Monday, April 18, 2011

Greek Tahini Cake with Maple-Date Glaze

I love simply prepared cakes and a slice of this tahini cake is just perfect.  It's dense, but incredibly moist.  It has a nutty flavor from the tahini and an underlying sweetness from the dates and maple syrup.  I could eat the whole cake (serves 8), but I decided not to and save a piece for my husband.  Serve this cake anytime with a cup of authentic Greek coffee, or a shot of Raki and you're all set!  Just delicious and so easy to make!  Takes me back to Crete!


1/3 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs, finely ground
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup tahini sauce/paste (found in Middle Eastern markets)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about two large oranges)
1 1/2 tbsp orange zest
1/4 tsp orange blossom water (optional-found in Middle Eastern markets)
1/3-1/2 cup filtered water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly oil and flour a 9" cake pan and set aside.
  • Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix by hand until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes until cake pulls away from the side of the pan and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool on a cake rack for about 15 minutes before removing.
Maple-Date Glaze:

1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup tahini sauce/paste
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish

  • Remove pit from dates and cut into quarters.  Place dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let sit covered for 30 minutes until soft, then drain off water.
  • In a blender or food processor add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Drizzle glaze over cake and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


  1. I don't have spelt flour. Can I use whole wheat pastry or just whole wheat instead?

    To make this gluten free, can I use oat flour? Or a blend of sorghum, millet, and tapioca? I have a friend who is gluten intolerant.

  2. You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour, but I wouldn't use regular whole wheat flour. I'm not an expert when it comes to gluten free baking and so I really can't give you much advice about the blend of flours to use. I know that Bob's Red Mill carries a gluten free blend that supposedly works really well. I guess I need to educate myself better on gluten free baking and start working on some recipes!


    also try mixing equal parts chickpea, rice, tapioca starch, potato starch + 1/2 - 3/4 tsp xanthan/guar gum per cup.

    I find that rice flour gives it a powdery mouth feel but it lends a lighter texture which is important.

    I would stay away from oat flour unless it says gluten free on the package. Oat flour is usually milled in the same space as wheat flour as a general rule.