Walnut and Halvah Loaf

Walnut and Halvah Loaf

Walnut and Halvah Loaf

Sometimes one new ingredient can totally re-invent a classic recipe, such as what I have for you today!  Adding halvah to this classic walnut loaf rockets it off to another level.  Nut loaves are pretty common and sometimes a bit humdrum, but when I saw this recipe in Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, I just had to break out the baking tools and get to work!  Everything about it called to me – warm cinnamon, crunchy sweet brown sugar, earthy walnuts, and the deal-breaker –  rich accents of creamy halvah.   I had never thought of baking with halvah, but this recipe has given me some tasty ideas!  Halvah is not just a sweet sesame candy, but can be included in all sorts of recipes, adding a gorgeous layer of sesame undertones.   I can’t wait to make halvah ice-cream this summer!  Ottolenghi’s original recipe called for vanilla halvah, but I used a vanilla- chocolate halvah in this recipe, and it was wonderful.

I will be bringing my loaf to Angie’s Fiesta Friday,  Foodie FriDIY,  and Saucy Saturdays. tomorrow.  I really hope that they all love it as much as I did!

A lovely, exotic twist on a classic loaf!

A lovely, exotic twist on a classic loaf!

Walnut and Halvah Loaf


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup superfine sugar

2 eggs, lightly whisked

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream



¼ cup unsalted butter

1 ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

6 ounces halvah, broken into 1 ¼ inch pieces


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

To make the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan, over medium-low heat. Allow it to sizzle for about 3 minutes, until it becomes lightly brown and smells slightly nutty. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, mix the butter, nuts, and cinnamon together. Divide the mixture into 2 portions. Stir the brown sugar into one of the portions.

For cake batter, in a stand mixture, cream the butter and superfine sugar together until the mixture becomes light in colour and is fluffy in texture. Add the eggs a little at a time until they are incorporated.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Add this to the batter, alternating with the sour cream. Be sure not to over-mix.

Spread half the batter in the loaf pan and scatter the sugar-less nuts evenly over the batter. Dot the halvah pieces on top. Spread the remaining batter on top. Top with the sugared nuts.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 20 minutes to cool. Then remove to a cooling rack by lifting the cake out in the parchment paper. Allow the cake to cool on the rack completely before cutting.

Don't tell anyone, but I even ate this for breakfast!

Don’t tell anyone, but I even ate this for breakfast!

15 Responses to “Walnut and Halvah Loaf”

  1. apuginthekitchen

    I have never thought of using Halva in baked goods but LOVE the idea and your loaf is spectacular. I can almost smell it and taste. Beautiful.

    • chefjulianna

      Thanks, Suzanne! It has opened up my imagination for all sorts of things! Glad that you like this! Happy week to you! 😀

  2. Jess

    I know for sure that I love this bread. It looks just delicious and would be perfect alongside a cup of coffee. Cut me one BIG slice, please 😉

  3. Nancy

    Such a beautiful loaf of bread, Julianna. It looks so delicious and indulgent! Yummy…

  4. Jhuls

    This looks fantastic, Chef Julianna! Wow! I wish I have a slice in front of me right now. Happy FF & enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  5. chefjulianna

    Oh, sorry Ai! I should have told everyone what halvah is!! This was an oversight on my part! Thank goodness for google, though! Glad you like the loaf. Have a great week! 😀


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