Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe (2024)

By Eric Kim

Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe (1)

Total Time
45 minutes
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Gochujang, the fermented Korean chile paste, offers intrigue in this otherwise classic chewy sugar cookie. A gentle amount of ground cinnamon lends snickerdoodle vibes, and the dough is raked through with ripples of clay-red gochujang “caramel,” in which brown sugar and butter mellow the chile’s heat. Mixing this dough by hand is highly recommended for the most defined crinkles and the chewiest texture.

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Yield:About 8 large cookies

  • ½cup (8 tablespoons)/115 grams unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2packed tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1heaping tablespoon gochujang
  • 1cup/200 grams granulated sugar
  • 1large egg, at room temperature
  • ½teaspoon coarse kosher salt or ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • ¼teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½teaspoon baking soda
  • cups/185 grams all-purpose flour

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

312 calories; 13 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 29 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 175 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon butter, the brown sugar and gochujang until smooth. Set aside for later, at room temperature.

  2. In a large bowl, by hand, whisk together the remaining 7 tablespoons butter, the granulated sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Switch to a flexible spatula and stir in the baking soda. Add the flour and gently stir to combine. Place this large bowl in the refrigerator until the dough is less sticky but still soft and pliable, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Step


    While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 large sheet pans with parchment.

  4. Step


    Remove the dough from the refrigerator. In 3 to 4 separately spaced out blobs, spoon the gochujang mixture over the cookie dough. Moving in long circular strokes, swirl the gochujang mixture into the cookie dough so you have streaks of orange-red rippled throughout the beige. Be sure not to overmix at this stage, as you want wide, distinct strips of gochujang.

  5. Step


    Use an ice cream scoop to plop out ¼-cup rounds spaced at least 3 inches apart on the sheet pans. (You should get 4 to 5 cookies per pan.) Bake until lightly golden at the edges and dry and set in the center, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Let cool completely on the sheet pan; the cookies will flatten slightly and continue cooking as they cool. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.



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Cooking Notes


These were incredibly delicious. The gochujang caramel adds a subtle spice reminiscent of gingerbread. However, I would have swirled the gochujang caramel into the dough before it chilled and stiffened to more easily achieve the proper rippling effect.


Yes you can make them smaller. I used a 2 TBS scoop (1/8 cup) and cooked for 13 minutes. The 19 resulting cookies were 3" in diameter and delicious.


These are the best cookies I have ever eaten! I used the exact ingredients, but I patted out the cookie dough (which was much firmer than Eric's in his video - I have a cold house and my flour may be drier than his) and spread the gochujang unevenly on top, then rolled it up in a log, chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes and cut in thick slices. I got 24 beautiful, crunchy, sweet, salty & spicy cookies with a beautiful swirl pattern. I'm making them again tonight!

Adam LeClair

Please just make these. They’re are amazing. Just…. Amazing! Make as is. And let your life be greatly improved! My only note is I got a better thatch when left in the oven more on the 13 min side.


You will make a lot of mistakes today. Making these will not be one of them. Amazing cookies.


Re: the swirling. After reading others notes, I came up with my own approach. Before chilling, I warmed up the gochujang sauce to make it a little thinner, pressed the dough down in the bowl a bit, and did about half a tablespoon of drizzle back and forth over the dough. Then I folded the dough in half and repeated three or four times - basically a lamination approach. Chilled for 15 minutes, and proceeded. It worked beautifully, with big thick ribbons of caramel through the cookies.


Watching the YouTube video may help with the chilling/dolloping/streaking parts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B43W_wXJuY


Eric, this one is a keeper! Thank you for working so hard to create such amazing recipes that are easy to follow, use ingredients I almost always have on hand, and taste fantastic! The balance of sweet to spicy is perfect!


Bad day? Gochujang Caramel Cookies. Good day? Gochujang Caramel Cookies. Dehydrated? Gochujang Caramel Cookies. Rent due? Gochujang Caramel Cookies. Promised your first born to a mischievous elf? Gochujang Caramel Cookies.


Love it, the cookie had a great flavor profile - especially if you’re someone who has enjoyed miso cookies in the past - this recipe creates similar umami notes. I struggled to mix the caramel in properly without over-mixing. Ultimately, I did over-mix the two components which caused the cookies to spread too large. Next time I would dollop a bit of the caramel on top of each cookie and swirl it in with a offset knife or something, to avoid this issue.

Emily H

These are mind blowing! I veganized these using 3tbsp Just Egg and vegan butter and it worked flawlessly. I found the dough to be a little crumbly at first, which isn’t unusual for vegan cookies, but after 15 min in the fridge it came together. I also only had a 2 tbsp cookie scoop instead of a 1/4 cup scoop called for and it worked out great - 12.5 min worked for me but I started checking at 11. Make these!

Hannah C

This was truly a perfect cookie. Sweet & chewy with a slight surprise from the gochujang. I was skeptical before making, but Eric Kim never misses. I dolloped the gochujang butter on top after scooping and folded the cookie over itself, baked for 13 mins, and they came out absolutely perfect. Adding to my cookie roto!


Egg whites make cookies crunchy. Bakers actually remove egg white from recipes to make their cookies chewier; that's why so many cookie recipes with the word "chewy" in their title will call for 1 egg+ 1-2 yolks. This is also why whites are called for in recipes where you want "stiffening" action, like meringues and coconut macaroons (they help dry out and harden the coconut) and even royal icing.


Nice cookie--like a snickerdoodle with a kick. A few people said it tasted like a bbq sauce-infused sugar cookie. I suspect that is about the brand of gochujang you are using, I used some from a nearby grocery store because I was out of my usual (which I buy at an Asian market) and also had this experience. Then I tasted the paste itself and...ick. It really did taste like bbq sauce. So maybe try again with better product?


Wow! Best cookie I’ve made in a while—and a nice different twist to add to cookie trays/care packages. Did 2 Tbl scoops, made 23, baked 13 mins. My gochugang was stiff so I had to microwave it a little, which I’m sure made the “caramel” easier to swirl (did before chilling dough). Definitely making again. Soon.

Marta M

Make sure to check that your gochujang doesn’t contain garlic or onion powder. Used one with it- didn’t affect flavor badly (I love both ingredients) but does lead to a slight bbq after taste which some other bakers have commented on.


I made this using Ssamjang, loved it, reminded mo of gingersnap. But chewy.Easy and delicious


Delicious!For baking at elevation of 7200ft: Convect at 375 degreesLower granulated sugar by 1T.Add 1T. egg whitesAdd 3T. flourBake for 11 minutes, rotate the pan and bake 30 more seconds.


wondering if using Gochujang with garlic and onion as ingredients is okay?


My kitchen is cold (68°F) so I didn’t chill the dough, just added the dollops of caramel, swirled and baked, using a #40 cookie scoop. I got 19 delicious cookies.

Rose Casa

I am dying to try to make these cookies, but for the life of me, I cannot find gochujiang without garlic and onion. I have gone to every market near me, and looked on Amazon. Can someone recommend a brand that I can try to find online? Thanks so much in advance!


Absolutely insane recipe. Best cookies I’ve ever made.

Baking Tray

ONLY USE THE DARK TRAY! light tray doesn't caramelize very well


I was skeptical to try this at first, but it’s my new favorite cookie recipe. It’s almost like an elevated snickerdoodle with an added kick!


maybe try 15 min


Second time making - I remembered and re-read about how hard it was to “swirl” the gochujang caramel into the dough. I decided to add before refrigerating and worried I’d over mixed and wouldn’t get the right effect. After refrigerating and scooping out 9 full-size cookies and baking, they were *perfect*


This recipe made about 15 large (in my opinion) cookies. I used Trader Joe‘s gochujang because it doesn’t have gluten, but it wasn’t quite spicy enough. I’d like a bit more spice next time. I also recommend swirling in the gochujang mixture before chilling and sprinkling some sugar on top before baking. The cookies spread a lot, so do leave enough space between them on the baking sheet. Gluten free dough needs closer to 15 min.


Interesting flavor. Would reduce the gochujang as it was way a bit too spicy (even for a spice lover) and overpowered the flavor too much. Otherwise, tasted nice.


Absolutely delicious. Made these for a party and had people asking what bakery they had to drive to to get them. I did find adding the gochujang after chilling the dough difficult. Might try doing it before.


My husband is Korean and we live in Seoul. He’s been requesting this ever since we first came across the recipe. Finally decided to try it out for Valentine’s Day. Not sure if it’s the brand of gochujang we used or what, but it was way more gochujang and not so much caramel. Next time I think I’ll use a bit less and maybe add a bit more brown sugar? I might also try swirling a little bit, adding another glob, then swirling some more. Really chewy and soft, super yummy!

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Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe (2024)
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