont need a long time to fry it. i really have no idea whats wrong with it?
    nb: i use glutinous rice flour (and sorry, my english is bad)

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