Tahini Swirl Brownies

Decadent and fudgy brownies get a major upgrade with a tahini swirl and just the right amount of toasted sesame oil—my secret ingredient for baking.

Chocolate Tahini Brownies with Flaky Salt on a Piece of Parchment Paper

Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

When it comes to brownies, I am a purist. Keep the nuts, booze, jams, candies, and marshmallows away from my classic, fudgy brownie. I am solely looking for a rich, chocolatey brownies—save me from the frills. The one exception that I have to this rule is tahini. The nutty, sesame spread makes for a subtle yet exciting addition to a baked good that is admittedly perfect as is.

These tahini swirl brownies are a riff on what I consider the greatest brownie recipe—I find myself coming back to it again and again and again. I’m obviously talking about Smitten Kitchen’s classic brownies. It all goes down in one bowl and it is as simple as they come, with flour, butter, unsweetened chocolate, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and salt. No rising agents, no shopping for chocolate in a variety of percentages—just one kind of the good stuff.

Add Sesame Flavor Throughout 

To really get the flavor of tahini in the brownies, I add some to the chocolate batter, in addition to swirling a couple spoonfuls of it on top. The swirled tahini mixture is sweetened with a little maple syrup and one of the most underrated ingredients to bake with: toasted sesame oil. It adds a deep, rich toasted sesame flavor without being too savory or overwhelming.

After all is said and done, these fudgy treats take under an hour to make and they feel elevated from your classic, bake sale brownie. I’d recommend using a premium tahini brand, such as Soom or Seed + Mill for the smoothest, creamiest, most luxurious brownies.

Chocolate Tahini Brownies with Flaky Salt on a Piece of Parchment Paper

Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

Tahini Swirl Brownies

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 16 servings
Yield 1 8x8-inch tray brownies


  • 5 tablespoons tahini, divided

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 ounces (85g) unsweetened chocolate bar, roughly chopped

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/3 cups (267g) sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour

  • Flaky salt, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

    Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

    Pyrex Baking Pan Lined with Parchment Paper and Sprayed with Nonstick Cooking Spray for Tahini Swirl Brownies Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

  2. Make the tahini mixture:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to combine 3 tablespoons tahini, the maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

    Tahini Swirl Ingredients Mixed Together in a Bowl for Chocolate Tahini Brownies

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

  3. Make the brownie batter:

    Create a double boiler by setting a medium, heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan filled with a couple inches of water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Set the saucepan over medium heat. 

    Melt chocolate, butter, and remaining 2 tablespoons tahini, stirring frequently with a whisk When the chocolate is fully melted, remove the bowl off the heat and stir until completely smooth. Whisk in the sugar, followed by the eggs, one at a time. Whisk in the vanilla and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

    Stir in the flour with a spatula until no streaks remain.

    Simple Tip!

    You can melt the chocolate, butter, and tahini in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each time, until fully melted.

    In a Mixing Bowl, Chopped Chocolate Pieces, Tahini, and Butter for Chocolate Tahini Brownies Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Melted Chocolate Mixed Using a Spatula for Chocolate Tahini Brownies

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Sugar Added to Bowl of Chocolate for Brownies with Tahini Swirl

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Salt and Egg Added to Tahini Swirl Brownies Batter

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Flour Added to Bowl with Chocolate Tahini Brownies Wet Ingredients

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

  4. Bake the brownies:

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Spoon the tahini mixture in small dollops on top and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter. Top with flaky salt, if you’d like, and bake until a toothpick comes out of the center without any wet batter, 28 to 30 minutes.

    Brownie Batter Added to Baking Dish for Chocolate Tahini Brownies

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Tahini Swirl Ingredients Topping Brownie Batter in Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    Tahini Swirled into the Batter, and Brownies Topped with Flaky Salt

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

  5. Cool and serve:

    Set the baking dish on a wire rack and fully cool the brownies to room temperature before slicing and serving. 

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    Baked Chocolate Tahini Brownies

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

    A Hand Holding a Chocolate Tahini Brownie, Showcasing the Chocolatey Cross Section, and in the Background, More Brownie Pieces on a Piece of Parchment

    Simply Recipes / Sara Tane

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
200 Calories
11g Fat
24g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 111mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 85mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.