When you think of Turkish food, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Turkish kebabs. However, Turkish cuisine has a lot more to offer than just grilled meat. In this article, you can find some of the most popular Turkish desserts and sweets.
From baklava to Turkish delights, desserts is Turkey has a lot of influence from the Ottoman empire and the middle east.
Turkish desserts are particularly good for the sweet tooth, but there is something for everyone! So if you visit Turkey and get a craving for something sweet, there will be plenty of options to choose from.
Most popular Sweet Turkish Dessert
One of the most well-known Turkish desserts is baklava.
Thin phyllo dough is made into layers of phyllo pastry sheets. It is then filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with sugar syrup or honey, before getting baked into crunchy goodness.
This sweet phyllo pastry is usually cut into diamond shapes or triangles. They often come in different nut variations such as pistachio baklava, or walnut baklava.
Baklavas are absolutely delicious and a personal favorite. You should definitely try some when you visit Turkey.
Sweet Turkish Desserts
Lokum (Turkish Delights)
Lokum is a Turkish dessert that is made with starch, sugar, and flavoring. It is probably more famously known as Turkish Delight. They come in multiple flavors and variations. Bergamot orange and rose flavored delights are very common options.
Turkish delight has a chewy texture and is traditionally served with tea to guests in Turkish households.
It is so famous that the popular Turkish dessert is also exported to other countries.
Fırında Sütlaç (Turkish Rice Pudding)
If you are looking for a delicious Turkish dessert to try while in Turkey, then look no further than fırında sütlaç. This is a baked rice pudding that is made with milk, sugar, corn starch, water, and rice.
It is often flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and can be topped with ground pistachios or almonds. The signature burn mark on top gives it a creme Brule look and gives it a slight caramel flavor profile.
Fırında sütlaç is a popular dessert that you can find in restaurants and cafes throughout Turkey.
Tatlı Karpuz (Sugar coated pumpkin)
Tatlı Karpuz is a traditional Turkish pumpkin dessert that is made with, well, pumpkin. It is relatively simple to make. The pumpkin is boiled and cooked with sugar to make a nice flavor and consistency.
This dessert is often served cold and topped with crushed walnuts and cream or even ice cream.
Revani (Semolina Sponge Cake)
Revani is a Turkish semolina cake that is made with semolina, sugar, butter, and eggs. It is a moist and soft sponge cake soaked in sugar syrup. It can be served with shredded coconuts, Turkish ice cream, or clotted cream.
This light semolina sponge cake is also one of the most traditional Turkish desserts you can find in Turkey.
Künefe is a Turkish dessert that is made from shredded wheat and cheese. The cheese is usually a mix of feta and kasseri, although other cheeses can be used.
The mixture is wrapped in thin pastry dough and then grilled. It is often served with a sweet syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice.
Tulumba (Turkish Churros)
Tulumba is a traditional Turkish dessert that is typically made with flour, sugar, butter, milk, and eggs. Visually, they look like Turkish churros.
It is a pastry that is deep-fried and then soaked in sweet syrup. The syrup can be made with sugar, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
Tulumba is a popular dessert in Turkey. You can find these in most cafes and from street vendors. Tulumba can taste overly sweet for those without a sweet tooth. Therefore, they go extremely well with strong Turkish coffee.
Pişmaniye (Turkish cotton candy)
Pişmaniye is one of the most interesting Turkish desserts that is made from spun sugar. The sugar is boiled to a high temperature and then put into a spinning machine.
It is similar to cotton candy but it is made with Turkish sugar which gives it a different flavor. Turkish candy floss is often served as a dessert at restaurants or eaten as a snack.
It is also a popular sweet treat during Ramadan because it is considered to be a light dessert.
Lokma (Fried doughnut balls)
Lokma is a typical Turkish dessert that is made from balls of deep fried dough that are then soaked in sweet syrup. Some even sprinkle them with powdered sugar as well.
Lokma is believed to have originated in the city of Istanbul.
This is one of the most common Turkish desserts that can even be found with street vendors. It is easy to eat, and like the Turkish version of mini donut balls.
Dondurma (Turkish Ice Cream)
Dondurma is a type of Turkish ice cream that is popular in Turkey and have a stretchy texture. Some of the main ingredients include cream, whipped cream, salep, mastic, and sugar
The ice cream is then flavored with vanilla extract or rosewater. The ice cream is thick and can be difficult to scoop. It is often served with chopped Turkish delights or finely chopped nuts.
Halva is one of the oldest and best Turkish desserts stretching all the way before the Ottoman empire. There are different variations of Halva. Tahini Halva is made with sugar and Tahini which is kind of a sesame nut butter.
Tahini Halva can come plain, or there is usually a chocolate version that is mixed with melted chocolate. They can also come with various stuffings that can include ground pistachios, pine nuts, dried fruits, etc, embedded in the Halva block.
One popular fruity dessert in Turkey is Ayva Tatlis, which uses quince fruit as a base. This sweet and sour dessert is made with quince fruit soaked in sugar, and lemon juice.
The dessert is often topped with ground pistachio nuts and sometimes clotted cream or ice cream. It is usually served cold and can be found in most Turkish restaurants.
Another extremely famous dessert in the Middle East, Kadayif is often confused with Kunefe. These along with Baklava are three of the best Turkish desserts that you can usually find in the same store.
It is famously known as being a dessert that is often eaten during the Eid al-Fitr celebration. Its signature ingredient is the crispy Kadayif noodles (shredded phyllo dough) in syrup.
The dish is topped with ground pistachios for extra flavor and texture. It can sometimes come with thick turkish clotted cream and goes well with Turkish coffee.
Kadayif can also be found in some restaurants in Europe and North America.
Keşkül is a milk or almond pudding with creamy consistency and a sweet flavor. Keskul is traditionally served with shredded coconut and pistachio. This dessert is often served cold and can be enjoyed as a snack or a dessert.
Ashure is a Turkish dessert that is made from wheat, dried fruits, nuts, and spices. It is a type of pudding that is usually eaten around the time of the Muslim holiday of Ashura.
This dessert is believed to have been created by Noah after the great flood. It is also called Noah’s Ark pudding.
Ashure is considered to be a symbol of thanksgiving and is often shared among family and friends.
Translating into “Chicken Breast”, Tavuk Göğsü is a milk pudding that is popular for dessert in Turkey with chicken breasts.
The ingredients include rice flour, sugar, chicken breasts, vanilla extract, and whole milk. The chicken breasts are boiled and then shredded and added to create a pudding mixture.
The pudding is cooked over low heat until it thickens. It is served cold with a dollop of whipped cream on top. The complete dessert actually does have much chicken flavor.
Muhallebi is like the vegetarian version of Tavuk Göğsü. It is a milk or rice pudding that has similar consistency as the chicken breast.
You can easily top it with dried fruits or nuts for more flavor and texture.The pudding is served cold and can be found in most Turkish restaurants.
Şekerpare are like these cute Turkish cookies. Some ingredients include semolina, lemon sugar, butter, and eggs. The dough is made by mixing the ingredients together and then creating the dough balls.
You can top it with almonds or hazelnut. They are then baked in the oven until golden brown.
Güllaç is a Turkish dessert that is typically eaten during the month of Ramadan.
It is made of layers of phyllo dough that are filled with cream (made with milk, sugar and rose water) and then garnished with pomegranate seeds. Other common toppings are pistachios, almonds and other nuts.
Bülbül yuvası is another sweet treat that you can commonly find alongside Baklava.
This is also made with phyllo dough which is shaped into a bird’s nest. The nests are stuffed with various nuts and sweet filling in the center, then baked in the oven until they are golden brown.
Bülbül yuvası is a sweet and delicious dessert in Turkey.
In the Balkans, Sarma is a popular dish in countries like Bulgaria and Romania.
Fıstıklı Sarma is a Turkish dessert resembling the Sarma visually and is sweet. It is wrapped in phyllo dough and filled with pistachio butter. The dough is rolled up tightly, and the rolls are cut into 1-inch pieces.
Fıstıklı Sarma is a delicious dessert that is sure to please your taste buds. The green color pastry is one of the best Turkish desserts eaten during the holidays.
Zerde is a Turkish sweet rice pudding that is made with short grain rice flour, sugar, saffron, and rose water. It is a popular dessert in Turkey and is often eaten on special occasions.
Turkish Bread Pudding
One of the most simple yet popular Turkish desserts is the Turkish bread pudding. This dessert is a favorite for travelers and locals alike.
It is made with pieces of Turkish bread, pudding spices, sugar, butter, and milk. The Turkish bread pudding is a great option for those who are looking for a sweet and filling dessert. Enjoy it with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea.
Pestil or fruit leather is a rolled-up strip of fruit gummy. It is versatile and simple to make. Essentially, they puree a combination of fruits and spread it out into sheets to be dried, creating the fruit leather.
This is then cut up into strips and rolled into Pestil. I can see this being a children’s favorite among Turkish desserts and sweets.
Burma taste like rolled baklava but also resembles the more fancy-looking Turkish delight rolls. It is also made with thin layers of phyllo dough wrapped together, creating an outer roll that is sweet and crispy. The center consists of delicious nuts and sweet fillings.
Drinks to go with Turkish Desserts
Drink options to go with Turkish desserts are simple and straightforward enough, yet really pairs well together.
Traditional Turkish Tea
Turkish tea is almost always enjoyed with Turkish desserts. When Turkish tea is served in a glass, it is poured into the glass until it is half-full, and then the sugar is added.
However, pure black tea is a great combination to go with the really sweet Turkish desserts.
Turkish coffee is another popular option in Turkey. It is basically Turkish coffee beans, water, and sugar.
Turkish coffee is brewed in a special pot called a cezve. The coffee is usually served with a sweet dessert, such as baklava or even just a piece of Turkish Delight if you order it in cafes
Enjoy Turkish Desserts and Cuisine
These are just some of the best Turkish sweets and desserts. Many of these Turkish desserts can also be breakfast options in Turkey.
The sweet treats in Turkey are adored by both tourists and locals. They are a great conclusion after a sumptuous meal of amazing traditional Turkish cuisine. So if you’re visiting Turkey, be sure to try some of the delicious Turkish desserts and sweets for a complete gastronomic experience!