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Tahinopita: Greek Vegan Tahini Cake

Tahinopita is a Greek cake that is made with tahini (a sesame paste), orange, and dried fruit. It is moist, delicious, vegan, and the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee.



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This cake is moist, dense, and perfect for Lent. It’s made without any dairy, eggs, butter, not even a drop of olive oil. Instead, there’s healthy, nutty tahini paste, raisins, walnuts, and aromatic cardamom. However, you can flavor it many different ways.

Here are a few:

  • add some dark chocolate chips/chunks instead or with the nuts
  • substitute cranberries, figs, dates, or dried cherries for the raisins
  • give some baklava flavor by adding a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves
  • anise seeds are lovely and aromatic in this cake
  • diced apples will make it extra hearty and moist

Do you see that fudginess in the center? I like to under-bake this cake just a little. I take it out of the oven at the 35-minute mark to create an extra moist and dense center. Some people prefer a drier cake and that is fine! Just bake it longer. It will be ready when a toothpick that is inserted in the center comes out clean or with some dry crumbs. That’s about 45-55 minutes.

Helpful Tips:

  • Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds. It’s sold in Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets either in jars or tins. As soon as you’re ready to use it make sure to mix it well. The paste settles at the bottom and the oil rises to the top. If you do not stir it, the first recipe that the tahini is added to will use up all of the oil. As a consequence, you will be left with a dry sesame paste at the bottom.
  • Try to purchase the freshest tahini that you can find. Fresh tahini will be creamy and smooth. I recently opened a can of tahini that was solid as a rock!! I couldn’t even stir it…

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Make a batch or two of this cake and call some friends over. Serve it with hot tea or coffee and enjoy!

The cake can be topped with powdered sugar, chocolate ganache, or a simple orange glaze. You choose!

To make an orange glaze, combine powdered sugar with some orange juice and whisk together until smooth. The more orange juice is added, the thinner and more translucent the glaze will be. Likewise, adding more powdered sugar and less juice will create a thicker, whiter glaze.

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Tahinopita: Greek Vegan Tahini Cake

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By Dimitra Khan Serves: 8-10

Tahinopita is a Greek cake that is made with tahini (a sesame paste), orange, and dried fruit. It is moist, delicious, vegan, and the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee.


  • The Dry Ingredients:
  • • 2 and ½ cups (380 g) all-purpose flour
  • • 2 and ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • • ½ cup ground walnuts
  • • ½ cup raisins
  • • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • Optional:
  • • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • • ½ cup of chocolate chips
  • • ½ cup /cranberries/dates/figs
  • • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • • 1 cup diced apples
  • The Wet Ingredients:
  • • 1 cup tahini
  • • 1 cup of orange juice
  • • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 1 cup of sugar
  • • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Toppings:
  • • Powdered sugar
  • • Chocolate ganache
  • • Orange icing



Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.


Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.


Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl except for the walnuts and raisins. Place those in a smaller bowl.


Add the orange zest to the dry ingredients and whisk together. Take 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and add it to the walnuts and raisins. Toss to coat and set aside.


Add the oil and sugar to a mixing bowl along with the vanilla extract.


Mix together the baking soda with the orange juice. DO this in a cup that holds at least 2 cups of liquid because it will foam up. Add the mixture to the mixer and whisk together until combined. About 3 minutes.


Slowly add the flour mixture.


Add the walnuts and raisins and mix until combined.


Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.


Bake on the center rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


I like to under-bake the cake a bit so that the center is a bit fudgy. This takes 35 minutes.


If you prefer a fully baked cake, bake for 45-55 minutes.


Allow the cake to cool then place the cake on a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with tea or coffee. Enjoy!


Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

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  • Reply
    March 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Gosh, yes!! Love Tahini … sesame goodness!

  • Reply
    Toula Vass
    May 27, 2020 at 5:39 am

    I baked this cake for longer than the recommended 35 minutes and it was firm and chewy, unlike any other cake I have tasted! A very palatable sweet with a cup of tea, it leaves you wanting more! Thanks Dimitra😊😍

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