A Spicy Perspective

The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe (Lokum)

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!

homemade turkish delight

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 extract to make nearly any flavor you like!

homemade lokum

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.

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.

what is turkish delight

Ingredients You Need for Lokum

Here are the ingredients for making the best Turkish Delight from scratch:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Cornstarch
  • Cream of tartar
  • Rosewater
  • Orange extract
  • Raspberry extract
  • Salt
  • Pistachios
  • Powdered 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 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. Make sure there are NO clumps.

sugar syrup

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.

rosewater, raspberry, orange

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.

candy with pistachios

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.

pistachio, rosewater, orange, raspberry candy

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!

powdered sugar

The candy should be somewhat hard after chilling, but will soften as it sits at room temperature.

turkish delight recipe

Move the coated Turkish Delight to an airtight container, and keep at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.

I hope your family enjoys the sweet, fruity, classic candies as much as we do!

the best turkish delight

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, or whatever nuts you prefer.

best homemade turkish delight lokum recipe

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The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe – Soft, slightly squishy, 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!
Servings: 100 pieces

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

NO CLUMPS! It’s highly important that you whisk the 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.
Once finished coating all the candy pieces in sugar, move them to an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece, Calories: 38kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 9mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Candy, Dessert, Holiday, Snack
Cuisine: American, Turkish

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45 comments on “The Tastiest Turkish Delight Recipe (Lokum)”

  1. Pingback: Turkish Delight | en.wikipedia.org - Inloggen NL

  2. Pingback: How to Make Turkish Coffee - This Healthy Table

  3. Overall a good recipe. Far too sweet for my tastes. Will have to experiment with reducing sugar.

  4. 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.

  5. Pingback: 18 Rosewater Sweets Recipes — Brit + Co - Brit + Co - Esweets

  6. Why did I think this dish needed gelatine or even Sure Jel? Cornstarch would be so much easier! :)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. Amazing flavor!
    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.

  10. It was perfect! I’m going to make it again but without the rose water. So good though!

  11. I made this recipe and it tastes wonderful but all the powdered sugar has liquified! Any tips??

  12. Hi,

    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.

  13. 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?

    • Hi CJ,

      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!

  14. Best thing I have ever tasted in the world!

  15. Looks like it was made for the movie.

  16. Pingback: 30 Original Middle Eastern Recipes You Need To Try Soon

  17. 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.

  18. It tasted good

  19. Pingback: 50 Easy and Delicious Ramadan Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

  20. 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. 

    • Hi April,

      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. :)

  21. Hi, I do not have raspberry extract should I use almond or lemon instead? Or should I just double the orange extract? Thanks!

  22. 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 ☺☺☺

  23. 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.)  

  24. 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!

  25. 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?

  26. 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

  27. 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?

  28. Super 🤩🤩🤩

  29. this is really good sharing! Thank you, my children love Turkish delight and I will try your recipe:)

  30. Hi- I’m confused about where to add the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice?

  31. Such a stunning candy! I was not super familiar with it but it turned out great! Love the touch of pistachio in it!

  32. Thank you so much! My kids really enjoyed this!

  33. This is very delicious recipe. I found one of the best Turkish delight Recipe

  34. This looks so delicious and tasty! My family is going to love this! I can’t wait to make this!

  35. Best Turkish delight Recipe I’ve found!