Black Tahini Brownies

Black Tahini Brownies // Kenkō Kitchen. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by Kate Bradley (Kenkō Kitchen).

Black Tahini Brownies // Kenkō Kitchen. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Kate Bradley (Kenkō Kitchen).

Like many plant-based cooks, I've struggled with making brownies that are as good as the real deal. I have tried making brownies out of various vegetables. I've tried making them with beans. I've tried making them with various flours and funky (bank-breaking) ingredients but in the end, they've always ended out NQR (you know, either more like a glue consistency or somewhat like a flavourless crumbling dirt cake mmmm... yuuurrrmmmm....). 

Before I knew I was coeliac, and wasn't so health conscious (AKA not health conscious at all), baking was my thing. I would literally use any excuse to bake and then would bake without an excuse too. It was my stress relief during year 10-12 when school was 'hard' (I look back at this and totally LOL now, ohhh how naive we are in high school). In my later teens' when other people partied, I baked. I used to cater for my friend's parties making them brownies, cakes and cookies. I would make elaborate cakes in the shapes of BBQ's, meat pies, burgers, pizza boxes, whatever you wanted - I could make a cake look like the real deal. My favourite thing to bake however was brownies. They won everyone over, they cured everyone's broken heart and everyone's stressed brain.

Fast track to 4 years later and I was faced with the challenge. How to make brownies without using refined sugars and with wholesome ingredients. I've definitely made some doozies and I would even go so far as to say most of my attempts were likable to an inedible slice of cardboard. Let's be honest - they were gross.

I tried other bloggers and cooks recipes hoping they would taste as good as the Instagram photo looked. They didn't. They too were cardboard (soz guys).

Maybe it was just an impossible? I should give up. Brownies just weren't going to exist in my life anymore. I would just have to accept it.... NO!

And so I came to this. Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, refined-sugar free, grain free, vegan, oil free. Is that enough 'free's' for you?

Not only can you find most of these ingredients in your local supermarket, they are also super quick to make, and in my opinion, taste even better than the real deal (then again I haven't had a 'real' brownie in like 6 years so I can't really judge, but they're good and get lots of thumbs up).

They are also kind of good for you, they have flax seeds (source of fibre, protein, omega-3), cacao powder (antioxidants, magnesium, manganese), maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc) and of course, black tahini (a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B-vitamins... among some other things too).

I even read online that black tahini is a natural remedy for grey hair.  However, I don't have grey hairs yet and I've already fallen for the 'natural hair dye myth' once before - The one where you can supposedly dye your hair with coffee. You can't. I poured coffee on my head, let it soak, and the result was not the luscious brown locks pictured on Pinterest, my hair was the same but, it just smelt of coffee and I was left with my mother and sister mocking me. 

Anyway, enjoy this recipe. I do, very much. My friends who have tried it also enjoy it.

WARNING: You won't be able to just make this recipe once. You will make it once, then probably the next week to share with someone, then again the next day because one batch wasn't enough. Before you know it you've spiraled into a Black (Tahini Brownie) Hole and won't be able to think about anything other than these. It's OK though, who needs pants that fit or friends or a boyfriend or a job? You have brownies, and they will bring you all the fulfillment you need. 


Black Tahini Brownies // Kenkō Kitchen. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by Kate Bradley (Kenkō Kitchen).

Black Tahini Brownies // Kenkō Kitchen. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Kate Bradley (Kenkō Kitchen).


Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Oil Free, Nut Free

Makes 9-12 brownies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


1/4 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup black tahini
120g raw or dark chocolate, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20 x 15 cm (8 x 6 in) baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the linseed meal and water in a mixing bowl and stand for a few minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.
  3. Add the baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, cacao powder, arrowroot flour, maple syrup and black tahini and mix until smooth. Add the chocolate and fold through.
  4. Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until just set (don't overcook your brownies!). 
  5. Cool the brownie in the tin for at least 15 minutes before slicing into 9-12 pieces.