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5 Must-Try Traditional Turkish Desserts

Welcome to another post about international food! In this post, we’ll discover Turkey’s most traditional and exquisite sweets, a country with excellent gastronomy of both savory and unmissable dishes and exquisite desserts, all highly appreciated throughout the eastern region. From spicy dishes to scrumptious desserts, there’s a whole array of authentic cuisine of unique texture and flavor awaits! Whether its delicacies accompanied by nuts, especially almonds and pistachios, or products widely used in the Mediterranean basin such as honey, cinnamon, olive oil, and lemon, in Turkey, your taste buds will surely be pampered! You’ll also find a hearty cheese filling in many of these delights due to its Mediterranean and Greek influences and natural seeds and oils. So, do you want to discover some of the most delicious Turkish sweets? Keep reading and prepare your palates for a real culinary adventure!


#1. Künefe (A Sweet Cheese Pastry Made with Kadaifi)

Künefe is a very original and traditional sweet popularized not only in Turkey but also throughout the Middle East. Known as the world’s first cheese dessert, it is made with phyllo dough cut into fine threads, called Kataifi, and a simply delicious cheese filling. All that set is baked with butter and covered in syrup with sugar, lemon, chopped nuts, and pistachios, which are generally the most popular ingredients. As in practically all Turkish desserts! As it is popular in the Balkans and many Arab countries, there are many variants of this dessert, making it even more peculiar if possible. We can find it in the form of a cake, using various types of cheese, in the form of a nest, etc. So now you know, if you visit countries like Israel, Lebanon, or Egypt, look for this dessert and enjoy it differently but keeping the same essence!


#2. Tulumba (Deep-Fried Dessert)

Have you seen the photo and it reminded you of the typical churros that we eat in Spain? Well, yes, you are right. And it is that the tulumba is a Turkish sweet whose preparation is very similar to the traditional churros that we love so much. It literally means « bomb » in the Turkish language, either because of its appearance or a real calorie bomb. It consists of fried dough made of flour, starch, and wheat semolina, wrapped in a large amount of lemon syrup. Its texture is crunchy, and its flavor is ultra sweet due to the sugar used in the syrup that accompanies it. So this is a perfect dish to take a break and have a snack along with tea! You can easily find it in street stalls, another factor that makes it resemble Spanish churros.


#3. Lokma (Fried Sweet Dough)

This dessert is one of the most cloying and super sweet in Turkish cuisine and can be similar to the classic Spanish fritters. It is made up of a deep-fried bread dough covered in honey, syrup, cinnamon, and sometimes sesame seeds, all fried in oil. It is very popular in countries of the Middle East, Greece, and Turkey, which is where they come from. However, we can also observe other desserts similar to them, such as the Gulab-Jamun from India or the Italian zeppole. A curious fact is that these lokmas are traditionally handed out at Turkish funerals. Still, they can also be found in beautiful stalls set up when there are outdoor festivals or parties in the country. So we hope you enjoy them solely for this last reason!


#4. Maraş Dövme Dondurması (Battered Ice-Cream)

Did you know that Turkish ice creams are exquisite and totally different from those of any part of the world? Going to an ice cream stand is a practically obligatory visit if you are going to visit Istanbul. These ice creams are made with goat’s milk and have an exceptional elasticity, in addition to the fact that their temperature is not very cold. Its texture is hard and thick, and you can even cut it with a knife and eat it like that. Something totally different from what we know in the West! This is due to its composition, in which sugar, salep, and mastic stand out, a resin obtained from the bark of a tree called pistacia lentiscus. You will also find all kinds of exotic flavors that you will not be able to taste in Europe. Without a doubt, one of the desserts not to be missed in Turkey!


#5. Baklava

And we could not say goodbye to this post without mentioning the most popular and popular dessert in this country: La Baklava. It is a delicate puff pastry that is filled with honey and nuts, usually pistachio. An exquisite combination from now on you can prepare in your own home thanks to this homemade recipe in which we explain the steps to follow and the ingredients you have to have. A truly exquisite dessert and, for many, the best of Turkish gastronomy!

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