This Chocolate Tahini Cake with Tahini Frosting and Tahini Caramel is a cake you never knew you needed in your life. It’s moist, yet light, and full of rich chocolate-y flavors (thanks to some help from the coffee!). It’s equal parts sweet, nutty, and rich, with just the right amount of chocolate. In addition, it’s layered with a silky tahini buttercream, and topped with a homemade salted tahini caramel sauce. Serve this at your next Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or birthday celebration.
This recipe was developed by Molly Krebs of Spices in My DNA for Soom.
For the cake
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup Soom Chocolate Sweet Tahini
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
For the tahini caramel
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp Soom Tahini
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
For the tahini buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup Soom Tahini
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9” cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the vegetable oil, melted and cooled chocolate, and Soom Chocolate Sweet Tahini and whisk to combine. Add the sour cream, vanilla, buttermilk, and cooled coffee and whisk again until smooth and combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter evenly into the pans and smooth out the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool almost completely in their pans, then gently invert onto a cooling rack and let them cool the rest of the way.
For the caramel
- Add the sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, but do not stir! Swirl the pan on the stove if you need to get it moving around.
- Continue cooking, without stirring, until an amber-colored caramel forms, about 6-7 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and slowly & carefully stir in the cream, and continue to stir until smooth. Don’t worry if it bubbles and looks crazy at first – just keep stirring.
- Once the cream is incorporated, add the butter, tahini, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine until melted. Let cool completely.
For the frosting
- Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat butter on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes or until lighter in color and fluffy. Add the tahini and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes. Lower the speed and add the powdered sugar, gradually. Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, raise the speed to high and add the vanilla, heavy cream, and salt and beat again for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy and fully combined.
- If frosting seems too stiff, add another tablespoon of heavy cream and beat again to incorporate.
- Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand, and spread the top with a layer of the buttercream. Top with the second cake layer and spread top with another layer of the buttercream. Use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides of the cake. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth out the sides of the cake.
- Pour the cooled tahini caramel over the cake and let it drip down the sides (you might not use it all, just use your desired amount!). Slice and serve!
Notes: Caramel can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in a sealed container at room temperature. If caramel hardens up, microwave it for a few seconds to loosen it back up before pouring on the cake. This frosting recipe makes enough for a “semi-naked” style cake. If you like a lot of frosting on your cake, double the frosting recipe.