The Ħelwa tat-tork is a beloved sweet on the Maltese Islands made with nuts and vanilla, often found during the local festa. Get the full recipe here!

During your holidays in Malta, one of the first things you’ll certainly notice is how much the Maltese love to eat! One particular beloved local sweet is the Ħelwa tat-tork (translating literally to Turk’s sweet), which is made with nuts and vanilla and is traditionally served in small bite-sized portions. Its sweet nutty crumbly taste makes this dessert merely irresistible!

helwa tat tork recipe

Considering it closely resembles the Middle Eastern Halva, this delight most likely arrived in our islands when Malta was under Arab rule. It has since then become part of Maltese cuisine and is often served in restaurants or households at the end of big meals with a coffee, at weddings and also during the local festa celebrations. 

Why not prepare your own ħelwa tat-tork at home? Its recipe is super easy! 

You will need:

•    100g white sugar
•    130g light tahini (sesame paste)
•    6 tablespoons of water
•    Vanilla
•    Whole roasted almonds


1. On low heat, dissolve the sugar in the water in a thick-bottomed pan. Stir to dissolve but stop once it starts boiling. 
2. Boil until the sugar thermometer shows 140 degrees Celsius. 
3. Meanwhile in a heatproof bowl mix the tahini, vanilla and almonds. 
4. As soon as the temperature of the sugar and water reaches 140 degrees Celsius, pour this on the tahini mix. 
5. As you’re doing this, stir very well. In a very short while it will harden into a thick confection. 
6. Transfer to an airtight container and leave to cool. 

With thanks to for this delightful recipe!

Now you can recreate this wonderful delicacy wherever you are for all your friends and family to sample a sweet little taste of Malta. 

Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with a trip to Malta this summer. The ħelwa tat-tork is just one of the several sweet delicacies you can indulge in while on the islands- we’re sure you’ll love the imqaret, qagħaq tal-għasel and sinizza too! Book your flights to Malta now!