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This easy, super-moist coffee cake comes from Molly Yeh, who traded her busy Brooklyn life for farm life on the North Dakota-Minnesota border, launched the extremely popular blog "My Name is Yeh" and now hosts "Girl Meets Farm" on the Food Network. It's made with tahini for a rich, nutty, toasty twist and also "heavy on the crumbly topping," which is flavored with a Yemini spice blend called hawaij (don't be scared, it's made with warming spices you probably already have in your pantry).

"I am obviously a fan of anything that gives you the right to eat cake for breakfast. Even if it does have a very misleading name. Where is the coffee in coffee cake, hm?? What would happen if we started naming all of our foods with the drinks that we're meant to have with them? Can I interest you in some beer pizza? A lemonade hot dog? That's what I thought. 

Luckily, coffee cake has the redeeming factor of sugary-buttery-crumbly [goodness] all up in it that is so great, I could eat a bowl of that alone.

This coffee cake is heavy on the crumbly and has two nontraditional additions of sesame and Hawaij, a cardamom-y Yemeni spice blend that deserves to be in your coffee more than pumpkin spice. I recommend making this the day you're going to serve it because ooh, girl, warm coffee cake and hot coffee is a winter morning dream." –Molly

Shopping tip: Molly likes using Seed + Mill Organic Tahini.

For more ideas using tahini, check out Rach's Tahini Caesar Salad and her classic hummus recipe.

Adapted from Molly On The Range by Molly Yeh. Copyright © 2016 by Molly Yeh. Used with permission by Rodale. All rights reserved.


For the hawaij spice blend:
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • ½  teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the topping:
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup lightly-packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon hawaij
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 
For the batter:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon hawaij
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream 


Serves: Makes one 8-inch-square coffee cake


For the hawaij spice blend, whisk ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish.

For the topping, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and hawaij. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix in the butter until combined and crumbly. Mix in the sesame seeds. Set aside. 

For the cake, in a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, tahini and sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and mix to combine, then beat in the vanilla. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, mix in the sour cream, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm.