Go Back

Molly Yeh's Chocolate Tahini Cake

By: Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land
Makes: 12 slices


For the cake

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flavourless oil, I used grape seed
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

For the tahini frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 cups powdered icing sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheight. Grease and flour three 7-inch round cake pans (or, one 13 x 9-inch baking dish).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil and tahini.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Whisk in the boiling water.
  • Divide batter evenly between cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 23-25 minutes.
  • Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and tahini until creamy.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix to combine.
  • Mix in the salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
  • Beat on high until fluffy, about one minute.

Assemble the cake

  • Level any domes that might have baked up on your cake layers.
  • Place the first cake layer cut-side-up on a cake board or plate.
  • Using an offset spatula, fill the layer with tahini frosting; add the second layer, cut-side-down, on top.
  • Fill the second layer with frosting and add the final layer, cut-side-down, on top.
  • Frost the entire exterior of the cake and use a cake smoother to smoothe, if desired.
  • Place cake in freezer to chill for 12-15 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Remove cake from freezer and frost a final layer of frosting, using a cake smoother if desired.
  • Optional: add a final sprinkle of fleur de sel and decorate with edible flowers or fresh berries!