Turkish Delight Recipe (Lokum)

Last Updated on March 29, 2024

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 measure Ounces Metric
Water 5-1/2 cups 55 fl oz 154 cl
Granulated sugar 5 cups 2.5 lb 1.135 kg
Powdered (icing) sugar 1/4 cup 1 oz 30 gr
Cornstarch 1-3/4 cups 7 oz 200 gr
Nuts (pistachios, hazelnuts/filberts, or walnuts) 1 cup 4 oz 113.5 gr
Cream of Tartar 1 teaspoon 0.14 oz 4 gr
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon 1/16 fl oz 5 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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