Tahini brownies are a fudgy, chewy chocolate brownie treat with a swirl of sesame flavor. This recipe makes an addictively decadent dessert!
Tahini is a creamy spread made from sesame seeds. Although it's loved all over the world, the origins of tahini are Greek.
It's probably best known for being a primary ingredient in Mediterranean hummus and tahini dip, but sesame seed paste (also known as sesame seed butter) is used in many different dishes. Including brownies.
Yes, you can add tahini to brownies! The incredible sesame flavor pairs perfectly with chocolate, taking the average brownie to a whole new level.
Two of my culinary idols, Ottolenghi and Christopher Kimball, have created tahini brownie recipes. I never shy away from their recommendations.
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Chewy and fudgy chocolate chip brownies with a swirled topping of tahini (sesame seed butter/paste).
I elevate the rich cocoa flavor with the addition of chocolate chips. In my opinion, there's no such thing as too much chocolate, or too much tahini for that matter.
Tahini yogurt sauce, anyone?
These are not underbaked, goopy or gooey brownies. They're just perfection, and highly prone to being devoured immediately after you bake them.
I may have eaten 4 the first day they were around...
Ingredient notes and substitutions
There are many, MANY variations of brownie recipes in the world, from cakey consistency to chewy and gooey.
I prefer a fudgy brownie with just enough chewiness to make it decadent, plus a light, crackly top.
To make a fudgy, crackly topped brownie requires three crucial ingredients.
- Granulated sugar - Sorry, but these tahini brownies are not low calorie, vegan, gluten free, or healthy. Delicious? Absolutely!
That being said, the recipe will work with cup-for-cup granulated sugar substitutes like monk fruit and erythritol, as well as unrefined sugars like turbinado and coconut sugar.
- low flour to butter ratio - Using more flour than butter creates a cakey brownie. I think if you want something cakey, you should make basbousa cake.
On that note, there are some amazing flourless chocolate desserts, but I don't think brownies are all that wonderful without flour. The flourless brownies I've eaten were very dense and beyond rich. There's no chewiness to them... that's what the flour is for.
- eggs - Eggs are also responsible for the chewiness.
Add-ins for tahini brownies
Instead of ½ cup of chocolate chips to elevate the chocolate flavor, you could compliment the chocolate flavor using options I've listed below.
I don't recommend using more than ½ cup total of add-ins, but experiment and consider some of these ideas:
- dried fruit - dried cherries, blueberries, apricots, dates, or cranberries
- chopped nuts - walnuts, almonds, or pistachios would be wonderful
- toppings - Just before baking the tahini brownies, you could sprinkle some sesame seeds, pepitas, sea salt, or rock sugar over the top.
Almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter could be used as a substitute for sesame seed butter (tahini). Although none of those will replicate the sesame flavor of tahini.
Yes, tahini brownies may be frozen for up to 3 months. For the sake of convenience, cut them into squares and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Place all of the wrapped brownies in a freezer safe container or freezer storage bag.
The brownies will be fine stored in a covered container at room temperature for a couple of days.
To prevent them from drying out too quickly, after 2-3 days, I recommend placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Fudgy Tahini Brownies
- 6 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (Dutch process)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8x8" 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 ⅓ of the tahini mixture to a small bowl, set aside. Add the melted chocolate mixture and other ½ 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 ⅓ 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
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.