These Chestnut Black Sesame Waffles are loosely inspired by Korean Hodugwaja. Soft, light and cakey black sesame waffles are filled with a sweet chestnut filling.
When we used to go to Klondike Days (K-Days) in Edmonton every summer, we would visit the main exhibition with all the vendors and make it a point get these deli manjoo custard cakes.
Hot, piping custard in a soft, cake-like exterior... kinda similar to these Mini Matcha Custard Buns.
Suddenly, one year, they disappeared. I was sad to not get my annual fix of deli manjoo cakes.
Then, we discovered a similar cake... a Korean walnut-shaped cake... hodugwaja.
What is hodugwaja?
Hodugwaja is a walnut-shaped Korean confectionary, also known as walnut cake, walnut pastry or walnut cookies.
It is a soft, baked cake/cookie-like mixture with a sweetened red bean paste filling.
To attain the walnut-shape, the hodugwaja are baked in a walnut-shaped mold/pan.
The pans can can be difficult to find, which is why I made these into waffles.
Waffles instead of chestnut mold
Since I don't have the walnut-shaped mold/pan, I decided to create the recipe using a waffle maker, which is more readily accessible.
The waffles are soft, cake-like and flavoured with black sesame.
It's filled with a chestnut filling, but you can definitely use red bean paste or any other filling you'd like (except custard).
The chestnut filling is simple to make.
I used the vacuum-sealed packages of chestnut, which are already cooked and peeled, which makes it easy to prepare.
You can find the packages of chestnut in Asian and major grocery stores, by the dried fruit and nuts section.
- chestnuts: already roasted and peeled (100g)
- milk: you can use any type of milk
- honey: or any sweetener you like
- vanilla extract
How to make the filling
Mash the chestnut until it's crumbly, and add in milk
Continue to mash until the it becomes paste-like
Stir in honey and vanilla extract and set aside
If you prefer the filling to be more smooth, run it through a food processor.
Black sesame waffle
To mimic the soft, cake-like texture of hodugwaja, I primarily use cake flour in the waffle batter, with a touch of all-purpose flour for structure.
The remaining ingredients are what you would regularly find in a waffle batter, with the addition of sesame powder.
- cake/pastry flour: makes the texture of the waffle softer and more cake-like
- all-purpose flour: adds a little structure to the waffle
- large egg
- vegetable oil: any type will do, or you can use melted butter
- baking powder: adds lift and lightness to the waffles
- granulated sugar
- sea salt: I like using a fine sea salt
- black sesame powder: you can grind black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder to create your own black sesame powder, or you can use a thick black sesame paste; you can find it in Asian supermarkets
How to make the waffles
Preheat your waffle maker to medium high heat.
To a large bowl, add the egg and oil. Beat until lightly frothy.
Pour in the milk, and vanilla extract.
Stir in the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Whisk in the cake flour, all-purpose flour and black sesame powder until combined.
Ladle in about 2 tablespoon of batter in each quadrant of the preheated waffle iron.
Add about 1 tablespoon of chestnut filling and cover with another 1-2 tablespoon of batter.
Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove the waffles and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
How to enjoy & store
Enjoy these waffles freshly made.
You can keep store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Alternatively, you can freeze the waffles in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To reheat, just pop the waffles into a toaster oven until warmed through.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Black Sesame Brochi (Brownie Mochi)
Hojicha Black Sesame Oat Latte
Chickpea Peanut Butter Waffles
These Chestnut Black Sesame Waffles are soft and cake-like, with a strong nutty flavour from both the sesame and chestnut filling. They're lightly sweet, and would be great as a snack or breakfast.
Let me know if you try out my recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Hodugwaja-Inspired Chestnut Black Sesame Waffles
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 pkg (100g) chestnuts roasted and peeled
- 1 tablespoon milk of your choice
- 1 tablespoon honey or any other sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Black Sesame Waffles
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 C milk or non-dairy alternative
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 C cake/pastry flour
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ C black sesame powder
Make the chestnut filling:
- Place the roasted chestnuts into a bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the chestnuts until crumbly, and add in milk.
- Continue to mash until it becomes paste-like.
- Stir in honey and vanilla extract and set aside.
Make the black sesame waffles:
- Preheat the waffle maker to medium high heat.
- To a large bowl, add in the egg and oil. Beat until lightly frothy.
- Pour in the milk and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk in the cake flour, all-purpose flour and black sesame powder until combined.
- Ladle in about 2 tablespoon of batter in each quadrant of the preheated waffle iron.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of chestnut filling and cover with another 1-2 tablespoon of batter.
- Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the waffles and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- Repeat with the remaining batter/filling.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
I've never tried hodugwaja before, but I would certainly love to in the form of these waffles! Perfect timing to enjoy a delicious weekend brunch...with lots of coffee, of course 😉 Have a good one, my friend 🙂
Thanks Dawn, happy weekend ahead!
Great waffle recipe! Loved the addition of black sesame & chestnuts. It's not too sweet and had excellent flavours!
Thanks for your feedback, Vickie! 🙂
Hi Michelle, Could I use all purpose flour instead of cake flour?
You can use all-purpose flour, but note that the texture may not be as tender/cake-like.
Walnut filling is one of my favorite pastry fillings-- super excited to try this out in waffle form. Your photos are so clear and easy to follow instructions.
How innovative by making this in to waffles. Sounds scrumptious!
The kids were studying Korea so we decided to make a Korean meal and made these waffles. OMG so good! We are all hooked now 🙂
Ahh, that's amazing! Thanks Jenn 🙂
Enjoyed these for breakfast this morning and they did not disappoint! So light and fluffy and paired perfectly with my morning cup of coffee!
They are indeed delicious with a cup of coffee! Thanks for making them, Sara 🙂
This is quite creative and I do love the name. I've never tried chestnut filling but I'm quite intrigued. Love the waffle twist. Can't wait to make this!!