Vegan Tahini Chocolate Cake 

I am a big fan of tahini.  It is good in savory applications like hummus, dressing and sauces, but it is equally good in desserts.  I had bought a bunch of tahini for making halva, and decided that a chocolate and tahini dessert will be amazing.  What I decided on was a rich chocolate cake.  Because sometimes you just crave a really good chocolate cake.  It seemed like the perfect thing to make on a snowy day.  They had predicted a big snow storm last Friday and we were right in the middle of it.  There is something cozy about doing some baking and gazing out at the snow falling.

For the base, I used my date sweetened chocolate cake made rich with tahini instead of oil.  I love date sweetened cakes, because they stay nice and moist without being heavy.  Also, the dates give the flavor of the cake a caramel note.  The batter was delicious even before I baked it.  I used quinoa flour in this to make it gluten free, but if you wanted to just use whole wheat pastry flour instead that would work as well for a non gluten free option.

The cake baked up beautifully and filled my kitchen with the most heavenly aroma like brownies.  I wanted a simple frosting for this cake that was easy to make so I went with tahini in the base as well.  I added in cacao powder and maple syrup and it made a delicious fudgy frosting!  It worked out perfect on the cake, spread nicely and didn't involve any chilling or whipping or anything.

Lastly, I topped the cake off with some home made sesame brittle to make it pretty. I could not wait to try it!  It was super delicious, fudgy and rich with intense chocolate flavor and a bit of nuttiness from the tahini.  Sooo heavenly!  You would never guess it was vegan, gluten free and oil free!  I shared some with family and friends and they loved it as well.  If you are a chocolate fan, definitely give it a try!

Vegan Tahini Chocolate Cake 

Makes one 2 layer 6 inch cake


6 inch cake pans


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour*
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups packed soft medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar



  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


Sesame Brittle (optional):

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and position rack in center of oven.
  2. Oil two 6 inch round cake pans with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment.
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt in a large bowl to blend well.
  4. Place dates, water, tahini, and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth, then whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form.
  5. Pour the cake batter into prepared pans, and place in the oven.
  6. Bake cakes until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool completely, then un-mold them onto two plates, cover and set aside.
  7. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  8. To assemble, place one cake layer on a plate, and spread about 1/2 cup frosting over it.  Place the other cake layer over that, then spread the remaining frosting on the top and down the sides of the cake.  Place cake in refrigerator while you make the brittle.
  9. To make the brittle, in a non-stick pan, melt the sugar until it is completely smooth over medium heat (this should take about 5 minutes), add the sesame seeds, stir until mixed in well, then pour onto a sheet of parchment or foil and allow to cool completely.  Once it has cooled, break into pieces and decorate the top of the cake with it.
  10. Enjoy!

*If you can't find quinoa flour, you could use organic whole wheat pastry flour instead for a non-gluten free version.


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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

  1. suzi
    January 20, 2020 at 23:27

    This is incredibly gorgeous to see and your ingredient list suits my wishes when it comes to making, eating and sharing!! No junk at all!! And did I mention it's gorgeous?!!! I am trying this in mini cakes or cupcakes. Very nicely done, Chef!!

    • January 21, 2020 at 19:10

      I am so happy to hear you enjoy it! I try to make healthier things many times and it is always nice when people like you appreciate that! Thank you so much :)!

      • Isashark
        January 29, 2020 at 20:47

        Does the frosting "set"? I'm hoping to take it to a picnic tomorrow and it's going to be a very hot day!

        • January 30, 2020 at 18:29

          This frosting pretty much stays the consistency it is when you frost it, since it has nothing in it to help it thicken but the cacao powder which does not need to chill to thicken. You should be fine.

  2. jacquie
    January 21, 2020 at 13:09

    That looks so good! I have to make a cake for work but don't want to make a layered one as i don't have the pans. Can I make this in a 13x9 pan?

    • January 21, 2020 at 19:08

      This cake could be baked in a 9 inch round pan for one layer or a 9x9 inch square pan for a one layer cake, but I am not sure about the 13x9 because the volume of my batter is 8 cups and the 9x13 would be 14 cups so if you doubled the recipe it would be too much, and it would be really thin if you baked it the way the recipe is. So maybe 1 1/2 times this recipe would work. Sorry, I just have never tried baking my cakes in a 9x13 and I don't want yours to not turn out. If you try it though, definitely let me know so I can advise others in the future :).

      • jacquie
        January 23, 2020 at 08:44

        Thanks for getting back to me. I hadn't noticed that you used 6" pans and assumed they were larger so you are so right that a 13x9 pan won't easily work. As good as the cake sounds and looks, I suspect I won't be making it as i don't have the correct pan sizes. Thanks anyways.

        • January 23, 2020 at 18:27

          You could also make cupcakes, it is cheap and easy to get muffin liners even if you don't own a muffin pan :).

    • Angelique Goldsworthy
      June 4, 2020 at 01:39

      I used a bread loaf baking pan and it was perfect. I made two muffins on the side (in small ramekin dishes) as there was a little too much batter for the loaf pan.

      • June 4, 2020 at 18:02

        I am so happy to hear you made it work for you :)!

  3. Charu Patel
    January 22, 2020 at 05:49

    I definitely will try this recipe. Want to know if I can use red quinoa flour instead of white

    • January 22, 2020 at 21:09

      Yes you can, didn't even know red quinoa flour existed, they should work the same :).

  4. Clive Bevan
    January 22, 2020 at 14:15

    Are your cups American or UK please

  5. Kelsie
    May 22, 2020 at 08:42

    Wow this looks amazing!! The last vegan cake I tried was horrid! Completely inedible. It was floury, dry and crumbled into dust when cut. It really put me off trying a vegan cake again. But This one looks moist and like it has a proper cake crumb - I look forward to trying it!

    • May 22, 2020 at 18:06

      Thank you so much :)! Yes, this one is nice and moist and soft like traditional cake :)! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  6. Kelly
    December 11, 2020 at 20:46

    2 cups of water, really? It sounds too much, won't cake batter be too watery?

    • December 13, 2020 at 21:31

      Yes, that is correct because it is actually really quite thick once blended up with the dates and nut butter. This has been my basic date cake batter for years (give or take a few ingredients like the nut butter, or cacao etc to flavor the cake) and it has never been too watery :).

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