Tahini Brownies

5 from 3 votes

These tahini brownies are a nice break from the ordinary with just one important extra ingredient! The creamy, toasted sesame butter (tahini) is swirled throughout the chocolatey batter, made with rich dark cocoa powder, for an addictive balance of sweet and bitter.

overhead closeup: tahini brownies cut into squares

I love incorporating ingredients and techniques from my travels into classic American desserts to make them even better, and tahini is one ingredient I can’t get enough of — it’s not just for hummus! It’s made from ground, hulled sesame seeds that have been processed until their natural oils emulsify the mixture into a smooth, creamy butter. 

I use it often in both sweet and savory dishes, including a reinvented chocolate bark and in traditional African and Middle Eastern desserts. It also makes an incredible yogurt sauce, marinade, and dressing… among other things!

Its flavor is deep and earthy, with a slight bitterness simply made for chocolate. I’m following the lead set by two of my culinary idols, Ottolenghi and Christopher Kimball, in this tahini brownie recipe. 

Feel free to add up to ½ cup of other add-ins (any more will weigh down the batter) like dried fruit and chopped nuts!

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Tip From Kevin

Tahini

You know I love to make my own spice blends and condiments, but I have to say grinding sesame seeds to make tahini is an art form. I have never been able to get it as smooth and the big boys manufacturing it can. Now there are a lot of tahini brands out there and I have tried a fair share myself. By far the most consistent in flavor and texture is by Soom. I am not paid by them, this is simply my recommendation for you. Take it as you will. By the way, they even make a chocolate version similar to Nutella that is delicious!

closeup: a slice of my tahini brownie recipe with sesame seed butter on top

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Tahini – Its unique flavor can’t be replicated with a single replacement. But in a pinch, almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter can be used as a substitute. 
  • Butter – Use salted butter. If unsalted, you may want to add a bit more salt than my tahini brownie recipe calls for. 
  • Chocolate Chips – I use semi-sweet, but you could use dark chocolate chips if a more bitter flavor is preferred. 
  • Dark Cocoa Powder – Be sure to use Dutch process cocoa powder, which has been treated to be less acidic and for a smoother, earthier flavor that blends perfectly with these tahini brownies. 
  • Eggs These emulsify and moisten these tahini brownies to make them extra chewy and fudgy. 
  • Flour You can use any flour to make brownies. I use all-purpose, but you can absolutely use a gluten-free alternative (almond or coconut flours, for example) to make necessary dietary adjustments. 
  • Granulated Sugar – Some use brown sugar for an even richer dessert. I don’t think it’s necessary, but if that’s what you have in your pantry, I say go for it! 
  • Vanilla Extract & Salt These two ingredients are necessary balancing and flavor-enhancing ingredients in any dessert recipe worth its salt — no pun intended.
overhead: tahini brownies cut into squares

How to Make Tahini Brownies

  1. Melt the Chocolate. Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from heat, and whisk in the ½ cup chocolate chips and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Make the Tahini Batter. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl — or a stand mixer — and stir to combine. Pour the tahini into the bowl as well and fold into the mixture. Add the flour and fold into the mixture, mixing until just combined. Remove ⅓ of the mixture and set aside. 
  3. Add Chocolate. Pour the chocolate mixture and the rest of the chocolate chips into the bowl with the remaining tahini batter and stir to combine. 
  4. Prepare to Bake. Pour into the baking pan, lightly greased and lined with parchment paper, smoothing to the edges with a spatula. 
  5. Swirl the Tahini. Dollop the reserved tahini batter over the smoothed chocolate batter. Use a chopstick to make a swirling pattern through the darker chocolate batter.
  6. Bake & Serve. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
  • 8×8” Pan – Line with parchment paper to easily remove and slice this dessert. 
  • Chopstick – You’ll need a chopstick or a knife to swirl the tahini batter through the chocolate. While not totally necessary, it makes for a killer presentation! 

Storing and Reheating

You can wrap up any leftover tahini brownies and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate if you want them to last longer.

For even longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months! I recommend slicing and wrapping individually so that you can thaw single servings at a time — or as many servings as desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when tahini brownies are done baking?


Insert a toothpick in the center of the pan. If it pulls out clean (or with a few moist crumbs — this is a very moist brownie recipe) the brownies are done.  

For a visual sign, look to the edges of the pan. The center might still be a bit wobbly, but the brownies will start to pull away from the sides once they’re cooked through.

Are tahini brownies more fudgy or cakey?


They’re decidedly fudgy. It took me 6 different batches of trying to make the best and I finally nailed it.

You can always tell when a recipe will be fudgy or cakey by looking at the ingredients list — it’s all about the amount of fat in the batter. And since we have two eggs, butter, and tahini in the mix, this tahini brownie recipe yields moist and chewy results!

What’s a good substitute for tahini?


You could use almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter, but keep in mind that you won’t get the same, sesame flavor you’ll find in tahini. If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, check online!

stack of homemade fudgy chewy tahini brownies

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overhead close up: tahini brownies

Tahini Brownies

5 from 3 votes
Moist tahini brownies are fudgy and chewy, with a rich nutty sesame flavor nestled among dark cocoa for a lightly sweet, decadent dessert.
Servings: 16
Prep: 12 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 42 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8" pan with parchment strips and nonstick spray.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the chocolate chips and cocoa powder until smooth.
  • In a large bowl using a rubber spatula or stand mixer with paddle attachment, stir the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour in the tahini and fold in to combine.
  • Now fold in the flour, stir until just incorporated. Remove 1/3 of the tahini mixture to a small bowl, set aside. Add the melted chocolate mixture and other 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the remaining tahini mixture, folding and stirring until batter is well combined.
  • Spread the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and smooth to the edges.
  • Drop dollops of the reserved 1/3 tahini batter all over the top of the chocolate batter and use a knife or chopstick to swirl it in slightly.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let tahini brownies cool in the pan for at least 1 hour before cutting.
  • To prevent brownies from drying out too quickly, store in covered container in refrigerator

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: desserts
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): fudgy tahini brownies

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Saw the photo on Pinterest and was so glad I found you and this recipe. The site has so many wonderful recipes and this is no exception. My husband and I loved these.

  2. 5 stars
    Holy cow, these were amazing and so easy. Incredible texture and the flavor was surprisingly delicious. This is my third time coming back to get the recipe and thought I’d let you know Kevin. Thanks!