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Original Pismaniye Recipe- The Turkish Version Of Cotton Candy

Original Pismaniye Recipe- The Turkish Version Of Cotton Candy

In this post, we will share our own Pismaniye recipe; an old Turkish dessert that seems to have been forgotten and people rarely prepare it at home even though it used to be one of the most popular homemade sweets in Turkey. If you never heard about it, pismaniye is the Turkish version of cotton candy. The sweet is prepared by using a special method to blend flour roasted in butter into strings that stick to each other just like cotton. This makes eating this dessert quite messy but if you have a sweet tooth and enjoy exotic sweets, you’ll surely love this recipe.


The origins of pismaniye aren’t 100% clear but it’s widely accepted that it was first prepared by an Armenian chef who moved to Izmit (a city located near Istanbul). That’s why pismaniye is still very popular in Izmit even today and you’ll see a lot of vendors selling it on the streets. There are many stories about the origin of the name pişmaniye.

pismaniye recipe

One theory is that the name derives from the word “pashm”, meaning wool in Persian, another says that the name derives from the Coptic word “pis”, meaning to mix flour with fat and “nani”, meaning hair candy. However, the most popular story includes an urban legend featuring a local vendor and a chubby lady with whom the vendor fell in love. To get her attention, he designed this sweet just for her and called it “şişmaniye”, meaning my fat lady in Turkish. Unfortunately, the love story didn’t pan out and disappointed, the vendor changed its name to “pişmaniye”, meaning regret.

Today, the sweet is known under many different names including tel helva, tepme helva, tel-tel or chetenija (in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Slavic countries where it’s also quite popular).

History of Pismaniye

pismaniye shop
by E4024 CC by SA 4.0

As I said, pismaniye originates from the city of Izmit in the Kocaeli Province but it quickly became popular across the country. Traditionally, it was something that people would prepare in their homes but because the original pismaniye recipe isn’t easy to prepare, it’s kind of a dying art and nowadays, most people don’t make it at home anymore.

Interestingly, pismaniye is one of the rare desserts that isn’t sold in local markets or sweet shops (unless you’re in Kocaeli). Instead, you can find this tasty local sweet packaged in most souvenir shops. Pismaniye can be stored without refrigeration for a long period of time which is why a lot of people buy it as a souvenir or a gift.

Difference Between Cotton Candy and Pismaniye

pismaniye dough

As you’ll see from our pismaniye recipe below, the biggest difference between the two is the ingredients. Visually, pismaniye and cotton candy look very similar but the taste is actually quite different. When making pismaniye, one of the basic ingredients is flour which is why it can be pressed and moulded without falling apart. This is also why pismaniye isn’t as fluffy as cotton candy even though on a glance, it looks very similar.

Are you a fan of Turkish sweets? Then you should probably also check out our Sekerpare recipe and our kadaif recipe.


The three basic ingredients for pismaniye recipe are flour, butter, and sugar but you can find different varieties in different parts of the country. The most popular toppings are walnuts and pistachios and the most popular flavorings are chocolate and vanilla. There is also a more buttery variation that isn’t easily pulled apart which can be perfect for people who find eating regular pismaniye too messy (you’ll see what I mean if you eat pismaniye, lick your fingers, and try to keep eating).

In this pismaniye recipe, we’ll show you only how to make the basic version of this popular dessert (no pistachios, no chocolate).

Looking for some more Turkish sweet recipes?

Tulumba recipe

Lokma recipe

Mahalabia recipe

Kabak tatlisi recipe

Keshkul Recipe

Asure recipe

Products I Used for This Pismaniye Recipe

A practical mixing bowl;
Spatula to remove the scraps while mixing;
Non-sticky baking tray;
Baking paper.

Yield: 22

Pismaniye Recipe

Pişmaniye recipe

In this post, we will share our own Pismaniye recipe, an old, delicious Turkish dessert that looks a lot like cotton candy

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 1 Cup butter
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Cup flour (but do add more if needed)
  • 1 Cup sunflower oil
  • 5 Grams vanilla powder
  • 2 Cup coconut flakes
  • 5 Tablespoon powdered sugar


1. Preheat your oven to 340°F (170 °C).

2. Add some baking paper on your baking tray.

3. Take a mixing bowl and mix the butter and sugar in it and then add the flour.

4. Use a spatula to remove the scraps from the plate and mix it again.

5. Pour in some oil simultaneously while beating the mix.

6. Add coconut flakes and vanilla powder and keep mixing until everything is absorbed.

7. Keep the mix in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

8. Tear off tiny balls (aim for around 1 oz/30g per ball), shape them and pull them.

9. Put the strings in the oven and bake at 170 °C for not more than 15 minutes. In any case,
don’t bake the sweet longer than this because they might start cracking.

10. Add some coconut flakes, powdered sugar, serve, and enjoy!


Keep an eye on the sweets every few minutes while baking because they tend to get cracks and burn rather quickly.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

5 pastries

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 85gNet Carbohydrates: 74gFiber: 2gSugar: 74gProtein: 1g

Did you ever try this tasty dessert? Would you want to try it someday? Did you like our pismaniye recipe? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

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bryant suiskens

Thursday 20th of May 2021

Are you sure you mean *actual* Vanilla powder? You know, the pure stuff which translates to about a teaspoon of vanilla extract per gramme and goes for 70 euros per 100g?

The Food Hog

Wednesday 26th of May 2021

Hi Bryant, yes, the recipe does include vanilla powder but I can see where your confusion is coming from. We accidentally wrote 50 grams instead of 5 but we have corrected the recipe now. Thank you for your comment.

Patrick Conway

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

When is the flour added ?

The Food Hog

Thursday 8th of October 2020

Hi Patrick, the flour is mixed in #3 after mixing the sugar and butter.


Tuesday 18th of August 2020

y cuando se agrega la harina??

The Food Hog

Friday 21st of August 2020

I'm not sure I understand your question but if you're referring to how long does the mix need to stay before shaping it into balls and baking, you should keep it in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

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