These easy vegan tahini sesame cookies are easy to make with 4 ingredients in one bowl and ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes.

These cookies are inspired by Italian sesame cookies, also known as Biscotti Regina, Reginelle Cookies or Sesame Seed Cookies, traditional Italian cookies that are popular during holidays.

Stack of 5 sesame seed-coated cookies on a cutting board with a glass of milk behind them.

Italian, or Sicilian sesame cookies are made by rolling balls of dough in sesame seeds, which gives them a nutty flavor and a slightly crunchy texture.

This recipe is not a traditional Italian sesame cookie by any means but they’re inspired by the flavours and ingredients of the classic.

About the Recipe

The recipe calls for just 4 simple ingredients: almond flour, tahini, sesame seeds and maple syrup.

They have a softer texture than traditional Italian sesame cookies.

They could be described as a simple peanut butter cookie made with tahini instead of peanut butter and coated in sesame seeds.

They’re actually closer to Barazek, or Lebanese Sesame Cookies, a popular traditional cookie in Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. Barazek cookies typically consist of a buttery, crumbly cookie base with sesame seeds and pistachio.

Either way, these cookies make the perfect for treat anytime of day!

They’re easy to make in one bowl and are perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a nutty, earthy, butter flavour (without the butter!).

If you’ve never tried tahini in sweet recipes, these cookies are a great place to start!

Wondering what you can do with a jar of tahini? Try these 3-Ingredient Vegan Tahini Date Cookies, Tahini Hemp Seed Bars and Salted Caramel Tahini Cups next.

Ingredient Notes

Almond flour, tahini, maple syrup, sesame seeds, vanilla and salt in small bowls on a marble surface. Each ingredient is labelled with text.
  • Almond Flour: This recipe was developed specifically for almond flour (not almond meal). You can use store-bought almond flour or make your own by blending blanched almonds into a fine flour consistency. Extra almond flour? Try Vegan Thin Mints Cookie Recipe, Healthy Zucchini Brownies or Healthy Edible Cookie Dough.
  • Tahini: You’ll need a creamy, runny tahini for this recipe. I like Alkanater tahini but Soom and Trader Joe’s are also good. You can also make these cookie with nut butters like peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter.
  • Maple Syrup: Any variety of pure maple syrup works or it can be substituted with agave syrup.
  • Sesame Seeds: Hulled or unhulled sesame seeds works but I like hulled sesame seeds here. Try mixing white and black sesame seeds for a pretty finish! Toasted sesame seeds also make a nice addition.

A complete list of ingredients with measurements and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below.

Variations & Additions

  • Chocolate Chip Sesame Cookies: Add up up to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the dough.
  • Sesame Tahini Almond Cookies: Incorporate chopped almonds for a crunchy texture, enhancing the almond flavor in the cookie. You can also add 1 tsp almond extract. Besides almonds, experiment with walnuts, pecans, or pistachios for added crunch and depth of flavor.
  • Coconut Sesame Tahini Cookies: Mix in shredded coconut for a tropical twist, adding a hint of sweetness and chewiness. These Coconut Oatmeal Cookies are really good too.
  • Spiced Sesame Tahini Cookies: Add a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a warm, aromatic flavor profile. This is a nice option if you’re making these for the holidays.
  • Citrus Sesame Tahini Cookies: Zest some lemon or orange to add a refreshing citrusy aroma. Lemon complements the nuttiness of tahini beautifully.
  • Sesame Tahini Thumbprint Cookies: Make an indentation in the center of each cookie and fill it with your favorite jam (try this chia seed jam) or nut butter. These Vegan Thumbprint Cookies are excellent too and also gluten-free.
  • Other Additions: Mix in chopped dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries, raisins or any chopped nuts or seeds.
  • Chocolate-dipped tahini cookies are also amazing! To make them, dip half of the cooled cookies into melted chocolate then place back on the pan until hardened. You could also drizzle melted chocolate over top of each cookie.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Before You Start: Prepare for baking by preheating the oven to 350 F and lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cookie dough for making vegan sesame tahini cookies in a glass mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

Step 1: Add everything except the sesame seeds to a mixing bowl and mix into a moldable, smooth dough.

Sesame cooking being coated in sesame seeds on a plate beside a parchment paper-lined baking tray with 5 sesame cookies on it.

Step 2: Divide dough into 10-12 balls. Roll each ball in sesame seeds on a plate then flatten into a thin cookie and place on the baking sheet.

6 sesame tahini cookies on a small baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Step 3: Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan before handling.

They will be soft and fragile when they come out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.

A number of sesame cookies on a wooden cutting board with with a measuring spoon of tahini resting on the edge of the board and a few more cookies scattered around it.

Recipe FAQs

What do tahini sesame cookies taste like?

Tahini sesame cookies have a unique and distinctive taste that comes from the tahini paste. The texture and flavor profile of tahini cookies can be described as:

Nutty: Tahini has a rich, earthy and nutty flavour due to the roasted sesame seeds used to make it.

Slightly Bitter: Sesame seeds can have a slightly bitter undertone, especially if they are roasted. This bitterness is subtle and complements the sweet and nutty flavour of the cookie.

Creamy: Tahini gives the cookies a creamy texture, making them soft and melt-in-your-mouth.

Sweetness: These cookies are naturally sweetened with maple syrup though they’re not overly sweet.

Hint of Salt: A touch of salt is often added to enhance the overall flavor profile, balancing the sweetness and enhancing the nutty flavours.

Can I use something other than almond flour?

These were developed specifically with almond flour and haven’t been tested with anything else.

Almond flour has unique characteristics, so I wouldn’t recommended a different flour it unless you’re experienced with flour substitutions.

I recommend using almond flour and not almond meal.

How do you store sesame cookies?

Let the cookies cool completely before storing. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Can you freeze sesame cookies?

Yes. Sesame cookies freeze well in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. You can enjoy them straight from the freezer or let them thaw at room temperature first.

Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?

Absolutely. They won’t be vegan, of course, but you can certainly use honey instead of maple syrup to make honey tahini cookies.

Hand lifting a sesame seed-coated tahini cookie from a stack of cookies on a cutting board.

Recipe Notes

  • Measuring: For best results, accurately measure ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  • Cookie Dough: If the dough it too dry to roll into balls (this might happen if your tahini was too dry), add 1-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or other plant-based milk and mix again. The cookie dough should be soft but not overly sticky. If it’s too sticky, you can refrigerate it for a short time to firm up.
  • Tahini: Be sure to use runny, good quality tahini and stir it well before measuring. Good tahini should have just 1 ingredient listed: sesame seeds.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
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Stack of 5 tahini cookies on a cutting board with a glass of milk behind them.

Vegan Sesame Tahini Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

These gluten-free and vegan sesame cookies are perfect for a unique treat anytime of day or addition to your holiday cookie tray.


Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (150 g)
  • ½ cup tahini (120 g)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (70 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • pinch of salt, optional
  • sesame seeds, for coating

Instructions

  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Cookie Dough: Mix all the ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in a bowl until you get a moldable dough. If the dough it too dry to roll into balls which can happen if your tahini was too dry, add 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk and mix again until it forms a dough you can shape into cookies. If the cookie dough is overly sticky, you can refrigerate it for a short time to firm up.
  3. Prepare Sesame Seeds: Prepare a shallow bowl or plate with about 1/4 cup of sesame seeds.
  4. Coat Cookies in Sesame Seeds: Roll the dough into 10-12 balls, about 2 tbsp each, then roll the balls in the sesame seeds to coat. Flatten each ball with your hands until about 1/3-inch thick and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake and Cool: Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. They will be soft and fragile when they come out of the oven so be sure to let them cool to firm up before handling.

Notes

Be sure to use smooth, runny tahini in this recipe.

Storing: Let cool completely before storing. Store in a sealed container at room temperature or in the fridge. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 178
  • Sodium: 28 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Originally published November 19, 2021.