Autumn, Winter, Breakfast, Sweet, Snacks

Black Tahini, Dark Chocolate, Clementine & Cardamom Babka

The flavour combination in this delicious dessert is absolutely to die for – I'm so excited to share the recipe with you.

It's absolutely perfect for this time of year, as clementines are in season and we're all starting to feel a little bit festive. The thing I love the most about this recipe is that it's so easily adaptable. The dough here includes cardamom and clementine zest, but if you're not a fan, you could swap them for other flavours, such as cinnamon and vanilla or pumpkin spice.

The filling is equally easy to change up, adding spiced butters, fruit spreads or Nutella, which is always a popular choice. What's most important is to have fun, and use whatever you have to hand that's in season and delicious!

If you love this recipe as much as I hope you do, you might also want to try my Matcha & Pistachio Babka.

2 hours including proving

2 1/2 hours

20-25 minutes



For the dough

350g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting

50g coconut sugar or soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cardamom

Zest of 1 clementine

7g sachet dried yeast

30g vegan butter, melted

Pinch of salt

200ml oat milk, at room temperature or slightly warm

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

For the filling

50g dark chocolate

50g vegan butter

25g caster sugar

50g black or regular tahini

Zest of 1 clementine

1 tsp ground cardamom

For the glaze

¼ cup caster sugar

¼ cup water

Zest of 1 clementine

Sesame seeds (optional)


1. Add all the dough ingredients, apart from the sesame seeds, to the bowl of an electric mixer, and combine until you have a sticky dough. You can also do this by hand, using a wooden spoon.

2. With the dough hook attached, knead the dough in your mixer for about 10 minutes. To see if it's sufficiently kneaded, perform the 'window pane' test by taking a small lump and lightly stretching it – you should be able to see light through the dough. Alternatively, you can knead by hand, although it will take a little longer to achieve the same consistency.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly dusted surface, and shape it into a ball. Place it in a lightly dusted bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel, and set aside somewhere warm for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

4. To make the filling, gently melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water – otherwise, the chocolate might seize up.

5. Take the chocolate off the heat, and add the remaining filling ingredients. Combine until smooth, then set aside.

6. Once the dough has risen, lay it out on a lightly dusted surface, and roll into a large rectangle about 0.5cm thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, then roll up lengthways into a tight sausage shape.

8. Using a sharp knife, cut the sausage in half up its length, leaving an inch or two still attached at the top. Twist the two ends over one another, like a plaited rope. Pinch the ends, then tuck them neatly underneath.

9. Line a loaf tin, sprinkle it with the toasted sesame seeds, and place the babka inside. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place or a proving drawer for 45 minutes.

11. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4, and bake the babka for around 20-25 minutes, until golden.

13. Meanwhile, make your glaze. Heat the sugar and water until simmering, then remove from the heat, stir through the clementine zest, and set aside.

14. As soon as you remove your babka from the oven, brush liberally with the glaze, and add more sesame seeds, if you like. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, before enjoying sliced, or as a tear 'n' share.

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