Trader Joe’s Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes (Hotteok) Review

Trader Joe's Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes

We’ve been wanting to check out the Trader Joe’s Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes ever since the fine folks at Fein Dining posted a video review back in 2021. We even left a comment on the video expressing our excitement! However, we’ve not been able to find these in stock at our local TJ’s store — and we look for them every single time we go there.

But recently, we were out of town and decided to stop into a different Trader Joe’s store on a whim. And wouldn’t you know it? They had the Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes just sitting there in the freezer, like it was no big deal (or NBD, as they’re saying these days). We can’t really comment on the authenticity of this Hotteok (there’s a great review on the Food Network website that does just that), but we can stuff some in our mouths and give our honest opinions on them.

The package gives three different cooking methods. The first is a microwave/stovetop hybrid designed for cooking these right out of the freezer. Next up is the stovetop method for folks who thawed these out before cooking them. Finally, you’ve got the air fryer, which is another straight-out-of-the-freezer option. We went with the first option, since we pulled these straight out of the freezer and we famously don’t have an air fryer in the Freezer Meal Frenzy office. (If you want to read all three cooking methods, scroll down to the bottom of this review and check out those package scans.)

Trader Joe's Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes

If you cut one of these in half like we did (for science!), a brown goo will ooze out of the center. This might look like chocolate, but it’s actually a cinnamon goop of some sort. It’s sweet, but not overly so. It’s a pleasant sweetness level, not an aggressive one, and it makes this a good breakfast item to pair with a cup of black coffee.

The pancake portion gets just a little bit crispy on the outside, but it should be soft yet firm on the inside. You’ll feel a little bit of resistance when you bite into one of these — just enough that these are really satisfying to bite into.

The flavor of the pancake is decent, but it’s the cinnamon that really takes it over the top. The pancake is really just an excuse to slurp up some of that delicious cinnamon goop, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Of course, we should point out that we thought these were pretty good, but not excellent. Sure, we’d eat them again if given the option, but we’re not going to feel all that bad if it takes us another year to chase down a second batch of these.

The package considers one pancake to be a serving size, and there are four pancakes in a bag. If you just eat the recommended one, you’ll be chomping down 280 calories and 180 mg of sodium. That’s actually not bad, but keep in mind these aren’t all that big — you could easily scarf down two of them in a sitting and still feel kind of hungry afterward.

The Trader Joe’s Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes are pretty good, though not quite as good as we expected. The package recommends pairing these with some vanilla ice cream, and we think we’re going to have to try that, because it sounds like a pretty fun idea.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for these frozen pancakes, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes
Trader Joe's Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes
Trader Joe's Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes
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1 year ago

It’s getting to the point where it’s annoying that you don’t have access to an air fryer. I would say that 90% of frozen food these days has an air fryer option, and it would be really nice to know how these products turned out using that method. They’re really not that expensive. Are you guys that hard up for money?

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