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Murielle Banackissa

Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies

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30 mins Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins
Serves 20

Crispy around the edges, soft and chewy in the center, these cookie have a wonderful floral aroma and a delightful rich and nutty flavor profile. Sweetened with maple syrup, they make a great evening treat or afternoon snack.


  • 1 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup runny tahini
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup runny black sesame paste


  1. Step 1

    In a large bowl, whisk together the ground flax seed and water. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Sprinkle the sesame seeds into a clean and dry pan. Toast on medium heat until the white sesame seeds start changing color, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Step 3

    Into the bowl with the flax mixture, add in the tahini, maple syrup, orange blossom water, sea salt, and baking soda. Stir to combine using a silicone spatula.

  4. Step 4

    Add the flour and 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds and stir until no flour streaks remain.

  5. Step 5

    Pour the runny black sesame paste onto the cookie batter and gently fold it in, creating a marble effect. Do not over-mix or your cookies will end up looking gray. Set aside to thicken while you preheat the oven.

  6. Step 6

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF.

  7. Step 7

    Using a tablespoon, scoop the cookie mixture and push it onto the prepared baking sheet using a finger or another spoon. The mixture will be runnier than a more traditional cookie dough and that’s totally normal.

  8. Step 8

    Repeat the process for the rest of the dough, leaving about half an inch of space between each cookie.

  9. Step 9

    Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds onto the cookies.

  10. Step 10

    Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookie tops are dry and the cookies are golden brown around the edges.

  11. Step 11

    Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to let cool completely. Enjoy!

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Can I use only white sesame seeds? Totally; the combination of both colors is mostly for aesthetic reasons.

  • What if my tahini is not runny? The consistency of the tahini is key to the success of this recipe. I opt for tahini that is imported from the Middle East and it’s always runny to perfection and contains only one ingredient: sesame seeds.

  • Can I replace tahini with another nut or seed butter? Probably. At that point, you wouldn’t really be making sesame cookies, but they’d still be tasty. Make sure that the nut or seed butter that you use is runny, not thick, and that it only contains the nut or seed itself—no added ingredients.

  • Can I replace the maple syrup with another sweetener? I think vegan honey or agave would work great as replacements.

  • Is orange blossom necessary? Can I replace it? Its flavor works really well when paired with the flavor of sesame seeds, but if you do not have it on hand, you can leave it out or replace it with vanilla extract.

  • Can I use another type of flour? I have not used other flours in this recipe, but I think oat flour wouldd work well here.

  • What if I don’t have black sesame paste? Leave it out.

Stacked Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies on a plate
Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies closeup
Sesame seeds on a plate. Black spoon holds white sesame seeds.
Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies
Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies with bite taken out

The last time I made a batch of cookies was during the holidays. My family has a long standing tradition of baking 3 different kinds of cookies on Christmas Eve and enjoying them for the week preceding New Year’s Eve.

We usually make ginger-molasses cookies, peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies, and some sort of vegan shortbread cookies. This year we made them with chopped cranberries and dairy free white chocolate — delightful!

Since the holiday season though, I haven’t felt a big pull towards cookies, but have rather been indulging regularly in doughy pastries like croissants and cinnamon buns.

Until…I found black sesame paste at an Asian grocery store!

I was instantly inspired to incorporate this new ingredient in a cookie recipe. By folding it into the fragrant sesame cookie dough I had prepared, I created a dramatic and unique marble effect.

The result was not only an addictive, nutty, and sweet cookie, but also one that is a real show stopper!

Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies on a plate
Orange Blossom Sesame Cookies stacked with the top one with a bite taken out.

When it comes to the ingredients used in this recipe, below are the ones I used. For any modifications, refer to the Swaps & Comments section.

Ground flax or chia seeds: I used ground flax in this recipe mixed with water to create a vegan egg, helping the cookies hold together while baking.

Black and white sesame seeds: I wanted to emphasize the contrast between the beige tahini-based cookie batter and the black sesame paste by folding in black and white sesame seeds into the batter and sprinkling them on top of the cookies as garnish. They also add a little bite to every cookie and, let’s admit it, make them look extra fancy.

Runny tahini: Tahini is made up of ground sesame seeds and it is the base ingredient of this recipe. It is what makes these cookies sesame cookies. It rich in flavor and has a subtle bitterness that complements beautifully the maple syrup and orange blossom water.

Maple syrup: The only sweetener in this recipe, maple syrup brings the sweetness these cookies need and it pairs well with the flavor of sesame seeds.

Orange blossom water: This extract adds lovely floral and citrusy notes to these cookies, making them extra addictive in my opinion!

Sea salt: I added salt to balance out the sweetness of this recipe.

Baking soda: It is the leavening agent in these cookies.

Whole wheat flour: I chose whole wheat flour over all-purpose flour to make these cookies a little more fibre rich, helping them hold together better.

Black sesame paste: Made of ground black sesame seeds (similarly to tahini), you can find it in Asian grocery stores or online. It has a bolder nutty and earthy flavor than tahini, but what really sets it apart is its striking black color. Folding it into the batter really makes these cookies stand out.

I had a lot fun creating these cookies by thinking about how all the flavors would complement each other and I am beyond happy with the result. These cookies are truly addictive and are a fun addition to my cookie repertoire!

If you try making this recipe, I encourage you to really take your time as you fold in the black sesame paste and notice how beautiful it is to see the two colors dance together in your bowl!

If you’d like, you can also share about this recipe on social media and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Happy cooking ✦