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May 8, 2008 01:28 PM

Korean Walnut Cakes - Hodo Kwaja

Hodo Kwaja
Hodo Kwaja is a popular snack food sold on the streets of Korea. Baked in a walnut shaped mold and filled with red bean paste, these treats are simply great.


1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon warm water
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon milk

Optional Dough Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon flavoring
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red bean paste

Red Bean Paste
2/3 cup Dried Azuki beans
Water for boiling
1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, or honey
2 tablespoon neutral flavor oil for frying

Optional Red Bean Paste Ingredients
Cinnamon to taste



Make the Bean Paste
Rinse the beans in cold water, discarding broken/discolored/shriveled beans.
Place in a bowl or pot, cover with water, and soak over night.
Drain and rinse in cold water.
Place in a pot, cover with water, add a dash or two of salt, and bring to a rapid boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until soft, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove from heat, drain, and cool.
Use a mortar and pestle, food processor, or blender and mash/blend until smooth.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar (and any optional ingredient).
Heat a wok or stir fry pan.
Add oil and bean paste and fry on medium low heat for 2 to 4 minutes (until dry), pressing and turning occasionally with spoon or spatula.
Remove from heat and cool.
Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate until use.
The paste may be stored, refrigerated, for up to one week.
Use as needed in various recipes.

Mix the Dough
Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Mix the all purpose and sweet rice flours together, then sieve into a large bowl.
Add salt, milk, and yeast water and mix well.
Cover with a warm damp towel and let stand in a warm place for three hours.
Mix all filling ingredients in a small bowl.
Separate the dough into 10 equal portions.
Flatten the dough on waxed paper into a circular shape.
Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of filling in the center and seal the dough around the filling. Roll slightly to form a round ball.
Repeat with each portion.


Pre-Heat oven to 350ยบ.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet, muffin pan, or specialty baking mold with round or egg shaped depressions.
Place the dough balls seam side down, about 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheet (one in each cup of muffin pan/mold) and bake for 13 to 17 minutes (until golden brown).
Serve warm.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe. I had these for the first time in Toronto last fall and they were quite tasty. I got the potato and walnut cake. The filling was a mashed potato type mixed w/little bits of chopped walnuts. Kinda savory but w/just a little bit of sweetness.

    1. Should really be called crack. Once I start eating these, I cannot stop.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Soup

        Just one question, how much sweet rice flour are we supposed to use in the dough? It's not specified in the ingredients list. Thanks in advance. :)

        1. re: dreamsicle

          That's what I get for working on more than one recipe at a time.
          No sweet rice flour in this recipe, although for a chewier version you could drop the flour to one cup and add 1/4 cup sweet rice flour.

          1. re: hannaone

            Thanks again. I'll let you know how they turn out if I decide to bake them some time soon ... my baking list is just getting longer and longer!

      2. Would these have also been made into small, plump, dark brown squares, maybe an inch in size? I was in Korea (Army Camp Gary Owen) in 87-88 and remember these little pastries but can't remember what they were called. This recipy is the closest description to what they may have been. I picked them up from a street vendor in Yonjugol (sp?) by 2 and 3 dozen and had to hide them getting back into base (I'd be besieged to share). They were, indeed, exceedingly delicious treats.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jemmet

          There are many different varieties/shapes for these cakes, so what you had may have been the same or very close to this recipe.

        2. Is the dough supposed to be a heavy dough? I am making these according to your recipe and the dough mix is brick like, not smooth and elastic. Can this be correct?