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Künefe |© Jirka Matousek / Flickr
Künefe |© Jirka Matousek / Flickr
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12 Turkish Desserts You Need to Try That Aren't Baklava

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 26 June 2017
Turkey may be synonymous with baklava, however, the country’s rich cuisine has many more amazing desserts with origins in all its various regions. From milk desserts to deep fried and extremely sweet snacks, here are some excellent desserts you definitely need to try out.

Tavuk Göğsü

This thick pudding has very thin slices of chicken breast and is often served with maraş ice cream and cinnamon. If chicken is not your thing, you can try kazandibi, which is the same thick pudding except with a burnt caramel top.

Şekerpare

Ridiculously sweet, these little cakes are made with an almond-based dough and then soaked with a hot sugar syrup. By the time they’re cold, Şekerpare is a bit hard and crumbly but melts in your mouth to reveal the sweet syrup.

Muhallebi

Another one of Turkey’s most popular milk desserts, muhallebi is a pudding that’s made with mastic and often covered with grated pistachios. Of course, you can always ask for a scoop of maraş ice cream as well.

Helva

Helva is a favorite dessert all over the Middle East and one of our favorite versions is the baked helva you can get at many of Turkey’s fish restaurants. Made from semolina flour, the helva melts perfectly when baked.

Künefe

A specialty of the Antakya region, künefe is composed of two layers of crunch kadayıf (shredded pastry) with a thick layer of melted cheese in between and soaked with sugar syrup. The melted cheese and the sweet syrup go together perfectly, while the crunch of the kadayıf (always topped with grated pistachio) is divine.

Pişmaniye

The closest thing you can get to cotton candy in Turkey, pişmaniye is made by blending flour roasted in butter, which is then pulled into fine strands. In some regions, you can get pişmaniye covered in milk chocolate, which is extremely sweet and glorious.

Ayva Tatlısı

A wintertime favorite, ayva tatlısı is made by boiling quince with cloves and sweet syrup and then filling them with kaymak (clotted cream) and walnuts. The same dessert is also made with pumpkin and is just as heavenly.

Aşure

One of the only Turkish desserts with no animal products, aşure is a type of pudding made with grains, fruits, dried fruits, and nuts. You’ll see Turks enjoying this dessert in large quantities during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Revani

Also known as Basbousa in Egypt, the Turkish revani dessert is made from a semolina cake that’s soaked in simple syrup. Some revani recipes also add an extra touch, such as rose water, to the syrup to make the dessert even more fragrant.

Cevizli Sucuk

Sucuk is usually known as Turkey’s fermented sausage with many herbs, however, cevizli sucuk is an entirely different creation. Made by dipping a string with walnuts into a grape molasses mixture, the sweet sucuk is then hung out to dry and cut into pieces and enjoyed as a gummi-like dessert.

Kestane Şekeri

A specialty of Bursa, chestnuts from Uludağ are boiled and then dipped into hot syrup and then cooled. Sold by the boxes, the treat is very addictive and sometimes even covered in chocolate.

Tulumba Tatlısı

This very sweet dessert is made by deep frying unleavened dough balls and then soaking them in syrup while they’re still hot. Tulumba is always crunchy on the outside and soft and very sweet on the inside and is sometimes even served with chocolate sauce.