I've never made Turkish Delight. I've been looking at recipes and I've seen some using cornstarch and others using gelatine. As these two ingredients are completely different binding agents, the question arises which to use?

On the one hand, gelatine is easier for me, on the other hand I think cornstarch is more authentic (not sure about that).

The reason gelatine is easier for me, is that the cornstarch recipes call for cream of tartar and that's a bit difficult to obtain in Spain. I'll try to find it in a drug-store.

  • I've also seen a recipe with agar agar... Aug 1, 2012 at 18:05
  • Realize I'm commenting on an ancient question, but cream of tartar is just an acid, and in this case probably is only included to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing, in which case it can be left out completely or replaced by a little lemon juice or vinegar.
    – kitukwfyer
    Jul 24, 2017 at 3:38

2 Answers 2


If you want to make real Turkish delight, use cornstarch and only cornstarch. Nowhere on the Balkan have I seen a gelatine-thickened Turkish delight. No Turkish person will recognize a gelatine-thickened candy as lokum. I would go as far as to insist that aromatzied sugar syrup+gelatine = gummi bear, while aromatized sugar syrup+cornstarch = Turkish delight, although some people will feel that this is pedantic.

Beside authenticity, gelatine-containing recipes are prone to weeping, I have seen questions about that around here.

Bottom line: I would always make it with cornstarch. This doesn't mean that candy made with gelatine can't be tasty; it is just that if you want what you get in a Turkish shop, you can't do it with gelatine.

  • 1
    Completely agree. It also means that your vegetarian friends can eat it. Gelatine based Turkish Delight doesn't taste or feel the same in the mouth. Its just not the same thing. Mind you I have had trouble with the cornstarch not setting. Aug 1, 2012 at 22:56
  • 1
    Semantics aside, the thermoreversibility of gelatin (at mouth temperature) will make for a very different outcome from corn starch. Agar-agar is actually much closer if you're looking to avoid starches.
    – Aaronut
    Jun 16, 2013 at 18:34

I checked out this site before eating some Turkish delight that a friend brought home from Istanbul for us but... I checked with the actual company that produces it and they said they contain gelatine. This is from a very well-known candy producer in the area and they also have non-gelatine, but I was very sad to have already eaten much of it before receiving their response and being sad about it. So for the record: even extremely authentic, traditional and well-appreciated Turkish delight can contain gelatine. Eater beware!

  • 1
    You are not answering the question 'what to use?'
    – user34961
    Jul 23, 2017 at 17:22

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