The Musette: Rose Turkish delight

A confectioner named Bekir Effendi, who opened a sweet shop in Istanbul in 1776, is credited with creating this delicacy. His sweet shop still stands today. After Effendi made his first batch of this special creation, it wasn’t long before it gained entry into the royal court. The Sultan at the time fell in love with its soft and tender texture, which was a welcome change from the other tough or brittle sweets they were accustomed to in those days. Soon after, Lokum became chic amongst the socialities of Istanbul and sweethearts exchanged it as tokens of their love for each other.

The rest of the world has an unknown Brit to thank for the flour, water, honey and flower-essence sweet. After he became fond of it during his travels to Istanbul, he shipped a case back to Britain under the name of Turkish Delight. It almost immediately became a delicacy amongst Europe’s high society, who would exchange pieces of Turkish Delight wrapped in silk or lace handkerchiefs as elegant gifts.

This recipe is really fun to make and the result feels like something special despite being surprisingly easy! It’s a great one to make as a gift – maybe a Christmas gift?

You only need a few things to whip up this rose Turkish delight and, if like me you bake a lot,  you may already have the ingredients in your cupboards.

Ingredients (32 pieces)

  • 40g (1/3 cup) cornflour (cornstarch) plus 1 tbsp to dust
  • 360ml (1 1/2 cups) water (divided)
  • 450g (2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 10g (1 tbsp) agar agar or 3 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • few drops pink food colouring
  • 100g (3/4 cup) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • neutral tasting oil (such as sunflower oil), for greasing


1.Take out a small non-stick baking pan and grease it with neutral flavoured oil which will prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. As extra protection, you could line it with greaseproof (parchment) paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the cornflour into 120ml (1/2 cup) water. Ensure there are no lumps.

3. In a large saucepan, on medium heat, add the remaining water and the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Then add the sugar, lemon juice and agar agar. Although traditional Turkish delight doesn’t contain a setting agent, adding it helps it to set more easily.

4. Continue cooking until the sugar dissolves stirring the mixture frequently.

5. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to a gently simmer and let the mixture cook for about 25 minutes, until it achieves a smooth and glossy consistency.

6. Let it cool for 10 minutes before adding the rosewater and the food colouring to the mix. Then stir through to combine them with the other ingredients.

7. Pour the completed mixture into the pre-prepared pan and leave it to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours (or overnight).

8. Once set, remove the block from the pan and slice it into cubes. As a helpful reminder, this recipe yields 32 cubes! You can place the cubes on a plate or a board. but just make sure that you leave space in between each one so they don’t stick together. Now, they need to sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

9. As a final step, mix together and sieve the icing sugar and 1 tbsp cornflour. Dip the Turkish delight pieces into the mixture to coat well. The powdered sugar adds even more sweetness to this wonderful treat. Achetez les délices turcs à la rose - Grand Bazaar Istanbul Achat en ligne

10. Luckily, these are great to make ahead of time and you can enjoy them well after you make them! Leftovers  – as if! – should keep well for 2 weeks in an airtight container.

38 Comments on “The Musette: Rose Turkish delight

  1. C’est délicieux, j’ai connu l’heureux temps d’Hédiard à Paris, place de la Madeleine, quand il y en avait de toutes sortes et aussi des chocolats,des pâtes de fruits extra, des confitures,des fruits. C’est chez Hédiard qu’Alexandre Dumas faisait ses provisions de bonnes choses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh fun.. My Grand children, when they each hit 4th grade, read The Lion ,the Witch and the Wardrobe and Turkish Delight plays a big part. I have found it at Vermont Country store and sent it each year for their class to enjoy.. Your recipe will be better and not cost as much.. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Never thought f making this before but might give it a try before Christmas as it looks quite straightforward Sheree. If I buy a few nice little boxes, they will hopefully make some nice table gifts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have had the real McCoy a few times and know the difference between the two, I well remember eating Fry’s Turkish Delight as a kid it was very more’ish with the chocolate coating. Not sure if they still make it as I seldom buy sweets nowadays

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Monday Musings…28th November 2022…How to save money on UK supermarket food deliveries, delicious bacon wrapped maple glazed turkey and homemade Turkish Delight! | Retired? No one told me!

  6. I’ll give this a try… only with mint flavouring and green colouring. I used to buy mint Turkish delight at Christmas but haven’t seen it on sale for ages – maybe it’s just not popular where I live now so nobody stocks it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband just came back from Istanbul, he was there for business. He brought back a tray of Turkish Delights, my favorite! I’ll try this recipe over December. Thanks Sharee!

    Liked by 1 person

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