Really Easy Turkish Delight Recipe

(This post has been updated from the original April 2012 version to provide a better experience for you)

If you’re looking for an easy Turkish delight recipe, you’re in the right place! Yielding a beautifully soft texture with a gorgeous, delicate rose flavour, this recipe has a non traditional twist that makes it quicker and easier to make. Read on for the full recipe, lots of helpful tips (including how to stop it sweating!) and more…

Close up of a half eaten cube of Turkish delight stacked on 5 other cubes.

I first made this recipe back in 2012 as a homemade Father’s Day gift for my Dad. Turkish delight is one of his all time favourite treats! I did run into a pretty major problem though…

Turkish delight in a stack inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

After a while, Turkish delight begins to sweat/seep water. It’s been a head scratcher figuring out how to prevent this from happening but I think I’ve finally done it! Check out the Turkish delight storage tips section towards the end of this post to see how.

Turkish delight in a stack, with a half eaten piece on top, inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

What does Turkish delight taste like?

Turkish delight has a very soft gel like texture with a delicate rose water flavour. There are other flavours of course but the traditional one is rose. It’s quite a subtle floral flavour but very unique.

Turkish delight in a stack inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

Are Turkish delights healthy?

Absolutely not! Turkish delight is filled with bucket loads of sugar and then rolled in yet more sugar for storage. It’s definitely a treat, not a healthy snack!

Turkish delight in a stack, with a half eaten piece on top, inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

What is traditional Turkish delight made of?

Traditional Turkish delight is made using water, cornflour, lemon juice, sugar, rosewater and a little colouring. It takes quite a long time to make.

Turkish delight in a stack, with a half eaten piece on top, inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

Does Turkish delight have gelatine?

Traditional Turkish delight does not have gelatine. It’s set using only cornflour but takes a long time to make as a result. It’s worth pointing out that this recipe is not a traditional one. It adds gelatine to speed up the process, making it quicker and easier.

Close up of a half eaten cube of Turkish delight stacked on 3 other cubes.

Turkish delight ingredients

Here is everything you need to know about the ingredients needed for this recipe…

  • Sugar – Caster sugar only here! If you use golden caster or brown sugar it will make it too dark so you won’t get that delicate pink colour.
  • Lemon – None of that bottled stuff please! Only freshly squeezed lemon juice in Turkish delight.
  • Cornflour – Used to thicken the mixture, you need to use cornflour (cornstarch in the US).
  • Xanthan Gum – Helps to stabilise the sweating slightly afterwards.
  • Gelatine – Use gelatine powder as a non traditional cheat to set your Turkish delight quicker and easier.
  • Rose Water – The key flavour! It’s best not to substitute this and get the real deal.
  • Food Colouring – Using red colouring is easiest to achieve a delicate pink finish.
  • Icing Sugar – Any brand will do, just make sure you sift it first.

 

Turkish delight in a stack, with a half eaten piece on top, inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

How do you make Turkish delight?

  1. Bring sugar, lemon juice and water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Mix together cornflour, xanthan gum, gelatine and more water in a jug.
  3. Add this to the pan then stir to dissolve the gelatine.
  4. Bring to the boil, stirring often, then simmer until it becomes very thick, glossy and like wallpaper paste.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for 20-25 minutes then add the rosewater and colouring.
  6. Lightly oil a square silicone pan and coat in cornflour.
  7. Pour the Turkish delight into the pan and set overnight. 
  8. Slice into cubes then leave to sweat at room temperature for 24 hours.
  9. Coat in cornflour and leave until a crust forms.
  10. Roll in icing sugar then store in a metal tin lined with baking paper and icing sugar.
  11. Top with plenty more icing sugar and store in a cool dry place.

 

Turkish delight in a stack inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

Helpful Turkish delight recipe tips

  • Always add water to corn flour and not the other way around. It mixes SO much easier!
  • Make your Turkish delight a slightly darker colour than you want the end product to appear. It lightens slightly once set.
  • Do add your colouring a little at a time though. You can always add more but you can’t take it out!
  • If you’re knife is sticking when slicing up the Turkish delight, you can coat it carefully in a little oil.
  • Store your Turkish delight in a metal container as sugar has a tendency to sweat when stored in plastic.
  • Is your Turkish delight leaking water after setting? See the ‘how do you stop Turkish delight sweating?’ section towards the end of the post for the fix.

 

Close up of a half eaten cube of Turkish delight on top of a stack of cubes inside 3 stacked bowls.

Other recipes you might like

 

Turkish delight in a stack, with a half eaten piece on top, inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

Simple Turkish Delight Recipe

Here is what you will need to make approx 36 cubes.

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

 

PLEASE READ THE WHOLE RECIPE BEFORE BEGINNING 

This will take a few days to make – see the ‘how do you stop Turkish delight from sweating?’ section below to explain why.

 

  • 375g (1 + 3/4 Cups + 2 tbsp) Caster/Superfine Sugar
  • 1 x Lemon, juice only
  • 75g (1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp) Cornflour/Cornstarch, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 25g (3 tbsp) Gelatine Powder
  • 2 tbsp Rose Water
  • Red Food Colouring
  • 200g (1 + 1/2 Cup) Icing Sugar, for dusting/storage

 

Essential Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug
  • 20cm (8″) /Silicone Pan *

 

*if you don’t have a silicone pan, line a normal baking tin with baking paper and grease/cornflour as per the recipe.

 

First add 300ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) of water, the sugar (375g | 1 + 3/4 Cups + 2 tbsp) and the lemon juice (of x 1 lemon) into your saucepan and set it over a low heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

Sugar, lemon juice and water in a saucepan on the hob

Sugar, lemon juice and water in a saucepan on the hob just beginning to simmer

Now increase the heat a little and bring it up to the boil. Meanwhile, add the cornflour (75g | 1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp) and xanthan gum (1/2 tsp) into a jug and pour over 200ml (3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) of water. Stir until the cornflour has dissolved.

Cornflour dissolved in water in a glass jug with a metal teaspoon

Sprinkle the gelatine powder (25g | 3 tbsp) over the top then stir into the liquid.

Cornflour dissolved in water with gelatine sprinkled on top in a glass jug with a metal teaspoon

By now the sugar mixture should be boiling…

Sugar, lemon juice and water simmering in a saucepan on the hob

So pour the cornflour liquid into the pan and stir continuously until the gelatine has dissolved.

Sugar, lemon juice, water, cornflour and gelatine in a saucepan on a hob

Sugar, lemon juice, water, cornflour and gelatine thickening in a saucepan on a hob

Now bring the mixture up to the boil and simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring often, until it becomes very thick, glossy and wallpaper paste like.

Sugar, lemon juice, water, cornflour and gelatine boiling in a saucepan on a hob

Then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20-25 minutes, stirring every now and then to release trapped heat.

Cooled Turkish delight in a saucepan on a kitchen worktop with a wooden spoon inside

Once cooled, add the rosewater (2 tbsp) and a little red food colouring at a time, until you get a dark pink colour. Don’t worry – it will lighten once it’s set.

Turkish delight with added rosewater and red food colouring mixed together in a saucepan on a kitchen worktop with a wooden spoon inside

To prepare your pan, lightly oil the base and sides then dust with cornflour and tap out any excess. If you’re using a normal baking pan, line with baking paper first then oil and dust with cornflour.

Pour your Turkish delight into the prepared tin and smooth out as best as you can. Leave to set overnight at room temperature then see below for how to store and prevent it from sweating.

Turkish delight in a dusted silicone pan set on a baking tray on a kitchen worktop

Turkish delight storage tips

There are more issues than you’d think when it comes to storing Turkish delight. Temperature is key, allowing enough time for it to sweat naturally and applying each coating in the right order will serve you well. Here are some useful tips to help…

 

How do you stop Turkish delight from sweating?

This was a tricky one but I think I’ve sussed it!

Once made, allow your Turkish delight to set in the pan overnight at room temperature.

In the morning, remove it from the pan and slice into cubes. Space them out on a chopping board and leave to sweat at room temperature for 24 hours

Turkish delight cut into cubes resting on a green chopping board

Sweating Turkish delight cut into cubes resting on a green chopping board

Now coat each cube in a layer of cornflour and leave at room temperature to cure. It will take at least a few hours and should form a dull crust around each cube.

Turkish delight cubes coated in cornflour on a baking tray

Turkish delight cubes on a baking tray with a cornflour crust on them

If, during this process, you notice any cubes still seeping water – simply roll them in more cornflour and leave to cure again until a crust forms. 

Once all your cubes are completely covered in a cornflour crust, roll them carefully in plenty of icing sugar.

Turkish delight cubes coated in both cornflour and icing sugar set on a green chopping board

What is the best way to store Turkish delight?

The best way to store homemade Turkish delight is in a metal tin (not plastic as that will make them sweat more) that has been lined with baking paper and a generous layer of icing sugar.

Carefully place each cube onto the icing sugar spaced apart then top with another generous coating of icing sugar.

Cubes of Turkish delight in a metal tin filled with plenty of icing sugar

Now this bit is very important – keep your Turkish delight in a cool dry place. Not on the kitchen side, not in the fridge and definitely not anywhere near sunlight or radiators. I’m thinking more like a pantry or a place that stays cool all year round, even when the heating gets switched on. (Yep, simply switching on the heating will make it sweat again!) 

If you’ve followed each step to the letter, your homemade Turkish delight should last up to 1 week. 

Turkish delight in a stack inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

Can you store Turkish delight in the fridge?

Turkish delight hates temperature change. Plus, refrigeration draws moisture out of food which will only make them sweat more. I strongly advise you do not store your Turkish delight in the fridge. Instead, store in a cool place away from sunlight and/or radiators.

Turkish delight in a stack inside a 3 stacked half bowls. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons in the background.

Have you made this recipe?

Have you tried this beautiful tzatziki recipe? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Turkish delight in a stack inside 3 stacked half bowls set on a dark grey plate. With a pink linen napkin, half squeezed lemons and squares of Turkish delight in the background.

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Close up of a half eaten cube of Turkish delight stacked on 3 other cubes.

 

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Close up of a half eaten cube of Turkish delight stacked on 3 other cubes.

Simple Turkish Delight Recipe

Yield: 36 Pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Beautifully soft with a delicate rose flavour, this gorgeous Turkish delight is a quicker and easier recipe than the traditional method.

Ingredients

  • 375g (1 + 3/4 Cups + 2 tbsp) Caster/Superfine Sugar
  • 1 x Lemon, juice only
  • 75g (1/2 Cup + 2 tbsp) Cornflour/Cornstarch, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 25g (3 tbsp) Gelatine Powder
  • 2 tbsp Rose Water
  • Red Food Colouring
  • 200g (1 + 1/2 Cup) Icing Sugar, for dusting/storage

Essential Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Jug
  • 20cm (8″) /Silicone Pan *

Instructions

PLEASE READ THE WHOLE RECIPE BEFORE BEGINNING 

(If you want to stop your Turkish delight sweating once made, it will take a few days.)

  1. Add 300ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) water, the sugar and lemon juice into the pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil.
  1. Add the cornflour and xanthan gum into a jug then pour in 200ml (3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) of water. Mix until the cornflour has dissolved.
  2. Sprinkle over the gelatine and stir, then pour the mixture into the pan.
  3. Stir continuously until the gelatine has dissolved then bring to the boil and simmer for 20 mins until thick, glossy and a wallpaper paste like consistency.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 mins. Then stir in the rose water and food colouring.
  5. Oil your pan and dust with cornflour. Tap out any excess. Then pour in your Turkish delight and leave to set overnight at room temperature.

How to stop your Turkish delight sweating

  1. Remove it from the pan and cut into cubes. Leave them spaced apart on a chopping board at room temperature for 24 hours to sweat.
  2. Coat each cube in cornflour then leave to cure at room temperature for a few hours. They should form a crust.
  3. Roll generously in plenty of icing sugar. Line a metal tin with baking paper and add a generous layer of icing sugar. Place your Turkish delight into the tin then top with more icing sugar. Store in a cool dry place away from all heat sources. (i.e. sunlight, radiators etc)

Notes

*if you don’t have a silicone pan, line a normal baking tin with baking paper and grease/cornflour as per the recipe.

If stored correctly, this should last up to 1 week.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 63Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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14 thoughts on “Really Easy Turkish Delight Recipe”

  1. Chilla says:

    Hi, my daughter loves Turkish delight but not the rose water one. Could you suggest how to make different flavour ones, please? Like lemon, orange and strawberry. Thanks, Chilla

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Chilla. I’ve not personally made other flavours but I’d imagine you’d simply switch out the rose water for orange blossom or lemon extract? Emma x

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Emma,
    The smell that Frank mentioned is Rose Water, it is a basic to the recipe that does not use gelatine, just cornflour, but take a long, long time to cook, I do it that way on the odd occasion I want to show off.

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Robin. That way sounds very intriguing! I may research this myself 🙂 Emma x

  3. Frank says:

    Hello. I just bought one form a store. The delights smelled really good. Do you have any idea what scent these delights come in? Where can I get one? I really want to try it, the 90’s way. Thanks

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Frank. I’m not sure I understand your question? Emma x

  4. Your recipe is really seems good. I eat Turkish delight all the time but I never cook myself. I’m gonna try your recipe, thank you!

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Simge. Thank you for your lovely comment! I hope it goes well for you 🙂 Emma x

  5. Bridget says:

    I really want to try this recipe but don’t have a silicone pan. What do you recommend I do to make it easier with a metal pan with a pop out bottom?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Bridget. Whatever you use I would line it with baking paper and grease the baking paper itself, just to give it the best chance of not sticking! (It really is super sticky stuff.) Emma x

  6. Lian says:

    This is a very yummy recipe. The texture and consistency is great. We can’t seem to get the dusting to stick. It dissolves after a while. We even left it overnight to dry but it didn’t work. Can you offer some advice?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Lian. Funnily enough I ran into the exact same issue. Apparently you can melt it back down and add a pinch of xanthan gum to stabilise it which should fix the issue. I haven’t actually tested this myself though so not 100% sure if it works. Hope this helps? Emma x

  7. tasteofbeirut says:

    I am loving your blog! I have made this using both gelatin and cornstarch but this time, I am going to try with xantham gum and see if it makes it any easier.

    1. Wow, thank you! Let me know how you get on 🙂

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.

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