Turkish Delight Cake
Thanks to a recent Chronicles of Narnia themed school party (and signing up to bring a dessert), I was inspired to create this “Turkish Delight Cake”. But I can’t take all of the creative credit – here’s how it went down:
Me (to David) : “Can you think of a Chronicles of Narnia themed dessert?”
—one-quarter of a second passes—
David : “Sure (in the tone of ‘duh’) — Turkish Delight”
Me : “Duh – why didn’t I think of that?”
Me : “What is Turkish Delight?”
David : “Um?” while shoulder shrugging
Me : “I’ll just ask Google”
After doing a little research I came to understand that Turkish Delight is a nougat, meringue, whipped cream type dessert with dried fruit and nuts. There seems to be a broad spectrum of desserts within the “Turkish Delight” category so I felt I could easily take some liberties and turn it into a sheet cake for a Chronicles of Narnia party.
So here’s what I did ::
I used my favorite basic sheet cake recipe and added 3 key ingredients
- chopped pistachios
- frozen dark sweet cherries
- sweetened coconut flakes
In addition to these extras, I added 1 T vanilla, 1 t almond extract and 3 drops of red food coloring.
It was about this time that I have a quick convo with my 6th grader ((who’d be taking this to the Chronicles of Narnia party)). “Shep – there’s nuts and fruit and coconut in this cake. I know kids don’t really like fruit and nuts in cake but it’s “Turkish Delight” and that’s what’s in “Turkish Delight”. After a few licks of the batter he was satisfied that the taste was in fact — delightful.
Once the cake was baked through, I topped it with a simple stove-top buttercream and a sprinkle of pistachios and coconut to serve almost as a warning to any unsuspecting 12 year olds.
I think this version of my infinitely flexible sheet cake is my most favorite yet! The classic moist sheet cake is speckled with pistachios, cherries and coconut flakes. The nuts add a slightly salty crunch layered with the texture and sweetness of coconut flakes and tart bits of chopped dark cherries. It’s a delightful mouthful!
- 1½ c water
- 3 sticks butter (1½ c), I prefer salted butter
- 3 c sugar
- ¾ sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 3 c flour
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1½ t baking soda
- 1 c chopped frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 c packed sweetened coconut flakes
- ½ - 1 c chopped pistachio nuts
- 1 T vanilla
- 1 t almond extract
- 3 drops of red food coloring (optional)
- 1 stick butter, salted
- ½ c milk
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 t vanilla
- ½ t almond extract
- Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare a 12" x 17" cake pan* by spraying with nonstick spray.
- In a medium saucepan, combine water and butter, bring to boil and remove from flame.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk eggs in a small bowl.
- Once butter and water has come to a boil, remove from flame and add sour cream (stirring to combine).
- Add one third of the flour and egg to the butter mixture, stir to incorporate and add remaining flour and egg in thirds, stirring to completely combine.
- Add cherries, coconut and pistachios along with vanilla and almond extract (and red food coloring if desired), reserving 1 T pistachios and coconut flakes for garnish.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until the center is set. At 25 minutes, gently jiggle the rack to see if the center of the cake is set, if not continue baking until the center no longer jiggles.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the buttercream by adding milk and butter to a medium saucepan. Over medium flame, bring the milk and butter to a boil. Once boiling, remove from flame, add powdered sugar, salt and vanilla & almond extract. Stir vigorously. If buttercream is too thick to pour, add a few extra tablespoons of milk to reach a pourable consistency.
- When cake is finished baking, remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before pouring the buttercream over the cake**.
- Top with 1 T of chopped pistachios and coconut flakes for garnish.
- Serves 20
- *a 9" x 13" will work but baking time will need to be increased.
- **if the buttercream has cooled while waiting for the cake to cool, reheat the buttercream over medium flame for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.