Vegan tahini cookies

Vegan tahini cookies

vegan tahini cookies stack

Hands up who doesn’t like homemade cookies? Exactly, just as I thought…! Today’s recipe transforms 6 humble ingredients into a delicious vegan tahini cookie (as I love all things tahini) that will make you look forward to your tea or coffee break that little bit more.

Apart from tasting great, this cookie is practically a health food:). It does not use any refined sugar or any other fat other than the mighty tahini itself. Tahini is a great ingredient as not only does it taste great but it’s also super rich in some key nutrients that you body actually needs (phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15).

In my search for a perfect vegan tahini cookie, I did a fair bit of experimentation. I rolled up my sleeves and made 10 different cookies, which were then sampled by a two person testing team to help me decide which one is worth the guilt. Some of the candidates were unmitigated disasters, others were okay, but did not make you want to reach for another one.

In the end, it came down to two cookies, this one and a gluten-free version of it (see instructions). Just to manage your expectations, as I know there are two different cookie camps out there: some like them soft and chewy while others like them thin and crisp. These cookies are definitely of the first variety. They are quite soft, a little bit chewy and very, very nutty.

vegan tahini cookies before baking

vegan tahini cookies tea

makes
12
PREP
15 min
COOKING
10 min
makes
12
PREPARATION
15 min
COOKING
10 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp tahini
  • 60 gr walnuts, whizzed into a flour / approx. ½ cup ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90 gr / approx. ¾ cup all purpose flour, sifted / oat or buckwheat flour (for GF version)
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • black & white sesame seeds to decorate (optional)
METHOD
  1. In a bowl, mix up maple syrup, tahini* and vanilla essence until fully combined and there are no lumps in your tahini.
  2. Mix in ground walnuts until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine sifted flour and baking soda. Add it to the tahini mixture in 3 batches. The mixture will be thick and sticky so it’s best to use your hands. If you want to make these cookies gluten free, either use ready-made oat or buckwheat flour or grind up gluten-free oats in a coffee grinder or food processor.
  4. Divide dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and dip it in a plate of sesame seeds (if using), press the ball down with a bottom of a glass to create a ½ cm thick 5 cm (2 in) diameter disc.
  5. Once you get all the discs coated in sesame seeds, put them into the fridge for about 40 min. 30 min in, pre-heat the oven to 175° C / 350° F.
  6. Bake in a hot oven for 10-12 mins. Remove the biscuits from the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool down completely before eating. Store in an airtight container.

NOTES
*If your tahini has separated, make sure you stir the oil back in before using it in this recipe.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
116
6%
sugars
4 g
5%
fats
7 g
10%
saturates
1 g
4%
proteins
3 g
5%
carbs
12 g
5%
*per cookie
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5.0
17 reviews, 56 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Sakina:
Made these today & they are perfect! I couldn’t stop eating them 😁 I didn’t have any walnuts so used pecans instead. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Sakina. I'm so happy to hear that these were such a hit with you. x Ania
Robyn:
These are so lovely! I agree with another commenter that they remind me of halvah, which I love. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Robyn! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed them. x Ania
Chloe:
These look delicious!! Is there any substitute for tahini that I can use?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Chloe. Sure you can sub it with runny almond or cashew butter (in fact any nut or seed butter you like). Ania
Laurel:
Made these tonight and they were so good! I was hesitant-- I thought they'd be more of a savory cookie or at least a less sweet "tea" cookie but they were surprisingly sweet (not too much) and good! The maple syrup was just the right amount. I did add the sesame seeds and I loved them that way. You can easily leave that off and it'd be great. I used the ground oats as the flour option. I followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Laurel! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed these and thank you so much for taking the time to let me know - I really appreciate it! x Ania
Bella Sp:
I love this recipe and have now used it twice! It's so quick and easy. The cookies taste yummy and healthy. I use ground almond (same quanitty) instead of walnuts because I can't blend up nuts to a flour and it works perfectly. I also cooked them without the sesame seed coating - and they are still good. My non-vegan friends love them just as much as me. Perfect :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Bella! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy these cookies so much and thank you for taking the time to let me and other readers know - much appreciated. x Ania
Simay Arpaci:
Hi:)
Great recipe! Can we skip the fridge part before putting in the oven, if we don’t have that much time?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, glad you like it! I could but it will affect the texture of these cookies a little. Chilling is recommended. Hope this helps! Ania
Julie:
Thank you Ania! I'll give the sunflower seeds a go.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Awesome, I hope you'll enjoy the end result. Ania
Julie:
I'd love to make these for my daughter's lunchbox, but they don't allow any nuts at school. What could I use instead of the ground walnuts?
    Ania
    Ania:
    The easiest solution and one that would really work flavour-wise is to grind up sesame seeds and use them instead, otherwise sunflower seeds should work also. Hope this helps! Ania
Melinda:
hi, I love these cookies! Fridge is helping sesame seeds to stick? I skipped fridge, and seeds are separated now :(
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Melinda,
    Yes in the sense that it solidifies the cookie mixture around the sesame seeds and so they stay on better, but the main reason for chilling the mixture is to allow the flour to rest. It could also be that your dough was a bit too dry - in which case use a touch less flour or add a bit more moisture (plant milk). Hope that helps! Ania
Yana:
Wow! These are sooo delicious!! They have the perfect amount of sweetness and slightly chewy texture! My husband said it’s like a mix between a cookie and halva(and we sure love halva). I didn’t have walnuts on hand, but had pecan nut instead. I can’t wait to try these with walnuts next time! Thank you for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Yana! That's lovely to hear! x Ania
Emanta:
Hi I am Emanta from The Netherlands and against my autoimmune diseases I am on a vegan diet without gluten, lactose, sugar, chocolate. Do you have recipes for me too?
Thanks so much.
Kind regards, Emanta
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Emanta,
    Welcome and I'm sorry to hear that you are battling an autoimmune disease. I'm pretty sure I do. My blog is vegan so no lactose anywhere, as for sugar and chocolate you probably want to avoid dessert section unless you can have things like dates or maple syrup. And many other recipes are gluten-free. Have a browse, hopefully something catches your eye! Good luck! x Ania
Aniela:
Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m making it for the second time right now. This time I’m using half spelt flour and half white and they taste very similar, atleast as good as the first batch, which everyone loved. They are not too sweet and I feel good about giving them to my toddler as a nice source of iron and calcium. They remind us of the sesame biscuits we often ate for breakfast in China when we lived there some years ago. Yum:)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for your kind words, Aniela! I'm really glad you liked these! Ania
Alicia Beavis:
I changed a few things. I used brown rice flour and instead of the sweeteners you used, I used 100% dates so there was a measurement discrepancy on multiple levels to make them strictly whole food, plant based but omg!! First time I ever have managed to make a crunchy biscuit since turning plant based! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Also, I've been struggling to gain weight but I have a feeling that's about to change. Haha! Thanks again.
P. S. Tahini is a gift from the gods!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm delighted to hear that, Alicia! So happy to hear that you are enjoying them x Ania
razieh:
Thanks a lot.
razieh:
Thanks very much for your great recipes.
can I cut out this cookies with a cutter?
    Ania
    Ania:
    You are very welcome! I have not tried, but you should be able to, I don't see why not.
Cassie:
These are SO GOOD! Not too sweet, super dunk-able in a cup of coffee, and so easy to make! The reviews were positive, but they are sincerely delicious! Love and will be making again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, that's awesome to hear, Cassie! Thank you :) Ania
Kaarin:
What an awesome recipe Ania! I made these tonight with a couple of substitutions- honey and GF Flour. Ve
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's brilliant to know, Kaarin! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Ania
Corinne:
I was intrigued when this recipe popped up on Pinterest. Made them this afternoon and will definitely make them again! I used dark buckwheat flour and am eager to try them with different food such as sorghum and fisted chickpea flour (which should be delicious!)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear that, Corinne! x
Allison Smith:
These biscuits are delicious, I have made them about three times now, they are so tasty with a soy cappucino. The biscuits look so good, when they have been baked too
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Allison! I'm very delighted to hear that they hit the spot! Ania
emelie:
These were truly incredible; even my bestie who isn't normally a fan of "healthy alternatives" thought they were amazing! I used almond flour instead of all purpose and just doubled the baking soda, and I mixed some cacao nibs through as well. They had a lil bit of crunch on the outside and were deliciously soft on the inside. Thanks so much for this recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Emelie, I'm delighted to hear that you guys enjoyed them so much! :) Ania
emelie:
Is the maple syrup necessary for the texture, or just sweetness? Can it be left out without affecting the texture? I don't have any on hand... perhaps a granulated sweetener like stevia or coconut sugar would work?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Emelie,
    The recipe proportions are calibrated to work with a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup) so changing it to coconut sugar, for example, will require some adjustment. I am not sure it will taste exactly the same either as coconut sugar is less sweet, at least to my palate. Stevia might give it sweetness, but won't give the cookies the same texture (sugar is used in baking not only to give sweetness, but also to provide texture to baking goods) You are welcome to experiment, but it certainly isn't a one-to-one swap. Hope that helps! Ania
Sarah:
Hi Ania, these sound delicious. I want to 'bake ahead' for a party. How long do the cookies keep?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Sarah,
    I'm not sure as they always get eaten quickly in my house, a couple of days for sure, but like any cookie they taste best freshly made, I would say. Ania
Abi:
Does whizzed mean you put it in the food proccesor?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Abi,
    Yes, it does. Or in a coffee / spicer grinder if you prefer. The point is to make it into flour. Hope that helps! Ania
Mathéus:
I completely glossed over the instruction that said the refrigerate first! Woops... But, I must say, the cookies still turned out delicious! I think they puffed up more in the oven than they would have had they been refrigerated, but that's okay with me! I also cooked them more around 15 minutes, and used gf flour and almond flour as I had no walnuts on hand. Will certainly make them again, hopefully with the right ingredients and steps next time, haha.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Ha ha, I do that all the time! All your substitutions were very sound so I'm not surprised they turned out well. Glad you hear you enjoyed them :) Ania
Michel:
This just came up on my Facebook feed today. We are planning on making these this afternoon with my daughter and her husband. I am so looking forward to this!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's great to hear, Michel. I hope you and your family will like them! :) Ania
Margaret:
I made your cookies, and they were just delicious. The only thing I added was a light spread of honey glaze on each cookie after they had completely cooled and another generous sprinkle of lightly roasted sesame seeds over each. For some reason, I rarely find a vegan cookie recipe I want to make over and over again, but this one I definitely will. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Margaret, that's really lovely to hear! :) Ania
Sarah:
Thank you so much for this recipe! Didn't have quite enough maple syrup so substituted one of the tablespoons for one of honey, but the cookies came out well and had a lovely flavour. I also love the sesame seeds on top - so pretty!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Sarah! That is lovely to hear! xx Ania
Raphaëlle Lalonde:
hi there! these cookies look awesome, but I have no whizzed walnuts, can I use whizzed hazelnuts instead?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Raphaelle,
    Sure you can! I like how tahini and walnuts taste together, but I'm pretty sure hazelnuts will be just as nice :) Ania
Michele:
Hi. I was wondering if you w ould be able to provide conversion of cookie ingreadients to cups...
thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Michele, I've updated the recipe now. :)
Noel:
great recipe Ania! tahini is one of my favourite "undiscovered" ingredients ( I love it stirred through a tomato based sauce - try it!)
just a quiet word of advice though in regard to oat flour. it actually isn't gluten free ;-)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Noel. Glad to hear you like my recipe. As for oat flour, oats are naturally gluten-free! It is just that they are normally processed in factories that also process wheat. This is why you need to get gluten-free certified oats or oat flour if you suffer from celiac disease or are gluten intolerant.
Amanda:
Oh my! Finally a healthy cookies recipe that really works! Thanks for sharing this Ania! They are so good and easy to make. Even with my terrible oven they turn out just great!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yay! Thanks for a lovely message, Amanda! So glad they turned out well! x
Frederique:
OMG, I am not usually a big fan of tahini but I thought those cookies looked so pretty, healthy and easy to make that I decided to give them a try.... Thanks godness I did, those are DELICIOUS. I am in love. Thanks for the recipe. x
    Ania
    Ania:
    It makes me so happy to hear that, Frederique! Thank you so much for giving them a go! x
Anastasia:
Best cookies ever!!! I love sesame and walnuts - both make an unbeatable taste combination for these cookies. Warning: you won't be able to eat just one :) Bonus: it's a calcium rich whole foods "unguilty" pleasure
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Anastasia! I made loads of versions of these cookies before I arrived at THE ONE so I'm super pleased you like them so much!! :)
Bree:
I just made these yesterday. These are definitely going to be this years holiday cookies i give away to friends and family. They reminded me so much of the sesame cookies my Italian great-grandmother would make. One bite and they took me right back to her kitchen in Brooklyn. Great recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks Bree! Your feedback made my day! I made dozen or so versions of these cookies in an attempt to find 'the one' and words like yours just make it so much more worthwhile:)
Sarah | Well and Full:
I'm so glad I found your blog!! These cookies (and all your other recipes) look absolutely amazing! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Sarah! I'm glad you found it too - so nice to hear!
Maikki // Maikin mokomin:
I'm a huge sesame seed and tahini lover so this recipe is perfect for me. Thanks for sharing :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear that, Maikki. Let me know if you liked them:)
The first thing I thought of when I saw the tahini cookie headline was the "benne seed" cookies popular in Charleston, South Carolina (USA). Those are a crispy wafer/cookie though. But benne seeds are sesame seeds, so I'm wondering how the flavor of this will compare. I'll have to make it and see! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks De. That's sounds really intriguing. I've never heard of “benne seed” cookies before but I will definitely research them for the future:). These cookies are of chewy, moist variety.
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