Turkish Delight Recipe (Lokum)

During your trip to Turkey you can easily buy excellent Turkish Delight (lokum), but after you return home you’ll want more.

Make it yourself! Here’s a recipe to make several dozen squares:


US measureOuncesMetric
Water5-1/2 cups55 fl oz154 cl
Granulated sugar5 cups2.5 lb1.135 kg
Powdered (icing) sugar1/4 cup1 oz30 gr
Cornstarch1-3/4 cups7 oz200 gr
Nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts/filberts, or walnuts)1 cup4 oz113.5 gr
Cream of Tartar1 teaspoon0.14 oz4 gr
Lemon juice1 teaspoon1/16 fl oz5 ml


In a saucepan, mix most of the water (4-1/2 cups/45 fl oz/126 cl), all of the granulated sugar and all of the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, dissolving the sugar to make syrup.

In a bowl, mix the remaining water (1 cup/10 fl oz/28 cl) and a little more than half the cornstarch (1 cup/4 oz/114 gr), then blend in the cream of tartar.

Gradually blend the cornstarch mixture into the simmering syrup while vigorously stirring with a wire whisk. Stir frequently while cooking for 1-1/2 to two hours, until the mixture forms a soft ball with an internal temperature of about 235°F (113°C).

Test the mixture by dropping a small amount into ice water. It should form a ball. When picked out of the ice water and held between two fingers, it should easily flatten.

Stop cooking the mixture, and mix the nuts in well. Hazelnuts or walnuts should be broken into smaller pieces.

Pour the mixture into an 8-inch (20-cm)-square flat cake pan (greased) and spread it evenly throughout the pan. Sprinkle two tablespoons (1 oz/28.35 gr) of cornstarch on top of the mixture and let stand for at least three hours, or preferably overnight.

Mix all of the powdered (confectioner’s/icing) sugar and the remaining cornstarch. Grease a knife with butter and cut the Turkish Delight into squares. Lift the squares out of the pan, sprinkle with the cornstarch and sugar mixture, and place on a rack to “cure” for 12 hours. Sprinkle again with the sugar and cornstarch mixture and serve, or keep in a box. Do not refrigerate.

—Tom Brosnahan

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