Vegan Korean Six Sided Cream Cheese Garlic Bread is Asian street food heaven in a bun! Full of garlicky dairy-free cream cheese, these buns are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Use store-bought white rolls to have this garlic bread ready in about 20 minutes. Or you can make your own vegan milk bread buns; up to you! Also your choice, bake in either a regular oven or an air fryer.
Video tutorial for making Vegan Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread
I was lucky enough to get the apartment to myself so I could also record sound for this video. So if you want to watch the ASMR-style version of this Korean Garlic Bread Tutorial, click here.
Veganizing Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread
Korean Six Sided Cream Cheese Garlic Bread consists for three main components: the soft, fluffy bun; the sweet cream cheese filling; and the liquid garlic butter to soak and coat the filled bun.
Soft Buns for Korean Garlic Bread
From the looks of the videos and description of the taste, I believe the Korean soft buns are like Chinese Milk Bread or Japanese Hokkaido Milk Buns. Very soft and moist on the inside. This type of bread is awesome because not only does it taste amazing, they stay fresh for several days with extra preservatives.
Especially for this recipe, I developed an easier version of my Chinese Milk Bread and formed the dough into buns instead of the usual loaf style. If you make my recipe, divide the dough into 6 to make the puffy large buns I used in the my Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Buns video tutorial.
Buying a vegan version of this bread is probably going to be difficult in most places. Similar looking buns from Asian bakeries, (ie milk bread) is typically full of dairy (milk and butter). However, if you can find vegan brioche or butter rolls, they would work well in this recipe. Otherwise, choose soft dinner rolls or Portuguese rolls which are often accidentally vegan-friendly. They will still be delicious!
Again, I’ll repeat that I haven’t had the real thing so I may be wrong. Are they really using a sweet bread? In one video, it looked more like a kaiser bun. So…if you want something less sweet, maybe use large white dinner rolls or kaiser buns.
Sweet Cream Cheese
The filling in the six sided buns is normally some cream cheese, a similar portion of butter and some sweetener, like sugar. Luckily, vegan cream cheese and vegan butter is readily available in many major supermarkets.
During testing, I used Daiya plain dairy-free cream cheese and Melt Buttery Sticks. Daiya does have it’s own distinctive “Daiya” flavour, but I think it goes really well with this recipe.
Tofutti also makes a good vegan cream cheese that I think would work well. As for Melt Buttery Sticks, they have a light coconut flavour which I quite liked in this recipe. However, if you want a more buttery-flavoured butter that does not taste like coconut, I recommend Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Spread.
Garlic Butter Dressing
The last component of these luscious buns is the super garlicky butter. It’s typically made with dairy butter, cream, mayonnaise, garlic, honey and dried parsley. I saw egg added to many versions which may help the dressing set.
The dairy butter and cream is easily replaced with vegan butter, soy milk (or your favourite plant-based milk). Instead of using vegan mayo to replace the regular mayo, a sprinkle of kala namak after baking the bread will give us that flavour. Instead of honey, I used corn syrup. And finally, to help the dressing set, I mixed a bit of cornstarch into the soy milk.
How to make Vegan Korean Six Side Cream Cheese Garlic Bread
First, I’ll assume you already have your soft vegan milk bun or buns. If not, buy them or make some! Afterwards, your first step is to preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C. If you’re going to use an air fryer, you do not have to preheat. Also, get your baking sheet ready by lining with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Then, cut the buns part-way into six wedges. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the bread; leave about 1 cm or a scant 1/2″ at the base.
Separately, cream together vegan butter, vegan cream cheese and sugar. If your butter/cream cheese is very cold, it might take a while at first but keep beating with your whisk or fork and it will combine eventually.
Once it is well combined, transfer the mixture to a piping bag or a strong plastic bag with at least one square corner (like a ziploc) and set it aside in the fridge to stay cool.
Warm up the remaining vegan butter until it’s melted. I just microwaved it for 15 seconds. Meanwhile, combine the plain soy milk and cornstarch. After the cornstarch is fully dissolved, add the melted vegan butter, corn syrup, minced garlic, dried parsley and basil, and salt.
Whisk together until the liquid is well combined. If any of the ingredients were too cold, the butter might solidify. If that happens, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave just until it’s liquid again. Don’t overheat or the cornstarch will thicken it too much.
Put the parts together
Finally, you can assemble the cream cheese garlic bun(s) for the oven. Cut the tip off your bag and pipe the vegan sweetened cream cheese mixture evenly into between each of the wedges. Focus at the base of the wedges so the filling forces the wedges apart. Hold back some of the cream cheese so you can pipe some on top later.
Dunk the filled buns in the liquid garlicky butter, making sure every surface gets well coated. You can spoon over the liquid to cover any patches that get missed. Place the bun(s) on your parchment-lined baking sheet. If you’re making more than one, place them so that each bun has lots of room in between for air-flow.
Lastly, pipe the remaining cream cheese mixture on to the top centers.
Bake and Finish
When your oven is preheated, bake the bun(s) at 425°F (218°C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Take them out when the outside is nice and crispy. They will be well browned with some bubbling on the surface.
Add a sprinkling of black salt (kala namak) for a touch of eggy flavour to finish and enjoy these Vegan Korean Six Sided Cream Cheese Garlic Bread Buns while they are hot and toasty! Perhaps pair this treat with another Korean food trend: Dalgona Coffee.
Baking Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread in the Air Fryer
Since air fryers get hot so quickly, there’s no need to preheat. Instead, just go straight into prepping and filling the buns.
Then, you can place the buns directly on your non-stick air fryer basket. Add a little cooking spray if your basket tends to stick.
Air fry at 400°F (or the highest setting if yours doesn’t go that high), and your buns should be done in 10 minutes. Add additional time by the minute if necessary.
Storing Leftover Korean Garlic Bread
The fresh baked Korean Garlic Bread is best right out of the oven. But if you have leftovers, they are easy to store. Here’s how:
- Let the bread cool to room temperature
- Divide the wedges up and spread them out on the parchment-lined baking sheet
- Freeze until solid
- Transfer the frozen bread wedges to a freezer bag, squeeze out air and seal.
Frozen garlic bread can be stored for up to two months. Then to thaw it, you can either let it thaw at room temperature (just thaw what you want to eat) or microwave for 20 seconds or so. You can crisp the bread up in the oven or air fryer too.
Printable Recipe for Vegan Korean Cream Cheese Garlic Bread
- 2 large Vegan Milk Bread Buns or Buns of choice
Whipped Cream Cheese Mixture
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, plain (4oz or 120g)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, room temperature (2oz or 60g)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Garlic Butter Wash
- 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons plain soy milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted vegan butter)
- pinch of black salt AKA kala namak
- Preheat oven to 425°F. If using an airfryer, please see instructions in the notes.
- Using an electric or manual whisk, Cream the vegan cream cheese, vegan butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Transfer the whipped cream cheese to a piping bag with a large tip (or any strong plastic bag with square corners). Place in the fridge for now.
- Separately in a large bowl, whisk the soy milk and cornstarch together until the cornstarch is dissolved. Then add the rest of the garlic butter wash ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Careful to leave 1 cm or a scant 1/2" intact at the base of the buns, cut into 6 wedges. Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Using a large tip (or cut the corner off your plastic bag), pipe the whipped cream cheese evenly between each wedge, starting at the base so the pieces separate.
- Dunk the filled buns in the Garlic Butter Wash, making sure every surface gets well coated. You can spoon over the liquid to cover any patches that get missed. Place the buns back onto the parchment, leaving room between them for air-flow.
- Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned and bubbling.
- Finish by sprinkling the pinch of black salt over both buns. Serve hot and enjoy! Perhaps with Dalgona Coffee.
Air fryer instructions
1. No need to preheat at the start. Do steps 1 through 3 but place the buns directly on your non-stick basket. Add a little cooking spray if your basket tends to stick.
2. Air fry at 400°F (or the highest setting if yours doesn't go that high), and your buns should be done in 10 minutes. Add additional time by the minute if necessary.
- Let the bread cool to room temperature. Cut into individual wedges if desired. Spread pieces out on the parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for one hour or until completely hardened.
- Place the frozen pieces in a freezer bag, press out the excess air and seal. Freeze for up to two months.
Serving Size:1 wedge
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
Nutritional Information automatically calculated by a plugin and may not be correct.
My Inspiration for this recipe
While I’ve been seeing videos about Korean street food and this Korean garlic bread for the past several months, I was happy just to watch without making any of the food. Truth be told, I’ve felt way too busy with working on my own recipes for both videos and my cookbook.
I’m behind on (my probably unrealistic, self-appointed) schedule and trying anything new seemed like a wasteful indulgence. But when someone requested this recipe for 6-sided garlic bread via Facebook, I quickly changed my mind.
To get a feel for these buns which I have never tasted myself, I re-watched several Korean street food videos and some non-vegan video recipe demonstrations until I was ready to do my own trial and error testing. These sources included:
I’m afraid this list is not exhaustive. I watched a lot of travel videos during my research and only part-way through remembered to record them.
After this mini-project, I felt rejuvenated! It’s a strange time for everyone and I felt like I was coping well especially since I’m already used to working from home. I had not realized how blah I felt until I started working on this recipe.
It’s funny how a little outside push helped to energize and give me more motivation to try new things. Do you have any suggestions on what I should try to re-create next?
Wherever you are, I hope you are staying safe and well. Bye for now!