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Gluten-Free Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe

by Emily
Gluten-free gochujang caramel cookies piled on a cream oval platter. The platter sits on a brown table with a cream table cloth.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details at the bottom of this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on this gluten-free gochujang caramel cookies recipe article. I hope you enjoy learning about how to make this recipe inspired by Eric Kim’s popular gochujang caramel cookie recipe from The New York Times.

What Are Gochujang Caramel Cookies?

If you look up ‘Eric Kim gochujang caramel cookies,’ ‘nyt gochujang caramel cookies,’ or even just ‘gochujang caramel,’ you will come across a highly viral and equally delicious cookie recipe. These cookies have a similar bite and flavor to snickerdoodles with a ribbon of rust-red gochujang ‘caramel’ that twists through the surface and center of the cookies. 

As someone with celiac disease, I desperately wanted to try these cookies! Therefore, I made a gluten-free version! In this post, try my gluten-free version of Eric Kim’s gochujang caramel cookies recipe for the New York Times. Learn how to make them below! 

Finally, I recommend reading my informative article about gochujang, a fermented red pepper paste with deep cultural significance in Korea’s food culture, before learning how to bake these delicious cookies. You can also look at my gluten-free gochujang article to find my recommended gluten-free gochujang brands

Gluten-free gochujang caramel cookies piled on a cream oval platter. In the background, the platter sits on a brown table with a cream table cloth. Then, in the foreground I am breaking a cookie in half with my hands.

Gluten-Free Gochujang Caramel Cookies Ingredient List:

Below, I list the ingredients used to make this delicious gochujang caramel cookie recipe. I also linked any informative articles on my site connected to these ingredients:

Gochujang Caramel Cookie Ingredients:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Gluten-Free Gochujang
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Egg
  • Coarse Kosher Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Soda
  • Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour 

Note: When shopping for a gluten-free all purpose-flour brand, make sure to find one that already contains xanthan gum. That way, you will not need to buy another (rather expensive) ingredient! 

Gochujang Caramel Cookies Tips & Tricks: 

Here, I list some helpful tips & tricks to help you make these easy gochujang caramel cookies. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]! I hope these tips help make this gluten-free version of these viral cookies easier to bake! 

  • When making this gluten-free version, I recommend using a gluten-free flour version that already contains xanthan gum. That way, you can avoid having to buy another expensive ingredient. I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour. 
  • Make this recipe by hand. Hand mixing this dough helps make its signature chewy texture.  
  • This recipe is easy to double, triple, etc for events. Just remember these cookies only last 2 days as they contain a fermented paste that can spoil.  
  • This recipe makes 8 VERY LARGE cookies (1/4 cup of dough per cookie) are 16 medium sized cookies (1/8 cup of dough per cookie). Use an ice cream scoop to place the rounds on the trays 3 inches apart.
  • If you are using two large trays to bake these cookies, I recommend swapping the trays from the top and bottom rack halfway through baking. 
  • Let the cookies cool and harden before transferring to a plate and eating. These cookies come out of the oven VERY soft. They harden as they cool. 
An overhead shot of the cookie dough mixed together.

Gluten-Free Gochujang Caramel Cookies Frequently Asked Questions: 

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for making this Korean gochujang caramel cookies recipe, I want to answer some questions you may have as well! If I do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email me at [email protected]

Is Gochujang Gluten-Free?

Unfortunately, most mass-produced gochujang is not gluten-free. When you visit South Korea (or any Korean market outside of Korea), you will see an aisle filled with all different types of gochujang. Wheat will appear on the labels of most of those labels.

Thankfully, some brands have started producing gluten-free gochujang lines of brands. While still difficult to find in stores (though places like Publix and Kroger have started carrying very small containers) you can find a lot online! Check out my recommendations here!

Does This Recipe Contain Major Allergens? (Gluten, Soy, Etc.)

Before listing all of the major allergens, I want to state that all of my recipes are naturally gluten-free. On this blog, I only use and recommend gluten-free ingredients and brands. That being said, I list gluten as a potential allergen when necessary– this is because many Korean ingredients (such as soy sauce, gochujang, and doenjang) contain gluten unless you specifically buy gluten-free versions. Not only is this true for gluten, but it is true for other major allergens as well. As such, I always list allergy substitutions in the next section of my post. 

This recipe does not contain 6 of the 9 major allergens. It does not contain: 

  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Crustacean Shellfish
  • Sesame
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat (Gluten)

This recipe does contain 3 of the 9 major allergens. It can contain: 

  • Soybean
  • Eggs
  • Milk (Dairy)

Allergy Substitutions or Omissions: 

For those with celiac disease, gluten allergy, and/or wheat allergy: 

To make this recipe gluten and wheat-free, switch out regular gochujang for a gluten-free version. Then, make sure to buy a gluten-free flour blend (I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure). 

For those with a soy allergy: 

Most, if not all, gochujang contains soy. When making this recipe, look for a soy-free gochujang. The only gluten-free and soy-free gochujang I have found belongs to O’Food. That being said, though it is labeled gluten-free, it is not officially labeled soy-free. 

For those with egg and milk allergies:

Unfortunately, this recipe contains eggs as well as butter (which contains dairy). I have not attempted to make this recipe egg and dairy free, so I do not have any recommendations for substitutes at this time. As I continue to recipe test, I will update the information if I find a delicious substitute I feel worthy of putting here!

An overhead shot of Korean gochujang caramel cookies on a cream platter.

Is This Recipe Vegetarian or Vegan?

Excitingly, this recipe is naturally vegetarian! 

Unfortunately, this recipe is not vegan as it contains butter. While there are butter substitutes available, I have not attempted to make this gluten-free cookie recipe using those vegan options. If you try it and it works well, let me know in the comment section what you used!

Where Do I Buy the Ingredients?

You can buy most ingredients listed (such as butter, dark brown sugar, and ground cinnamon) for this recipe at your local well-stocked grocery store. 

Unfortunately, one item may be difficult to find at most Western-style grocery stores: 

  • Korean Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang)  

While many grocery stores (such as Publix, Wegmans, and Krogers) now carry gluten-free versions of this ingredient in the Asian section, I cannot guarantee that your store will carry it. Instead, look for these ingredients at larger Asian grocery store chains (such as H-Mart). Further, you can order gluten-free versions of this ingredient online! 

If you are shopping for gluten-free gochujang online, I recommend checking out my list of gluten-free gochujang options

Where to Buy Korean Ingredients Online? 

Nowadays, there are many online options to choose from to order Korean food online. These websites are not limited to but include:

  • Amazon
  • H-mart
  • Hanpoom
  • Wooltari 

Once again, if you are shopping for gluten-free gochujang online, I recommend checking out my list of gluten-free gochujang options

How Do I Store Leftovers?

To store the leftover cookies, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days. I like to reheat these cookies before I eat them as they get deliciously warm and gooey. Furthermore, I like eating them with a glass of milk!  

Gluten-free gochujang caramel cookies piled on a cream oval platter. The platter sits on a brown table with a cream table cloth.

I Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make These Gluten-Free Gochujang Caramel Cookies!!

In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning how to make these gluten-free gochujang caramel cookies! If so, let me know in the comment section!

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on this blog. I listed some of my favorite Carving A Journey recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog YouTube channel with my husband! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to the blog by joining the mailing list. Let me know if you try making this gluten-free version of the ‘Eric Kim gochujang caramel cookies!’ Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Gluten-Free Gochujang Caramel Cookies Recipe

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Emily Course: Recipe IndexCuisine: Korean, Korean FusionDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

Large Cookies
Total Time

45

minutes
Cooking time

12

minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 TBSP Unsalted Butter (115 Grams), Very Soft

  • 2 TBSP Dark Brown Sugar

  • 1 TBSP Gluten-Free Gochujang, Heaping

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar (200 Grams)

  • 1 Large Egg, Room Temperature

  • 1/2 TSP Coarse Kosher Salt

  • 1/4 TSP Ground Cinnamon

  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 TSP Baking Soda

  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (185 Grams)*

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine 1 TBSP butter, brown sugar, and gochujang until smooth. Set this mixture aside at room temperature for later use. (While you do this, leave the other 7 TBSP of butter out to remain soft.) An overhead shot of the gochujang mixture in a clear container.
  • Next, in a large bowl combine the remaining 7 TBSP of butter, granulated sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Whisk by hand until smooth (approximately 1 minute).
  • Using a flexible spatula, stir in the baking sofa. Finally, add the flour and gently stir until well combined. Place the large bowl in your refrigerator until the dough is pliable but not sticky (15 minutes). A close shot of the cookie dough before mixing the in the gochujang.
  • While the dough chills, heat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Spoon the gochujang mixture over the cookie dough in 3 to 4 blobs. Using the flexible spatula, swirl the gochujang butter mixture into the cookie dough so you have ribbons of rust-red gochujang streaked through the cookies. Make sure to not over mix as the dough can quickly turn completely red. An overhead shot of the gochujang caramel cookies dough
  • Using an ice cream scoop, spoon out 1/4 cup rounds and space them at least 3 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. You can fit approximately 4 cookies per large sheet. If you want smaller cookies, spoon out 1/8 cup rounds instead.
  • Bake until lightly golden around the edges. They should be dry in the center (12-15 minutes). While baking, rotate the pans halfway through.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet pan. The cookies will flatten and harden as they continue to cool. Keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.**

Notes

  • *Buy gluten-free all-purpose flour that already contains xanthan gum. This allows you to avoid buying another expensive ingredient. (I recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure)
  • **These only last two days as they contain gochujang (red pepper fermented paste) that can spoil quickly.
  • This gluten-free version is thinner than the original glutinous version as the dough spreads more. Make sure your dough balls are far from one another as the cookies spread as they cook.

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