Vegan brownies

June 7, 2011  •  Category:


OK, so maybe the title is a bit grandiose, but take a look at facts:


  1. Omega 3 and 6, galore!

  2. Calcium, lots of it!

  3. Vitamin Bs, many many!

  4. Fiber, oodles of it!

Fresh orange juice

  1. Vitamin C, antioxidants, plenty!

  2. Potassium, calcium, plenty!

Grape molasses (or date or carob molasses)

  1. Iron, calcium, potassium, plenty!

  2. Vitamins, antioxidants, galore!

Dark chocolate

  1. Antioxidants, plenty!

Whole-wheat pastry flour:

  • Fiber, protein


  • 1 cup of 60% chocolate chips (125 g.), melted in the microwave for one minute
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (light-colored, 150 g.), stir the jar first and pour
  • 1  1/4 cup of whole-wheat pastry flour (150 g.)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2/3 cup of grape molasses (or date  or carob molasses) (150 g.)
  • 2/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice (150 g.)
  • 2 Tablespoons of orange rind (20 g.)

NOTE: If unable to source the molasses, substitute 1 cup of granulated raw sugar and reduce the flour to one cup only.

Most importantly, what does it taste like?

Crumb: Soft, velvety

Taste: Chocolaty with an orange essence and a faint taste of dark caramel

Texture: Cake-like, melt-in-the mouth, rich and creamy

One-bowl method, no need for a mixer.

  1. Assemble all the ingredients. In a bowl, transfer the tahini, add the orange juice and orange rind, melted chocolate and the grape molasses and stir.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and  salt. Transfer into the brownie bowl through a sifter. Stir until the flour mixture is no longer visible. Transfer the brownie batter into a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 23 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick into the cake; if dry or almost dry, it is done and the cake will be cakey; if you like it fudgy, check after 20 minutes and see how wet the batter is; it should stick but be thick. Cool a few minutes and serve with Lebanese caramel if desired.

To drizzle Lebanese caramel on your brownies, please click here for the recipe.


52 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Molly says:

    These sound glorious. I just had carob molasses in my hand yesterday but I put it back because I didn’t have a recipe in mind. I’ll have to go back, now. Also, tahini in brownies? Incredible.

  2. Azarakhsh says:

    Hello! I came across your website through The Spice Spoon and Turmeric and Saffron– what a delightful find! I’ve been browsing through the recipes and have been having homesick cravings for all the food my lebanese family friends would feed us in Dubai.
    Thanks for giving us a way to recreate the goodies!
    Best wishes from Montreal,

  3. Rosa says:

    Oh, yummy! I made a tahini cake once and loved it, so I’m sure that those brownies would be very successful at my home.



  4. Belinda @zomppa says:

    You have me sold! (Well, just the photo was needed, the health benefits are just that – wonderful benefits!)

  5. Louise says:

    Ooooh, this does look very intriguing. I’m not sure how I’d like all that tahini. I don’t think I’ve ever had tahini cooked in anything, just mixed through hummus. Does it still have that tahini mouth feel when cooked in something like this? I’m not so big on chocolate and orange either, so would probably use vanilla instead. Lebanese caramel looks pretty amazing too….

  6. Meister@Nervous Cook says:

    You rarely have to convince me to eat a brownie, but since you’re twisting my arm… Yum!

  7. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    Chocolate and orange is a luscious combination, one that I never grow tire of. Put it in a brownie and I’m already planning my week’s worth of exercise just to put a dent in the plate of brownies I expect to eat shortly. Thanks (I think). 😉

  8. kankana says:

    I never made anything with tahini but i love brownie and this looks too good to not give a try. And the pictures are so gorgeous 🙂

  9. familycook says:

    I agree., it has a World of goodness in them:)

  10. domi says:

    Avec toutes ces bonnes choses à l’intérieur j’en prendrai 2 parts….bisous et belle journée

  11. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This brownie sounds amazing with tahini, I love all the healthy ingredients in it.

  12. Amanda says:

    Healthy and brownie are not words I expect to see in the same sentence, but I will happily put these to the test – in the name of research, of course. 😉

  13. sab says:

    if it’s healthy can’t not bake it!!!

  14. Lemons and Anchovies says:

    This is perhaps the most unique recipe for a brownie I’ve ever encountered and I’d love to try it. If you say it’s good, Joumana, then I trust that it is. Plus, I get to have another use for tahini besides hummus. I love the one-bowl idea, too. 🙂

  15. Sawsan says:

    I have been looking for a brownie recipe forever but was always put off by the amount of calories..this looks really heavenly..
    Thank you for sharing

  16. alex says:

    wish you could post the measurements in cups ..any chance?

  17. Chiara says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe Joumana!

  18. Miriam says:

    Wow, I’ve got to try this, I’ve tried chocolate goodies with tahini before and they make a great combo!

  19. Priya says:

    Very tempting and beautiful brownies, marvellous and would love to have a slice rite now..

  20. Juanita says:

    Chocolate + Healthy + Tasty = A sure-fire winner! 🙂

  21. Juanita says:

    Well, if not straight out healthy, at least health-IER, right! That’s what counts when you love choccie as much as I do 🙂

  22. blackbookkitchendiar says:

    this looks so yummy!! thank you for sharing this:)

  23. Caffettiera says:

    I will happily eat tahini had it the saturated fats of coconut oil and the nutritional value of white sugar. Ditto for chocolate. And any cake made with non-white flour and non-white sugar lately is scoring high on my yummy list. Thanks for this recipe!

  24. Cristina says:

    Oh these look amazing! I need to find carob molasses…Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  25. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Looks almost too good to be true! Wow!

  26. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Delicious! I’ll have to give this one a go!

  27. Juliane says:

    ps. I’m part Lebonese as well:-)

  28. Juliane says:

    but with an “a”!

  29. Katherine says:

    Just to echo what everyone else has already said – tahini in brownies? This is amazing! I will be making this very soon.

  30. Nuts about food says:

    That is one pretty healthy sounding brownie. Tahini, never would have thought of it.

  31. kouky says:

    waou!! il ne se contente pas d’être délicieusement bon, c’est une véritable ordonnance à se faire prescrire!! lol!! comme j’adore la tahini, l’orange et le chocolat, je suis totalement fan! merci pour ce délicieux partage!

  32. Biksuit says:

    Enfin une recette de brownies qui nous fait sentir moins coupables.

  33. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    C’ets la recette idéale, alors ? ;o)
    Si tu m’envoies ton mail, je t’envoie un chouette livre en pdf sur la vraie cuisine niçoise. Tu auras la recette de la socca … et plein d’autres ! ;o)
    Bisous et bonne soirée

  34. sonya says:

    I would love to eat this! First, I have to make it. I have to find an easy way to measure according to the metric system in the kitchen. Online conversions are tricky. Thanks!

  35. Kathy says:

    Joumana, I love anything with tahini in it! These look fabulous! I have all the ingredients in my kitchen now and they are calling to me! I have a wonderful cookie recipe that uses tahini. I will have to post it!

  36. Sally - My Custard P says:

    OK you’ve convinced me! Off to make them.

  37. Foodycat says:

    Oh wow – these look extraordinary!

  38. Oui, Chef says:

    Tahini, huh? Who woulda thunk it. As you know by now, health benefits are not my highest priority, but if you can get healthy AND delicious like these babies, I’m in all the way!

  39. Nisa says:

    I’ve made several of your recipes since discovering your site a year ago, and they’re all delicious. The dishes always turn out just as you describe them, and, even more amazingly, resemble the finished products in your photographs, which is the true test of a recipe book. Tonight I made these brownies, and I have a new favorite! It’s nice that all the ingredients are easily available here in Beirut, but these brownies are well worth a trip to a Middle Eastern grocery in the U.S. or elsewhere. Thanks and keep up your amazing work!

  40. Frank Zimmerman says:

    I was out of carob molasses and a few other things, so I modified the recipe and it turned out just great. Here’s what I used:

    125g melted chocolate (I used about 70% dark, to which I had previously added some chopped roasted hazelnuts)
    150g tahini
    200g whole wheat pastry flour
    2 tsp organic baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    150g light molasses
    75g lime juice / 75g water
    2 tbsp sucanat (dried cane juice)
    2 tbsp grated lemon rind
    1 cup fresh raspberries

    The sucanat was added because lime juice is not as sweet as orange juice, and also to sweeten up the raspberries a bit. I added the raspberries just because I had lots and needed to use some.
    I baked it for about 30 minutes, instead of 23. It needed it, probably because of a slightly higher moisture content.
    The end result is very good…not a traditional brownie flavor, but something more exotic (especially because of the raspberries).
    I think your recipe provides a good base from which many modifications could be made.

  41. Cristina says:

    Hi Joumana, I used your recipe as a base and made some gluten-free tahini brownies, using agave syrup & coconut palm sugar instead of the molasses (didn’t have any at home).
    I need to change a few more things (baking without gluten can be challenging…); I was afraid tahini would make the brownies bitter, but they were actually delicious! And I like the fact that they’re healthier than standard brownies. When I’ve tweaked the recipe to my exact liking I’ll post it on my blog and let you know, for now a big thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  42. Rania says:

    This is the yummiest molasses cake EVER!!!!!

  43. sheila @ Elements says:

    I made brownies today using 1/3 cup molasses and 1/3 cup honey. I also used tangerine juice instead of orange juice. The batter was wonderful!! Then I made the Lebanese caramel (except I added coconut milk, vanilla, and cornstarch to mine).

    Then I crumbled up the brownies and stirred in the Lebanese caramel sauce. I shaped the mixture into balls, chilled them in the freezer, dipped them in chocolate, and then added sprinkles. They turned out great! I made them for my friend’s birthday, and she said she loved them! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  44. evi@thehealthycook says:

    Hi Joumana!!
    I am a fan of your recipes and of Lebanese cuisine. Your renewed blog is great btw!
    I would really like to taste this brownie; it is a fasting period in Greece and your brownie is perfect 🙂
    Would you please post the link of the lebanese caramel because when I click on it, an error occurs.
    thank you!

    • Joumana says:

      @evi: Thanks for the praise first of all 🙂 As far as the Lebanese caramel, you simply use sweetened condensed milk to which you add grape molasses,to taste, say 1 tablespoon per 1/2 cup. This is the recipe for the caramel that I came up with as a sauce to go with the brownie. There is also another sweet snack (that I may have called the same name) which is tahini mixed with grape molasses or carob molasses. Proportion is 1/2 cup tahini with one or two tablespoons of molasses to taste.

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