Double-Sesame Tahini Cake

What to say about this cake? It's very delicious. One of my favorites. It's dairy-free. It's made with tahini. It walks a tightrope between savory and sweet. I made it for a party. You should make it. And have a cake party!

  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 scant teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice (I use unsweetened macadamia nut milk)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup tahini (I make my own, but in a pinch I like Joyva, because the seeds are roasted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, cooled slightly; plus enough softened coconut oil to grease the pan
  • 1/4 cup mixed black and white sesame seeds
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease the pan (bottom and sides) with the coconut oil, then dust with flour. Bang on the bottom and sides of the pan to remove any excess flour (probably do this over a trash can), then set the pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together to combine. 

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and brown sugar, tahini, and vanilla extract until frothy and very well combined. Stream in the melted coconut oil, whisking all the while, until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use a rubber spatula to mix until just combined (do not overmix). Transfer batter into prepared pan.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top, then bake in the pre-heated oven, on a rack set in the middle, until a cake tester or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean (I stress here that oven actual temperatures vary drastically; mine took 27 minutes, but it could take anywhere from 25-30+.) You'll want to rotate the pan halfway through baking time to account for oven hot spots.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar (a lot of it; the sweetness will act as a foil for the roasty bitterness of the sesame) just before serving.