Food

Tahini and Banana, a Popular (And Tasty!) Pairing

BY America's Test Kitchen TIMEMay 19, 2022 PRINT

You know peanut butter, but have you tried tahini? While peanut butter is made by grinding up peanuts, tahini is a paste made by grinding up toasted sesame seeds and is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine (think hummus). Just be sure to stir it up before measuring for this dish.

“I thought it would taste weird because of the tahini and sesame seeds, but it was heaven and we cannot wait to make it again,” said our 10-year-old recipe tester Max.

Tahini-Banana Snack Cake

Serves 12

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-­purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 very ripe bananas (skins should be speckled black)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray inside bottom and sides of an 8-­inch square metal baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom of the baking pan with an 8-­inch square piece of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.

Peel bananas and place in a large bowl. Use a large fork or potato masher to mash bananas until broken down but still chunky. Measure out 1 cup mashed bananas.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or large bowl if using a handheld mixer), combine softened butter, sugar, and tahini. Start mixer on medium-­high speed. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add mashed bananas and vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Add half of the flour mixture. Start mixer on low speed and mix until combined, about 1 minute. With the mixer running, slowly pour in milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining flour mixture. Start mixer on low speed and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Remove bowl from stand mixer, if using.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in any remaining dry flour. Scrape batter into the parchment-lined baking pan and smooth top (make sure to spread batter into corners to create an even layer). Sprinkle sesame seeds over top.

Place baking pan in the oven. Bake until the cake is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours.

Remove cake from baking pan and discard parchment. Cut the cake into pieces and serve.

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