Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for tahini cake with coffee caramel


I’ve recently rediscovered my love for simple, single-layered cakes. For a special occasion, I’m more than happy to spend a whole afternoon levelling, filling and attempting perfectly crisp buttercream edges, but the sort of cake I fancy during the week is a lot more humble. Something that’s easy to pull together, suits thick slices and can be savoured with a good cup of tea. This cake is exactly that.

Tahini cake with coffee caramel
Tahini brings a deep, nutty flavour to bakes without actually using nuts. It introduces welcome savoury notes to this cake, which are balanced out by the sweet coffee caramel and cream cheese icing.

Prep 20 min
Cook 35 min
Serves 8

For the cake
210g unsalted butter, softened
200g soft light brown sugar
70g tahini
3 eggs
220g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp milk

For the coffee caramel
55g unsalted butter
40g caster sugar
30g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder
60ml double cream
¼ tsp fine salt

For the cream cheese icing
100g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
180g cream cheese
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 180C (170C fan)/350F/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar for three to five minutes, until pale and creamy. Add the tahini, beat for another minute, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into the mix, stir until smooth, then mix in the milk. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the caramel: heat the butter, sugars, syrup and coffee in a small pan and leave it to simmer for two minutes, stirring every so often, until the sugars have completely melted. Add the cream and stir until combined. Let the caramel simmer for another minute, then add the salt. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

For the icing, beat the butter and sugar for two minutes until smooth. Stir in the cream cheese until just combined, then stir in half the cooled coffee caramel.

Spread the icing on top of the cooled cake, drizzle over the remaining caramel, scatter with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.