Greek Sesame Tahini Cake with Spelt and Mixed Dried Fruits


I learned the basics of baking by watching and helping my mom in the kitchen as a child. While this was certainly a good introduction, I still used to pretty much follow baking recipes religiously when I started on my own. But now I take liberties and have even adjusted classic desserts containing eggs and dairy to ones that are suitable for vegans, with great success. This tahini cake — altered from Maria Speck's recipe — might now be my favorite vegan cake, next that is to my a classic olive oil almond cake.

Subtly sweet, moist and with a myriad of flavors from macerated dried fruits, vanilla, lemon juice, tahini and sesame seeds and likened by my best friend to a halva cake, that description fits the bill just fine, especially as he didn't know quite what to expect when I told him what I was serving up. This was enjoyed for dessert, but it also makes for a very satisfying breakfast or with a favorite cup of tea or coffee as an afternoon treat. A bonus is that is it easy to put together and you don't need an electric mixer — just a couple of bowls, spoons and measuring implements.

Tahini Cake with Spelt and Mixed Dried Fruits

Maria Speck also tells us that this cake is even better the day after it is made and I would certainly agree. It will keep for a good few days if tightly covered and left out at room temperature.

Greek Sesame Tahini Cake with Spelt and Mixed Dried FruitsGreek Sesame Tahini Cake with Spelt and Mixed Dried Fruits
Recipe by
Adapted from Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well
Cuisine: Greek
Published on June 10, 2018

Moist with a myriad of flavors from dried fruits, vanilla, lemon juice, tahini and sesame seeds, this Greek-inspired vegan cake is easy to make and is a perfect dessert or even enjoy for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee

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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried fruits, finely chopped (I used a combination of dried cherries, dates and apricots)
  • 1 tablespoon white grape juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups whole spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for sprinkling
Instructions:
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly grease the paper and sides of the pan again, sprinkle with flour to dust the pan, shake it around, and tap out excess flour that does not stick to the pan.

  • In a small bowl, combine the dried fruit, grape juice, lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside while you prepare the batter for the cake, stirring occasionally to combine the flavors as the fruit plumps up.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, tahini, water and apple sauce until well combined. Stir the mixture rapidly for about 2 minutes, until everything is well combined and creamy. Gradually and gently fold in the flour mixture, taking care not to over-mix the batter. Fold in the dried fruit with its soaking liquid, and the additional lemon juice and vanilla. The batter should be creamy but of a pourable consistency. If the batter seems too thin, slowly add more flour to the mixture, again taking care not to over-mix. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan, taking care to spread it evenly, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  • Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325° and bake for another 15 to 17 minutes or until the cake just begins to brown on the edges and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. About part way though the cooling period, run a sharp paring knife along the edges of the cake to loosen. Invert the cake onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, and carefully invert the cake back onto the wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar.

  • Cut into wedges using a sharp knife, dampened and wiped clean between each slicing. Serve with a scoop of coconut ice cream if desired.

Makes 8 slices

Sesame Tahini Cake

Other vegan baked goods to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Gluten-Free Vegan Gingerbread Muffins
Vegan Morning Glory Muffins
Classic Cornbread
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Filling and Ganache

On the top of the reading stack: Masala Mamas: Recipes and stories from Indian women changing their communities through food and love

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