Make Georgina Hayden's impressive chocolate, tahini and honey celebration cake, then also check out our decadent chocolate fudge cake and easy chocolate cake.

Georgina says..."I took a chocolate celebration cake from my book, Stirring Slowly, as it is a crowd-pleaser, and not too difficult to do, and I tweaked it. Gone is the sea salt caramel ripple, and instead it is laced with a tahini buttercream. Tahini and chocolate work beautifully together, in a way that many people might not initially think."


  • 550g butter
  • 125g chocolate
  • 185g soft light brown sugar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 150g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 100g rye or wholemeal flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 packets sesame snaps
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 125g honey
  • to decorate black sesame seeds


  • STEP 1

    Grease and line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4, then place a large pan on a low heat and pour in 125ml water. Dot in 250g of the butter and break in the chocolate. Add the soft light brown sugar, caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Melt over a low heat and whisk until smooth. Remove the pan from the hob and leave to cool for 12-15 minutes before whisking in the eggs, vanilla and ground almonds.

  • STEP 2

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Then slowly pour into the molten chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until you have a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and pop in the oven for 55 minutes. When done, leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely. When cooled, cut off the top if it has peaked a little (keep this to one side for decorating). Slice into 3 equal layers.

  • STEP 3

    Make the buttercream by beating the remaining 300g butter in a freestanding mixer until pale and creamy. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth, then repeat with the remaining icing sugar. Beat for a further 4 minutes, then add the tahini and 50g of honey, and beat for 1 more minute, until smooth.

  • STEP 4

    To layer your cake, dot a little buttercream on a cake stand and place one of the layers on top. Spoon on a quarter of the buttercream and use a spatula to level it. Drizzle with a little honey, sprinkle over a layer of the smashed sesame snaps and top with the second sponge. Repeat, then top with the final sponge. Finish the cake by covering with the remaining buttercream and rippling in the remaining honey to give a marbled effect.

  • STEP 5

    Sprinkle the remaining sesame snaps around the edge of the cake, along with the black sesame seeds, and crumble over any extra sponge. For an even more opulent finish, dust with a little edible gold dust or leaf.

Please note this recipe comes from #CookForSYRIA recipe book and has not been tested by our cookery team. More information about the Cook For Syria book here.

#CookForSYRIA recipe book

Plus, we've perfected three buttercream recipes too, click here for our expert tips.

Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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