Songpyeon (송편) – half moon rice cake

Songpyeon are half-moon-shaped rice cakes that contain different kinds of sweet or semi-sweet fillings, such as sesame seeds and honey, sweet red bean paste, and chestnut paste steamed over a layer of pine needles, which gives them the fragrant smell of fresh pine trees.



Rice dough:

  • 500 g (5 cups) short-grain rice powder  (멥쌀가루)
  • Water
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Coloring ingredients (optional)

  • 7 g (gardenia 2 g + water 25 g) gardenia soaked water for yellow color
  • 9 g (strawberry powder 1 g + water 8 g) strawberry powder liquid
  • 1 g cinnamon powder


Fillings – we will use simple honey/sesame seeds/cinnamon fillings

  • Filling 1:
    • 30 g roasted sesame seeds
    • 9.5 g (½ tablespoons) honey
    • 12 g (1 tablespoon) brown sugar
    • 0.5 g (⅛ teaspoons) salt
  • Filling 2:
    • 14 g (⅔ tablespoons) honey
    • 1 g (¼ teaspoons) salt
    • 0.6 g cinnamon powder
  • 300 g pine needles
  • 13 g (1 tablespoon) sesame oil



  • Preparing the coloring: Halve the gardenia, soak in water for 30 minutes to make gardenia soaked water. Mix strawberry powder with water to make strawberry powder liquid.
  • Mix salt and the rice powder and sieve. Divide it into 5 parts. Mix each part of rice powder with each coloring stuff. Sieve.
  • Grind half of the fried sesame seeds, mix with honey, sugar and salt together. Set aside.
  • Rinse pine needles in water and drain water.


  1. Knead each colored rice powder with hot water with strong force for long time.
  2. Boil water for steaming. Layer damp cotton cloths on the bottom of the pot.
  3. Pull off around 15~16 g of rice powder dough, roll it into a small ball and make a dent in the center. Put the fillings in and close up the edges and make it into a half-moon shape.
Seongpyeon ball
making rice balls


  1. Boil water for steaming. When it boils, layer pine needles on the bottom. Place the shaped rice cake and steam for 20 minutes on high heat.
  2. Take out the steamed rice cake and quickly run through cold water. Remove the pine needles, drain water and coat with sesame oil.


      • Cover dough with wet clothes to prevent drying.
      • Dough should be knead with warm water.


Seongpyeon (from Korean Food Foundation)

Seongpyeon are sweet half moon rice cakes that are often prepared for important Holidays like Chuseok.

(recipe adapted from Korean Food Foundation)