Halvah Cheesecake Part 1: The Halvah

Halvah (or Halva) is a favorite sweet treat found in the Middle East and some South American countries. Regionally it can take many forms, some even resembling a jelly, but some of the more popular forms are nut-butter based. Halvah also happens to be my dad’s favorite dessert! When I was about 13, I made up an “IOU” to my dad for one halvah cheesecake, and recently he collected on said IOU. Yes, he held onto an IOU for decades until he decided that it was time to collect. So here’s part one, making the Halvah.

Halvah Header

Ingredients (recipe adapted from here):

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup Tahini

4-6 saffron threads

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup all purpose flour

ONE: Bring water and sugar to a boil. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, add the Tahini and Saffron. Stir until the Tahini is fully mixed in, then remove the pan from the heat.

After Saffron is added


TWO: In another pan, melt the butter. Slowly add the flour until you have created a paste.

After adding flour

THREE: Little by little, add the sugar/saffron/tahini mixture to the butter/flour paste. Once all of the sugar/saffron/tahini mixture is added, remove the pan from the heat and pour into ramekins or a baking sheet. I lined my pan with wax paper to make it easier to get back out.

Poured Halva

FOUR: Allow the Halva to fully cool. Cut it into square-shaped, bite-sized chunks.

Halvah before seeds

FIVE: Press sesame seeds into the bars. Ta da! You just made halvah! Check out the next installment, making the cheesecake, here. Enjoy!

Halvah After Seeds

Like it? Share it!

Become an email subscriber

Enter your email address below and you will receive all our new posts directly in your email inbox.


  1. says

    I have never tried making halva home, but your recipe seems to be so easy and the halva you made are yammy only by watching the picture!

  2. Nickie says

    This looks yummy! I’ve never had this before… What does it taste like? Can’t wait for the cheesecake part :)