Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake, a delightful loaf cake with all the nuttiness from the tahini, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, combined with a moist crumb, and sugary crunchy top, sides, and bottom, that makes it irresistible. We love it with tea in the afternoon, or after dinner, but also at breakfast with a cup of coffee.
Song of the day: Live In The Moment by Portugal. The Man.
There are things that you always struggle with, more than others. For me, it is to live in the present and therefore enjoy it fully. I am always thinking of what I have to do next: plans, projects, tasks. Or, looking back at the past, to those sweet memories I sometimes cling on to, or to the melancholy sorrowful ones that I wasn’t able to let go.
Baking and yoga as therapy
Both baking and yoga are therapeutic in many ways. They help me stay in the present moment, mind and body. The mind is not allowed to wander because it needs to be focused on the task at hand, and the body, too, needs to be there fully, to perform the actions required.
In the case of baking, more so if there is a written recipe to follow (and to tweak a bit).
The inspiration to bake this delightful Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake came months ago in the mail in the form of the bon appétit magazine, to which we have a subscription. Scrolling the pages, my interest fell on a beautiful swirled sesame tea cake. Just a tweak at some of the ingredients and I was ready to live my moment.
Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake: a few steps to make it, so rewarding to eat
There are a few steps to follow in the preparation, a few sets of small, medium and large bowls and utensils to use and to clean up after, so it really helps you concentrate and stay in the moment. I enjoyed every minute of it, including the “clean up aisle 5!” as we joke with Loreto sometimes, when we look at the mess in the kitchen after an intensive baking/cooking session 🙂 .
There is tahini, sesame oil, and white and black sesame seeds in this tea cake, and they all give something to the flavor and texture to make it irresistible. I mixed all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and cane sugar with coconut crystals and that contributed to the darker color of the cake. The sesame seed swirl is, therefore, less evident, but I also might not be a good “swirler”, lol. The taste is awesome, anyways!
After about 1 hour in the oven, you are rewarded with a lovely fragrance in the air and a good-looking tea cake that you can’t wait to slice and taste. You do have to wait though, just a tiny bit, a good exercise of willpower and stay focused.
The Taste Test
The time has come to finally slice and taste this Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake. The first bite reveals an intensely nutty and “savory” sesame flavor, balanced by the sweetness of the sugars (do not skip the sprinkle of sugar on top!), the moistness and richness of the Greek yogurt, the subtle hints of vanilla and cardamom, and the whole wheat flour providing more nuttiness and a rich flavor.
All in all, this Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake has the perfect balance between sweet and savory. I know you are going to love it, as much as we did.
Song of the day: Live In The Moment by Portugal. The Man.Print
This delightful loaf has all the nuttiness from the tahini, sesame seeds, and sesame oil, combined with a moist crumb, and a sugary crunchy top, sides, and bottom, that makes it irresistible. I love it with tea in the afternoon, or after dinner, but also at breakfast with a cup of coffee.
Adapted from a recipe found on bon appétit magazine.
- 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling with some white sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or crystals
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs, organic free-range
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Oil or butter a loaf pan. Sprinkle sides and bottom of the pan with white and black sesame seeds and sugar. Shake around in the pan to coat and tap out any excess. (If you want, you can line the loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving it overhang on long sides, then lightly coat the parchment with oil -or non-stick spray, then sprinkle with the seeds and sugar).
- Finely grind 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds (you can use a spice mill, coffee grinder, blender, food processor). Set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
- In another small bowl, whisk yogurt and tahini until smooth.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand-held blender on medium-high speed, beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugars until eggs are light and thick (you can also use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer), for about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add vegetable oil and sesame oil.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 additions alternating with yogurt mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat after each addition until fully incorporated.
- Scrape half of the batter into the bowl that held the dry ingredients. Add the reserved ground black sesame seeds to the remaining batter and mix on medium speed until evenly distributed.
- Alternating between the batters, spoon large dollops into the prepared loaf pan, then using the tip of a paring knife, or a wooden skewer, design a figure eight pattern to swirl.
- Sprinkle the top with more white and black sesame seeds and more sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before taking out of the pan (using the parchment to lift it out, if you used it) and let cool completely.
Store wrapped in plastic at room temperature.