Gochujang Cookies

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 09/12/2023 Updated: 18/12/2023
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 22 minutes
Total 1 hour 7 minutes
Sweet and spicy gochujang cookies are made with a cinnamon spiced brown sugar based cookie with a gochujang caramel swirl. These Korean fusion cookies are similar to snickerdoodles but with a spicy kick.
Gochujang Cookies

Sweet and spicy gochujang cookies feature a cinnamon-spiced sugar cookie dough swirled with a brown sugar gochujang caramel for a spicy twist. The sweetness in the sugar cookie balances out the heat, which creates a more nuanced flavor experience.

Someone lifting up a gochujang cookie from a stack of cookies.

When I saw Eric Kim make his NYT gochujang caramel cookies last year, I knew that I had to make it. Gochujang naturally has a sweet, savory, and spicy flavor that pairs deliciously with brown sugar in Korean cooking so it is no surprise that it would work beautifully in this Korean cookie recipe. I’ve tweaked his original gochujang cookies recipe for more rise in the cookie structure and a more balanced flavor profile.

These gochujang caramel cookies are perfect for the adventurous spirit who wants to try something new yet incredibly delicious. If you want more Asian fusion cookie inspiration, check out my yuzu lemon crinkle cookies, five-spice snickerdoodles, and matcha checkerboard cookies.

A pile of gochujang cookies.

What is gochujang?

Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine that is made from fermented red chili paste from red chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The fermentation process takes several years which gives gochujang its gentle sweetness, spiciness, saltiness, and funkiness. Gochujang is typically used in a variety of Korean dishes such as bibimbap, tteokbokki, bulgogi and so much more.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Sweet and spicy perfection. The brown sugar and granulated sugar temper the heat in the gochujang and it creates a sweet, savory, and slightly spicy flavor experience.
  • Easy to make. These gochujang caramel cookies are effortless to make with this foolproof cookie recipe.
  • Unique and trendy. These gochujang cookies have a unique and unexpected flavor profile that may appeal to your foodie friends who are looking to try something new!

Kitchen Equipment

For these gochujang cookie recipes, you will need the following kitchen equipment. I’ve linked everything that I used for you below.

  • Kitchen Scale: a kitchen scale is NECESSARY if you want to create foolproof baked goods. This will ensure you have the exact measurements for each ingredient.
  • Mixing Bowls: mixing bowls are one of my main kitchen essentials for almost all of my recipes. They allow me to keep an organized kitchen.
  • Stand mixer: You will need a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Rubber spatula: you will use a rubber spatula to combine the dough and create the gochujang caramel swirl.
  • Cookie Scoop: using a cookie scoop will ensure that you have evenly sized Korean cookies.
  • Parchment paper or Silicone mat: You can either line your baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Half-Sheet Baking Trays: you will need 2 half-sheet baking trays to bake these cookies.
  • Round cookie cutter: For perfectly round cookies, I recommend using a large round cookie cutter and swirling the freshly baked gochujang caramel cookies on the baking tray to create perfect circles.

Ingredients

You can find all the ingredients for these gochujang caramel cookies at your local grocery store in the baking aisle. I’ve linked everything that I used below.

  • Gochujang: gochujang adds a spicy, sweet, and savory flavor. You can find gochujang at any Korean grocery store or online.
  • Brown sugar: brown sugar paired with gochujang creates a sweet and spicy “caramel” flavor.
  • Unsalted butter: use unsalted butter to control the salt content in your cookies and make sure the butter is room temperature to easily mix it with the sugar.
All the ingredients to make gochujang caramel organized and labeled.
  • All-Purpose Flour: all-purpose flour creates a tender yet hearty crumb for these Korean cookies. Make sure to measure your flour with a scale! If you don’t have a scale, make sure to fluff up the flour before spooning it into your measuring cup and lightly leveling it off with a knife. Do not pack the flour into the cup!
  • Baking Powder: baking powder aids in the rise of the gochujang cookies so the final texture is not too dense.
  • Salt: salt balances and enhances the other ingredients.
  • Cinnamon Powder: cinnamon adds another warm spice flavor profile.
  • Granulated sugar: this gochujang caramel cookies recipe uses white granulated sugar to sweeten the cookie and create a white sugar cookie color contrast with the gochujang swirl.
  • Large Eggs: the egg binds the cookie together and gives the cookie its soft, chewy yet not cakey texture. The extra egg yolk will make the cookie denser, richer, and chewier.
  • Vanilla Extract: vanilla extract adds another level of warm sweetness to this gochujang recipe.
All the ingredients to make the cookie dough for gochujang cookies organized and labeled.

Substitutions and Additions

You can adjust the level of spiciness or sugar content for your Korean cookies based on your preferences. For different flavor profiles, I’ve listed some suggestions for you below.

Substitutions

  • Salted butter: if you use salted butter instead of unsalted, remove the salt from your ingredient list.
  • Almond extract: for a different flavor profile, you can use almond extract instead of vanilla extract.
  • Baking soda: instead of baking powder, you can substitute it for baking soda to create a more chewy cookie that spreads a little bit more. Or you can experiment with half baking powder and half baking soda.

Additions

  • Nuts: for added flavor and texture, mix in chopped nuts of choice like pecans or walnuts.
  • Sesame seeds: for a more nutty flavor, you can also roll your gochujang caramel cookies in sesame seeds.
  • Coarse sugar: you can roll the cookie dough in coarse sugar for more texture.
  • Sprinkles: for a more decorative cookie, add sprinkles!

How to Make Gochujang Cookies

Once you’ve got all your ingredients measured out for this gochujang cookies recipe, here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make these cookies.

  1. Gochujang caramel. In a small bowl, mix the unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and gochujang until combined. Set aside.
Gochujang caramel paste mixed together.
  1. Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Dry ingredients whisked together in a large glass bowl.
  1. Beat butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with a paddle or beater attachment and beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
Butter and sugar beat with a stand mixer.
  1. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scrape the edges of the bowl and mix to combine.
Eggs and vanilla extract mixed into butter and sugar inside a stand mixer.
  1. Combine dry ingredients. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Cookie dough mixed together in a large glass bowl.
  1. Prepare oven. While dough chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Create gochujang swirl. Place dollops of the gochujang paste into the cookie dough and gently swirl the paste in the dough with a rubber spatula. Do not mix in completely.
  1. Assemble. Scoop the cookies onto your lined baking sheets leaving spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  1. Bake. Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Then remove the baking tray from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before cooling them completely on a wire rack. For perfectly round cookies, take a round cookie cutter and swirl them around each gochujang cookie immediately when you take them out of the oven. Enjoy!
A pile of gochujang cookies.

Tips for the Best Gochujang Cookies

  • Measure your flour with a scale! Adding too much flour to the cookie dough will make it taste like flour. The best way to measure flour is by using a scale. The second best is to fluff the flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into a measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • Cream your butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes. Make sure to cream the butter until it is very pale, light, and airy. This will ensure that the sugars will blend evenly into the butter and create air pockets for the dough to puff up in the oven.
  • Use room-temperature butter and eggs. Room-temperature eggs will be easier to blend into the gochujang cookie dough and not shock the soft butter when incorporated.
  • Use an oven thermometer! Not all ovens are created equally. The best way to know the most accurate temperature is to place an oven thermometer in your oven and adjust your oven accordingly.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the cookies will allow the butter to solidify and allow the flour to hydrate which improves the taste and texture and prevents the cookies from spreading too quickly.
  • Don’t mix in the gochujang caramel completely. For the beautiful red gochujang ribbons, spoon dollops of the gochujang caramel around the dough and gently mix with a rubber spatula. Do not mix the gochujang caramel in completely.
  • Use a cookie cutter for round cookies. For perfectly round cookies, I recommend using a large cookie cutter and swirling the warm gochujang caramel cookies on the baking tray to create perfect circles.

Storage Instructions

You can store these gochujang cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Freeze: you can freeze the baked gochujang caramel cookies in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

To freeze the dough, scoop out the balls of dough into a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then freeze in the freezer for 2 hours or until solid. Then remove the balls and store them in a freezer-safe container. To bake, bake them at 330 degrees F for 3-5 minutes longer directly from the freezer.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What are gochujang cookies?

Gochujang cookies were created by NYT food columnist Eric Kim which features gochujang, a Korean chili paste. The cookie combines a traditional sugar cookie with a sweetened gochujang caramel swirl.

Are gochujang caramel cookies spicy?

Yes, since gochujang contains a certain level of spiciness it will make the cookie slightly spicy. The spice level is tempered by the sugar content for a mild to moderate heat depending on how much of the gochujang swirl is in that cookie.

Where can I buy gochujang?

Gochujang is readily available at most grocery stores, Asian grocery stores, and Korean grocery stores such as HMart. You can also find gochujang online as well.

Can I make gochujang cookies in advance?

Yes! You can easily bake and freeze this Korean cookies recipe for up to 3 months. Alternatively, you can mix the batter with the gochujang swirl and freeze the batter for up to 3 months. To serve, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight, scoop, and bake.

Did you make this Gochujang caramel cookies recipe?

If you made this dish and loved it, please leave a review and comment below. We would greatly appreciate it!

Share your dish with us on Instagram, and tag us @takestwoeggs—we’d love to see and share your delicious creation!

Hungry for more? Follow us on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook for more tasty creations and updates 🍜

Recipe

Looking down at a grid of gochujang cookies on parchment paper.

Gochujang Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Sweet and spicy gochujang cookies are made with a cinnamon spiced brown sugar based cookie with a gochujang caramel swirl. These Korean fusion cookies are similar to snickerdoodles but with a spicy kick.
Servings: 16 Cookies
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Gochujang Caramel Swirl

Cookie Dough

Instructions

  • Gochujang caramel. In a small bowl, mix the unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and gochujang until combined. Set aside.
  • Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Beat butter and sugar. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with a paddle or beater attachment and beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs and vanilla. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scrape the edges of the bowl and mix to combine.
  • Combine dry ingredients. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Prepare oven. While dough chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Create gochujang swirl. Place dollops of the gochujang paste into the cookie dough and gently swirl the paste in the dough with a rubber spatula. Do not mix in completely.
  • Assemble. Scoop the cookies onto your lined baking sheets leaving spacing them at least 2 inches apart.
  • Bake. Bake the cookies one tray at a time for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Then remove the baking tray from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before cooling them completely on a wire rack. For perfectly round cookies, take a round cookie cutter and swirl them around each gochujang cookie immediately when you take them out of the oven. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Measure your flour with a scale! Adding too much flour to the cookie dough will make it taste like flour. The best way to measure flour is by using a scale. The second best is to fluff the flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into a measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • Cream your butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes. Make sure to cream the butter until it is very pale, light, and airy. This will ensure that the sugars will blend evenly into the butter and create air pockets for the dough to puff up in the oven.
  • Use room-temperature butter and eggs. Room-temperature eggs will be easier to blend into the gochujang cookie dough and not shock the soft butter when incorporated.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes. Chilling the cookies will allow the butter to solidify and allow the flour to hydrate which improves the taste and texture and prevents the cookies from spreading too quickly.
  • Don’t mix in the gochujang caramel completely. For the beautiful red gochujang ribbons, spoon dollops of the gochujang caramel around the dough and gently mix with a rubber spatula. Do not mix the gochujang caramel in completely.
  • Use a cookie cutter for round cookies. For perfectly round cookies, I recommend using a large cookie cutter and swirling the warm gochujang caramel cookies on the baking tray to create perfect circles.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store these gochujang cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Freeze: you can freeze the baked gochujang caramel cookies in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
 

Nutrition:

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Rate & Review What did you think of this recipe?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating