Turkish Dessert Tulumba Tatlısı

Tulumba recipe

Nuri Halil Ugur / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 25 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
637 Calories
58g Fat
30g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 25
Amount per serving
Calories 637
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 74%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 75mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 2g
Calcium 20mg 2%
*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.)

Tulumba tatlısı (too-LOOM-bah TAHT-luh-suh) is a crispy, syrupy, and ultra-sweet Turkish dessert. It is a popular street food prepared by vendors who fry it up fresh on the spot and serve it warm. You’ll also find it served in many restaurants and home cooks like to make it because kids love it.

Tulumba is made of bits of fried dough, similar to doughnuts, steeped in lots of lemony syrup. The dough contains starch and semolina, which keeps it light and crispy.

To make this classic Turkish sweet at home, you’ll need a pastry bag with a star tip and a deep skillet for frying. It might be difficult to get the shapes perfect at first but after a few tries, you will get the hang of it.


  • For the Syrup:
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • For the Batter:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose, sifted)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons semolina
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil (or amount needed for frying)
  • Garnish: ground nuts (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Make the syrup. In a saucepan, stir the 3 1/2 cups and 3 cups sugar water together. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and simmer for 1 minute longer. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

  4. Make the batter. In a saucepan, add the 2 cups water, butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Turn on the heat and stir continuously until the butter is melted.

  5. Stir in the flour using a wooden spoon until a loose dough forms. When the dough begins to collect around the spoon, remove the pan from the heat.

  6. Break one egg at a time into the dough and stir them in with the wooden spoon.

  7. Add the semolina and cornstarch, combining well with the wooden spoon.

  8. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

  9. Pour about 3 inches of vegetable oil into a deep frying pan and heat to 350 F, checking it with a thermometer.

  10. Once the oil is hot, squeeze out small lines of dough directly into the hot oil. Use a strainer or spoon to turn the pieces over and around so they brown evenly.

  11. When the tulumba are evenly browned, remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

  12. Add them to the cool syrup and let them soak it up for a few minutes.

  13. Arrange the syrupy sweets on a serving plate and pour some extra syrup over the top. You can garnish the tulumba with ground nuts if you wish.