Kardelen Tatlisi: Turkish cake with pistachios, white chocolate, pudding and coconut

turkish pistachio cake kardelen tatlisi

Vay, vay, vay: this moist, milky Turkish cake with pistachios AND white chocolate AND custard AND coconut really packs a punch! We've seen the Kardelen cake a few times online on recipe sites recently. It's said to be the trend cake in Turkey at the moment, and every bakery sells it outright. However, we admit that we weren't originally planning to make the Turkish pistachio cake any time soon.


Why? Well, we already have classics such as the double-chocolate Islak Kek or the now famous cold baklava on the blog, but real cake classics are still missing. However, a dear reader contacted us looking for the name of a "light sheet cake with pistachios and cream" that she had eaten on vacation in Turkey.


The Kardelen cake was the only Turkish pistachio cake that we could think of. And so we created this delicious recipe. And it was no mistake! We are really blown away by this Turkish cake recipe and understand why it is so popular.


We weren't expecting much from the Kardelen cake. But the first bite blew us away. Why? See for yourself.

turkish pistachio cake

What is Kardelen Tatlisi?

In Turkish, this cake is called Kardelen Tatlisi or Kardelen Pastasi. Kardelen are snowdrops and the second term stands for "dessert" or "cake".


Why snowdrops? Of course, our Turkish cake with pistachios is not poisonous. We rather assume that the name came about because of the combination of white and green. 


Because the Kardelen cake is a normal sponge cake (in Turkish cuisine, however, they don't care much about separating eggs and the like), which is soaked in milk and cream, filled with milk pudding with white chocolate and pistachios and coated again with the same pudding and sprinkled with lots of grated coconut. 


We promise: The Turkish pistachio cake is much easier to make and lighter in taste than it sounds.


How does the cake with pistachios taste?

Unbelievable. Incredibly milky, creamy, slightly white-chocolatey paired with the surprising aroma of fine pistachios and exotic coconut. The combination is a poem - and we think that the ingredients also sound like a beautiful poem.


Incidentally, the cake with pistachios and pudding doesn't taste too creamy or "strong" at all. Milky and light with lots of flavor describes it better. This makes the Kardelen Tatlisi all the more dangerous, because you can quite easily eat more than one piece...


Tip: Use lots of chopped pistachios. We didn't sprinkle the cake evenly and the parts with the most pistachios are the best.

Turkish pistachio cake
turkish pistachio cake

A little about the custard cream in the Turkish cake recipe

The custard is basically "muhallebi" with a few extra twists. Muhallebi is a Turkish milk pudding that is served on its own as a dessert or is often used as a filling for various baked goods.


It really is a milk pudding, as vanilla pudding is hardly known in Turkey. Although it is available as a custard powder, it is not used in the chiller cabinet or in desserts. (Incidentally, there is no vanilla ice cream here either, only pure white milk or cream ice cream).


If you want to make things even easier for yourself, you could prepare the cream with ready-made muhallebi powder* from the Turkish supermarket. We haven't done this and it's not absolutely necessary, but it is an option. Just remember to add white chocolate to the custard anyway.


A promise: The recipe is very simple!

Cake, cream, layers - it always looks like a lot of work at first glance. However, when preparing the Turkish cake recipe, we found that it is much easier than it looks. You quickly mix up a cake (we used our beloved small but mighty food processor), while it bakes you mix the milk pudding and when the cake is ready and cooled, you quickly mix everything together. The Kardelen Tatlisi is really something you can impress your guests with without having done too much work. 

turkish cake with pudding
A little nourishment while writing the blog...

Variation ideas for Turkish cake with pistachios

As this Turkish cake recipe consists largely of milk and dairy products, you can vary it a little. This allows you to make the cake heartier or lighter. You could use semi-skimmed milk, omit some or most of the cream (or use more) or use less milk for soaking.


You can also adjust the sugar in the custard and add a little less. Or do you want more white chocolate? We used 60 grams because the typical chocolate bar in Turkey is a square of 60 grams (around 2 ounce). You can also stir more white chocolate into the muhallebi. However, we would then use a little less sugar.


In our opinion, the pistachios* are a must. However, we have also seen people replacing them with walnuts or hazelnuts. We wouldn't do that, but just to give you an idea.


With muhallebi, you can also just use flour if you don't have any starch in the house. In this case, of course, you will need more flour. Turkish recipes are never really about the exact gram - easy!


Finally, you can add extra flavor by decorating the Kardelen Tatlisi. Lots of shredded coconut is a must. You can also decorate each piece of Turkish cake with strawberries, more pistachios or grated white chocolate. Turkish recipes really aren't rocket science and leave plenty of room for creativity and modification. Afiyet olsun!


Kardelen Tatlisi recipe: Turkish cake with pistachios, pudding, white chocolate and coconut

Ingredients (tray or baking dish of approx. 29x29 cm, round is also possible)


For the cake batter

  • 4 eggs
  • 90 grams/0,5 cups of sugar
  • 120 grams/1 cup flour
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1 sachet baking powder

To soak

  • 400 ml/2 cups milk
  • 100 ml/0,5 cup cream

For the custard

  • 1 liter milk
  • 100 ml/0,5 cup cream
  • 140 grams/ 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 3 tbsp starch
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 60 g/ 2 ounce white chocolate
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar

In between:

For sprinkling

  • grated coconut



Step 1: For the cake batter, mix the eggs and sugar until frothy. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Step 2: Pour the batter into a high baking tray or baking dish, which must be lined with baking paper. Bake the cake at 175C/350F degrees until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Step 3: While the cake is baking, prepare the cream. To do this, bring the milk, cream, sugar, flour and starch to the boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. When the custard is ready, mix in the vanilla sugar and white chocolate. Leave the cream to cool.

Step 4: Turn the cooled cake over, remove the baking paper and carefully cut the cake in two halves.

Step 5: Put one half of the cake back into the tin. Mix the milk and cream to soak. Soak the cake half with half the mixture. Now apply half of the custard cream and sprinkle everything generously with pistachios.

Step 6: Place the second half of the cake on top of the pistachio layer and soak it with the remaining milk and cream mixture. Spread the rest of the custard on top and smooth everything out.

Step 7: Sprinkle a generous layer of shredded coconut on top of the Turkish pistachio cake. Leave to stand for a few hours or, even better, overnight. Cut it into squares or slices and decorate as desired. 

Write a comment

Comments: 0