Güllaç: A Delicate Turkish Dessert


A Turkish dessert called “Güllaç” (pronounced as “gull-ach”). Güllaç is a traditional Turkish dessert made from layers of very thin pastry sheets known as “phyllo” or “yufka,” milk, sugar, and rosewater. It is typically prepared during the holy month of Ramadan and is a popular dessert for special occasions and celebrations in Turkey.

The dessert is known for its light, sweet, and fragrant flavour. It’s often garnished with pomegranate seeds or crushed pistachios. Güllaç is particularly favoured for its refreshing and delicate taste, which makes it a wonderful treat, especially during warm weather.

Güllaç, a delectable Turkish dessert, is a treat that combines rich history, tradition, and exquisite taste. This article provides a comprehensive look at Güllaç, including its origin, tradition, history, ingredients, preparation, recipe, uses, nutritional aspects, and potential advantages and disadvantages.


Güllaç is a traditional Turkish dessert with a long history that can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire. Its origins are believed to date to the Ottoman period, where it was a popular dessert enjoyed by the royal court and the common people alike. The name “Güllaç” is derived from the Persian word “gol” (meaning “rose”) due to the common use of rosewater in the preparation, which gives the dessert its distinctive aroma.

The dessert has been a part of Turkish and Ottoman cuisine for centuries. It has become an integral part of cultural and culinary traditions, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Over time, it has evolved and taken on different variations and regional influences, but it remains a beloved and enduring Turkish dessert with strong historical ties to the Ottoman era.


The history of Güllaç is closely tied to the Ottoman Empire and the development of Turkish cuisine. Güllaç has a long and storied history, and its roots can be traced back to ancient Anatolia. Here’s a brief overview of its history:

1- Ancient Origins: The use of thin sheets of dough in desserts can be traced back to ancient times, and it was a common practice in various cuisines, including Persian and Middle Eastern. This culinary practice likely influenced the development of Güllaç.

2- Ottoman Era: Güllaç, as we know it today, began to take shape during the Ottoman period. The Ottomans are known for their rich and diverse culinary traditions, and they incorporated elements from various regions they ruled into their cuisine. Güllaç was one such dessert that evolved during this period.

3- Royal and Common Cuisine: Güllaç was enjoyed by both the Ottoman royalty and the common people. Its association with the use of rosewater and its delicate, refreshing taste made it a prized dessert. It was often served during festive occasions, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan.

4- Religious Significance: Güllaç holds particular importance during Ramadan. It is believed that the dessert’s light and easily digestible nature made it a suitable choice for breaking the fast. It’s customary for Turkish families to prepare and enjoy Güllaç during the month of Ramadan.

5- Continuation of Tradition: Despite the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the tradition of making and enjoying it has persisted in Turkey and among Turkish communities worldwide. It remains a beloved and culturally significant dessert in Turkish cuisine.

Güllaç’s enduring popularity is a testament to its unique blend of history, culture, and culinary tradition. It’s not only a delicious dessert but also a symbol of Turkish heritage and the legacy of the Ottoman Empire in the realm of cuisine.


Güllaç is made using a relatively simple set of ingredients, and its distinctive flavour and texture come from the combination of these elements. The basic ingredients for Güllaç include:

Yufka (Phyllo) Sheets: Yufka is a type of thin pastry sheet used as the base for Güllaç. These sheets are typically soaked in a sweetened, flavored liquid, which softens them.

Milk: Milk is used to create the sweetened liquid that the yufka sheets are soaked in. This liquid imparts creaminess to the dessert.

Sugar: Sugar is a key sweetening ingredient. It’s added to the milk to create a sweet milk mixture that the yufka sheets absorb.

Rosewater: Rosewater is a distinctive flavoring in Güllaç. It gives the dessert its characteristic floral aroma. Be sure to use rosewater sparingly, as it can be quite potent.

Pomegranate Seeds or Crushed Pistachios (for garnish): Güllaç is often garnished with pomegranate seeds or crushed pistachios, which add both visual appeal and a delightful texture and flavour contrast.

Additional ingredients, such as a pinch of cinnamon or sugar, may be added for extra flavour. Still, the core components of yufka sheets, milk, sugar, and rosewater are essential for creating the traditional Güllaç.

Making and Recipe:

Here’s a basic recipe for making Güllaç, a traditional Turkish dessert:


  • 12-15 sheets of yufka (phyllo dough)
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of rosewater (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of crushed pistachios or pomegranate seeds (for garnish)


1. Prepare the Milk Mixture:

  • In a large saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
    Place the saucepan over medium heat and heat the milk mixture, but do not allow it to come to a boil. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
  • Once the milk is heated and the sugar is fully dissolved, remove it from the heat. Stir in the rosewater, starting with 1 tablespoon and adjusting to your taste. Rosewater can be quite potent, so add it gradually.

2. Assemble the Güllaç:

  • Carefully unfold the yufka sheets and cut them to fit the size of your serving dish.
  • Place one yufka sheet at the bottom of a serving dish. You can use a rectangular, square, or round dish, but a rectangular one is traditional.
  • Spoon a small amount of the milk mixture over the yufka sheet to moisten it, but don’t soak it. It should soften but not become soggy.
  • Continue layering yufka sheets and moistening each one with the milk mixture. Alternate between yufka and milk mixture until you’ve used up all the sheets.

3. Chill and Set:

  • Place the assembled Güllaç in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight for the best results. The milk mixture will be absorbed by the yufka, creating a pudding-like texture.

4. Garnish and Serve:

  • Once the Güllaç has set, garnish it with crushed pistachios or pomegranate seeds. These add both flavor and visual appeal.
  • Cut into squares or rectangles and serve. Güllaç is traditionally served cold and is a perfect dessert, especially during the summer months.

Remember that Güllaç is a delicate dessert, and it’s important not to oversaturate the yufka sheets with the milk mixture. The layers should be soft but not mushy. Enjoy this delightful Turkish dessert with its unique blend of flavours and textures!


Güllaç, the traditional Turkish dessert made from yufka (phyllo dough), milk, sugar, and rosewater, is primarily enjoyed as a sweet treat. Here are its primary uses:

Dessert: Güllaç is most commonly served as a dessert. Its light, delicate, and subtly sweet taste, with the hint of rosewater, makes it a perfect way to conclude a meal or enjoy as a sweet treat. It’s especially popular during the holy month of Ramadan when it’s often served to break the fast.

Celebrations: Güllaç is a popular dessert for special occasions and celebrations in Turkey. It’s frequently prepared for weddings, engagements, and other festive gatherings. The delicate and elegant appearance of Güllaç makes it suitable for such events.

Ramadan: As mentioned, Güllaç holds particular significance during the month of Ramadan. It is often featured in traditional iftar (the meal to break the fast) menus and is cherished for its light and easily digestible nature.

Cultural and Culinary Heritage: Güllaç is a cultural icon in Turkish cuisine. It represents the rich history and culinary traditions of the region, particularly during the Ottoman era. Its preparation and enjoyment continue to be a part of Turkish cultural heritage.

Refreshing Summer Dessert: Güllaç is particularly popular during hot summer months due to its light and refreshing qualities. The cool and creamy texture, combined with the aromatic rosewater, makes it a delightful choice for a summer dessert.

Variations and Creative Uses: While the traditional Güllaç recipe is well-loved, some people enjoy experimenting with variations by adding different toppings, such as fresh fruit, honey, or other nuts. Güllaç can also be used as a base for creative dessert presentations.

It is primarily used as a dessert, especially during special occasions, Ramadan, and hot weather due to its refreshing qualities. It is a symbol of Turkish culinary tradition and is appreciated for its unique combination of flavours and textures.

Nutritional Aspects:

The nutritional values of Güllaç can vary based on the specific recipe and serving size. Here are approximate nutritional values for a typical serving of Güllaç, which is usually a square or portion of the dessert:

Calories: A typical serving of Güllaç (approximately 100 grams) can have around 150-200 calories, with variations depending on ingredients and portion size.

Protein: Güllaç is not a significant source of protein, typically providing less than 2 grams per serving.

Carbohydrates: The primary source of calories in Güllaç comes from carbohydrates. A serving may contain around 30-40 grams of carbohydrates.

Sugar: Güllaç is relatively high in sugar due to its sweetened milk mixture. A serving can contain 15-25 grams of sugar or more, depending on the recipe and sweetening.

Fat: Güllaç is generally low in fat, with only minimal amounts coming from the phyllo dough and the milk. A serving typically contains 2-4 grams of fat.

Fiber: Güllaç is not a significant source of dietary fiber, as it’s primarily composed of thin phyllo sheets and milk.

Vitamins and Minerals: Güllaç is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, as it’s primarily a dessert made from milk and pastry sheets. However, it may contain small amounts of calcium and some B vitamins from the milk.

It’s essential to note that these nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on the specific recipe and how the dessert is prepared. Güllaç is a sweet treat and should be enjoyed in moderation, particularly due to its sugar content. If you have specific dietary concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s a good idea to adjust the ingredients or serving size to meet your nutritional needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Güllaç, like many desserts, has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to its impact on health. Here’s a breakdown of its potential health pros and cons:


  1. Cultural Significance: Güllaç is deeply rooted in Turkish culture and traditions. Enjoying it can be a way to connect with Turkish heritage and participate in cultural celebrations, especially during Ramadan and special occasions.
  2. Source of Quick Energy: Güllaç provides a quick energy boost due to its carbohydrate content. This can be helpful when you need a burst of energy.
  3. Dairy-Based Calcium: The milk used in this dessert is a good source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
  4. Taste and Enjoyment: Güllaç is a delicious and unique dessert appreciated for its light, delicate, and subtly sweet taste with a hint of rosewater. It can be a delightful treat to enjoy on special occasions.
  5. Social Bonding: Sharing Güllaç with family and friends during celebrations or gatherings can promote social bonding and a sense of togetherness.
  6. Variations and Creativity: Güllaç can be customized with different garnishes and creative toppings to suit your taste. You can experiment with various fruits, nuts, or syrups to make it even more enjoyable.


  1. High in Sugar: Güllaç is typically high in sugar, which can contribute to weight gain and may have adverse effects on health if consumed in excess. Excessive sugar intake can lead to issues like obesity and dental problems.
  2. Low in Nutrients: While Güllaç offers some calcium from the milk, it is generally low in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  3. Caloric Density: Güllaç is relatively calorie-dense for its portion size due to the use of sugar and milk, which can contribute to weight gain if not consumed in moderation.
  4. Potential Lactose Content: Güllaç contains dairy milk, which can be problematic for individuals who are lactose intolerant.
  5. Rosewater Sensitivity: Some people may be sensitive to or dislike the flavour of rosewater, which is a key component of Güllaç.
  6. Phyllo Dough (Yufka): The phyllo dough used in it is thin and can be high in carbohydrates and calories. While it’s a traditional element of the dessert, it can contribute to the overall caloric content.


Güllaç, a delicate Turkish dessert, is a culinary treasure deeply embedded in the country’s culture and traditions. This traditional treat, known for its light, subtly sweet taste and fragrant aroma of rosewater, has both cultural significance and unique flavours that make it a beloved part of Turkish cuisine. While it offers a taste of tradition and cultural bonding, it’s essential to enjoy Güllaç in moderation due to its high sugar content and calorie density. Whether savouring it during special occasions, sharing it with loved ones, or indulging in its refreshing qualities on a hot summer day, Güllaç embodies the rich history and heritage of Turkish culinary art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *