Tahini marble cake is a moist and scrumptious cake with a buttery tender crumb. It tastes fantastic, and the tahini ganache icing takes it up a notch. This cake requires no butter!
Marble Cake With No Butter
I have been mulling the idea of baking with alternatives to butter, which is a rich source of saturated fat.
Marble cake, with its origin’s in German cuisine has traditionally been made with butter. The recipe here successfully recreates that cake using Tahini.
This tahini marble cake is easy because it uses only one base batter. Then we add bloomed cocoa to a portion of the batter for perfect flavor.
The tahini ganache on top makes it incredible. You won’t miss the butter in this cake!
Oil Vs. Butter and Substitutions
When substitutions are made, sometimes it comes with a compromise in taste and/or texture.
Oil based cakes do taste good in their own way. But cakes that are prepared using butter are more dense and yet have a tender buttery cake crumb. And when you yearn to have that texture, oil fails to deliver that.
Marble Cake With Tahini
I experimented with a mixture of tahini (ground sesame paste) and oil to substitute butter for this cake recipe. And I was amazed with the results. It gave me that exact butter cake like texture.
Depending on the tahini brand used, the cake can have a faint hint of tahini flavor, when using certain flavors like orange. But tastes great with vanilla extract.
What You Need
- Tahini: Choose a silky smooth tahini of pouring consistency. Best tahini comes from Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, etc., and I used Al-Wadi brand.
- Oil: Use a neutral tasting oil like light olive oil or avocado oil.
- Sugar: I used sugar, but you can also combine sugar and honey.
- Flour: All purpose flour is fine. But cake flour will give a more delicate texture. You can substitute half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour too. For substitutions use weight measures.
- Eggs: We use large eggs at room temperature. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Vanilla: This is my preferred flavor for this tahini based cake, but you can experiment with other flavors of your choice, such as almond, orange, etc.
- Cocoa Powder: Use a high quality cocoa powder for a rich taste. I prefer to use dutch-processed cocoa powder as it is darker and less acidic.
- Chocolate Bars: I prefer to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate bars rather than chocolate chips to make the icing. And chose Ghirardelli but any good quality brand is fine.
Cold eggs? Immerse them in warm water for five minutes to bring them to room temperature.
How to Make
Make the batter: Combine tahini, oil, sugar and salt. Whisk in eggs. Incorporate flour, baking powder, vanilla and milk.
Cocoa Paste and Marbling: Mix cocoa, sugar and milk. Add one-third of plain batter into it. Alternate vanilla and chocolate batter in the baking pan and swirl.
Another way to marble cake, is to drop spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter alternatively into the baking pan. Then the final swirl.
Tahini Chocolate Ganache Icing: Stir melted chocolate, tahini and honey to a smooth mixture. Pour over cake and spread it. Drizzle Tahini and swirl on top. Let the icing set and slice the cake.
Use flax eggs, nut milk and maple syrup to make it vegan, dairy-free and egg-free.
Tahini is well known for its nutritional benefits. It is heart healthy — sesame seeds are a rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, a very good source of magnesium and calcium and an excellent source of cholesterol lowering phytosterols.
These super seeds are also a very good source of iron. Research studies have shown the cancer protective and cholesterol lowering effects of the lignans present in sesame seeds — sesamol and sesamin.
Here is another favorite recipe which utilizes sesame seeds and where I discuss further about its nutritional benefits - Healthy Persian Barbari Bread.
More Healthier Desserts:
- Mulberry Marzipan Candy
- Amaranth Energy Balls with Dates
- Date Bar Cookies with Nuts
- Fruit Salad with Orange Juice
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Tahini Marble Cake (Tahini Chocolate Cake)
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup light olive oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 pinches salt
- 4 eggs large room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or extract
- 2 tablespoons milk room temperature
- 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 2½ tablespoons milk warm
- 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons tahini more if needed
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Preheat oven to 350 ºF
- Grease a 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan and set aside. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and if needed the sides of the pan as well.
- Using a hand mixer, whisk tahini with oil. Add sugar, salt and beat it until the mixture is fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar into the mixture and stir it in gently.
- Add just enough milk and gently whisk it into a mixture that has a slow dropping consistency. Do not overmix the batter.
- Combine the marbling ingredients — cocoa, sugar and milk into a smooth paste and let it rest for a few minutes. Then stir it with one-third of the cake batter.
- Layer half of the plain vanilla cake batter into the greased cake pan. Add dollops of the chocolate colored mixture. Layer the remaining plain cake batter. Top with leftover chocolate batter.
- Gently swirl a butter knife through the layers to create a marbling effect, but do not overdo it.
- Bake in the center rack in a preheated oven for about 50 to 60 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean, but with a few moist crumbs. Do not over-bake.
- Remove the cake pan from the oven. Let it rest a few minutes and invert the cake from the baking pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
Tahini Chocolate Ganache
- Melt the chopped chocolate bars in a microwave or over a double boiler. In a microwave-safe bowl heat it for 30 seconds initially, followed by 15 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth and melted.
- Stir in 4 teaspoons of tahini and honey until it reaches smooth consistency.
- Pour the ganache over the cake and spread it evenly.
- Drizzle 2 teaspoons tahini over the chocolate icing and swirl it a bit to create a pattern.
- Use all ingredients at room temperature.
- Make sure to measure the ingredients properly. Fluff the flour, then spoon it into the cups and then level it off. Even better is to use a kitchen scale and weigh your dry ingredients.
- Flour substitution: 1 part all purpose flour + 1 part whole wheat pastry flour
- To use other baking pans, follow this guide.
- Storage: Keep this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or about 5 days in a refrigerator. It will dry out a bit when refrigerated. To freeze, wrap cake in parchment paper or plastic wrap, then pack in freezer safe bag and freeze up to a month. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving
- More about ingredients in the blog post above.
More Cake Recipes
This post was first published on August 12th 2016 and has been updated with improvements in recipe, formatting, tips, pictures and additional enhancements.
Love your tahini substitution here! And the marble cake is perfectly moist and rich
It tasted awesome.