Elastic Turkish Ice Cream

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Ice cream is called dondurma in Turkish. What make it different from other ice creams around the world is its texture and flavor. If you have tasted it in Turkey or somewhere else, you know what I mean. Turkish Ice Cream has an elastic texture and its lovely flavor comes from salep, which is the powder of orchid bulbs. Although it has the flavor of salep, it is known as plain ice cream –sade dondurma in the country and nonone calls it salep ice cream. I made it at home for the first time and it turned out pretty amazing, as yummy and gummy as the ones we buy from vendors or cafes. Don’t worry if you don’t have an ice cream maker, this recipe doesn’t require one.

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Turkish ice cream is very dense and chewable, so it doesn’t melt easily and you might find it completely different from the regular smooth ice creams you know. If you are an ice cream fan, I highly recommend you to taste this traditional Turkish ice cream. If there is a list of foods to taste before you die, this chewy ice cream must be on the top!

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Salep is also the name of an aromatic winter drink, which is a combination of milk, sugar and the powdered orchid bulbs. As Harold McGee claims in his article named Ice Cream That’s a Stretch at The New York Times, this divine ice cream might have been discovered when salep drink was accidentally frozen.

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Genuine salep is really pricy here as it has been a rare product even in Turkey, but a very small amount will be enough for you so you don’t have to pay much. The question is, can you find it abroad? I’m not sure if it is sold at middle east markets, but I guess you can find it at online markets.

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

This ice cream is a perfect dessert on its own, but you can also serve it alongside with some fruit desserts like this Grilled Pineapple with Ice Cream.

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream | giverecipe.com | #icecream #salep #turkish

Elastic Turkish Ice Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Turkish ice cream has a chewy and elastic texture and an aromatic flavor coming from salep. No ice cream maker is needed for this recipe!
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salep
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  1. Combine salep, sugar and vanilla powder in a bowl.
  2. Heat the milk a little and add salep mixture gradually. Make sure that no lumps are left. Stir constantly. It reaches the pudding consistency as it is cooked.
  3. Bring the heat to the lowest and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Let it cool.
  5. Transfer it to a bowl and put in the freezer . Let it sit there for 30 minutes.
  6. Take it out and whisk constantly with a fork for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the ice cyristals you see around the top of the container. Put it back into the freezer.
  7. Repeat this 4-5 times in every 30 minutes. You will see how it stretches when whisking. If you whisk it letting it stretch, it’s better.
  8. Transfer the mixture in an airtight container and freeze for 5 hours.


  1. says

    That looks absolutely fascinating! I’ve heard of salep before and was very much curious to try it – even more so now its manifesting in an ice-cream the likes of which I’ve never seen! And no ice-cream maker required? I’m definitely going to have to give it a shot, provided I can get hold of salep… do you think it will work with non-dairy milk? I’m vegan:p

    • says

      Thank you Shonalika! This ice cream could become you favorite, it’s that good! Isn’t it great that ice cream maker is not needed for it? Hope you can find genuine salep. I’m not sure about non-diary milk though. I haven’t had any experience with it, not something common here. I’d love to hear the result if you try.

  2. Iulian says

    Can we substitute with starch because i can’t find salep in Romania.Thank you!

  3. Susana I. says

    Hello, I would really like to try this ice cream but have no idea how salep must be or look like, I looked it up on Amazon but they seam to have the instant drink kind that you mention in the post, any suggestions in how I shoul look for it to get the real thing, like “pure salep” or something like that?

    Thanks a lot. :)

    • says

      Hi Susana, salep looks like powdered sugar, but it’s not as white as sugar. I’m not sure if you can find it on Amazon. Maybe you can look for “orchid powder” or “salep powder” Hope you can find it.

        • says

          Hi Susana, instant salep drink contains sugar and very little salep inside. I’m not sure how it works for ice cream. Would love to hear your result if you try.

          • Pati Gulat says

            I lived in Izmir, Turkey for awhile and I LOVED the ice cream !!! Pistachio and Cantaloupe were my favorites. I am VERY excited to find this recipe ! I will try talumba.com for the salep. :)

    • Isaac says

      Salep is common in turky. Their are two types, dont buy the drink mix. buy the small amount of powder. Its A darkish white and i got 23 grams for 15 TRY in turky

    • says

      Hi Mariana, sorry but salep is a must for this recipe. You can’t have the same elastic result with any other ingredient.

  4. frank says

    im wondering if it’s supposed to be a teaspoon or a tablespoon of salep?

    i made it, but it didnt realy thicken while cooking?

    • says

      It is teaspoon. If your salep is original, it must thicken the liquid. If salep is not pure salep, it won’t give the same result.


  1. […] there was a travelling ice cream vendor in our neighborhood selling just three types of ice cream; Turkish plain ice cream, chocolate ice cream and lemon ice cream. I just couldn’t decide which one was my favorite, so I […]

  2. […] corn on the cob is on top of the list among all Turkish Street foods. Well, maybe after our classic Ice Cream, which is made with salep. I wanted to make a twist on the classic one with this Cheesy Corn on the […]

  3. […] I slightly changed the recipe for these mini chocolate cakes to make it even easier. Yes, I guess mine is the easiest ever! Instead of making a pudding like filling between the cake layers, I just used whipped cream. Also for the topping, I used frozen cranberries instead of grated coconut. Either way, I think these mini chocolate cakes will immediately become your favorite! You can enjoy your chocolate cake with two dollops of Homemade Turkish Ice Cream. […]

  4. […] require a maker. I saw that it’s possible to get amazing results even without it when I made Turkish Elastic Ice Cream. Here is another one that you will fall in love with: Easy Eggless Nutella Ice […]

  5. […] When it comes to making ice cream without a maker, all work is mine and I love it too! Go check my Elastic Turkish Ice Cream or One Ingredient Ice Cream which don’t require a […]

Leave a Reply

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

Rate this recipe: