Make Turkish Delight (Lokum)

Make Turkish Delight (Lokum)

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Rest: 8 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
250 Calories
0g Fat
64g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 250
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 7mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You might recognize Turkish delight as the candy featured in "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S Lewis. The White Witch tempted the character Edmund Pevensie with Turkish delight and he couldn't resist the sweet treat.

Turkish Delight, also known as lokum, most likely originated in Turkey in the 1700s. Part of the family of confections that use a mixture of starch—like flour or cornstarch—along with sugar, it's usually flavored with a bit of rose water, orange, or lemon. However, variations can include chopped pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, or dates. The candy is usually cut into small cubes and individually wrapped. It is said that Turkish delight, with its gummy interior, was the precursor of the modern jelly bean.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/4 cups water (divided)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups cornstarch (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Make Turkish Delight (Lokum) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch baking pan with butter or shortening. Line with wax paper and then grease the wax paper as well.

    Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch baking pan with butter and line with wax paper

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of water, the granulated sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves.

    combine water, the granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Allow the mixture to boil. Then reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    sugar mixture cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Combine 1 cup of cornstarch, cream of tartar, and the remaining 2 3/4 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all the lumps are gone and the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring when the mixture has a glue-like consistency.​

    Combine cornstarch, cream of tartar, and water in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice mixture. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the mixture to simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently.

    Stir the sugar and lemon juice mixture into the cornstarch mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Once the mixture has become a golden color, stir in the rose water. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread evenly and allow to cool overnight.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. The next day, sift together the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch.

    sift together the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Invert the baking pan onto a clean counter or table; remove the wax paper and using an oiled knife, cut the candy into one-inch pieces.

    Turn over the baking pan containing the Turkish delight onto a clean counter or table and cut with an oiled knife

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Place the candy in the bowl with the confectioners' sugar mixture and toss to coat.

    Make Turkish Delight (Lokum) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Serve or store in a container in between layers of wax or parchment paper. (You don't want the container to be airtight because that can cause sweating.)

Tip

When cooking the cornstarch mixture, make sure there are no lumps before you proceed to the next step.

Why Is My Turkish Delight Sweating?

One reason why this candy may sweat is that it was not left to sit long enough before cutting and dusting with the cornstarch-sugar mixture. Make sure to leave the Turkish Delight at room temperature for at least 8 hours; if your kitchen is hot and humid, you should place it in the refrigerator. If the candy still has a moist exterior, dust with just cornstarch and let sit for another day. Then cut into cubes and toss in the sugar mixture.