The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe (Lokum)
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The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe – Soft, slightly chewy, perfectly sweet Turkish Delight is a classic candy that is incredibly easy to make at home. Customize this recipe with your favorite flavors for the best homemade Lokum AKA Turkish Delight!
Turkish Dessert, the Ultimate Homemade Candy
Aren’t there some books you just never get tired of reading? Especially during the winter season, or stressful times, there are some stories that are tried-and-true comforters.
For our family, the Chronicles of Narnia is a classic collection that we often read together. Our kids love the books so much, we have probably read them through a dozen times over the years.
Every time we read them, I feel the need to run out and buy Turkish Delight. If you don’t remember, these candies are firm jelly-ish squares featured in the books as the ultimate temptation for young Edmund.
After several trials and comparisons, we’ve discovered homemade Turkish Delight tastes significantly better than the store-bought version. Plus, you can use various extracts to make nearly any flavor you like!
What is Turkish Delight?
Also known as Lokum, Turkish Delight candy has the soft squishy texture of gum drops, is typically speckled with chopped pistachios on the inside, and is generously coated with powdered sugar on the outside. This confection was known to be created as early as the 18th century in Turkey and Iran (Persia).
The most traditional flavor for homemade lokum is rosewater. However, in this Turkish Delight Recipe I’ve blended rosewater, orange, and raspberry. The rosewater is present but not quite as strong as the classic candy, and I find the orange and raspberry combination to be wonderfully bright and fruity together.
Ingredients You Need for Lokum
Here are the ingredients for making the best Turkish Delight from scratch:
- Granulated sugar
- Lemon juice
- Corn starch
- Cream of tartar
- Orange extract
- Raspberry extract
- Powdered sugar/Confectioners’ Sugar
- Red food coloring
While many of these ingredients are optional – including the rosewater, pistachios, and food coloring – we love incorporating all of these elements for making absolutely the tastiest and prettiest Turkish Delight squares.
You can certainly skip the nuts for a uniform texture in each bite or if you have allergy concerns.
Feel free to try different extracts and additional goodies to create your own unique Lokum flavors!
How to Make Homemade Turkish Delight (Lokum)
First, prepare your workspace. Set two large 4-6 quart stock pots on the stovetop, and attach a candy thermometer onto one of the pots. Then set out a 9X9 inch baking dish. Line it neatly with foil and spray it generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Into the pot with the thermometer, pour 4 cups of sugar and 1 ½ cups of water. Set on high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F.
Meanwhile, pour the remaining 2 ¾ cups of water in the second pot. Whisk in the lemon juice, cornstarch, and cream of tartar, making sure there are no clumps/lumps. Turn the heat on high and continue whisking until the cornstarch mixture forms a thick white paste that resembles petroleum jelly. Make sure there are NO clumps.
Once the sugar syrup reaches the desired temperature, slowly and carefully pour the hot syrup into the cornstarch paste, a little at a time, making sure there are NO clumps. (This is safest with two sets of hands.)
Turn the heat back to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks like thick golden-orange jelly.
Again, NO CLUMPS! It’s highly important that you whisk the Turkish Delight mixture well, at every step, to ensure there are no clumps of cornstarch left in the mixture. These little bits of cornstarch will turn hard like little rocks in each piece of candy.
Turn off the heat, stir in the rosewater, raspberry extract, orange extract, and salt. This is when you should add the food coloring if desired.
Pour half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and quickly sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Then pour the remaining candy mixture over the top before it cools and becomes too thick to pour.
Note: Two sets of hands in nice here as well. If you don’t care that the pistachios are directly in the center of the candy, you can simply mix them into the candy mixture and pour it in the pan all at once.
Place the dish in the refrigerator and chill until firm.
Once it has become solid, turn the Turkish Delight out of the dish onto a cutting board, and peel off the foil. Use a sharp knife to cut the candy into approximately 100 tiny squares.
Add powdered sugar to the empty baking dish. As you cut the homemade Lokum pieces, give them a good shake in the powdered sugar to coat on all sides.
Get the Complete Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe Below. Enjoy!
The candy should be somewhat hard after chilling, but will soften as it sits at room temperature.
Move the coated Turkish Delight to an airtight container, and keep it at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
I hope your family enjoys the sweet, fruity, classic candies as much as we do!
What Other Flavors Can I Use in this Turkish Delight Recipe?
Nearly any fruit extracts can be incorporated to make your favorite flavor of homemade Lokum.
Try lemon, lime, pineapple, or strawberry extracts for more versions with terrific fruitiness. It’s fun to match the food coloring you choose with the color of the fruit!
You can also swap the chopped pistachios for almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or whatever nuts you prefer.
Looking for More Easy Homemade Treats?
- Bourbon Salted Caramel Candy Recipe
- Vanilla Orange Candied Cranberries
- Mexican Burnt Milk Candy Cubes (Leche Quemada)
- 4-Ingredient Pistachio Gelato Fudge
- Microwave Caramel Popcorn Recipe
- Easy Ginger Candy
- Fluffy Divinity Candy Confectionery
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy (Fudge Recipe)
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
- Easy Cinnamon Pecan Praline
- Perfect Sopapilla with Honey Drizzle
- Cinnamon Roll Cookies with Icing Sugar
- Gluten-Free Vegan Fruit Pizza
The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 ¼ cups water divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons rosewater (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoon raspberry extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon orange extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4-6 drops red food coloring (optional)
- Set two large 4-6 quart stock pots on the stovetop. Attach a candy thermometer onto one pot. Then set out a 9X9 inch baking dish. Line it neatly with foil, then spray it generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Pour 4 cups of sugar and 1 ½ cups of water in the pot with the thermometer. Set on high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining 2 ¾ cups water in the second pot. Whisk in the lemon juice, cornstarch and cream of tartar, making sure there are NO clumps. Turn the heat on high and continue whisking until the mixture forms a thick white paste that resembles petroleum jelly. Again, whisk well to insure there are NO clumps.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches the desired temperature, slowly and carefully pour the hot syrup into the cornstarch paste, a little at a time, making sure there are NO clumps. (This is safest with two sets of hands.)
- Then turn the heat back to medium and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks like thick golden-orange jelly.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the rosewater, raspberry extract, orange extract, and salt. Add food coloring if desired. Then pour half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Quickly sprinkle with chopped pistachios, then pour the remaining candy mixture over the top before it cools and becomes too thick to pour. (Two sets of hands in nice here as well. If you don’t care that the pistachios are directly in the center of the candy, you can simply mix them into the candy mixture and pour it in the pan all at once.)
- Place the dish in the refrigerator and chill for 30-60 minutes, until firm.
- Turn the Turkish delight out of the dish and peel off the foil. Use a sharp knife (or kitchen shears) to cut the candy into approximately 100 tiny squares.
- Add powdered sugar to the empty baking dish. As you cut the candy pieces, give them a good shake in the powdered sugar to coat them on all sides.
- The candy should be somewhat hard after chilling, but will soften as it sits at room temperature.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
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Hi. I tried two separate batches today. Neither one would set, even after being in the freezer. Sugar was at 240 before adding to cornstarch mixture. I let it simmer for the full 45 minutes. Any suggestions?
Oh no, I’m sorry! My guess would be that the cornstarch mixture wasn’t cooked long enough to thicken to the consistency of petroleum jelly. What did it look like when you poured in the sugar mixture?
Oh yum! I really enjoyed trying this recipe. I loved the squishy texture.
Never knew that it was so easy to make Turkish delight! I don’t regret trying this at all, they were delicious and it turned out perfect!
this is one of the best holiday desserts that I have ever tried! thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe!
Oh my gosh YUM!!! Thank you so much for sharing!
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Overall a good recipe. Far too sweet for my tastes. Will have to experiment with reducing sugar.
These directions need to be changed because I spent over an hour following these directions exactly and ended up with a ruined batch. I wish it mentioned that the corn starch needs to be mixed with cold water before putting it on the heat. I didn’t know you needed cold water and ended up with a mixture that was impossible to get the clumps out of because i used hot water. Then after only 35 minutes of letting the whole mixture simmer on medium it ended up completely burnt. Either 45 minutes is too long or medium heat is way too high. I’m really disappointed I spent so long making this and still failing even after following the directions carefully.
I’m sorry to hear that! Is there a chance the sugar didn’t reach 240 degrees F in step 2? That could be why you had an issue.
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Why did I think this dish needed gelatine or even Sure Jel? Cornstarch would be so much easier! :)
Burnt. No idea what I did wrong but I burnt it during step 5, followed as closely to the recipe as possible. Wasted a lot of sugar.
I discovered that you don’t have to boil the cornstarch mixture ahead of time. I just shook the cornstarch and water (actually I used arrowroot/tapioca powder instead of cornstarch) in a jar, then whisked while pouring it into the 240° sugar mixture.
So much easier, and it worked great!
I used lemon extract instead of raspberry, and instead of cornstarch, I used half arrowroot powder and half tapioca flour. I think it worked well, but I haven’t actually made them with cornstarch to compare.
They are on the soft side, but that’s not a problem.
I dusted them with arrowroot powder, as I read of some people having the issue of them turning syrupy with powdered sugar.
It was perfect! I’m going to make it again but without the rose water. So good though!
I made this recipe and it tastes wonderful but all the powdered sugar has liquified! Any tips??
Do you live in a very humid climate? If so, you may have to re-powder them before serving.
Thank you very much for this perfect article. I learned new things about authentic Turkish delight. Your Turkish delight recipe seems amazing. I really like to eat Turkish delight. I mostly prefer pomegranate delight and rose Turkish delight. I like to drink coffee. But I love to drink Turkish coffee with Turkish delight. I will try your recipe as soon as possible. I’m sure it will be lovely. I wish you the best of luck and every success in the future.
Celiacs runs in my family, and a few of my family members are reactive to corn. Is there an alternative starch that works? Perhaps arrowroot, potato, or tapioca?
I have not tried this recipe with anything other than cornstarch. If you decide to give it a try, I would try tapioca starch first. Please report back, and let us know how it turns out!
Best thing I have ever tasted in the world!
Looks like it was made for the movie.
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Thank you for the Turkish delight recipe. It’s a really useful recipe. I had looked at some recipes before, but I couldn’t do it properly. I follow your posts.
It tasted good
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I’ve been searching for Turkish delight to purchase, but to no avail. So I’m going to try and make this. But I’m wondering…as far as I know it’s traditionally a rose water flavored candy. Are the other extracts necessary? Is that traditional to add them along with the rose water? I dont want the flavor of the extracts to distract from the rose water, but if it’s subtle, and compliments perhaps I’ll try this as is. I’d like for this to come out tasting like I bought it right from the shuk.
You can skip the other extracts if you like, and add an extra tablespoon of rosewater. I personally feel rosewater and orange are a fabulous combination. I also find many people do not love a heavy dose of rosewater. However, you are right, the most traditional version of Turkish Delight does not include the extracts. :)
Hi, I do not have raspberry extract should I use almond or lemon instead? Or should I just double the orange extract? Thanks!
You can add extra rose water if you like, or add in another extract. Almond is a good option!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to make the turkish delighted.
Can I swap the raspberry and orange extracts for fresh juice?
Thank you ☺☺☺
The flavor is delicious, and everything went according to plan until I looked at it about two hours after it was tossed in powdered sugar. I am not sure what caused the (literal) meltdown, but if you live in a warm climate, dust with cornstarch, NOT powdered sugar. Powdered sugar + sweating = syrupy mess. Was able to salvage with cornstarch as suggested on most other recipes I saw (to prevent sweating.)
WOW. This recipe turned out perfectly. I read 2-3 other recipes + their comment sections and tried this one – I’m glad I did! I have never made candy before, so it was daunting but doable! I used a meat thermometer (reads up to 500 degrees) and it worked great. The corn starch mixture set way before the sugar reached 240, so I set it aside. NO LUMPS!!!! Got an arm workout stirring!!! It really does look like petroleum jelly. Also note, if you’re using different sized pans, put the corn starch in the bigger one so you can pour the sugar on top without running out of room. I did the opposite and had to switch pans later. I used rose water, orange extract, lemon extract, 1 tsp vanilla, and had no food coloring so I grabbed a few frozen raspberries, nuked them in the microwave, crushed them, and mixed it into the final mix making it a very pretty light pink! The flavor is 15/10, consistency perfect, and everything very clearly explained. THANK YOU for this straightforward recipe that even a candy beginner can handle!
If I want to make 3 different flavors, should I separate the mixture into different pans and add more of each flavoring? Or use the same amount?
Yes, you can divide the miture into 3 pans and use one-third of the extract per pan. Just be sure to work fast!
Where do I find Rose water? Is it in the baking/extracts isle? I looked online but that just wnats to give me beauty products LOL
At my grocery store, it is in the international section. Hope this helps!
This looks so good, will definitely try! If I don’t have raspberry/orange extract, can I just use rosewater? And if so, should I bump that up a bit?
If you like the flavor of rosewater a lot, then don’t worry about adding the extracts. You can use 3 tablespoons of rosewater to make up for the extracts. :)
this is really good sharing! Thank you, my children love Turkish delight and I will try your recipe:)
Hi- I’m confused about where to add the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice?
It goes in with the cornstarch. :)
Such a stunning candy! I was not super familiar with it but it turned out great! Love the touch of pistachio in it!
Thank you so much! My kids really enjoyed this!
This is very delicious recipe. I found one of the best Turkish delight Recipe
This looks so delicious and tasty! My family is going to love this! I can’t wait to make this!
Best Turkish delight Recipe I’ve found!