Twisted doughnuts

Kkwabaegi 꽈배기

Hello everybody, let’s twist with kkwabaegi! Cooking is fun fun fun!

Today I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite after-school treats when I was a kid, something you can still find in many Korean bakeries and being sold on Korean streets today. It’s called kkwabaegi (꽈배기), or twisted dougnuts.

I’m very happy to see that the bread rolls (roll-ppang 롤빵) on my website were such a big hit for many of you. I learned this kkwabaegi recipe from the same friend who taught me roll-ppang! The dough is similar, but kkwabaegi are firmer.

You can buy kkwabaegi, but when you make them at home you can make sure the oil is fresh, and make them with care so they taste better and are cleaner and cheaper than what you can get on the street or a bakery. They are a nice treat once in a while when you or your children want some sweet stuff.

They are best right after making them, spongy on the inside when you tear them open with the steam pouring out. Tasty and fluffy!

The key to making beautiful kkwabaegi is to make sure that when you roll them, the center is just a bit thinner than the edges. That way, when you twist them, the end is nice and tight and not lumpy.

When I make these, I make a lot at once. That way I have hot fresh kkwabaegi to share right away, and then I keep the rest in the freezer to eat later. If I want one as a snack or dessert later, I take it out and let it thaw out at room temperature for a bit before eating it.

They go great with milk, and if you want to make yours sweeter than I make mine, add a little more sugar in the dough.

Try these out, and let me know how it goes!


  • 3 cups all purpose flour for doughnuts, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 packet of dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons: 7 grams)
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • corn oil for frying
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder


Make the coating

  1. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon powder to a brown paper bag. Shake to mix well. Set aside.

Make the dough

  1. Fully melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add milk, the rest of 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Mix well until everything is well dissolved. Crack an egg into the saucepan and mix well. Add the yeast and stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 3 cups flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. When everything is well mixed, use your hand to knead the dough for a few minutes, and shape it into a big lump. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, usually about 1 hour to 1½ hours.kkwabaegi dough
  4. Deflate the gas with your hand and knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s soft and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap again and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it doubles in size again.

Roll out the doughnuts

  1. Uncover the dough and knead it for a few minutes. Put 2 tablespoons of flour on the corner of your cutting board to use for dusting. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.divided
  2. Take a piece of dough and roll it out on your cutting board so it forms a rope 10 inches long and ½ inch in diameter. If it’s sticky, sprinkle some flour on the area you’re working in. When you roll out the dough, move one hand upward and the other downward so that the rope is twisted in between your hands as you roll it.making twisted donuts
  3. Take the dough off the board, hold it aloft, and bring the ends together. The tension in the dough will twist it as it hangs. You can add as much tension as you like, but I think the best looking kkwabaegi has 3- 4 twists in it.
  4. Place the twisted dough on a floured cutting board or tray. Repeat with the rest of the pieces of dough.
  5. Let the doughnuts expand for about 30 minutes. 15 minutes in, gently flip each doughnut over with your hands so the bottoms don’t get flat and all sides expand nice and round.

twisted donut dough rising

Fry the doughnuts

  1. Heat up 4 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat, until the temperature reaches 350° F. Lower the heat to medium heat, then gently set each doughnut into the hot oil by hand. Be careful not to get your hands too close to the oil. Add as many pieces to the oil as your skillet will allow, enough so the doughnuts can sit in the oil without pushing against each other.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes, occasionally gently flipping them over with tongs, until they get crunchy outside and are evenly golden brown.
  3. Strain the cooked doughnuts. Put them in the brown paper bag with the sugar cinnamon mixture. Shake a few times until they are evenly coated. This is best done when the doughnuts are still warm. Repeat this with all the doughnuts until they are all cooked and coated.

kkwabaegi (twisted Korean dougnhuts: 꽈배기)


  1. Serve hot.
  2. You can freeze any leftovers for up to a month. To rejuvenate them, take them out of the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Syazana Yahaya malaysia joined 12/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I’ve made this kkwabaegi for the second time and it’s so tasty!! So fluffy on the inside yet crispy on the outside, just like you said in the video. Thanks!

    p.s I always feeling hungry whenever i watched your video, hehe..

    See full size image

  2. Hi Maangchi, I love this cake and I want to try make it but I haven’t corn oil so can I use vegetable oil for frying ?

  3. feriel joined 12/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    My Mom just made your doughnuts recipe and it’s amazing!!!!
    Thank you so much :)

    See full size image

  4. Seri ikd joined 11/15 & has 3 comments

    Hi maangchi. I made this today and everyone loves it. Its gone in 5 min. Everyone complain though, because I didn’t make enough for them. Which shows that everyone loves it i made two batch just for today. Thank you for the recipe maangchi.

    See full size image

  5. ahuva joined 11/15 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi :) I’m a big fan. Thank you for this video, the doughnuts look so yummy, can’t wait to make them.
    I have a question. Can I put this video in my blog to introduce and recommend to my friends?
    Thank you

  6. sallynip New York joined 5/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I am about to try this recipe, since my husband is a big fan of doughnut!! You mentioned that it can be frozen. Do you freeze after you finish the whole process (include putting sugar?) Since we only have two people at home, there will definitely be left over!!

  7. Hi Maangchi!
    I stick in your video clip, you are so funny. I have seen its many times, Love you :) Every recipes when you cooked why it look like so easy humm? Lol i will try to cook this recipe first but i don’t want to fry it. I think i will bake it like a bread coz now I am on diet. i wanna try its texture but dont want to feel ashame for myself.
    why not i use bread roll recipe? Hehee. I try to find the difference between 2 video of bread roll and doughnut. Bread roll look like more sticky when you knead it. It may be too difficult for me. That is a reason. Haha
    Do you have any recommend if i bake it? How could it be? Think Think!!!!! Lol.

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  8. Hello Maangchi!

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time, and when I saw this I just knew I had to try it out. It turned out perfect; a nice and crispy outside with a soft and fluffy inside. My mother, who doesn’t like sweets much and hates doughnuts, couldn’t stop eating these, she even complained that they were too good. Thank you for the fabulous recipe! I’ll be making these and practising a lot to hopefully make them visually as perfect as yours!
    ^ Q ^ /

  9. nura joined 11/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi. I think you forgot to add egg as part of the ingredient list. I went shopping for the ingredients only by looking at the list and realised i forgot the egg when i looked at the method hehe oops. Will be attempting this recipe for a potluck later. Thanks for the recipe Maangchi!

  10. Hi Maangchi!
    I made this twisted doughnuts yesterday. I’m a big fan of you even though i am only 15 years old.
    The shapes doesn’t look right LOL but i’m proud with the taste it is so fluffy and so smooth. I just had a hard time kneading the flour because it is so sticky and i needed about 1 cup flour or more to knead it. And finally it turned out great Yeah! Just a little burnt because i don’t have the paper bag and i just rolled it with my tongs, therefore the sugar was burnt and it sticked with flour while frying.

    PS: It is so delicious. Thanks for thhis recipe maangchi!!

    See full size image

  11. Vanessa Austin, TX joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    Made them tonight. They’re delicious. They aren’t as sweet as the donuts I’m used to so they’re really good for snacking on. Unfortunately this also means I can’t stop eating them all at once.

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  12. Fen joined 11/15 & has 4 comments

    I had made my Kkwabaegi today, it’s delicious, my family loved it!
    My doughnuts look weird compare to Maangchi and others shown here, I need lots & lots of practice to do.
    Overall I’m happy it taste so good!
    All thanks to Maangchi, you made everything look so easy to make, I just want to try most of you recipe. Great job!
    I had tried your Japchae few days ago, it’s good too!

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  13. Joyce Irvine, CA. joined 9/09 & has 17 comments

    Mei-Mei will love this. I am always intimidated to make anything with flour… I hope to gather my luck and make this too :-)

  14. lorensantoso Indonesia joined 11/08 & has 5 comments

    Hi maangchi,

    This recipe is delicious !!!! I tried it right away. My husband and students love them !!!!! But i still have question. I found out that my sugar does not coat my kkwuabaegi as pretty as yours. The sugar is hard to stick. Do you have any tips ? Thanksss

    See full size image

    • peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 51 comments

      I’ve made a dessert similar to this. I would make a larger amount of cinnamon sugar and roll them in the sugar when they are still quite hot. It sticks better. I also wonder if you use fine sugar ( not powdered) it make stay on better because the granules are so heavy that they fall off. Your donuts look so good!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      It looks so yummy! Congratulations! ” I found out that my sugar does not coat my kkwuabaegi as pretty as yours.” As peonygirl said the doughnuts should be coated when they’re still hot.

  15. aTrueRedHead Germany joined 8/14 & has 17 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    These twisted doughnuts look delicious. I wish I could have some with my coffe right now. I will try them.
    Hope you had a great time in Seoul.
    All the best.

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