Turkish delight cut into strips and cubes

Turkish delight

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 1 hr Plus cooling


Serves 12

Make your own Turkish delight with our easy recipe. It makes a great gift for Christmas, or just treat yourself to something sweet

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: Per serving (12)

  • kcal243
  • fat0.4g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs60g
  • sugars47g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0.1g
  • salt0.01g
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  • flavourless oil for the tray
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 120g cornflour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp rosewater (or 2 tbsp rose syrup)
  • pink food colouring, if not using the rose syrup
  • icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Oil a shallow square metal or silicone baking tray, about 18 x 18cm. Put the sugar in a pan with the cream of tartar and 500ml water and heat gently at first, stirring so that the sugar melts. Then, turn up the heat and boil for 10-15 mins until the mixture is a little more syrupy. If you have a sugar thermometer, it should reach 115-118C.

  2. Stir the cornflour into 150ml water, then, whisking all the time, pour it into the sugar syrup. Keep whisking, until everything combines to make a smooth, gloopy mix. Take out the whisk and start to stir with a spatula or spoon over a medium heat. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick enough to see a clear line drawn through it with the spoon and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. It will be very thick and make big bubbles that burst as it cooks, so be careful. This can take up to an hour. Test the mix by dropping a small amount into very cold water; it should form a ball that can be pressed gently when cold and that will feel a little springy.

  3. Stir in the rosewater or rose syrup and the food colouring, if using, then pour everything into the tray and level the top. Leave to cool and set completely. Sieve some cornflour and icing sugar together over a board and carefully turn out the Turkish delight. Cover it with more icing sugar and cornflour and cut it into cubes with a sharp knife. Dust with yet more of the icing sugar mixture and move the pieces apart so they can dry. Can be stored openly or in small cardboard boxes or bags for up to 1 week.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Galaxybat_07's picture
3rd Jul, 2020
I made this exactly as it said to make it, and it didnt set at all. It also took much longer than 10 minutes to go syrupy. Personally I dont like this recipe and think it is bad, I should have checked the reviews first. I apologise to the person who made this recipe but we all have our opinions.
Amber Simms's picture
Amber Simms
13th Jun, 2020
I wanted to try this recipe since it’s so controversial. I doubled the amount of rose water (definitely recommend this step) and the taste was okay but nothing special, definitely not worth the effort of making it at home. It took a very long time to reach 115C but I got there in the end, however after the cornstarch is added there are no additional references to temperature, so even if you have a thermometer you’re on your own. I used the water test to check the consistency a few times, but the result was never “springy” as the recipe describes. I used the right size tin to pour the Turkish delight into but the layer was super thin (less than a centimetre thick). I cooked my Turkish delight for about 45 minutes starting from when I added the cornstarch and water, clearly this was too long because my Turkish delight is malleable but quite hard, like taffy. I was constantly checking for thickening and big bubbles but I didn’t see either at all, I only knew I had to pour the mix after testing the mix in a glass of water. Once cooled, the Turkish delight was stuck in the pan, I had to pry a corner up and peel the sheet of candy away from the pan and cut it into squares with scissors. I think I could make the recipe again and get the texture right, but since the taste wasn’t particularly special and it took a very long time to make, I’ll stick to store bought. This recipe would be so much better if precise temperatures were given in the instructions.
John Arkell's picture
John Arkell
24th Apr, 2020
I notice that this recipe has an unusual quantity of low reviews which I will address after my own. I made Turkish Delight for the first time using this recipe. It came out to be what I would consider perfect, which is to say that it was slightly softer than store bought Turkish Delight which is just the way I like it. I found the instructions not too difficult to follow, but usually when I find instructions hard its because I'm getting impatient with how slowly I process information compared to when I was younger. The instructions are in fact pretty much spot on. I should point out that while I was satisfied with my slightly softer results, I was actually aiming for a store bought consistency to play it safe as this was my first attempt. I poured the mixture as it was only just thickening, so perhaps others may like to wait for only a minute or two after this point to achieve the desired affect, but this is a matter of taste. Now, seems to me like a lot of people have commented that their Turkish Delight came out rock hard, and that the likely reason is that they cooked their mix for far too long. To which I say that this definitely is the case, however the recipe is not the issue here. In actuality it is that people cannot read. The recipe clearly states: "This can take up to an hour." Which is to say that it CAN take up to an hour, but most likely wont. I would also like to point out that the recipe also states "Keep stirring until the mixture is thick enough to see a clear line drawn through it with the spoon and it starts to leave the sides of the pan. It will be very thick and make big bubbles that burst as it cooks." In short, THIS IS A VISUAL CUE. Do you have eyes? Use them. Safe to say that the recipe could highlight the average time a little more clearly, however I would suggest that a timeframe was not stipulated as varying factors such as stove and pan types may alter the time needed on a considerable scale due to rates of transference of heat. Making the TD did feel like a nuanced and finely tuned affair. Its possible the proverbial scales are easily tipped. I am not a physicist however; I have no idea if this is the case, and would appreciate a polite clarification as to whether it is or not. TLDR; The 1 hour statement is easily misinterpreted. You should rely on a visual cue instead: You are looking for the mix to start to thicken, it will come away from the sides slightly, and the bubbles will also become thicker as they form. This process CAN take up to an hour, but it most likely wont. It may only take 15 minutes. Trust your eyes.
14th May, 2020
What a patronising review, made with very little understanding of other people. Put me off using this recipe.
17th Dec, 2019
I too wish I had paid attention to the reviews. I made something rock hard that bore no resemblance to Turkish Delight. Waste of nearly 2 hours...
Dominique le Grange's picture
Dominique le Grange
17th Dec, 2019
Not my first time making Turkish delight, this actually looked all wrong while doing it. I should have stopped. The cornstarch and water should be cooked before combining with the syrup to my knowledge. I ended up with a sheet of rock candy. This isn’t a good recipe.
Jillie Piper's picture
Jillie Piper
1st Dec, 2019
Just realized I should of read the tips as well as the comments!
Jillie Piper's picture
Jillie Piper
1st Dec, 2019
I used a sugar thermometer and took it to the correct temp. I read the comments before starting so was aware of possible mistakes. Mine is like a soft hard boiled sweet! Medium heat for up to an hour isn’t the greatest help with timing the second part, mine was coming away from the sides after 40 mi utes, on a lower than medium heat.i think I should have stopped there but carried on as I thought that was too early, given the hour timescale. I added double the amount of rose water as you really can’t taste the advised amount. Waste of a good hour and a half and I e now got arm ache for nothing.
29th Dec, 2018
I found that there wasn't enough rose flavour in it, and not enough detail in the recipe. I added some extra rose water but couldn't get the consistency right. It ended up with a nice taste but was far too gloopy and sticky, although it held its form to an extent. I didn't take it off the hob until I could draw a line in it but I couldn't get it past 107c, no matter how long I heated it for. Any tips on how to improve the consistency?
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Dec, 2018
We're sorry to hear yours didn't work out - to ensure setting, it's important to get the mixture to the correct temperature both in step 1 and in step 2 when you test it. We hope this helps if you decide to try it again.
Hazybabe1's picture
7th Dec, 2018
I made this and it turned out like a large boiled sweet. I used a sugar thermometer and took it to 115. Where did I go wrong?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Dec, 2018
We're sorry to hear that. It does sound like it stayed on the heat too long. At step 1 and step 2, make sure the pan doesn't stay on the heat for longer than is necessary before moving on. We hope this helps if you try it again.
27th Nov, 2018
How long will this last for?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. This will keep for up to 1 week.
27th May, 2019
Followed the recipe exactly, but during step 2 I realized that the directions are way off. If you wait until the mixture is thick enough to draw a line, or cook it for an hour, you'll get inedible hard sweets. Mine caramelized long before 1 hour. I also oiled my baking tray well but the sugar was still completely stuck.
Martin Hinkes's picture
Martin Hinkes
24th Dec, 2018
I think I’m step 2 the up to 1 hour gives the wrong impression.... personally anything after 20 minutes you need to be aware that it could be nearly there otherwise yes you can end up with boiled sweets not Turkish delight!