If there's a way to improve upon an already perfect chocolate dessert, I just might have found it. These beautiful swirly Tahini Brownies have all the flavors of a deep, dark and rich brownie, but with a nutty swirl of tahini on top. This brownie is bittersweet and sophisticated, and the flavors will have you making them again and again!
The massive jar of tahini is still in my pantry, and while I could keep making Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies for the rest of my life, I think tahini brownies are next!
If you’re craving super sweet brownies, these are not for you. However, if you find yourself snapping off a piece of 70% dark chocolate for a snack, these are absolutely for you.
The tahini brownies are light on the sugar front, and heavy on the dark chocolate. The tahini lacks any additional sugar, and so bittersweet is the operative word here. I happen to love this dessert, but I wouldn’t reach for these in a must-have-chocolate rage. For that, I reach for my Mississippi Mud Brownies or my Oreo Brownies. My classic small batch brownies for two are always welcome, too.
- Butter. I bake with unsalted, high-quality European style butter. It contains slightly less water and more fat by percentage than regular butter, and I think it's worth it. However, regular store-brand butter is just as perfect here, too!
- Sugar. We're using granulated sugar for these tahini brownies.
- Cocoa Powder. Always bake tahini brownies with unsweetened, all-natural cocoa powder. The label should say 100% cocoa powder, and please also note that Dutch process cocoa powder works for this recipe.
- Salt. Please don't omit salt in desserts, because the salt balances the sweetness. Anytime I leave out even the smallest pinch of salt in a recipe, I notice the final product tastes a bit flat. Use the ¼ teaspoon of salt for these brownies, and you will love the balance it brings to the sweet and bitter flavors at play.
- Vanilla. Pure real vanilla extract is best.
- Egg. Yes, we're using one whole egg for this recipe. In brownies, the protein in the eggs emulsify the batter and make a dense, fudge-like brownie.
- Flour. A small amount of flour is crucial, because the gluten in the flour makes a chewy brownie.
- Tahini. The tahini I use is 100% natural. It does not contain salt, and furthermore, no other ingredients listed besides sesame seeds. This Soom foods tahini is the absolute best tasting tahini I have ever eaten. I know it's pricy, but I think it's so worth it.
How to Make Tahini Brownies
Like almost all of my brownie recipes, I start by melting the ingredients together in the microwave. If you don't have a microwave, just place a heat-safe bowl on top of a pan of simmering water on the stove. Please be sure to use a metal or otherwise heat-safe bowl, and know that a glass bowl might break if you use it as a double boiler.
To make tahini brownies, first preheat the oven to 325-degrees Fahrenheit, and line a 9" bread loaf pan with parchment paper in one direction. You can use heat-safe metal clips to hold the parchment paper in place, if necessary (see photo below). Then, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stop, stir, and then microwave another 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the microwave carefully (it will be hot!), and then stir in the salt and vanilla. Stir for a few minutes to cool the mixture. Next, stir in the egg. Stir the egg into the batter until it entirely disappears, about 20 strokes.
Next, add the flour to the batter, and then stir for 40 strokes. Stir vigorously to incorporate air into the batter. This brisk stirring fully activates the gluten in the flour, which will result in a chewy brownie, not a cake-like brownie.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and level the mixture.
Next, scoop the tahini on top of the batter, and use a knife or toothpick to swirl it in. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it. My gas oven took 20 minutes, but an electric oven may take up to 25 minutes.
Let cool slightly, and then remove the tahini brownies from the pan to cool completely. Slice and serve.
Tahini Brownie Substitutions
- Tahini - If you can't find tahini, you can use any type of seed or nut butter for this recipe. Just make sure it's on the runnier side (the natural products typically are), and use it in the same amount as the tahini.
- Additions - dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped nuts would all be welcome in these tahini brownies.
- Dairy-Free - This recipe calls for butter, but you can substitute a cultured vegan butter in its place.
- Egg- Do not use anything but a real whole egg for this recipe. If you need Eggless Brownies, I have those for you instead.
How to Store and Freeze Tahini Brownies
These treats keep on the counter in an air-tight container for a day or two. Beyond that, you can store them covered in the fridge. I happen to love the texture of frozen brownies, so sometimes I double-wrap these in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You're probably supposed to let them thaw on the counter before eating, but I like them right out of the freezer!
Tahini Swirl Brownies
Delicious, easy and fudgy, these tahini brownies are bittersweet and perfect.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons pure tahini
- Preheat the oven to 325, and have a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Line a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to easily lift out the brownies after baking.
- Dice the butter into 8 pieces, and then add it to a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cocoa powder on top.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, and then microwave another 30 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave carefully (it will be hot!), and then stir in the salt and vanilla. Stir for a few minutes to cool the mixture. Next, stir in the egg. Stir the egg into the batter until it entirely disappears, about 20 strokes.
- Next, add the flour to the batter, and then stir for 40 strokes. Stir vigorously to incorporate air into the batter. Sorry, I know I'm making you work hard for these brownies.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and level the mixture. Next, scoop the tahini on top of the batter, and use a knife or toothpick to swirl it in.
- Bake on the lower rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it. My gas oven took 20 minutes, but my Mom's electric oven takes 25 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, and then remove the brownies from the pan to cool completely. Slice and serve.
Tahini - If you can't find tahini, you can use any type of seed or nut butter for this recipe. Just make sure it's on the runnier side (the natural products typically are), and use it in the same amount as the tahini.
Additions - dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped nuts would all be welcome in this tahini brownie batter.
Dairy-Free - This recipe calls for butter, but you can substitute a cultured vegan butter in its place.
Egg- Do not use anything but a real whole egg for this recipe.
Storage: These treats keep on the counter in an air-tight container for a day or two. Beyond that, you can store them covered in the fridge. They can also sustain a 3 month freeze if they are double-wrapped in plastic wrap. To thaw, leave at room temperature, or enjoy them frozen, like I do!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
Love how these are marbled on top. And loving the bittersweet twist on a brownie. Would never have thought to add tahini, but bet it goes beautifully with chocolate. Almost like peanut butter, but a little more refined.
These brownies may be some of the most gorgeous things I have seen in a while. I love it!
Isadora @ she likes food says
I've never thought to add tahini to any of my baked good, how creative and delicious that sounds! I don't have a huge sweet tooth, so these would be perfect. I'm very intrigued by these and I can't wait to try them :)
Christine @ Cooking with Cakes says
gingerly creepin' on your blog ova here and O-M-G how did I miss this?!?! tahini is my liiiiiife, and putting it in brownies is seriously the best idea ever - I think I just died
I recently made tahini, so now I have to make these! They look so yum! I mentioned on my blog that these beauties are on near the top of my "to bake" list.
Hi Christina! Thank you for this idea! I’ve just tried them out (so yummy!!) and I’ve never seen brownies so flat before. Is that how they’re suppose to be? It’s the first brownie recipe I’ve tried of yours. I don’t have a microwave so maybe it was heating the butter and things on the stove that didn’t work out? The batter was so fudgy (delicious!) but the consistency was too thick to swirl the tahini. Any tips or tricks or is this how they’re suppose to turn out? Either way they are VERY yummy!! Thank you!!
Y. Brunot says
If you add some grated orange rind (1tsp to 1.5 tsp) to the brownie battter, it will change your life. Just sayin'
Christina Lane says
Orange plus tahini?! That sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing! :)
I just made these today and they are lovely!