Turkish Delight & My Cunard Competition Entry

Turkish Delight {Vegan, Sugar-free, Gluten-free} LoveChicLiving.co.uk and TheSwelleLife.com are hosting a competition with Cunard, challenging bloggers to create a mood board on Pinterest of Mediterranean-inspired decor and homeware. Looking through Cunard’s list of Mediterranean destinations really got me in the holiday mood and the place that most took my fancy was Istanbul, Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. It’s beautiful architecture, tile work and mixture of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences make wonderful inspiration for home decorating.

I was also inspired to recreate a classic Turkish treat… Turkish delight! This version is sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan friendly. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to get the recipe.

When I think of Istanbul, I think of vivid blues and turquoise, golds and oranges, beautiful patterns, tile work and lot’s of lanterns. All of these things can be brought into your own home and the mood board above shows some of my favourite photos, products and ideas for recreating Istanbul’s style at home. Cunard Competition: Istanbul Inspiration Istanbul’s architecture really reflect it’s history and the peoples that once ruled the city. As a “cultural and ethnic melting pot” it hosts lot’s of beautiful, historic mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces and castles. Cunard Competition: Istanbul Inspiration For my dream Med-inspired home: My kitchen would be tiled and filled with beautifully coloured and patterned crockery and glassware to serve on silver plated trays. I’d have a lemon and orange tree by the back door and outside I would have hanging lanterns and decorative pottery. My room would be an oasis with white walls, a wooden bed, embroidered linen, patterned throws and cushions, voile curtains to let in lot’s of light from the French doors with a balcony, overlooking the garden. The bathroom would be beautifully tiled with golden faucets, lot’s of Turkish towels, candles and hanging plants. Downstairs would be open plan with natural wooden floors, covered in rugs, white sofas, big comfy patterned cushions and poufs, lanterns, colourful wall hangings and accessories dotted around. I’d hang lot’s of ornate silver and gold mirrors to let in more light. Cunard Competition: Istanbul Inspiration Have you visited Istanbul? What Mediterranean inspirations would you bring into your home? Now for the recipe… This classic Turkish confectionary flavoured with rose water has been given a makeover to make it sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan and naturally coloured. See the recipe below!

       Turkish Delight {Vegan, Sugar-free, Gluten-free}     Turkish Delight {Vegan, Sugar-free, Gluten-free}

5.0 from 4 reviews
Sugar-free Turkish Delight
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A beautiful rose-scented treat made sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free.
Serves: 10
  • 800ml water
  • 80g / ⅔ cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
  • 4 tbsp agar powder
  • 150g / ¾ cup xylitol
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder or juice (for colouring)
  • 1½ tbsp rose water
For dusting:
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 4 tbsp xylitol
  1. Mix 100ml of the water with the arrowroot powder in a bowl and set aside for later. Line a small tin with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly. Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.




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  1. 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!

    Aysegul – Ice recently posted…Baked Crunchy Blackberry OatmealMy Profile

  2. 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!
    Lauren Hairston recently posted…Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose GardenMy Profile

    • Laura says

      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!

  3. 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!
    Kate – Gluten Free Alchemist recently posted…The Best Battenberg Cake I Have Ever Tasted (& It’s Gluten Free) – made with home-made marzipanMy Profile

  4. says

    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 :)

  5. 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?
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane recently posted…Sticky lemon curd & blueberry cakeMy Profile

    • says

      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 :-)

  6. 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.

  7. Chrisy says

    Hi Aimée,

    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?

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