Almost Turkish Recipes

Turkish Pumpkin Dessert (Kabak Tatlısı)

Pumpkin dessert is a very easy-to-make popular and traditional recipe. If you don't have a big company, you can use butternut squash in stead of pumpkin.
pumpkin or butternut squash
4-5 cloves
crushed walnuts
The ratio of pumpkin to sugar is 1 to 1/2. I used 3 cups of squash and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Peel the pumpkin, cut it into big chunks, and put in a pot. Put sugar on and let it sit over night. It will release water, so you don't need to add water when you're cooking it. The next day, add 4-5 cloves in to the pot and cook on medium until the pumpkin is soft, approximately 30 minutes. Let it cool and garnish with walnuts or grated coconut.

For an Irish touch, serve with Guinness.


  1. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Mmm... I love pumpkin too. It's naturally sweet and creamy. A gift from God for all dessert lovers :)

  2. some great favourites here. do you happen to know how to make the other variety of kabak tatlisi (i think it's gaziantep style) where the outside is hardened and the inside soft and syrupy? i was once told that it is done by treating the pumpkin slices with bicarbonate soda, but not sure. i've looked around on the internet for a recipe but no luck so far.

  3. Merhaba Ozan,
    I think that style of kabak tatlisi is from Antakya. They treat pumpkin slices with lime powder (kirec) dissolved in water, which makes the outer parts harder. I had seen a "kirecli kabak tatlisi" recipe in Turkish Airlines' Skylife magazine last year when I was flying back home. You might want to try googling skylife+kirec+kabak
    good luck

  4. Anonymous11:18 AM

    I really hate pumpkin, I prefer something like these easy dessert recipes...Sorry, you have great different recipes, but the only thing that I cannot imagine in dessert is pumpkin:)

  5. Anonymous4:06 AM

    Am trying this today using the slow cooker. Will let you all know the results.

  6. Anonymous11:55 AM

    The slow cooker technique was most successful. I put the butternut squash and sugar, reduced by half, into the slow cooker bowl overnight. Then I cooked it at HIGH for 1 hour and at LOW for 2 hours. Each squash chunk was creamy soft and sweet enough for our taste, as was the syrup. I toasted the walnuts and added a dollop of whipped cream on the side. This is a delicious dessert. Thank you, burcu!

    N.B. My husband loved it too!!

  7. Anonymous11:56 AM

    That last "anonymous" was me . . .

  8. I am cooking pumpkin dessert today, but in the oven. I will cook it in the oven. Once I have tried it, the result was perfect...

  9. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Hi Burcu,
    I didn't know you could use butternut squash & have the same result as in Kabak Tatlisi in Turkey. I tried one type of pumpkin a while a go, it didn't taste the same. I will try butternut squash. Thanks!

  10. Anonymous12:05 PM

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  11. I had that in Antalya, but they had tahini between the pumpkin and walnuts. I made it like so here and is really good.

  12. Anonymous7:50 AM

    Hi, I had this desert in a restaurant near Sogucak (Kusadasi) but it was served with what I think was a sesame sauce , it was absolutely delicious - does anyone know where I might get a recipe for this sauce? Thanks, T

  13. Dear Anonymous, what you had in Kusadasi is called Antalya style pumpkin dessert and the sauce over the pumpkin dessert is tahini. Most of the time, the store bought tahini is mixed well and poured over the dessert. However, couple of times I had the sauce mixed with sugary syrup (syrup of equal parts of sugar and water boiled until thick). Hope this helps.

  14. Anonymous5:26 PM

    I have seen this recipe made with heavy cream. How would you do that so that it is the right temperature?

  15. I just came back from 2 weeks in Istanbul and had an amazing pumpkin dessert and wanted to try making it at home. Your recipe was excellent and it turned out great. I used butternut squash because I only wanted to try a small quantity. I actually put the whole cloves and two cinnamon sticks in the pot overnight and it worked out well. Thanks. I'm looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  16. There is different kind of pumpkins in USA. What kind of pumpkin should I use?


  17. Anonymous6:06 AM

    Not a fan of pumpkin, but I absolutely love this dessert. Thanks for the recipe.