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Chocolate-Tahini Loaf with Cinnamon and Cayenne

One 9-inch loaf

1¼ hours 25 minutes active, plus cooling

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The idea to make a quick bread with cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne pepper comes from Milk Street Facebook Community member Jennifer Polse. Lisa Kinser had the same thing in mind, but she also suggested the addition of tahini. The bitter notes of the chocolate, nuttiness of the tahini, warmth of the cinnamon and fieriness of the cayenne are wonderfully complementary flavors. A dark, shiny chocolate-tahini glaze makes this a simple quick bread elegant enough to serve as dessert.


9-inch loaf

1¼ hours

25 minutes active, plus cooling


  • 163

    grams (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour

  • 42

    grams (⅓ cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder, divided


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Benjamin N.
January 2, 2024
Good mix spice, bitter and sweet.
I was out of all-purpose so I ended up using a whole wheat. And I only had Labneh (a middle eastern kefir-yougurt-cheese stuff, sort of a cross between Greek yogurt and sour cream). It came out very tasty, but was perhaps slightly over cooked after 40 minutes. Perhaps the 50-60 minute bake time might be a little too long for some. Also, I've been experimenting with mixing jaggery and turbinado I get from an Indian Market. It's dried sugar cane juice and adds a great tang that worked well in this recipe.
Luisa K.
March 19, 2023
This quick bread is delicious! The glaze was far too thick for me too, I added an extra tablespoon of tahini to thin it out but still had to spread it with a spatula rather than pour. Definitely going to make this recipe again, the combo of tahini and cayenne with the chocolate is rad.
Diana L.

I made this cake a few days ago. Its a good cake. My glaze came out thick. I did not put cayenne as my kid wont eat it. Overall I give this cake 3.5 stars. I wish the glaze had something special about it.

Susan E.

Made this and it's very good but glaze didn't set, so it's very sticky and messy.

Mary H K.

I am questioning the amount of Tahini, it says 12 grams (1/3 of a cup) in the ingredient list 110 grams in the directions. when I looked it up in google I found that 1/3 of a cup is 79 grams. Please clarify. Thanks

Lynn C.

Hi Mary -

You are correct, there is a typo in the recipe. It should be 110 grams (1/3 cup) plus 3 tablespoons of tahini. In our testing on ingredient weights, we found that 330 grams equals 1 cup of tahini. Thank you for letting us know about the error and happy baking!

The Milk Street Team