Alien's Day Out

Laksheme: vegan "donuts"! (update: CLOSED)


Update Feb 2012: ***BUSINESS HAS CLOSED***

Now that I’m on the west side of Seoul, I’m muuuch closer to Hongdae which is one of my favorite places in this city. Before, I only made it out to Hongdae about once every few months, but now I’m pretty sure I’ll be hanging out there at least once a week. There are just so many things to explore, discover, see and taste!

For instance, yesterday, I came across Laksheme, which is a “well-being” donut shop right along the main road leading up to Hongik University and believe it or not, they serve some delicious vegan donuts! Ok before I go any further, I should warn you that these are not your typical fat-laden dunkin’ or krispy kreme donuts. Instead, Laksheme has healthified “donuts” that are steamed rather than deep-fried, and they do not come with tooth-rotting glaze or eggy custard inside. And for those with soy allergies, their vegan donuts are all soy-free too! The lady at the counter was great in pointing out the five vegan options, which comprise the following:

Very Berry donuts, and Lemon Peel donuts.

Mocha donuts

Cinnamon donuts

And almond donuts!

IMG_5997.jpg IMG_5999.jpg
They also have steamed muffins, although these are not vegan.

“Low Fat, Yes Diet” haha. I’m not a calorie counter, but for those of you who are, you’ll be pleased to know that the store lists the calories right next to each item. Depending on which donut flavor you get, the calories range from 120-190. I don’t know how that compares to regular donuts, but I think this is pretty low, no?

cutesy interior~

I picked the ‘Very Berry’ donut (1,700 won) and headed to Design Aa Museum cafe where I enjoyed it with some overpriced Americano.

To be clear, I’m not really sure you can honestly call this a ‘donut’ because aside from the familiar ring shape, it did not resemble a donut in either texture or even taste. Since it wasn’t deep fried and contained minimal fat, it did lack the slight crispy surface and the rich flavor that is characteristic of a traditional donut. BUT, with all that said, I have to say that I LOVED this. Some donut loyalists might be offended or disappointed at this ‘faux,’ healthified cake-thing, trying to trick people into thinking it’s a real donut, but I’ve never been a fan of donuts anyway so this wasn’t the case for me. Infact, I think I preferred this, although it’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

The crumb was ever so light, soft, and spongy, and the dried cranberries provided just the perfect amount of mild sweetness. And there were plenty of walnuts studded throughout.

I was kind of in awe of the whole thing, while it quickly disappeared into ma mouth. I enjoyed it so much I almost walked all the way back to the store for a second one! I know I will absolutely go back to Laksheme to try all the other flavors in the near future.

Directions to Laksheme
Hongdae Station, Line 2, Exit 9. Walk straight out of the exit for 1 block and turn left after VIPS. Go up the road towards Hongik University. Laksheme will be on your left, in the Prugio complex. It’s a few stores before Dos Tacos. Check their map.


  1. I think I need to move to your city! There are so many cool places… do you think it would be difficult to get a long-term visa as a german girl? I'm serious about this!

  2. I never thought of steaming my donuts before…I think that's a new mission to put into my Halloween goodie bags! ^^

  3. That's really cool… they look almost like an angelfood or similar sponge cake. Which is really cool– the world is sorely in need of more vegan versions of sponge.

    So maybe not a donut per se, but they do look delicious and fascinating.

  4. Thank you for posting! We have a Laksheme here in New Songdo and I walk by their window all the time and wonder… guess I'll go in now!

  5. Very cute place, almost heartbreakingly so (why do I not live in Seoul?), but this: "steamed rather than deep-fried, and they do not come with tooth-rotting glaze"–nuh uh. I can't get on board with that. :) Carry on, though!

  6. … but still, they are darned adorable little cakes. So if I just don't think of them as "doughnuts," I'd probably think they were a terrific idea for a little coffee go-with, after all. I'd probably be grateful to see them on the menu if I were feeling peckish.

  7. Wonderful post! I love shop tours. Those "donuts" are intriguing!

  8. Right on! One of my favorite places in Seoul is the street on the north end of Hongdae with all the little cafés and shops. Café Zzam, Coffee Lab, ah! Lovely, especially in Autumn and Winter.

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  11. This place was really easy to get to from the train station. I only wish they had more vegan options. I thought the steamed donuts were interesting, I tried the mocha and something else fruity tasting. I also got some other flavors to go and will try them later on in the week. I will deffinantly go again and hopefully it wont be raining so much next time and I can explore the surrounding area.


  13. I have gone 3 times after work and on a Sunday afternoon. The 1st time I walked in. They said they were closed. The other two times the doors were locked. What are their hours ?

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