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Dalgona Candy (Korean Honeycomb Toffee)

Let your Korean food fun begin with this dalgona candy recipe. Dalgona is made by melting sugar and mixing in a little bit of baking soda. The sugar will turn like caramel-colored whipped cream, ready for you to shape it the way you want. It’s really fun and what’s more, delicious!

breaking dalgona while preserving the love heart shape

What is Dalgona

Dalgona (달고나) is a type of honeycomb toffee which is made with sugar and baking soda. It is also known as “Korean sugar candy.”

Dalgona has been around for over 50 years in Korea and has gone by different names based on the region in Korea. Another common name being poppgi (뽑기), but now dalgona is the most common name.

four dalgona candies on baking tray

Dalgona vs. Ppopgi

Technically though, dalgona and ppopgi are two different types of candy with different ingredients. While ppopgi is made with plain sugar, dalgona was made with glucose solids. However, they’re often called by the same name with dalgona taking precedence among people nowadays.

The name “ppopgi” means “picking out” or “selecting”, referring to the game aspect of the candy. One challenging fact about it is that it’s not easy to break and preserve the imprinted pattern, because the candy is brittle and breaks easily.

So, it is important to remember that timing and patience are required when you make dalgona.

Thankfully, I have shared all my tips in this recipe so that making dalgona is a breeze.

holding dalgona with one hand

Watch Dalgona Recipe Video

 

 

What Does Dalgona Taste Like

Dalgona is sweet but also has some smoky caramel taste. It is light and airy with a thin brittle texture like honeycomb candy.

 

Dalgona Challenge

Naturally, this nostalgic sweet treat has been featured in many Korean dramas and variety shows. Most recently, it was highlighted in the global hit Netflix series Squid Game, drawing world’s attention to this humble, sweet little snack.

Since then, the ‘Dalgona Challenge’ has been taking over social media, where users share their dalgona and poppgi-making journey using the hashtag #dalgonachallenge.

breaking dalgona around the heart shape

How To Enjoy Dalgona

  • Dalgona can be enjoyed as is, but some people enjoy eating it as a topping on frozen desserts (e.g. ice cream) or Korean style latte drinks.
  • After the candy has cooled, lift it up and try to break the edges around the indentation. It is harder to break cleanly and smoothly if it has been cooled off for a long time. You can use your fingers, saliva, or needles to do this job. Some people say using a needle dipped in hot water every so often works like a wonder.

How To Store

After cooling your dalgona, store them in a ziplock bag in a cool and dry place, for up to 3 days. Refrigeration is recommended if you are in a warmer climate.

Storage in humid environments or hot climates may lead to the dalgona becoming sticky and start developing mini craters.

holding heart shaped dalgona

Other Fun Korean Recipes

If you’re into Korean TV and culture you’re likely familiar with these dishes. They are easy and fun to make at home. Try them!

Dalgona Making Tools

dalgona candy ingredients
You can buy a dalgona making kit to make dalgona at home, but if you have the below tools already, you don’t need to go shopping for anything else.

  • Stainless steel ladle – This is where you will melt the sugar and make the dalgona mixture. Choose something you don’t mind getting ruined if something goes wrong (e.g. getting burnt)
  • Chopstick or popsicle stick – This is to stir the sugar.
  • Silicone scraper or spatula – This is to scrape the dalgona mixture from the ladle.
  • Baking sheet or pan – This is to use as a base and protect your bench top from the heat.
  • Silicone mat or parchment paper – This is to release dalgona easily after you finish making it.
  • Hotteok press – This is to flatten the dalgona before imprinting the shape. You could use a small sauce pan with a smooth, flat, and round shaped bottom.
  • Cookie cutters – This is to imprint the pattern on the dalgona, but if you just want the sugary treats without any pattern, you can skip it.

Ingredients for Dalgona

  • 2 Tbsp sugar, white or light brown
  • baking soda, small pinch (it’s hard to measure, but about 1/32 tsp)

How to Make Dalgona Candy

1. Add the sugar to a ladle and then hold it over low heat. Stir around the sugar with a chopstick from time to time until it starts to melt. The sugar will start to melt around the edges first and it usually takes about 1 minute to reach this point. Once this happens, start stirring more vigorously.

You also need to control the heat, by lifting the ladle off or moving it closer to your heat source. It will take about 3-4 minutes to completely liquidize; it should end up smooth with no lumps.

melting granulated sugar in a ladle over the stove

2. Bring the ladle to the side of the stove (no heat area), and slowly and carefully add a pinch of baking soda. Make sure you don’t add too much, as it can burn quickly and make the dalgona taste bitter.

Stir quickly and thoroughly until the baking soda is fully dissolved; You will see the mixture turning into a light caramel-color. While stirring, bring the ladle closer to the heat for 3 to 5 seconds to give the mixture a fluffy and airy texture while keeping it warm.

mixing baking soda with melted sugar

3. Pour the melted sugar mixture onto a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or baking paper, scraping with a silicone spatula.

pouring out dalgona mixture using red silicone scraper

4. Let it cool for about 45 seconds, then lightly tap with a silicone spatula to see if the dalgona sticks to it. If it doesn’t, press down the dalgona using a hotteok press for 4 to 5 seconds to flatten it. You can use any smooth, flat, non-stick object like a small stainless steel pot to press it down.

tapping dalgona with a spatula to test dryness and pressing down with hotteok press

5. To create a pattern in the candy, press a cookie cutter into the middle of the candy and remove it quickly. If you press hard and firmly, your pattern will come out easier – but if you press lightly, it will be difficult to get the pattern out. Quickly remove the cookie cutter.

love heart pattern on flattened dalgona

6. Let the dalgona candy cool for about one minute or until it hardens. Serve.

four dalgona candies lined up diagnally

Handy Tips

If you’re making more than one dalgona, keep a pot of hot water boiling on the stove. As you make each batch, rinse off the ladle and scraper in a quick dip in the pot before proceeding onward to the next batch. Seriously, it is a big time saver! Wipe out any drips with a dry towel and you’re ready to go!

 

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breaking dalgona while reserving the love heart shape

Dalgona Candy (Korean Honeycomb Toffee)

Dalgona is a type of honeycomb toffee made with sugar and baking soda. It's really fun to make and what's more, delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: dalgona, dalgona candy, honeycomb toffee, korean sugar candy
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 93kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp sugar , white or light brown
  • baking soda , small pinch (it's hard to measure, but about 1/32 tsp)

Instructions

  • Add the sugar to a ladle and then hold it over low heat. Stir around the sugar with a chopstick from time to time until it starts to melt. The sugar will start to melt around the edges first and it usually takes about 1 minute to reach this point. Once this happens, start stirring more vigorously.
    You also need to control the heat, by lifting the ladle off or moving it closer to your heat source. It will take about 3-4 minutes to completely liquidize; it should end up smooth with no lumps.
  • Bring the ladle to the side of the stove (no heat area), and slowly and carefully add a pinch of baking soda. Make sure you don’t add too much, as it can burn quickly and make the dalgona taste bitter.
    Stir quickly and thoroughly until the baking soda is fully dissolved; You will see the mixture turning into a light caramel-color. While stirring, bring the ladle closer to the heat for 3 to 5 seconds to give the mixture a fluffy and airy texture while keeping it warm.
  • Pour the melted sugar mixture onto a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or baking paper, scraping with a silicone spatula.
  • Let it cool for about 45 seconds, then lightly tap with a silicone spatula to see if the dalgona sticks to it. If it doesn’t, press down the dalgona using a hotteok press for 4 to 5 seconds to flatten it. You can use any smooth, flat, non-stick object like a small stainless steel pot to press it down.
  • To create a pattern in the candy, press a cookie cutter into the middle of the candy and remove it quickly. If you press hard and firmly, your pattern will come out easier - but if you press lightly, it will be difficult to get the pattern out. Quickly remove the cookie cutter.
  • Let the dalgona candy cool for about one minute or until it hardens. Serve.

Notes

Handy Tips

If you’re making more than one dalgona, keep a pot of hot water boiling on the stove. As you make each batch, rinse off the ladle and scraper in a quick dip in the pot before proceeding onward to the next batch. Wipe out any drips with a dry towel and you’re ready to go!

How To Enjoy Dalgona

  • Dalgona can be enjoyed as is, but some people enjoy eating it as a topping on frozen desserts (e.g. ice cream) or Korean style latte drinks.
  • After the candy has cooled, lift it up and try to break the edges around the indentation. It is harder to break cleanly and smoothly if it has been cooled off for a long time. You can use your fingers, saliva, or needles to do this job. Some people say using a needle dipped in hot water every so often works like a wonder.

How To Store

  • After cooling your dalgona, store them in a ziplock bag in a cool and dry place, for up to 3 days. Refrigeration is recommended if you are in a warmer climate.
  • Storage in humid environments or hot climates may lead to the dalgona becoming sticky and start developing mini craters.

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 24g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.
Filed under: Snacks

Written by: Sue

Published on:

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Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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4 thoughts on “Dalgona Candy (Korean Honeycomb Toffee)”

  1. Reminds me of cinder toffee or hokey pokey made here in a similar way, especially around bonfire night. Also sometimes dipped in chocolate

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the extra detailed “directions” after you melt the sugar. Waiting 45 seconds makes a difference after you melt the sugar and having a boiling pot of water to clean the ladle works great! And you’re right – too much baking soda makes it bitter.
    I put too much my first go around. I remember as a child in Korea…buying this off a street vendor and they made it look so easy! It is if you know the details in making it.

    Reply
    • I totally know what you mean. Street vendors make the task seem so easy! Thank you for letting me know that my additional information was useful in your cooking. 🙂

      Reply

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