Chocolate Tahini Brownies (Gluten-Free)

The fact that these brownies are gluten-free is almost beside the point — let’s just say they are fantastic brownies. They call for coconut oil and brown sugar, a combination that bolsters their rich, bittersweet disposition and yields truly chocolaty brownies. And, with nothing but eggs to leaven them, the brownies have a lovely texture; they’re as cakey as they are fudgy and dense.

Where does the tahini come in? That’s the fun part! We mix the tahini with a little agave syrup to create a sweet, halvah-like paste that’s swirled across the top of the brownies. It looks very pretty, like a marbled fleur-de-lis, and it adds a nutty, caramel note to the brownie. If the swirling sounds intimidating, watch the video: it takes two seconds and a toothpick!

These brownies will make a pleasant finish to any meal, from a birthday to a casual patio dinner. If you’re feeling decadent, tuck them into an ice cream sundae! They’re so rich, we like to serve them with a cup of coffee, or equally delightful, a shot of bourbon.

Our tip: In the test kitchen, we tried this recipe with both virgin and refined coconut oils. The virgin coconut oil gave the brownies a definite coconut flavor — they tasted sweeter and a bit denser. The brownies with the refined coconut oil were lighter and more of the dark chocolate’s bitterness came forward. Both were very good, but our tasters preferred the brownies with the refined coconut oil.

Servings: 12


3 Tbsp cornstarch

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 Tbsp refined or virgin coconut oil

4 Tbsp tahini, divided

2 large eggs

⅓ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp light agave nectar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking dish measuring 8 x 8 inches with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment, leaving some overhang.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cocoa until no lumps remain.

  3. In a small double boiler, heat the chocolate, oil, and 1 tablespoon of tahini over low, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and both sugars on medium-high until light, smooth, and doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.

  5. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the salt and vanilla.

  6. Add the chocolate mixture and beat to incorporate.

  7. Add the cornstarch mixture in two additions, and then increase speed to medium-high and mix until the batter is thick and stiff, about 1 minute.

  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.

  9. In a small bowl, combine the agave nectar and remaining 3 tablespoons of tahini. Dollop spoonfuls over batter in 8 or 9 spots; drag a skewer or toothpick through to swirl.

  10. Bake the brownies until the edges are puffed, the top is browned, and a tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool.

  11. Remove the brownies from the pan, and cut them into squares. The brownies can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Recipe source: Epicurious