Tasting the Rainbow: Mujigaetteok (무지개떡)

Put simply, “Mujigaetteok” means “Rainbow Cake” – and it’s not hard to see how it got its name! This colourful dessert is one of South Korea’s finest, and it is eaten frequently on special occasions, such as weddings and for a baby’s first birthday.


In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, colourful foods are always going to be more popular than bland foods, regardless of taste. There is something about the colourful appearance of Mujigaetteok that simply draws you in, even if you don’t actually know what it tastes like beforehand. Whether you first experience it at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant, it will leave a lasting impression on you! But what does it actually taste of?


The cake itself is very soft and is full of sugar, which is perhaps not a good thing if you’re watching your weight. Traditionally, Mujigaetteok has 5 colours of the rainbow incorporated into its design, although you cannot taste each flavour. I thought it was like eating cotton candy, with a kick of fizz (just the sugar, I guess). Often, Mujigaetteok is decorated with pistachios or cherries, and this adds yet more variety to the mouthful!


Not only do I consider Mujigaetteok to be one of Korea’s finest desserts, but it also ranks as one of Asia’s best desserts, as far as I’m concerned. The melt in the mouth texture (not to mention the colourful appearance) is actually quite hard to find in Asia, as cakes over there are invariably steamed, as opposed to the kind of cakes we traditionally enjoy in Europe (i.e. carrot cake, Dundee cake, etc.). All things considered, I cannot visit Seoul without seeking out a chance to taste the rainbow of Mujigaetteok!

Why not try to make Mujigaetteok yourself with the help of Korean cooking guru Maangchi?

2 thoughts on “Tasting the Rainbow: Mujigaetteok (무지개떡)

  1. i never had this before. but got to try many kinds of steamed rice cakes when in south korea, and i do think they make nice ones. is this only made for a celebration? or available at any rice cake shops?


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