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overhead shot of turkish candied pumpkin on a plate with yogurt and pomegranate

Turkish Candied Pumpkin

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 11 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe for Turkish Candied Pumpkin (kabak tatlısı) is inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern dessert. Cut squash is cooked with sugar until it becomes a taffy-like sweet treat. Try it in place of pumpkin pie one day and see what you think!


  • 1 small to medium sugar/pie pumpkin  (23 lbs, 1kg)
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • To serve: optional tahini, yogurt, chopped walnuts


  1. Using a sharp knife, begin by slicing the stem and bottom stamp off of your pumpkin. Halve the pumpkin and scrap out the seeds with a spoon or fork.  Slice pumpkin halves into into 1-2 inch (3-5 cm) wide wedges. Add to a large casserole dish and sprinkle with all of the sugar, tossing to combine. Cover the dish and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, you will see that the sugar has begun to dissolve. Toss with a spoon once more, cover, and let rest overnight (10-12 hours). 
  3. The next morning, preheat the over to 350 degrees F/180 C. The pumpkin will have released all of its juices and be more fragile at this stage. Cover the baking dish (with a lid or with foil).
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Every 20 minutes or so during the baking process, carefully spoon sugar syrup back over any exposed pieces of squash. This will help them cook more evenly. One finished cooking, remove from oven and let cool completely in the dish. During this stage, the jammy texture of the pumpkin will set in. 
  5. Once fully cooled, serve pumpkin slices with toppings of choice. It is naturally very sweet so I encourage you to try more tart fixings such as plain yogurt or tahini. 


Nutrition information calculated with 1 cup sugar (as you will not be eating all of the syrup) and without optional toppings

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Resting time: 10 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Turkish


  • Serving Size: One eighth of recipe
  • Calories: 126.8 grams
  • Sugar: 28.1 grams
  • Sodium: 1.8 milligrams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 32.3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.7 grams
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams