Orange, Honey & Sesame Cake

sesame pistachio cake close up with slice cut

Since this cake is made with whole wheat flour and only has like 2 tbsp of oil I can call it health food right? And justify eating it for breakfast? Good. Because I’m going to. I don’t even feel bad about it.

I love this “cake”. It’s more like a loaf to be completely honest- and makes great muffins. Honey, sesame, orange, and pistachios are a great combo. This cake is kept moist with tahini, yogurt, and applesauce. 

The sesame isn’t overwhelming, the tahini gives it a great nutty flavour! If you don’t want your cake to have that sesame taste, I have also had great results using a runny cashew or almond butter.

Orange, Honey & Sesame Cake

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 inch cake Cooking Time: 30-40 min


  • Dry:
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • Wet:
  • 1/2 cup runny tahini (sesame butter)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/3-1/2 cup orange juice (1 orange)
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Syrup:

  • 4 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water

  • 1 tsp orange extract

  • Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup roasted (unsalted) pistachios
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 1 8-inch cake pan with butter or margarine, and coat lightly with flour. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the tahini, orange zest, sugar, honey, and egg. Mix in the oil, applesauce, yogurt, orange juice, and vanilla extract until incorporated.


Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients slowly and mix JUST until incorporated.


Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for ~30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.


Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by combining the honey, water and orange extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Let come to a boil and boil for 4 minutes.


When the cake has cooled, level the top of the cake if it has domed with a serrated knife. Turn the cake upside-down (so the bottom of the cake is facing up) and poke a bunch of holes in the (new) top of the cake. Garnish the cake with your roasted pistachios (you can crush them a little first so that the pieces are smaller). Pour the honey syrup over the cake. Enjoy!


* You can also use runny cashew or almond butter in place of the tahini if desired.
* If you don't have applesauce, you can replace with yogurt, or the other way around!

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