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Really Easy Turkish Delight Recipe

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(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…

A white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on the top of two old books with a light brown linen napkin at the side. Set over a white mottled backdrop with a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon inside, half a lemon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. There's also a hand reaching in to take a piece.

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…

Homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose set on a square rustic white board over a mottled white backdrop. There is a light brown linen napkin resting against the side and a hand reaching in to take a piece.

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.

A flat lay view of homemade Turkish delight in a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon. There's a light brown linen napkin resting next to it and squeezed lemon halves, orange roses, a plate of more Turkish delight on a white plate over a rustic white board and several pieces scattered around in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

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.

A vertical flat lay view of homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose on the side, set on a rustic white wood board. There's a light brown linen napkin resting next to the plate, a bowl filled with icing sugar Turkish delight and a spoon, squeezed lemon halves and orange roses in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

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!

Distanced front view of a white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on top of two old books. There's a light brown linen napkin resting against the books and squeezed lemon halves, a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

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.

A close up flat lay view of homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose set on a rustic white wooden board. There's a light brown linen napkin and more orange roses in the background, all set on a white mottled backdrop.

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 homemade Turkish delight in a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon being held by a hand. There's a light brown linen napkin resting against the bowl and several other pieces of Turkish delight scattered around the backdrop. Set on a white mottled backdrop.

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.

Zoomed in shot of a white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on top of two old books. There's a light brown linen napkin resting against the books and a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon and some orange roses in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

What you need to know

Right here is the good stuff. The part where I share everything I know about making Turkish delight with you. How to make it easier, what not to do etc. I make the mistakes so you don’t have to!

Close up of homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose set on a square rustic white board over a mottled white backdrop. There is a light brown linen napkin resting against the side and a hand reaching in to take a piece.

Ingredients

Here’s everything you should know about the ingredients required to make Turkish delight.

  • Sugar – Caster sugar only here! (Superfine sugar in the US.) 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.
A flat lay view of homemade Turkish delight in a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon being held by a hand. There's a light brown linen napkin resting next to it and squeezed lemon halves, orange roses, a plate of more Turkish delight on a white plate over a rustic white board and several pieces scattered around in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

How to make Turkish delight: simplified

  1. Bring sugar, lemon juice and water to the boil.
  2. Mix cornflour, xanthan gum, gelatine and more water in a jug.
  3. Add to the pan and stir to dissolve.
  4. Bring to the boil then simmer until it becomes like wallpaper paste.
  5. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Add rosewater and colouring.
  6. Pour Turkish delight into prepared pan and set overnight. 
  7. Slice into cubes and leave to sweat at room temperature for 24 hours.
  8. Coat in cornflour and leave until a crust forms.
  9. Roll in icing sugar and place into a metal tin.
  10. Top with plenty more icing sugar and store in a cool dry place.
Homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose set on a square rustic white board over a mottled white backdrop. There is a light brown linen napkin resting against the side.

Recipe tips

Here are some tips I think you will find helpful.

  • 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 your 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 or cardboard container as it has a tendency to sweat, particularly when stored in plastic tubs.
  • 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.
  • Do not roll your finished Turkish delight in icing sugar for storage. This will cause it to sweat. Instead, store in corn flour and roll in icing sugar just before you eat it.
Close up side view of a white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on top of two old books. There's a light brown linen napkin resting against the books and squeezed lemon halves, a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

Turkish Delight – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(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 for the explanation.

Ingredients

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

  • 500ml (2 Cups + 1 tbsp) Water, divided
  • 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

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.

Instructions

First add 300ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) of the 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 then pour in the remaining 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 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 slightly 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.

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 and allowing enough time for it to sweat naturally 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 space apart on a baking tray. 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, store in a lined metal or cardboard tub exactly as they are. Make sure you space them apart too – if they are touching it can cause them to sweat again.

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

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!) 

When you would like to eat some, simply roll in icing sugar and enjoy. Avoid rolling in icing sugar in advance as this will 100% cause them to sweat.

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

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Close up of a white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on the top of two old books with a light brown linen napkin at the side. Set over a white mottled backdrop with a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon inside, half a lemon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. There's also a hand reaching in to take a piece.

Have you made this recipe?

Have you made this wonderful Turkish delight? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Close up of homemade Turkish delight on a white plate with an orange rose set on a square rustic white board over a mottled white backdrop. There is a light brown linen napkin resting against the side.

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Close up view of a white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on top of two old books. There's a light brown linen napkin resting against the books and a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. All set on a white mottled backdrop.

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A white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on the top of two old books with a light brown linen napkin at the side. Set over a white mottled backdrop with a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon inside, half a lemon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. There's also a hand reaching in to take a piece. A text overlay says 'how to make Turkish delight'.
A white plate filled with homemade Turkish delight set on the top of two old books with a light brown linen napkin at the side. Set over a white mottled backdrop with a bowl of icing sugar with a spoon inside, half a lemon and a white mug filled with orange roses in the background. There's also a hand reaching in to take a piece.

Really Easy Turkish Delight - Printable 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

  • 500ml (2 Cups + 1 tbsp) Water, divided
  • 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

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) of the water, the sugar and lemon juice into the pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil.
  2. Add the cornflour and xanthan gum into a jug then pour over 200ml (3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) of water. Mix until the cornflour has dissolved.
  3. Sprinkle over the gelatine and stir, then pour the mixture into the pan.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 mins. Then stir in the rose water and food colouring.
  6. 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. Line a metal or cardboard container with baking paper and place your Turkish delight inside spaced apart so they are not touching each other. Store in a cool dry place away from all heat sources. (i.e. sunlight, radiators etc) Roll in icing sugar just prior to eating.

Notes

See the main post for a more detailed, step by step picture recipe.

Be sure to read the 'What you need to know' section (especially the 'Recipe tips' part!) for lots of helpful information before you begin making this recipe.

*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.

Did you make this recipe?

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

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Aru

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Got bored, stuck at home so I made it - no rose water, just orange blossom water so I did it in a pale orange. I got oddly creative and used one of my Japanese cherry blossom cutters [little 5 petal blossoms] instead of making cubes. Came out great, took 3 days to snack on the entire batch =)

Emma

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Hi Aru. Oooh orange blossom Turkish delight sounds delicious!! Love the idea of pretty shapes too :) Emma x

Tony

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Gonna try and give this a whirl this week. I've never had Turkish Delight so it will be interesting to see if I even like it.

Emma

Monday 3rd of May 2021

Hi Tony. It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a traditional Turkish delight recipe. Traditional Turkish delight doesn’t contain gelatine but this recipe does to speed up the process. I hope you enjoy making it and find that you like it! Emma x

Kim

Sunday 14th of March 2021

I'm about to try this recipe. FYI, your actual recipe does not list the water.

Emma

Sunday 14th of March 2021

Good spot! I've added this in now :) Emma x

Chilla

Sunday 8th of November 2020

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

Emma

Monday 9th of November 2020

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

Robin

Thursday 1st of October 2020

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.

Aru

Monday 23rd of August 2021

@Emma, I do historical recreation, the original version used rice flour as corn flour is new world in origin. Pretty much tastes the same, takes a little more and still has the translucent quality that wheat flour does not have. It can also be made with barley flour.

Emma

Thursday 1st of October 2020

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

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