Korean Butter Balls Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

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By Dr. Leah Alexander | Published on September 24, 2023 | Last Updated on September 24, 2023

Korean Butter Balls are a delicious and easy-to-make treat that can be served for breakfast, dessert, or as an afternoon snack. The fluffy texture and melt-in-your-mouth flavor make these butter balls an incredible snack that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Plus, they only require a few simple ingredients and can be made in just minutes! In this article, we will show you how to make the classic Korean Butter Balls. We will explain the best techniques for mixing, rolling, and frying up the dough to get that soft, fluffy texture.

We’ll also provide some tips to customize butter balls with different flavors or add-ins. So grab your ingredients and let’s get started!

Korean Butter Balls Recipe

What are Korean Butter Balls?

Korean Butter Balls are a traditional sweet treat that is enjoyed in Korea, particularly during festivals and special occasions. The dough is made with all-purpose flour, sugar, water, vegetable oil, milk and baking powder.

These ingredients are mixed together to create a soft dough that can be rolled into small balls. These sweet morsels of dough are fried up until golden brown and sprinkled with powdered sugar to give them a hint of sweetness.

Whether you serve them as part of a festive brunch or as an after-dinner treat, these Korean Butter Balls are sure to become a family favorite.

What does it taste like?

Korean Butter Balls are a deliciously sweet treat with a hint of salty surface. When fried, the exterior of the balls becomes golden brown and slightly crisp, while the inside remains fluffy and light.

The mild sweetness comes from the sugar in the dough, while the savory notes come from a pinch of salt. Additionally, the hint of vanilla extract adds a subtle depth to the flavor profile. The combination of all these ingredients makes it an unbelievable snack.

How did I first get introduced to the Korean Butter Balls?

I first got introduced to Korean Butter Balls when I visited Seoul for a family trip. On one of our last days in the city, we decided to explore some of the local street food stands and that’s where I saw these delicious little treats being sold by an old man.

I instantly fell in love with their fluffy texture and sweet, salty taste and asked him for the recipe. He was more than happy to share it with me and I wrote it down in my notebook.

I went home and started experimenting with the procedure until I mastered it. It definitely took me a few tries to get it right but I was determined to make them as good as the ones I had in Seoul.

Finally, after several attempts, I successfully made my first batch of Korean Butter Balls! They turned out amazing and tasted exactly like the ones we had in Seoul.

I even made a few extra batches to share with my family and friends. Everyone absolutely loved them and I’ve been making them ever since! It’s always nice reminiscing about the first time I tried the Korean Butter Balls.

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How to make Korean Butter Balls?

Making Korean Butter Balls is actually really easy and only requires a few simple ingredients. The key to making the perfect butterballs is to get the dough just right.

How TO Make Korean Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is a reflection of its name, it’s an all-in-one flour that can be used for virtually any recipe.
  • Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the Korean butter balls and gives them a nice caramelized crust when fried.
  • Water: Water helps to bind together the ingredients and create a soft dough.
  • Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used to fry the Korean butter balls and give them a nice golden color.
  • Milk: Milk helps to create a moist dough that will hold its shape while frying.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the dough rise slightly when fried, giving it an extra fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a hint of sweetness and flavor to the Korean butter balls.
  • Salt: Salt helps to balance out the sweetness of the butter balls and add a bit of savory flavor.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1

Gather the ingredients

  • Gather all the ingredients for the Korean Butter Balls.
  • Measure them in the proper amounts as outlined in the ingredient list.

Step 2

Combine the dry ingredients

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix together with a whisk or spoon until everything is evenly distributed.

Step 3

Add the wet ingredients

  • In a separate bowl, add the water, oil, milk, and vanilla extract together.
  • Mix until everything is combined.

Step 4

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together

  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones.
  • Mix together with a spoon or whisk until everything is combined and a soft dough forms.

Step 5

Roll the dough into balls

  • Once the dough is mixed, use your hands to roll it into small 1-inch-sized balls.
  • Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet as you go.

Step 6

Fry the Korean Butter Balls

  • Heat some oil in a deep pot or pan and carefully add the balls.
  • Fry on medium heat, turning them occasionally to make sure they are cooked evenly.
  • Once golden brown, remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Step 7

Serve

  • Serve the Korean Butter Balls with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some honey.

Tips

  • Make sure to fry the butter balls over medium heat, otherwise,, they may burn.
  • If the dough is too sticky and difficult to work with, add some extra flour and mix until it’s easier to work with.
  • You can also use a small cookie scoop or two spoons to help shape the balls more easily.
  • If you want a sweeter treat, try dipping the butter balls in melted chocolate or drizzling them with melted nut butter.
  • Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dough for an extra flavor boost.
  • If you want to get creative, try adding some extra ingredients to the dough like chopped nuts, dried fruit, stir-fried, or even chocolate chips!
Korean Butter Balls Copycat Recipe

Nutrition Information

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What to serve with Korean Butter Balls?

Korean Butter Balls are an incredibly versatile treat and can be served with a variety of different dishes. For a light meal, they go perfectly with a salad or some steamed vegetables.

If you’re looking for more substantial options, try serving them alongside a bowl of soup, stir-fried noodles, or even some fried rice. They also make a great snack when served with a dip or spread like hummus, tzatziki, or guacamole.

How to store leftover Korean Butter Balls?

Leftover Korean Butter Balls can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To keep them from getting stale, place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between layers of the balls and make sure they are completely cooled before storing.

If you want to save the butter balls for later use, they can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze them, place the balls in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop them into the freezer until they are frozen solid.

Then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store them. When you’re ready to have them again, thaw out the butterballs at room temperature before heating them up in the oven or frying them in oil as usual.

Can pregnant women eat this?

Yes, pregnant women can eat Korean Butter Balls. As long as the ingredients are fresh and cooked or fried correctly, there is no risk involved in eating them during pregnancy.

However, pregnant women should avoid eating any raw dough as it may contain bacteria that could be harmful to the baby. It’s also important to make sure that all of the ingredients are pasteurized or cooked to a safe temperature before consumption.

This will help ensure that no harmful bacteria are present in the butter balls. It’s best to enjoy them in moderation and with a balanced diet for the healthiest pregnancy possible!

While Korean Butter Balls can be enjoyed as an occasional treat, consuming too much of them may lead to unnecessary weight gain during pregnancy.

Korean Butter Balls Copycat Recipe

Korean Butter Balls Recipe

Korean Butter Balls are a delicious and easy-to-make treat that can be served for breakfast, dessert, or as an afternoon snack. The fluffy texture and melt-in-your-mouth flavor make these butter balls an incredible snack that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 334kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 500 gram all-purpose flour/Bread flour
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 500 ml water
  • 8 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2/3 tbsp baking powder (It helps to reduce yeasty smell)
  • neutral high-heat cooking oil for frying
  • 2/3 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Gather the required ingredients and measure them accordingly.
  • In a bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Create a separate mixture with water, vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with dry ones and combine until a soft dough forms.
  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Heat oil in a pan and gently add the balls, frying over medium heat until golden brown.
  • Serve the Korean Butter Balls with powdered sugar and honey.

Notes

  • Make sure to fry the butter balls over medium heat, otherwise,, they may burn.
  • If the dough is too sticky and difficult to work with, add some extra flour and mix until it’s easier to work with.
  • You can also use a small cookie scoop or two spoons to help shape the balls more easily.
  • If you want a sweeter treat, try dipping the butter balls in melted chocolate or drizzling them with melted nut butter.
  • Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dough for an extra flavor boost.
  • If you want to get creative, try adding some extra ingredients to the dough like chopped nuts, dried fruit,stir-fried or even chocolate chips!
Keyword: Korean Butter Balls Recipe

FAQs 

What can I use instead of vegetable oil?

Vegetable oil works best for frying, but you can also use other types of oil like coconut oil, peanut oil, or even olive oil.

Can I make this vegan?

Yes, you can make vegan Korean Butter Balls by substituting the milk with a non-dairy alternative like almond or oat milk and vegetable oil with vegan butter.

Can I bake these instead of frying?

Yes, you can bake the Korean Butter Balls in an oven preheated to 350°F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Can I make these gluten-free?

Yes, you can easily make the Korean Butter Balls gluten-free by substituting the regular flour with a gluten-free all-purpose blend. Make sure to also check that all other ingredients used are certified gluten-free.

Do I need to use sugar in this?

While sugar does add a nice sweetness to the butter balls, it is not necessary. You can replace the sugar with an alternative like honey or maple syrup if you prefer.

Wrapping Up

Thank you for trying out these Korean Butter Balls. We hope you found it easy to follow and enjoyed making them.

Please share this article with your friends and family so they can enjoy the deliciousness of Korean Butter Balls too!

If you have any questions about this or suggestions for how to make it even better, let us know in the comments section below. 

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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