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recipe: apple tahini cake

February 1, 2010

Courtesy of my friend Sara at, here is a recipe that is just mouth-watering. Now, around here, we love to eat Mediterranean food. When Sara posted this recipe on her blog, I could not resist. After all, the ingredient that took center stage was tahini, which is a paste made up of ground sesame seeds. Tahini is often used in hummus and halva. And if you love hummus and halva like I do, well, you have to love tahini.

I adapted this recipe because I made it for a friend who is allergic to gluten. Plus, I didn’t have any cognac or brandy in the pantry so I made do with a substitute. AND, I used large, glass pie pan and an 8×8 inch glass pan instead of a springform pan (yes, I made two batches of this). Once again, thanks Sara! This cake will make a regular appearance in our household.

Apple Tahini Cake (or Tahinopita Nistisimi, adapted from Nomad With Cookies)


  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp peach juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup peeled and diced granny smith apple (from 1 small apple)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • powdered sugar

(for the first batch, using a large, glass pie plate)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the pie plate with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.
2. Pour the tahini and a large bowl, beat with a mixer and slowly add sugar. Continue mixing together.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the peach juice and baking soda to dissolve. Add this to the tahini and use a wooden spoon to mix everything.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, walnuts and diced apple. Toss together to mix.
5. Add 1/3 cup of the flour/nut mixture to the tahini and mix. Add 1/2 cup of orange juice and mix. Add another 1/3 cup of flour, then the other 1/2 cup of orange juice. Finish with the remaining flour and mix just until combined. The batter will be thick.
6. Pour the batter into the pie plate and even out. Bake for 45 minutes until the cake is a dark, chestnut color. (I tested the cake to make sure it was done by inserting a clean knife in the center and saw if any of the batter pulled out)
7. Take the cake out of the oven, dust with powdered sugar, and cool completely in pan.

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