September 20, 2017

Turkish Tahini Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

The Cake Slice Bakers is an amazing group to be a part of.  Not only do I enjoy baking with this group of talented bakers, but it is the first group that I joined, so it will always have a special place in my heart and I love that each month's choices allow me to grow as a baker.

It is #CakeSliceBakers time, and we are back with our September cake from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. A little background on the #CakeSliceBakers ~ each month the Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the book and we each choose one cake to bake. On the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important one is to have fun (and enjoy baking & eating cakes!). The choices this month were Dobos Cake p.48, Lucas Glanville’s Sticky Date Cake with Caramel Sea Salt Sauce p.76, Turkish Tahini Cake p.114, Linzer Torte p.258. Once again any one of these cakes would have been an amazing bake, but I wanted to try something a little different, so I chose the Turkish Tahini Cake.

Tahini is usually thought of as a savory ingredient, but it is much more than that.  Tahini is made from toasted hulled sesame seeds that are ground into a paste. It has a nutty flavor that is similar to almond butter. There are a number of sweet recipes that incorporate tahini.  I went looking for some and now I have so many bookmarked to try that I am now going to have to start making my own tahini.

Don't be deterred when the sugar is mixed in to the tahini and it seems to separate just a little, as it will come back together when you mix in the orange juice and the flour.  I did not have any golden raisins so I added dates instead.  I actually think that dates are a much more fitting ingredient and they certainly added the sweetness that was needed to balance out the tahini. I may have added just a few too many of the sesame seeds.  Make sure that you press them down into the cake or you will be finding them in your kitchen for weeks after making the cake. In all honestly this was not my family's favorite cake, but I actually liked it.

Please scroll down after the recipe to see all the beautiful cakes that were baked this month, and don't forget to check out our Facebookpage. Also, if you are interested in joining the #TheCakeSliceBakers, please send me an email at thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com, and I will send you more information.

Turkish Tahini Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe

  • 250g (9 oz) tahini
  • 200g (1 cup) sugar
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) brandy
  • 210g (1½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed (I used an extra 90g)
  • 10g (2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 150g (1½ cups) walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 75g (2¾ oz) candied mixed peel
  • 75g (½ cup) dates, chopped
  • 240ml (1 cups) orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3-4 handfuls sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
  2. Line a 20cm (9-inch) round springform tin with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Add the walnuts, candied fruit, and the raisins and stir to combine; set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the tahini until it is smooth and light, then gradually beat in the sugar.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the brandy and baking soda, and add to the tahini mix.
  7. Add the orange zest.
  8. Add half of the flour mix to the tahini and beat well, followed by half of the orange juice and beat well again.
  9. Repeat with the remaining flour and orange juice, beating well (the cake batter should be thicker than your average batter, so add a little more flour if necessary to achieve this). 
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  11. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and lightly press down.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 55 minutes or until the cake is a deep brown nut color and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  13. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the cake from the pan and remove the parchment and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. Beautiful photos, Felice. The sesame seed topping is perfection!

  2. Hi Felice
    I like a lot your cake and it seems that you and your family as well. In the end there was only a few crumbs left over from the cake.

  3. Hadn't realized that tahini was sesame paste. It looks like a delicious cake and very moist. Bet all those seeds were crunchy as well as escaping all over.

  4. Wow, that sesame layer topping is fabulous! This recipe is calling out to me!

  5. This recipe also grabbed my attention! I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed this selection! Glad it turned out delicious!


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