Chewy Tahini Blondies

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If you're a fan of blondies, and you should be, look no further than these chewy, slightly nutty, and utterly indulgent blondies made with tahini. The recipe was created by Adeena Sussman, for her cookbook Sababa.

Photography Credit: Dan Perez

There are cookbooks, and then there are books you will cook from for life.

Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman, published in 2019, falls into the latter category. Each recipe is approachable, interesting, and bursting with flavor.

Beyond the recipes, she delves into details about ingredients, stories about her experiences in Israel, and recommendations for favorite kitchen tools and products.

This recipe for Chewy Tahini Blondies was a favorite among us at Simply Recipes. We loved it so much we asked Adeena if we could share it with you. Don’t let this be your only foray into her gorgeous book. These blondies are just the beginning of what will be a beautiful relationship with her food and writing. But I will let you tell her about them:

“I’ve made these so many times, so you won’t have to. On the surface this seems like a dead-simple recipe, but it took quite a bit of tinkering to nail. Tahini has a complex molecular structure made up of lots of tiny carbohydrate molecules that cling to liquid for dear life, seizing up the way chocolate does if you add liquid to it at the wrong time. But if you play your carbs right and add the tahini last, after all of the other ingredients, it stirs in smoothly and bakes up into these sexy little squares that get better as they sit around. To make these non-dairy, swap in a neutral-flavored olive oil or vegetable oil instead of the butter,” written in Sababa by Adeena Sussman.

White plate with a stack of square cute chewy tahini blondies on it against a bluish grey background. A cup of coffee with a partially eaten blondie is nearby.

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A blondie is kind of like the rich, caramelized, hints-of-molasses-flavored cousin of a brownie. You can make them chewy or cakey, simple or complex, but the universal component of a blondie is brown sugar. It’s what gives it the golden color and subtle molasses flavor.


Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It adds a creamy texture and subtle nutty flavor to recipes. When most people think of tahini, they think of hummus, but it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in sauces, dressings, marinades, and baked goods like these Tahini Blondies.


We think these blondies are perfect just the way they are, but baking is fun when you mix things up.

  • Swap the butter for oil to make them dairy-free.
  • Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips because, well, chocolate.
  • Add 1/4 cup of toasted nuts.
  • If you can’t find sesame seeds, leave them out.
  • If you don’t have tahini, make a different blondie recipe.


You can absolutely make these Tahini Blondies ahead and freeze them by layering the blondies between sheets of parchment and storing them in a ziptop bag or freezer safe container. Then grab one as a single serving treat when the mood strikes you!



If you’re looking for more great recipes, check out Adeena Sussman’s book, Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen. Autographed copies are available in our Simply Recipes Shop.

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Chewy Tahini Blondies recipe from Sababa by Adeena Sussman, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Adeena Sussman

Chewy Tahini Blondies Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 blondies

To make these tahini blondies dairy-free, replace the butter with a 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pan.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or more to taste if you really like this flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure tahini paste


1 Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line the pan with 2 criss-crossing strips of parchment paper, buttering between each layer and leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Butter the top and sides of the parchment.

2 Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, pepper, and the black and white sesame seeds.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated, then fold in the tahini until smooth.

3 Bake blondies: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden on the outside and the center doesn’t jiggle but is still soft, 25 to 30 minutes.

4 Serve: Remove from the oven, cool in the pan, and cut into 16 equal squares.

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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One Comment

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Elise

    Hi Summer and Adeena, thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve made it three times since you’ve posted it. I often buy tahini to make baba ganoush, and then I have a bunch left over. It doesn’t last forever (sesame so easily goes rancid), so I’m happy to find a recipe to use that extra tahini. I do think that the timing is key, you do want it to be a little soft in the middle when you pull it out. My timer didn’t work the first time and it overcooked a bit. It was still good, but more cake-like than blondie-like. I also used 100% whole wheat flour, which can sometimes be problematic when using in place of regular all purpose flour, but in this case, worked perfectly. Thanks again!


White plate with a stack of square cute chewy tahini blondies on it against a bluish grey background. A cup of coffee with a partially eaten blondie is nearby.Chewy Tahini Blondies