Halawa — Halvah (Honey-Sesame Candy)

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Halawa (also called halvah) is my absolute favorite Middle Eastern treat. I usually make it around Easter-time. The sweet honey and sesame tahini match my celebration of the Savior’s resurrection and the coming of Spring.

Halawa is more sweet a dessert than I usually serve, which is why I don’t make it too often. A little goes a long way. You might have seen bars of Halvah candy sold in stores or Middle Eastern markets. They taste delicious but sure stick in the teeth! They are usually the crumbly, nut-butter based kind. The other way to make halawa is flour-based.

My recipe is the flour-based variety, which I adapted for whole-grain sprouted flour. You’d never know it, though. I have tried some non-flour recipes but haven’t got them right yet. This one works every time. :)

Halawa — Halvah (Middle Eastern Honey-Sesame Candy)

I highly recommend using roasted sesame tahini. Roasting is another means of reducing phytic acid in seeds, and it adds another dimension of flavor to this dessert.

  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups sprouted flour, spelt or soft wheat are lightest — learn to make your own here
  • 1 cup roasted sesame tahini
  • 3/4 cup raw honey

Warm the oil in a large heavy skillet over low heat. Add the flour and stir until the oil and flour are thoroughly combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to turn pale brown. Add the tahini and stir until the mixture has a uniform color and consistency. Turn off the heat.

In a separate small saucepan, bring the honey to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Immediately add the hot honey to the flour mixture. Stir until the honey is completely incorporated.

Spread the mixture into an ungreased loaf pan and pack the mixture down with the back of a spatula. Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours or until the pan feels cool. It will shrink back slightly from the edges of the pan as it cools, and should therefore unmold easily when the pan is inverted. Cover tightly (in or out of the loaf pan) and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To serve, cut into thin slices.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy Resurrection Day — He Lives!

Do you have any special treats you serve in the Spring or at Easter? I’d love to hear your traditions.


This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    He does indeed LIVE! Praise the Lord! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It looks absolutely scrumptious! Hope you and your family have a very blessed Easter! :)

  2. says

    I’m always excited about Easter because of God’s awesome gift to us… His Son and how He reigns forever in our hearts! This recipe looks amazing! We love middle eastern food… even found a decent Arabic restaurant in the capital city of Honduras! LOL! I will be keeping my eye out for the nut-based version… don’t have sprouted flour and don’t really want to try learning how to make my own ;o) Love ya!!

      • says

        3/4 cup raw sesame seeds
        1/4 cup golden flax or flax and hemp seed
        1 to 2 Tablespoons raw honey (depends on how sweet you want it.)
        Raw Sesame, Olive or coconut oil as needed.
        Pinch of real salt.
        2 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder

        Mill sesame and flax seeds in a coffee grinder until it starts to bind down. Put the sesame/flax mill in a food processor. Add the honey and salt and blend. If it is too dry to hold its shape add oil one teaspoon at a time until it holds its shape. Be careful not to over blend or you will have very sweet tahini. Roll into small bite size balls or into a log and slice. I many times double this and press into a small 7 x 5 glass casserole. Set in the freezer for about an hour.

  3. Jessie says

    Wardee – what brand of roasted tahini do you buy? I have looked at my normal stores & all tahnini is just labeled as tahini.

    Also, is the toasted sesame oil the same as what you’d find in Asian markets?



    • says

      Jessie — I get my toasted/roasted tahini through a natural food warehouse/co-op. I have seen it here and there – maybe the Maranatha, Artisana, or Natural Value brand?

      I’m not sure whether the toasted sesame oil is the same as at an Asian market — I’m sorry! I’ve never been to an Asian market. However, if it says toasted, that’s the one you want. Many sesame oils are just plain. If it doesn’t say, it isn’t toasted. My cold-pressed, organic, toasted sesame oil comes either from Azure Standard or Wilderness Family Naturals.

      I hope this is somewhat helpful. :)

  4. says

    I am so happy to find this recipe! I came across some imported halvah with vanilla at a local store and absolutely loved it, it would be better homemade, I’m sure, especially since I make my own vanilla. Can’t wait to make some of this, and thanks for posting the recipe!

  5. Helen says

    He is RISEN, He is RISEN INDEED. . .everyone have a humbling Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and a JOYOUS RUSURRECTION SUNDAY!! Hallelujah. . .

  6. Nikki says

    Sounds so good, definitely gonna try it! Just an FYI, heating honey denatures/destroys the proteins that provide all the benefit, best just to use a less expensive honey (organic if possible) and not waste the raw honey. When I use honey in my tea, I cool it with 2 ice cubes and then add the honey. It’s still hot enough to enjoy the tea, but not so hot as to denature the proteins.

  7. Annie says

    Well, this does look good. I might just try it. But it doesn’t look anything like the halvah that I have known. Is this a “special” recipe from a particular part of Israel? I’ve never heard of making it with flour. All the recipes I have known about are just finely ground sesame seeds, honey (or maple syrup) and a little water. Swirled in cocoa powder is an optional addition. It is a raw confection. Do you know about this method?

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