Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake

Tahini Sesame Seed Tea Cake

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5 from 5 reviews

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


  1. 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).
  2. Finely grind 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds  (you can use a spice mill, coffee grinder, blender, food processor). Set aside.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
  4. In another small bowl, whisk yogurt and tahini until smooth.
  5. 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.
  6. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add vegetable oil and sesame oil.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Sprinkle the top with more white and black sesame seeds and more sugar.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.
  12. 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.

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