Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 brownie)

Here's a recipe inspired by an idea from my good friend and baking colleague Dawn Woodward of Evelyn's Crackers. You start with brownies and then top them with a swirl of sweetened tahini that gives a delightful nutty depth of flavor and richness. Be sure to use untoasted sesame oil in the batter; the dark, toasted kind would be too strong.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place an oven rack in the upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan (not dark nonstick) with parchment paper; lightly coat parchment paper with cooking spray.

Step 3

Combine sesame oil, butter, and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until chocolate almost fully melts, stirring gently with a spatula. Remove top of double boiler; stir until chocolate fully melts. Pour chocolate mixture into a large bowl; add granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Add 2 eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in vanilla and salt. Fold in flour in two or three batches. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Combine tahini, brown sugar, and remaining 1 egg in a small bowl. Drop spoonfuls of tahini mixture onto brownie batter; swirl with the tip of a knife.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Ratings & Reviews

Perfect Special Brownies

November 20, 2015
Fabulous.  Turned out perfectly. Never had any of the problems others had.  Best brownies one could ever hope for (provided you love sesame/tahini, which I do).

My swirls were not so pretty

June 04, 2015
But these are very good.  Nice and moist, not cake-like at all.  My family loved them.  My only complaint is that the serving size is pretty small.  Will make again.


April 11, 2015
My husband and I are big fans of this recipe. It's absolutely delicious and really adds another level of flavor to traditional brownies. You can also use the sesame oil and tahini to dress up box mix brownies (for when you are feeling a bit lazy). I also like to add a bit of toasted sesame oil because it really adds depth of flavor. This recipe is a go-to in our house. Enjoy!

detailaddict's Review

March 05, 2014
I couldn't wait to try this recipe. Tahini is umami on steroids, and I've been looking for ways to pair it with chocolate. Wish I'd tested the recipe as-is first before doubling it. The brownie part lacks cohesion but tastes great, and I really think the sesame oil adds that depth of flavor and uber-chocolatey experience. But the tahini swirl turned out like overcooked scrambled egg - tough, tasteless and crumbly. It actually separates from the brownie underneath as you cut the squares. I was going to serve these to company but I'm glad I tasted one first. I would try this again but with more flour and/or less fat for better structure, some leavening (odd that this wasn't included) and without egg in the sweetened tahini.

arahbee's Review

February 19, 2014
I've made these twice, now, subbing in flaxseed oil for the sesame oil the first time. The only apparent difference was that the sesame oil one seems a bit more moist. These are very tasty, and I love how simple and quick they are to make. These are cakey, rather than chewy brownies, which are very good while still warm from the oven. I prefer chewy brownies, so this is why it just got three stars. Still: yum.