Quick Turkish Delight With Pumpkin Spice Variation


Many people have never experienced the magic of Turkish delight. Tragic, I know.

How could someone miss out on this sweet, sticky, chewy, ethereally smooth, prominently-flavored confection? Somewhere between chic pâté de fruit and the gummy candies of your childhood, Turkish delight is a unique, not-to-be-missed treat.

Although Turkish delight was first invented in Turkey, the confection spread quickly after its conception and soon became just as popular (if not more) in Syria and the rest of the Middle East.

I highly encourage you to give this simple candy a try. The recipe is astoundingly simple, using the microwave to cut the cooking time down significantly. And the end product is beyond worth it. Turkish delight is extremely versatile; it can take on endless flavor possibilities to suit your specific taste. This time I made the traditional lemon-rose flavor, as well as a special pumpkin spice variation to celebrate the start of fall.

So if you try this recipe and like what you’ve made, please consider giving back a small amount to Syria through The After School Special’s fall season charity for UNICEF’s Children of Syria fund.

So without further ado, the recipe:

 Quick Turkish Delight With Pumpkin Spice Variation

October 1o, 2014

 3 cups water

2 1/2 granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups + at least 1 cup extra powdered sugar, separated

2/3 cup + 2 tbsp potato starch (corn starch works as well), separated

1/4 cup gelatin (or 1/4 cup agar-agar powder)

1 tsp lemon zest (or cinnamon/other spices depending on desired flavor)

1/2 tsp rose water (or other extract of choice)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

3 drops pink food coloring (or any other color!)

Turkish Delight

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the water, granulated sugar, and gelatin/powdered agar-agar and microwave the mixture for a total of 14 minutes. Stir once or twice to break up the 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together the cream of tartar, 2/3 cup of potato starch/cornstarch, and the 1.5 cup of powdered sugar. Stir the dry mixture in with the microwaved sugar-gelatin mixture, and microwave for 6 more minutes without stirring.


At this point, the base jelly should be thick and shiny, but still more liquid than solid.


Now is the time to add in your food coloring. For the lemon-rose flavored Turkish delight, simply stir in 2 drops of pink food coloring.

For the pumpkin spice flavored Turkish delight, use 3 drops of orange food coloring (or alternatively, mix one drop of red with two drops of yellow). My red food coloring was especially strong and caused for a slightly darker-than-desired finished product, so I recommend adding very little at a time to achieve the perfect color.


Once you’ve reached the perfect color, it’s time for the aromatics. For the lemon-rose flavored confections, stir  in the rose water and lemon zest. Dip a finger in to taste for flavor, and feel free to add more zest and/or rose water to suit your tastes.

For the pumpkin spice Turkish delights, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a rounded teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice ( equal parts ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove, adding up to a slightly overflowing teaspoon). Again, taste the mixture and continue to add vanilla and spice until the mixture fulfills your wildest pumpkin spice dreams.


Spray or oil a 9×9 baking dish (or two 9×5 loaf pans if you split the recipe to make both pumpkin spice and lemon-rose Turkish delight).

Now the hardest part: pop the pan into the fridge and wait for at least four hours to enjoy the fruit of your labor.


Four hours and significantly less patience later, slice the mass of jelly into 1 inch cubes with an oiled knife.

As you can tell, I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures before I took my first bite. Forgive me.


Gems, I tell you.

Right before serving, sift the last cup of powdered sugar with the 2 remaining tablespoons of potato starch/cornstarch, and coat each piece with the mixture.

Devour quickly. Un-coated pieces should be left in the pan in the refrigerator, and must be eaten within a week.



And don’t forget, if you enjoyed making this recipe, please consider donating to my fundraiser for UNICEF’s Children of Syria fund. Your every donation makes a big difference for a child in need!

Syria Donate Button

{click the UNICEF button to donate to The After School Special’s fundraiser for children in Syria}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation