tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles

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I think the masses out there are going to be divided on these tahini brownies. Not by the taste, but the sound of it. I think half of you are going to say, ‘Hell to the NO!’ And I think the other half are going to say, ‘I love tahini with chocolate!’ To the first group, I say settle down. Take a deep breath and just listen to me. These tahini brownies don’t taste like hummus or something you’d eat at a Dead show. They’re moist and truffle-like, with just enough personality to keep things interesting.

Here’s what’s happening with these tahini brownies. The tahini gives the brownie some tang. Perhaps a little bit of swagger. It’s a taste that’s in the sour-cream, Greek-yogurt family of flavor which works really well with chocolate. There’s also a little undercurrent of sesame. When I first made these I made them exactly like my fudgy brownies, but they needed some tweaking. I thought they would need more flour. But they didn’t. Totally unnecessary. Additionally, and surprisingly, the tahini really brings out the sweetness of the brownie. More sweetness? No thank you. Brownies don’t need any more of that. I scaled back on that sweet intensity by using bittersweet instead of semi-sweet chocolate. More chocolate, less sugar. Much better. The texture is not quite as fudgy as my usual brownie, but equally not quite cake-like. These would be a perfect dessert for friends…which is why I put them in a springform…they feel like a celebration. Can you feel it?

Let’s get our tahini brownies on.

tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife
tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife
tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife
tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

| tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles |


  • 1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (4 ounces), cut in chunks
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed oil
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup tahini, divided (3 tablespoons for the brownie batter and 1 tablespoon for the top)
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, to sprinkle on top
  • Sea salt flakes, to sprinkle on top

*I tested this with both bread and all-purpose flour and found that both worked great with little (if any) noticeable differences.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Butter or use nonstick spray on a 8-inch springform (or, you can use an 8X8 baking dish).
  3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl add your chopped bittersweet chocolate, butter and sunflower seed oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You could also use a double boiler for this step…I find that the microwave is quicker with less clean up. Do not overheat your chocolate. Stir the chocolate-butter mixture until smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons of tahini and vanilla to the chocolate and stir until completely blended.
  5. Add the three eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended.
  6. Now you have two options at this point. You can either whisk your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder) in a separate bowl or you can sprinkle directly on top of the chocolate mixture. I do the latter which is totally baking sacriledge. But I have seriously tested this so many times and it works just fine. I do like to make sure that I sprinkle the baking powder all over so it’s not just dumped in one spot. Let your conscience be your guide. You have to admit the idea of dirtying just one bowl is pretty exciting?
  7. Mix the brownie batter until it is JUST combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared springform or 8X8 pan. Use the back of your spoon to even the top a bit. Additionally tap the dish on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles from the batter.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the 1 tablespoon of tahini with 1-2 teaspoons of water to thin it. Drizzle the tahini over the top of the brownies. I drizzled four lines from one side to the other. Then, using a pastry brush, gently run it around the pan in circles. It’s pretty, right?
  10. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over the top.
  11. Put the springform in the oven for 20 minutes. If you test with a toothpick some batter will coat it. This is a good thing.
  12. Now here is the most challenging part of brownie making…letting them sit there for 1-2 hours (or more) to cool. Brutal.
  13. Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes.
  14. When it’s time to cut the brownies, use a very sharp knife (a bread knife works great), cut straight up and down and use a wet paper towel to clean off the knife between cuts.
  15. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 3-4 days. xo
tahini brownies with black + tan sesame sprinkles | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife


Leave a Comment


  • tahini manufacturers July 7, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    tahini manufacturers: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

  • Barbara September 1, 2016 at 12:18 AM

    Sounds soooo yummy. Wondering about kicking it up another tahini-notch and go the halvah route with a heavy swirl of sweetened halvah throughout the brownie? A girl can dream.

    • DisplacedHousewife September 1, 2016 at 5:34 PM

      Oh I like that idea — sounds delicious!! Let me know if you make it like that!! xoxo

  • Claudia | The Brick Kitchen March 2, 2016 at 2:56 AM

    That swirl!!! SO beautiful. I can’t say I’m in either camp at the moment, having never tried a tahini brownie – so will have to reserve judgement until I give it a try! Sounds amazing though, especially with all that bittersweet chocolate. And I LOVE halva with a chocolate swirl, which is pretty similar right? Gorgeous photos too!

    • DisplacedHousewife March 2, 2016 at 4:53 PM

      Thank you Claudia!!! I was so happy with the way the photos turned out…who knew tahini brownies would be so fun to shoot?!? xoxo

  • Lynn |The Road to Honey February 28, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    What?!? These don’t taste like hummus? I kid, I kid.

    But in all seriousness, I absolutely adore those little black and tan speckles. They give these brownies a little extra je n’ais ce quoi. And can we talk about that divine texture? They look so fudge-y and ooey that I suddenly find myself fantasizing about the chocolate smears artistically placed across my face as I devour each and everyone of these beauties. I guess I should have a pile of napkins sitting conveniently within arms reach, no? ;-)

    • DisplacedHousewife February 29, 2016 at 6:51 PM

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Lynn!! Such a nice comment…and yes, let’s talk texture! YUM!! xoxo

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen February 25, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    Wow Rebecca, how good do these look?! I have never tried tahini brownies, but obviously I’ve been missing something! Love the sesame seeds on top too!

    • DisplacedHousewife February 25, 2016 at 4:51 PM

      Thanks Mary Ann!! It’s too yummy…I highly recommend the tahini-chocolate pairing!! xoxo

  • Mary S. February 25, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Delicious! Pass the milk.

  • Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) February 24, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    i finally tried gjelina in la a couple weeks ago, and their tahini chocolate torte was so worth the parking hassle. so i’m solidly in the YESSSS TAHINI AND CHOCOLATE camp. also- that swirl!!

    • DisplacedHousewife February 25, 2016 at 12:06 AM

      Heatherrrrrr!!! I want to know more about their tahini chocolate torte!!! It sounds heavenly! xoxo

  • Zefa February 24, 2016 at 10:07 PM

    I would’ve never put tahini in a brownie but if you did it must be delicious!

  • Frank February 24, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    These look amazing!