Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Friday, October 28, 2005


Sekerpare - click to enlarge
250 ml unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup semolina
2 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
20 blanched almond

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Boil the syrup ingredients for 15 minutes and put aside. Let it cool down.

Combine the butter with powdered sugar, add the egg yolks and mix well with your hands. Now, pour in the semolina, then very slowly add the flour (otherwise the mixture will clump). You will end up with very soft and light colored dough. Cover it with plastic wrap, put aside for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Make 16 small balls and place on a tray. Lightly press on their tops. Put an almond on the center of each Sekerpare. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until they are light brown.

With a tablespoon, pour warm syrup over hot (freshly) baked Sekerpare. Repeat this a few times and let them soak with the syrup for about 10-15 minutes. Then with a spatula remove them from the syrup and place on a service plate. After cooling, cover them with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Sekerpare is best served cold and is a traditional Turkish dessert.



At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well once again another perfect dish you have to be the best cook God ever made because now im the second thanks to you

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Your words made me really happy, thank you very much:)

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love your web site!! I love Turkish cuisine and you have made it so easy to make at home!!My turkish husband is so happy now and my mother-in-law is impressed I am learning Turkish cooking!!! Thanks

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

You're very welcome:) I hope everyone who tries my dishes enjoys them as much as we do.. Thanks for your comment:)
Take care,

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I enjoy the recipes you post very much. I specifically brought Irmik back from Turkey last time to make sekerpare and was concerned when my cookbook didn't indicate it as an ingredient. So I used your recipe (which other than the Irmik was the exact same) but ended up with grainy and very floury sekerpare. They didn't taste anything like the light fluffy ones we always buy at the stores in Turkey. Any ideas on the complications? They looked good - just like they should - but tasted different - not bad just different (my husband will eat them all I am sure). Any ideas on how to adjust the recipe?

Thanks you - and I really love your site!

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

As I know it, Sekerpare has irmik. But there's a difference between
Turkish irmik and Canadian irmik:) For me it was pretty difficult to
adjust the ingredients of Turkish to Canadian ingredients. I think you
should use less Turkish irmik for Sekerpare. And I'm glad you liked my

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Very very impressed by your site and the recipes. I just tried to make sekerpare...once in the oven the balls expanded into flat rectangular shapes, joint together. The texture is too soft, it is falling apart. What do you think caused it? Should I use less butter?

Thank u

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


By 'powder sugar' do you mean icing sugar (like powder) or do you mean caster sugar? I ask because another recipe read 'caster sugar'.


At 9:53 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I wish I could know why the balls extended in the oven! Don't change
the amount on any ingredient, because it should be fine. Maybe the
heat of the oven was too low, I'm sorry, I really don't know.. This is
the recipe I always use..
And yes, icing sugar is powdered sugar.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Did you preheat the oven? The dough will have melted if you didn't..

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which dough did you use? self- raising flour or plain flour? If plain one what is the difference betwee it and all purpose flour? :S

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I use all purpose flour. I indicate if I use self-raising flour:) You don't need to use baking powder if you use self-raising one.

At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very amazing that in India we have a sweet widely known as SHAKARPARA eaten on festivities.Which is made out of exactly same ingredients.Some regions make it with Syrup and some people simply sprinkle powdred sugar on the sweet.No doubt the Arab culture has brought wonders to Indian gastronomy!!! -Onkar,India

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Onkar,
It is nice to know that traditional Turkish dessert Sekerpare is known in India. As you know Turks and Arabs are different as far as the roots, language, traditions and cultures are concerned:)
Take care,

At 1:39 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Binnur, thanks for the recipe. I am not a Turk but want to surprise my Turkish friends by making Sekerpare; however, i don't know what Semolina is. if i don't have semolina, what should i replace by. thank you very much. Could you answer me ASAP since i will prepare it tomorrow.Tran,Vietnam

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Tran,
Semolina is a coarse flour used to make breads and puddings.
Sekerpare has to have semolina, sorry:) Would you like to make another dessert for your friends.....take care.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur! I am moving to Turkey in a few months and I thought it would be nice to make a Turkish dessert for my family so we could all get a taste of Turkish culture. I made Sekerpare using your recipe and it turned out great! At least it tasted good, I haven't had any Turkish food before so I'm not sure if it came out right, but we liked it anyway! Thank you for the recipe!

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

an I use Cream of Wheat for samolina, and caster sugar instead of powdered?

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

No, you can't:)

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BismiLlahi arRahmani arRahim.
Congratulations for your web site and for your recipes, very interesting!! ;-)
I want to ask help, please: in Italy we usually use the "gram" as unit of weight. So I'd like to know, how many grams are aproximately "a cup"? Because I want to try some of your this sweet!! I think I will like it!! ;-)
Thank you so much!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Mujahida,
Thank you:) One cup is equal to 250 ml. I have a measurement section on the left side of the website, please check it there.
Take care,

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BismiLlahi arRahmani arRahim.
Thank you so much!! Ops...I didn't see it, before!!! Sorry!! It's very useful, because every country has a different unit of weight.
Thank you! :-D

At 7:39 PM, Blogger flanbo85 said...

These are the best cookies ever and one of the foods I missed the most after leaving Istanbul. Thanks!

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Nermin said...

Selam Binnur,

these cookies look amazing... I'm going to try them soon Insha'Allah... I remember when I was last in Turkey they had these cookies and then the same ones but (I assume) with cocoa powder in? Do you know how I'd make the cocoa powder ones as well? Thanks in advance!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Selam Nermin,
I think what you are asking is Un Kurabiyesi (Turkish Shortbread). I've already posted the recipe under the Cakes & Cookies section. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top instead of powdered sugar:)

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love sekerpare! I made an attempt using this recipe. Not bad for a first try by a complete amateur. The only problem: they came out more like a hard, flat cookie than a soft voluptuous cake. What did I do wrong?
Please note, the ingredients list includes baking powder (misspelled) but it is never mention in the instructions.
Çok Teşekkur edirim

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I think they are over baked.
Almost every oven has different settings. You may need to adjust the time or heat. A little bit less baking time or a little bit less heat:)

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, I looked in the supermarket for semolina but only found semolina flavor, can i make it with that too? Its very fine compare to the semolina i saw in turkey...

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Halima,
I hope it will be fine, give it a try:)

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

meraba. bu tatliyi yapmaya calisicam. londrada yasiorum. burda butter is sold in grams. 250ml butter ne kadar gram oldugunu biliomusunuz? thank you!

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

250 ml butter = 250 gr butter

At 3:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi the powdered sugar would be iceing sugar wouldnt it ??

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Powdered sugar = Icing sugar = Confectioner's sugar

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I tried to make shekerpare, but i didn't have semolina, so i used just regular flour. It came out very good, of course the taste was a little bit different, but still good ))) I also added some coconut flakes..

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Albania and this is so far my favorite dessert that my mom makes.Every time I try making them I make a mess and i end up throwing them away.
Seeing the picture makes my mouth watery.
We use corn flour instead of semolina which i think is kind of the same.
Thnx for this page as I mostly cook Turkish recipes!

At 3:05 AM, Blogger Sam goldsmith said...

This recipe is so wonderful! Thank you for posting it in English. I'm an American living in Istanbul and I'm so glad I can take the knowledge of şekerpare home with me. I also really like your Ayva Tatlısı recipe. Thanks so much!

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in Stockholm may I taste your Sekerpare?

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Kirsty said...

Great Recipe!! Tasted soooo yummy just like what u get in Turkiye! The only thing is mine also went flat and didnt rise up :( Should i add a bit more Baking powder? Going to try again tonight, Your Website really is fantastic Binnur my husband and family are so Impressed with my cooking skiils now :)

Cok Tesekurler :D

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Kirsty,
I think the reason is you used the cold egg yolks right from the fridge. The egg yolks should be brought to room temperature first.
And also the oven should be pre-heated:)

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone still confused over the semolina and cream of wheat, etc., you can use Farina. They are essentially the same with Farina having a finer texture than semolina, and many of these cookies and cakes from the region that require a "syrup" do use farina and semolina interchangeably in their recipes. Hope this helps you find what you need!

At 3:05 AM, Anonymous Lilli said...

Hi Binnur,
İ have made your recipe and was perfect!
(To keep the right shape i have found is better to refrigerate 15' before to put in the preheated oven.)


At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made them yesterday they came out soooo yummy, only one problem I had as I read someone else had... the texture of my sekerpare was way too soft n they all were falling apart.... wish I knew why.... Although Im soo grateful for your site n ur recipes. Godbless you!

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Leyla said...

These came out really delicious. Somebody asked about semolina : I ran out of it, so I substituted a mix of Indian / Pakistani soji and some imrik-- farina? It was like cream of wheat, but beige. These things are easy to find if there's an indo- pak or Iranian grocery around.
Special message for Jewish people celebrating Passover : these can be made with 1 c matza cake flour and 1/2 c ground almonds substituted for the hametz.
I made them and they were good.

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Selam Binnur,thanks to you every single dish,dessert,pastry has been coming out great an I am speechless,great website,sevgilerimle Selen !!

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Tulay said...

ilk kez sekerpare pisirdim ve harika oldular. olculer cok yerinde, ellerinize saglik. sadece metinde kabartma tozunu ekle demeyi unutmussunuz, ben de cok yemek yapan biri olmadigimdan kendiligimden dusunemedim, hamuru hazirladiktan sonra aklima geldi, kattim kabartma tozunu. neyse ki bir sorun cikmadi, guzelce kabardilar (: sitenizi yeni kesfettim, bu tarif bu kadar guzel olduktan sonra bolca bakarim buraya artik. tekrar ellerinize saglik

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Tulay, kabartma tozunu hatirlattigin icin cok tesekkur ederim, eklemeyi yaptim:) Tatliyi begenmene sevindim, umarim diger deneyecegin tarifleri de seversin:)

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use Cream of Wheat in the place of semolina quite often, especially in baked desserts and irmik problem! You just have to make sure it isn't the instant variety (that you would cook with just hot water for an instant breakfast).

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi binnur,
You mentioned in a previous comment that icing sugar can be used. Only castor sugar should be used. Icing sugar is way too sweet for this recipe. All it needs is half a cup of sugar, 1 cup is way too much. Icing sugar will make them turn out very hard, which is why many others here are having that problem. Also the syrup should only be poured on when the cookies are hot and when the syrup is cold.

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Eylem said...


I love sekerpare, but somehow never can manage to make it. I read the recipe and assuming I had everything at home started baking away. I made the syrup and realized that butter was in the freezer (I keep the baking butter in the freezer) so took out 2 sticks of butter and decided to defrost them in the micro since I did not want to wait forever. As I put them in the bowl, I realized they were salted butter sticks and I had no unsalted. In that case I figured I would substitute one of the sticks (125gr) with olive oil (error #1). Then I put the butter in the micro and hit defrost. I am not a pro microwave user, so had no clue when to take it out, I was just hoping it will soften, well it melted (error #2), I took it out and put it back in the freezer hoping it would solidify. At this point anyone else would give up, but I did not:) I am determined to fail. Well of course I had no patience to wait, so I took butter out, mixed with olive oil (what I thought to be the right amount, didn't even care to weigh) added sugar and egg yolk (as I am typing this I realized I used only 1 egg yolk, not 2), so this is error #3.

Then I found out that I had just a bit of semolina, a bit less than 1/3 cups, so I added that to my very mushy mixture. Then I started adding flour, by the time I added 1 cup mixture was pretty cohesive, however I persisted to add 1.5 cups (error #4), at the end it was just a crumbly mixture. Of course it was impossible to make anything of it, so I decided to add more olive oil (error #5), did not help... Then I figured maybe it will clump together if I let it sit. I scraped the mixture into plastic film and squeezed it together until it looked smooth, waited 15 mins. I preheated the oven in the meantime.

Of course it was almost impossible to make the dough into balls. At that point I was pretty sure it would not be any good, but hoped at least it would be like a cookie. Somehow my dough produced 20+ balls. I put them into the oven and put the timer on 25 mins.

Somehow I started smelling burnt cookie by 20 mins or less, however they did not seem cooked at all (I should have opened the door and looked - error #6), then really bothered by the smell I took the almost totally burnt cookies after 23 mins. So watch out the time!!! I still did not give up, I was determined to use the syrup. So I tried to pour hot syrup over the extremely tough cookies, they did not really sponge the syrup ofcourse... Now I have 20+ semi burnt weird looking, awkward tasting stuff.

So note to everyone: Make sure you have all the ingredients at room temperature, do not modify recipe and hope for the best, and remember that your oven may cook things faster.

I will try again some day and update, once I recover from my disappointment.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Elvan, I was going to write LOL but right now I am ROTFL .

I really want to congratulate you on your determination. You and I always stand firm:)
I had a similar experience for (revani) that I managed to make in the 3th attempt.
I had to go to the store to get the missing ingredients. I was also quite determined to make it on that day.

Don't give up! :)xox

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi my son is preparing a homework and needs to explain the history of sekerpare how was is introduced why took this name etc. We couldn't find any information. I am just curious if anyone knows the story of sekerpare?

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've tried making this recipe a few times now but with no success. Each time once I've put the cold syrup over the baked cookies, the cookies go completely soggy and don't hold their shape at all. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Many thanks for sharing the recipe.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

You should spoon out the syrup over the cookies a few times. Let them soak a little bit in between.


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