Learn About 9 Famous Turkish Desserts And Where To Eat Them + Vocabulary

Turkish Desserts-Ling

Everyone thinks of baklava when someone mentions Turkish desserts. Yes, it’s famous worldwide, but Turkish cuisine offers many more Turkish desserts and sweets that can make you forget about baklava!

In today’s blog post, I’ll recommend eight traditional desserts apart from baklava and where to eat the best of them in Turkey. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you deserve to eat the best Turkish desserts, so I won’t let you have an average one only to say “meh”! And while we are at it, we’ll also learn some Turkish vocabulary. So, let’s dive in!

What Is Turkey’s Most Popular Dessert?

The answer is Baklava without doubt! But in this series, we are going to learn about other equally good Turkish desserts.

1. Baklava

Turkish baklava is still the first choice that comes to mind when it comes to traditional Turkish desserts, so it has to be on the list. This traditional dessert has the oldest culinary history, as it was first developed within the Ottoman Empire.

In recent years, a light and milky dessert, sütlü Nuriye, was created as an alternative to baklava since its strong sherbet flavor isn’t for everyone’s taste. It has a rather funny name because “Nuriye” is a female name in Turkish, and “sütlü” means milky or with milk.

Best places to eat:

  • Karaköy Güllüoğlu – İstanbul
  • Zeki İnal – Gaziantep
  • Köskeroğlu – İstanbul
  • Mustafa Gökçin – Şanlıurfa

Price range: 100-300 TL for one serving.

künefe-Turkish Desserts-Ling

2. Künefe

Künefe is a traditional Turkish dessert made from kadayıf (which is made by combining grated wheat, hazelnuts, and sherbet) and cheese. It’s a diet-friendly dessert that leaves an unforgettable taste in your mouth. It goes very well with a little bit of dondurma (Turkish ice cream) and a pinch of ground pistachios sprinkled on it. If you like baklava, then you will love künefe too because it’s very close to it in terms of sugar taste.

Best places to eat:

  • Lezzet-i Şark Antep Sofrası – İstanbul
  • Keyfeder Künefe Katmer – İstanbul
  • Hatay Asi Künefeleri – İstanbul

Price range: 80-150 TL for one serving.

3. Turkish Delight – Lokum

You might have heard of this one because Turkish delight, or lokum, is popular all over the world and is one of the most tasty traditional Turkish desserts. It attracts attention with its colorful and small cube shape and is also a very light dessert option. This delicious snack is made from starch, water, sugar, and some acids and is flavored with powdered sugar, dried fruits, and nuts. It’s usually served with Turkish coffee.

Best places to eat:

  • Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir – İstanbul
  • Hafız Mustafa – İstanbul
  • Şekerci Cafer Erol – İstanbul
  • Meşhur Safranbolu Lokumcusu- İstanbul

Price range: 100-500 TL for one kilogram.

tulumba-Turkish Desserts-Ling

4. Turkish Churros – Tulumba

If you want your mouth to be filled with sweetness when you bite, tulumba is one of the best options. This delicious street dessert consists of deep-fried dough balls that are dipped in syrup when they’re hot. This way, they have a crispy syrup-covered coat but a soft, semi-liquid, sugary texture on the inside. Delicious!

Best places to eat:

  • Osmanlı Tulumbacısı – İzmir
  • Meşhur Balkan Tulumba – İstanbul
  • Rumeli Tulumbacısı – İstanbul

Price range: 80-250 TL for one serving.

5. Quince Dessert – Ayva Tatlısı

Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, contributed greatly to the development of palace cuisine with its traditional foods and desserts. One of the flavors born from this cuisine is quince (ayva) dessert. This dish is made from quince, sherbet, pistachios, and clotted cream. Although it has syrupy sherbet, it’s a very light dessert.

Best places to eat:

  • Hacı Abdullah Lokantası – İstanbul
  • Sakarya Tatlıcısı – İstanbul
  • Kıyı Restaurant – İstanbul

Price range: 80-300 TL for one serving.

aşure-Turkish Desserts-Ling

6. Noah’s Pudding – Aşure

Ashura is described as the oldest dessert in the world. That’s because this dessert, also called Noah’s Pudding, is believed to have been created when Noah and his family combined the food left on their ship after the flood. Thus, it’s a mixture of various ingredients such as chickpeas, beans, rice, dried fruits, and nuts.

Best places to eat:

  • Saray Muhallebicisi – İstanbul
  • Hacı Abdullah Lokantası – İstanbul
  • Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi – İstanbul

Price range: 100-400 TL for one serving.

7. Turkish Rice Pudding – Sütlaç

Every country has its own version of rice pudding, and the Turkish version, or sütlaç, is baked. It’s one of the most beloved Turkish desserts thanks to its easy recipe and delicate taste. It has very basic ingredients: milk, rice, rice flour, sugar, and vanilla, so you can even make it at home. The mixture is poured into small bowls and then baked in the oven, which gives it a unique burnt appearance.

Best places to eat:

  • Göreme Muhallebicisi – İstanbul
  • Saray Muhallebicisi – İstanbul
  • Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi – İstanbul

Price range: 80-200 TL for one serving.

8. Helva

Helva is one of my favorites, and I make it at home since it’s very easy to make. This unique dessert is made from flour, semolina, butter, sugar, and water and is made and shared with people during religious holidays and holy nights. It has a light taste and soft texture that melts in your mouth so it’s perfect for those sick of syruped desserts. It also goes well with Turkish ice cream!

Best places to eat:

  • Helvacı Ali – İstanbul
  • Hacı Şerif – İstanbul
  • Helvacı Yakub Efendi – İstanbul

Price range: 50-250 TL for one serving.

revani-Turkish Desserts-Ling

9. Revani

Revani, one of the most popular Turkish desserts, was invented by palace cooks to celebrate the conquest of Armenia and Yerevan during the Ottoman Empire. It’s also known as the sponge or yogurt dessert because it has a super soft cake, and the secret ingredient in the recipe is yogurt! It still has a sherbet flavor but not as much as baklava, so it appeals to every palate. Revani is usually served with shredded coconut, pistachios, or hash on top.

Best places to eat:

  • Gaziburma – İstanbul
  • Ceviz Ağacı – İstanbul
  • Beyaz Fırın – İstanbul

Price range: 80-250 TL for one serving.

Other Turkish Desserts

Here are some other popular Turkish desserts you must try!

ŞekerpareSoft, syrup-soaked cookies made with semolina, flour, and sugar, often topped with a single almond or walnut.
KadayıfShredded wheat pastry filled with nuts and soaked in syrup.
Ekmek KadayıfıA bread-based dessert made with shredded bread soaked in syrup, often layered with clotted cream or kaymak.
GüllaçA traditional Ramadan dessert made with layers of thin pastry sheets, milk, rosewater, and nuts.
MuhallebiA creamy milk pudding thickened with starch and flavored with ingredients like rosewater, vanilla, or almond.
LokmaDeep-fried dough balls soaked in syrup, often served as a sweet treat during special occasions or festivals.
DondurmaTurkish ice cream is known for its stretchy and chewy texture, typically made with salep (orchid flour) and mastic resin.
Sütlü NuriyeA milk-based dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked in milk, topped with a thick layer of chocolate ganache and shredded coconut.
Kestane ŞekeriCandied chestnuts coated in sugar syrup and often served as a sweet snack or dessert.
İncir TatlısıFigs stewed in sugar syrup and often flavored with cinnamon or cloves, creating a delicious and fragrant dessert.
Kabak TatlısıTurkish Pumpkin Dessert is a sweet treat made by cooking pumpkin slices in syrup flavored with sugar, and cinnamon.

Here’s some advice from a local: if you want to have an easier experience in Turkish restaurants and cafes, learn at least some Turkish phrases that will help you communicate in the local language. But how? Turkish is not an easy language to learn! That’s why you’ll use the Ling app! It’s the best language learning app to learn hard languages in an easy way! Download it from the App Store or Play Store and get a free 7-day trial!

Final Words

There’s a common Turkish proverb about desserts: “Tatlı yiyelim, tatlı konuşalım” which means, “Let’s eat sweet and talk sweet.” After this sweet talk, you know there’s much to Turkish desserts beyond baklava! All these treats are a tasty combination of Turkish history, culture, and culinary knowledge.

If you’re a foodie like me, you may be interested in learning about Turkish foods, Turkish candies, and how to order food in Turkish! See you in the next blog post, bye! Hoşçakal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.