Gullac sheets, which are made of starch and water, are soaked in sweetened milk and then chilled. Layer it with walnuts and top it with nuts and pomegranate. The easiest yet yummiest Turkish dessert ever!
Just like Turkish pide ekmek, Gullac dessert is a special food served during the month of Ramadan. You can't see it anywhere other than this month. This is why it is special. Also, check out our easy Turkish baklava recipe and kunafa or knafeh recipe or our best Turkish desserts list if you want more dessert recipes.
If you like milk based desserts like this one, check out our Turkish rice pudding sutlac too!
What Is Gullac?
In Turkish culture, there are some certain dishes which are made on special days or occasions. We want to share another special dish made just in Ramadan month. This is a simple, but tasty dessert called gullac (güllaç in Turkish letters). The sheets are simply made of corn starch, wheat flour and water. They are soaked in sweetened warm milk, layered with walnuts and chilled.
We don’t want to translate it into English as it might be nonsense. In Turkish gül means rose and aş means food; gullac is the abbreviation of güllü aş, which means food flavored with rose. Nobody calls it güllü aş today, gullac is easier to pronounce, so it is the modern name of this yummy dessert. So what is the relation of rose with this dessert? Actually, it’s not the rose, but rose water which has that relationship with this Turkish dessert.
Rose water used to be the main flavor in this dessert in Ottoman culture because of its refreshing effect. Just like when making Turkish delight, today, it depends on your taste to add rose water or not. Some people use it, some don’t. Personally, we don’t love its flavor in gullac much, so we prefer not using it. But it doesn’t mean it tastes bad, it gives a quite refreshing flavor to the dessert.
In the early times of Ottoman Empire, people used to make sheets from corn starch, flour and water and they could keep these for months. As these sheets are dry and crispy, people used to soften them with milk and sugar. Probably, it wasn’t a kind of dessert those times, but more of a main dish. The best part of it for those people was the simple ingredients in the recipe.
And keeping the dried sheets for long might be the second reason for people to love it. Then as the empire got richer, it turned out to be a dessert special for the palace and it became sultans’ favorite. And today, It has that fame as one of the palace desserts. When you tend to buy the dessert (not the sheets) from a pastry shop, you will see that it’s not that cheap.
More Ottoman desserts: Turkish Flour Halva Recipe, Sesame Seed Candy Recipe, Tulumba Recipe Homemade.
Another Ottoman tradition about gullac is that it’s always decorated with pomegranate and I love to see these cute red beads on the white surface of this dessert. I think they complete each other and address to our eyes first. And I love to add a third wonderful ingredient for garnish. Pistachios! When you have these three at the same time, the pleasure you feel doubles.
When To Buy
You can see gullac at pastry shops and at markets just in Ramadan. Just like dates, in Turkey it is special for Ramadan. This simple and easy dessert is made from gullac sheets. You may think that they are similar to phyllo sheets, but these are totally different. Gullac sheets are so white, thin and crispy.
Today, people don’t make these sheets themselves as it requires special talents. These are sold in packages at the markets. And there are about 15 sheets in a package. As far as I know, there are two big companies producing and selling these sheets to markets, Saffetabdullah Gullaclari and Istanbul Gullac.
These sheets are completely natural, they don’t have any additives. Moreover, it is a very light dessert. These are just two of the reasons why people prefer gullac to end their iftar meal with something sweet. You know, in Ramadan, muslims don’t eat or drink anything from sunrise till sunset, so their body needs more sugar than usual because of hunger.
- gullac sheets
- crumbled walnuts
- ground pistachio and pomegranate arils for garnish
How To Make Gullac
First, prepare the milk. Put milk and sugar (and 1 tablespoon rosewater if you like) in a pot and heat it until the sugar melts. Stir it occasionally. It shouldn’t be too hot to touch, so let it cool a little. When it gets warm enough, we can start to make our dessert. If you use it hot, your dessert gets soggy.
Second, make the layers in a pan. Put a gullac sheet in the pan. Wet it with the warm milk. Repeat this with five sheets.
After the fifth one, spread the crumbled walnut on it.
Then put the rest five sheets one by one and wet each of them with milk. When you finish with the tenth one, pour the rest of the milk on it. They don’t need to be very good in shape while arranging them in the pan.
They will combine when they get wet with milk. After pouring the milk, you will see the sheets are rising, do not touch them. Cover it with stretch film and put it in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Third, garnish it. I always leave the garnishing part to the serving time, otherwise pomegranates and pistachio may change the color of gullac. After taking it from refrigerator, cut it in squares or rectangles, garnish and serve.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
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A simple dessert with gullac sheets and sweetened milk.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 10 gullac sheets
- 7 cups milk
- 1 and ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup crumbled walnuts
- Ground pistachio and pomegranate arils for garnish
- Put milk and sugar (and 1 tablespoon rosewater if you like) in a pot and heat it until the sugar melts. Stir it occasionally. It shouldn’t be too hot to touch, so let it cool a little. When it gets warm enough, we can start to make our dessert. If you use it hot, your dessert gets soggy.
- Pt a gullac sheet in the pan. Wet it with the warm milk. Repeat this with five sheets. After the fifth one, spread the crumbled walnut on it. Then lay the rest five sheets one by one and wet each of them with milk. When you finish with the tenth one, pour the rest of the milk on it. They don’t need to be very good in shape while arranging them in the pan. They will combine when they get wet with milk. After pouring the milk, you will see the sheets are rising, do not touch them. Cover it with stretch film and put it in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- After taking it from refrigerator, cut it in squares or rectangles, garnish and serve.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 413
- Sugar: 36.6 g
- Sodium: 173.1 mg
- Fat: 16.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 50.3 g
- Protein: 18.2 g
- Cholesterol: 21.6 mg
I love it but you did not tell how to make Gullac sheets,,I am from Damascus -Syria,,Also you did not reply my message about Fava "Edamame""
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Thank you for your asking this. Well, we never make Gullac sheets at home. We always buy it from the store. You can find it at Middle Eastern grocery stores or at online shops like Amazon.
Sorry we haven't seen your message about fava beans. Oh, did you send an email? Will check it out now!
Thisrecile is wonderful and easy to make. Looks delicious.
Thank's Zerrin&Yusuf for ur blog!!!
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Thank you for your kind words! Gullac is a simple and light dessert that tastes yummy. So it is one of our favorites 🙂
This recipe looks very delicious and yummy...i would like to try to make it for my children...unfortunately i cant find any gullac sheets sold here....
Hi Halina! Happy to hear that you love gullac! Have you tried looking at online Turkish markets? Maybe they bring it in Ramadan. We can find gullac sheets at online markets here in UK.
Love the steps and the recipe is so straightforward. Thanks!
Is there any way i could make those gullac sheets at home?Do you have a recipe?Google wasn't of much help.
Mirela. I wanted to know the same... But it seems that you can only buy them :/
And that's what I did when I visited Istanbul about 2 weeks ago 🙂 I bought few packages:)
Thanks to Author for sharing recipe!
Mirela and Selma- Nobody in Turkey makes these sheets at home, and unfortunately we don't know how to make. We just buy them from markets. I guess you can find them from Middle East markets.
Merhaba Zerrin bu yaz Turkiyeden Gullac aldim ve mutfak dolabinda beni bekliyor. Uzun suredir bekliyor diyebilirim cunku hangi tarifi kullansam diye dusunuyor ve karar veremiyorum ya bu tarif benim gullacimi mahvederse korkusundayim ve nereden yine alacagim canim gullacimi evet yeniden 1 sene daha beklemem gerekecek diye gullacim beni dolapta bekliyor ve senin istah acici gullac tarifini gorunce icim icime sigmadi ozellikle step by step instructions made me so happy. Thanks for the recipe and I love your blog title. Reminds me of this saying"Sharing is Caring"
diva@The Sugar Bar says
this is so pretty! i love decorating with pomegrenate seeds. this must taste real gd 🙂 thanks for visiting the SB by the way. x
It is one of my favourite desserts!!! It is really light and yummy.There are very good Middle Estern stores in the USA.
Thank you for educating us all with a Ramadan recipe! 🙂
I had never heard of gullac sheets until now...very interesting! This dish is so pretty garnished with pistachio and pomegranate!