Make Turkish Delight (Lokum)

Traditional lemon and rose Turkish delight

Rosemary Calvert / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Rest: 8 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
250 Calories
0g Fat
64g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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, and 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 early precursor of the modern jelly bean.

In the United States, Turkish delight candy is mostly produced by a confectionery in California that also makes other international treats. A Canadian subsidiary of Nestle Foods also makes a candy bar that is essentially Turkish delight coated in milk chocolate.


  • 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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.​

  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.

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

  8. Once it has cooled overnight, sift together the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup cornstarch.

  9. Turn over the baking pan containing the Turkish delight onto a clean counter or table and cut with an oiled knife into one-inch pieces.

  10. Coat with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Serve or store in an airtight container in layers separated with wax or parchment paper.