Yakgwa is a Korean traditional dish. It was originally considered as a dessert and more recently as a confectionery (hangwa), because of its sweet taste and flower biscuit shape. Yakgwa is made mainly from honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour.


The origin of yakgwa is not clear since this food had many different names. However, it seems like Korean people started to eat it during the Unified Shilla era. During the Goryeo Dynasty, yakgwa was known even in China under the name Goryeo mandu. This is from the Joseon Dynasty era that yakgwa was being called yakgwa. Literally, yakgwa means the medicinal (藥) confectionery (菓). This name came from the main ingredients it is made of. In Korea, during the Joseon Dynasty era, honey was considered as a medicine good for health. That is why it was called the medicinal confectionery.


Yakgwa is traditionally made of honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour. Recently, Yakgwa has been manufactured by corporations that add more ingredients in order to improve the taste of the biscuit.

For instructions on how to make yakgwa, refer to this link from Honey and Butter.

Yakkwa or Yakgwa, a honey-soaked donut cookie traditionally made for Korean Thanksgiving Chuseok and offered to ancestors.