Baking · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnian Coffee-Lokum Cupcakes

Coffee culture is BIG in Bosnia, to the extent that ‘sit and drink coffee’ regularly appears on lists of ‘must dos’ for visitors to the country. However, unlike us here in Britain, coffee culture revolves not around large to-go chains of coffee, but rather around an hour-long ritual, which places the whole process at the centre of Bosnian life.

Coffee time is very important in Bosnian society, being the time of day when friends and families congregate round the kitchen, enjoying their drink. The process is slow, leisurely and allows the drinker a bit of time to relax from the stresses of the day. The process of making the coffee is as complex and steeped in tradition as the Japanese tea-drinking rituals, and with almost as many steps!

Now if this was to be completely traditional, the coffee would  need to be made in the traditional way; heating the water, adding the coffee and adding the froth bit by bit. However, as this is a cake recipe strong coffee will serve the purpose adequately (though if you wish for it to be completely authentic, a recipe is here). The cakes also include Turkish delight or lokum, the traditional accompaniment to this very strong drink.

Bosnian Coffee-Lokum Cupcakes


  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tsbp boiling water
  • 80g butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 20ml ml milk
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 8 pieces of Turkish Delight, chopped.


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, and line a cupcake tin with liners. Make a traditional cupcake mix by creaming together the butter and sugar, before beating in the eggs one by one. Sift in the flour, and stir in the vanilla essence. Pour the boiling water over the coffee grinds and stir to dissolve, before mixing into the cake mixture. Spoon into the cupcake liners and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cupcake tin and leaving to cool completely.

Beat the butter and icing sugar, until light and fluffy. Add in the milk and beat for 5 minutes until thick, light and fluffy. Add in the rosewater and beat until combined. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto each of the cupcakes before decorating with a small square of Turkish delight.

Baking · Cake · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Turkey: Turkish Delight Cupcakes

Flag of Turkey.

Today I’m presenting you with a new and improved version of one of the most popular cakes on this site so far, the Turkish delight cupcakes. These have without a doubt been the most raved about, most regularly made and the most searched out of the whole site, and I’m pleased to be able to give you an updated version of the recipe with some better photographs! (Always helps!) Enjoy, and if you make them, let me know what you think!

Turkish Delight Cupcake 2

I’ve added a chocolate-covered coffee bean to the decoration of these which I feel works very well as a flavour contrast, however if you cannot get your hands on them, feel free to leave them out. Do not leave out the pomegranate seeds though, they provide a sharp contrast to the sweetness of the buttercream which is essential to the overall balance of the cake.

Turkish Delight Cupcake 1



  • 8oz butter
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 6oz ground pistachios
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 6 pieces rose Turkish Delight, cut in half

Rose Buttercream

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 drop of red food colouring
  • Chocolate coffee bean and pomegranate seeds to decorate


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and place cupcake liners in 2 12-hole cake tins (you will likely use 18 of the 24).

Beat the butter and sugar together before adding the eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios and combine gently. Place a teaspoon of the mixture  into the cupcake cases  and place a piece of Turkish delight into each case. Cover with the remaining mixture and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.

Once the cakes have completely cooled, make the buttercream by beating together the butter and icing sugar, before adding the milk and rosewater and beating for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the red food colouring drop by drop, mixing after each addition until a light rose pink colour is achieved. Pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cupcakes and decorate with pomegranate seeds and a chocolate coffee bean..

Baking · Cupcakes · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Turkey: Pistachio Turkish Delight Cake with Rose Buttercream

Flag of Turkey.

Today I am going to use a phrase that I reserve for truly special cakes – Amazing! Make this cake. Do it, preferably soon. It’s that good!

I love Turkish food, although sadly I don’t eat as much of it as I would like. One of my favourite meals was a Turkish mezze plate, eaten in a small restaurant/takeaway in Berlin (in which Turkish food is the second most popular cuisine.) Sadly there is not as much opportunity to experience this where I live, so at the moment I am excitedly planning a trip to Istambul to get my fix.


When I started planning this cake, I started looking at baklava, particularly as this cake is an archetype of Turkish Cuisine. However, baklava (whilst delicious) is not in itself a cake, and therefore did not fit the brief as well as it could. I therefore decided to take the flavours of baklava and adapt them into a cake form. The filling was an easy decision, I love the combination of rose and pistachio, and Turkish delight seemed a natural partnership. I made this into cupcakes, as a good way to incorporate the filling equally, but you could also use this mixture to make a full size cake – just chop up the Turkish Delight, and mix into the cake batter before baking.


The Turkish delight in the cake was a stab in the dark, having no idea whether or not you could bake Turkish delight into a cake. It turns out that you can, and it actually does not change the taste at all. I cheated and used shop-bought (though good quality) Turkish delight, however, homemade would also work well if wished.


The cake recipe is a simple whisked sponge recipe, with ground pistachios substituted for part of the flour. The buttercream frosting is taken from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. The cakes are decorated with pomegranate seeds, both to support the Turkish influence and also because I think they look gorgeous! I also used gold shimmer spray, for no really reason apart from the excitement about spraying cupcakes gold…

Pistachio-Turkish Delight Cake with Rose Buttercream



  • 8 oz plain flour
  • 6 oz ground pistachios
  • 12 oz butter
  • 12 oz caster sugar
  • 4.5 tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Turkish Delight Layer:

  • 375g caster sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 25g gelatine powder
  • 100g cornflower
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tsp rosewater
  • 50g shelled pistachios
  • 2 drops red food colouring

Rose Buttercream

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 25ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 drop of red food colouring.

To decorate:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Pistachios


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and grease an 8″ cake tin. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together before adding the eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in the flour, baking powder and ground pistachios. and combine gently. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tin.

To make the Turkish delight, oil the same cake tin used for the cake (obviously after cleaning!) and line with cling film. Heat the sugar and lemon juice in a pan with 300ml of water until the sugar dissolves. At this point gently bring the mixture to the boil. Mix the gelatine with 75g of cornflour and 200ml of water before adding to the pan. Stir constantly to dissolve the gelatine, before simmering gently for 20 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the rosewater, food colouring and chopped pistachios. Mix the remaining cornflower and icing sugar and dust the prepared tin with the mixture, shaking out any of the excess. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread level, before allowing to set for at least 4 hours.

Make the buttercream by beating the icing sugar and butter on a low setting until well mixed. Add the milk and rosewater a little at a time, before adding the food colouring. Beat the mixture on high for at least 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

To construct the cake, firstly split the cake into three layers. Spread the first layer with butter cream before placing the second layer on top. Place the layer of Turkish delight onto the cake, using a small amount of buttercream to hold it in place if needed. Place the final layer of cake on top, and spread with the remaining buttercream. Decorate with pomegranate seeds, pistachios and Turkish delight.