Photo credit Eitan Productions and Penguin Random House/Clarkson Potter
Prep Cook Yield Ready In
15 minutes 45 minutes 8-10 60 minutes

Eitan Bernath’s Chocolate Tahini Cake Recipe

And it's topped with a halva crumb topping to die for.

I love tahini in any form. What makes this cake so special is that not only is there tahini in the cake, but there is also a crumb topping that’s chock-full of halva. This cake is super moist and so easy that it’s as if your favorite boxed cake mix got a major upgrade.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from “Eitan Eats the World.” To read more about Eitan Bernath check out this article from our partner site The New York Jewish Week.


For the crumble:

  • 3⁄4 cup (105g) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (50g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 stick (55g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp well-stirred tahini
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup crumbled halva

For the cake:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 3⁄4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1⁄4 cup (60g) whole milk
  • 1⁄4 cup (60g) sour cream
  • 1⁄2 cup (105g) vegetable oil
  • 1⁄4 cup (70g) well-stirred tahini
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup (118g) boiling water
For serving (optional)

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds


  1. To make the crumble: Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well blended. Add the butter and, using clean fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until large clumps form. Add the tahini and vanilla and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Add the crumbled halva, stirring to combine, and set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F. Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper and coat it with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until well combined.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, tahini and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and whisk until blended and no streaks of flour remain. Whisk in the boiling water, stirring until smooth.
  5. Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 20 minutes. Scatter the crumble on top of the cake and continue to bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes, then remove it from the pan. If you’re making the melted chocolate, 5 to 10 minutes before serving, place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is fully melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving, if desired.

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