This classic Turkish confectionary flavoured with rose water has been given a makeover to make it sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and naturally coloured.
Sugar-free Turkish Delight
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
A beautiful rose-scented treat made sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free.
- 800 ml water
- 80 g / ⅔ cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- 4 tbsp agar powder
- 150 g / ¾ cup xylitol
- 1 tsp beetroot powder or juice, for colouring
- 1 ½ tbsp rose water
- 4 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 4 tbsp xylitol
- Mix 100ml of the water with the arrowroot powder in a bowl and set aside for later. Line a small tin with parchment paper.
- Add the remaining 700ml of water to a large saucepan and sprinkle the agar powder on top. Bring to a medium heat and whisk in the xylitol. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer, whisking until the xylitol and agar have dissolved.
- Once dissolved, add the mixture to a blender and mix with the beetroot powder and the arrowroot mixture you made earlier. Blend until smooth and thick. Return to the saucepan.
- Bring back to a low-medium heat and stir gently until the mixture becomes very thick and stretchy. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly. Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, prepare an icing sugar by blending the arrowroot and xylitol together until it forms a fine powder. Warning: it will create a lot of dust! Alternatively, use a mixture of ordinary icing powder and arrowroot powder. The arrowroot powder is necessary to stop the Turkish delight from sticking or going soggy.
- Remove the Turkish delight from the fridge and cut into small squares. Coat in the powdered sugar and enjoy!
Xylitol is a natural low carb sweetener that can be found in most supermarkets or health food shops.
Hilary Zeller says
It needs more Rosewater and more xylitol as it doesn’t have much flavour or sweetness
Sugar free??? Arrow root is 90% carbs and low fiber
Just made this recipe using Erythritol instead of xylitol but had to put in 340g as wasn’t sweet enough. Also used rose flavouring (45 drops). Whilst the rose flavour was ok it still wasn’t sweet enough and turned out too firm. It was firm just 2 hours after making without putting in the fridge. Does anyone know if I can melt it down and add more liquid? Should I put less agar powder in next time?
Chloe Willis says
I am wondering if I can substitute the agar powder with gelatine powder?
I tried this for the first time but it has not completely set so cant cut into squares. Did I not cook for long enough? Please help!
Do you think this could be frozen once made for storing larger quantities?
Trish Nunes says
Hello Aimee, I am hoping to make this recipe this week. Could you let me know how long the Turkish Delight keeps.
Thanks in advance
Best wishes, Trish
Update on turkish…this morning they are barely set, I had the pan on the hob for absolutely ages waiting for it to thicken, when I didn’t think it was gonna happen I turned off the hob and prayed for the best…I used agar flakes and used 3 spoons per ur syggestion of one spoon of powder. I added double the amount of rosewater as I couldn’t taste it at first….today they’re too gooey to handle and no taste there of rosewater, so gutted cos this isn’t a cheap thing to make and I sooo wanted to get it right…couldn’t find agar powder anywhere, is this where I went wrong do u think?
Sorry to hear it didn’t work out. Yes, agar flakes and powder will need different measurements. You would need to use a lot more of the flakes to make up the same amount as the powder. You need to use 3 x as much for the flakes, I believe. I haven’t made this recipe in years but you should definitely get a strong flavour from the rosewater. If you make it again, just add a bit more and perhaps some more sweetener if you like!
Perhaps you need to look at what rose water you are using? When you smell it does it have a strong perfume of roses? If not, I would find a better quality rose water as many cheaper versions are not made from real rose petals, but from chemicals.
Hi, I’m excited about this!! I’m making it right now :) please can u tell me how long this keeps for and where is it best stored? Ty ever so much for this amazing recipe! I’m making half with orange blossom water and half rose…I bet these would be awesome with violet water…I wonder if u can get it easy enough?
Turkish delight is one of my favourite treats which I haven’t enjoyed since I started eating clean. This is the first time I see a healthy recipe for this awsome dessert, thank you very much. It looks amazing!
Do you think I could use stevia instead of xylitol?
Thanks Chrisy! To be honest, I am not sure what to suggest for using Stevia… If your Stevia has instructions for substituting, like this: http://www.stevia.com/stevia_sugar_substitute.aspx then follow that (Xylitol is 1:1 with ordinary sugar, if that helps) and see how it turns out :-) Let me know if it works!
Thank you, Aimee. I found xylitol at Sainsbury’s today so will not need to substitute unless I decide to try and cut the calories :) It’s the agar powder which is proving difficult to find. I might need to order some online.
I know Waitrose does it and you can also find it in Holland & Barrett (or other health food shops) Good luck! :-)
I have found that xylitol makes me feel kinda sick – bloaty!
Hi Ginne, yeah, that’s not uncommon. Especially in higher amounts, it can cause digestive issues. Some are more sensitive to that. I can only handle small amounts, myself!
[email protected] says
We went to Istanbul in 2008 and I remember it was freezing out there but there were lots of beautiful mosques out there and of course, Turkish delights, we snacked on them a lot during our trip since there wasn’t nothing else vegan to eat besides vegetarian hummus and falafel. It wasn’t vegan-friendly at that time, and I imagine it is right now. I’m loving your dream Mediterranean inspired home ideas, I’m into decorative potteries, French doors, and lovely wall walls. My goodness, Aimee, I love your Turkish delights, they are absolutely smashing and radiant, I feel like I can smell the roses already.
Vicky and Ruth - May I Have That Recipe? says
Wow! I can’t believe you made these sugar and gluten free and vegan! They look fantastic! I love how you used natural colors too!!
Thanks! I was a little worried the beetroot powder might give a funny taste but it didn’t and it worked great!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Your Turkish Delight post is beautiful! I love all the color. It puts me in a mood to travel and see new adventures.
Me too! And the weather in England is really crap at the moment so I’m easily spirited away by photos of exotic places…
Katie @ Produce on Parade says
Whoa, these are gorgeous!!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
I’m finding it hard to get my head around the fact that not only did you make your own turkish delight, but you made it sugar-free. Honestly,this girl is a true culinary genius! ;-)
Can you believe that I lived in Athens for over a decade and never once visited Istanbul which is just a short hop away? My parents have visited though and tell me it’s a fascinating city.
P.S. Good luck in the competition. And, if you ever get that Mediterranean-inspired house, can I come to stay and have this turkish delight for breakfast?
Aw, you should make a visit next time. It’s on my list of top places to visit.. but there are lot’s on that list at the moment so who knows if I’ll ever get there! Anyway, thanks for the kind words Helen :-)
Alessandra // the foodie teen says
You’re definitely a genius.. turkish delight, sugar-free and vegan?! Wow!
Aw, shucks! Thanks Alessandra :-)
This rose water turkish delight sounds wonderful! And wow, your Pinterest board is stunning – I’ve never been to Istanbut but would definitely love to visit one day :)
I haven’t been to Istanbul, but I would love to visit! Your Pinterest board is so amazing!
[email protected] says
Your Pinterest Board is gorgeous! I would love to go to Instanbul. The architecture is amazing.
Istanbul and Turkey are on my must-visit list. We hope to make the trip sometime in the next few years. Until then…these turkish delights will have to satiate my craving. Thank you for sharing. Just beautiful!
Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist says
I have never been to Istanbul, although the colours remind me very much of parts of Morocco which was amazing. Beautifully vibrant! I am not big on Turkish Delight although will eat the odd piece every now and then. But it looks like you did a great job, especially making it sugar free too!
I’ve never been a great lover of Turkish Delight but my husband is! Not having been to Turkey, I think I’ve missed out a little! WOnderful recipe and photos Aimee!
Lauren Hairston says
I haven’t been to Istanbul, but my best friend visited there a couple of years ago. The photographs were amazing.
I’m one of those people who can spot non-sugar sweeteners (like aspartame or whatever Splenda is) from a mile off so I’ve been hesitant so far to try something with xylitol. Your Turkish Delight looks tempting, though!
We use xylitol all the time at our home, buying it in 50lb bags at a time. it is sure worth its weight in gold. It doesn’t have any aftertaste or lingering taste. you could easily use it to replace sugar and will not taste the difference. it combats bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. it is a sugar alcohol, and is best when derived from birch trees. it should not be clumped with scary saccharin or other artificial sweeteners. Give it a try! I think you will be surprised!
Nash Khan says
Aimée, I’ve been to Istanbul and it’s my favorite travel destination even tho’ I’ve been to loads of other places. :D Your post brought back so many memories! And I LOVE this homemade recreation of Turkish Delights, beautiful job <3
miss messy says
Sugar free! Wow that’s awesome! :) Love your board!
Aysegul - Ice says
As someone who is from Turkey, I have to say, my hat is off to you!
I couldn’t even imagine trying to make Turkish Delight and yet you made it gluten-free and vegan.
I am sharing this right now on my personal FB with all my family and friends.
When it comes to inspiration, I am big on burgundy and gold colors. Mainly for authentic, Ottoman jewelry. In terms of home decor, I love those tones overall in the house.
Great post. You should be proud of yourself!